Carl Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, skeptic and critical thinker. He was the Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the American space program and was a consultant and adviser to NASA since the late 1950’s. He was also responsible for briefing the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon. Many of you might know him from some of his bestselling books, like Cosmos, which was in fact the bestselling science book ever published in the English language.
Sagan was responsible for assisting humanity in their knowledge of concepts that are outside of the box, these include multiple dimensions, quantum physics, wormholes, and a wide variety of ideas and concepts about space, science, technology and more. He did so with a great amount of enthusiasm, cheer, and an uplifting type of energy. In his very last interview he left us with words that might give you goosebumps,he issued two warnings to the human race.
His first concern was with regards to science and technology. Sagan expressed great concern that “if the general public doesn’t understand science and technology, then who is making all of the decisions about science and technology that are going to determine what kind of future our children live in, some members of congress? There are only a handful who have any background in science at all, and some of them don’t even want to know about it.” – Carl Sagan
I love this point, and it holds true. A large majority of our planet, I would say 99 percent of it does not have any idea about who is making all of the decisions regarding science and technology. Sure, we have mainstream science and technology, but the fact remains that a large portion of the world’s science and technology remains classified, and is overseen by the Department of Defense. Not many people know this, and it partially answers Carl’s concerns about the population not knowing about who is making all of the decisions regarding science and technology.
It’s 2013 and a lot has happened since the death of Carl Sagan, one thing in particular that relates are the recent leaks by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden about the black budget. This is a budget that garnishes trillions and trillions of dollars every year that goes towards projects that the human race knows nothing about, including science and technology. It’s safe to assume that the black budget deals with technology that is vastly superior to that of the “mainstream” world. The ability to explore areas of our world and surroundings presently unavailable to the rest of us is also a high likelihood. Scientific and cosmological understandings that give greater insights into the nature of our world are most definitely already around . These programs have no oversight from congress, and not too many people have any idea about what is really going on here. How can we know about science and technology when a large portion of it remains classified?
“We’ve arranged a society on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it.” – Carl Sagan
Sagan’s second warning for humanity was that science is more than a body of knowledge, that it is a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe. He expressed that if we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we as a human race are up for grabs. This is a great point, and a great reminder to always question what you are told. 17 years ago, when Sagan was alive, the human race did not ask as many questions as they are asking now. Questioning leads to answers, and threaten the control structure. Thankfully there are now more and more who are seeking the answers.
We knew the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the centre of the universe, we knew that a man-made piece of machinery could not [fly]. Throughout human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or surpressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge – Terje Toftenes
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan
We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity…. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do.- Ben Rich. – Former Director of Lockheed’s Skunk Works
He was very concerned about the government controlling the people. Sagan was well ahead of his time, and his concerns 17 years ago are clearly felt by more people today. It’s important to remember if we want change, we have to do it from a place of love and cooperation.
CDC To Begin Detaining Travellers for Forced Vaccinations Unless You Do Something About It
There are times in our life when we need to put aside our daily personal struggles and turn our attention toward a greater issue. This is one of those times.
Not since the Patriot Act of 2001 or the Canadian Bill C-15 of 2016 have we seen a proposal for the expansion of state powers that so violates civil liberties.
This summer, public health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were publishing a lengthy Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the August 15, 2016 Federal Register to amend federal public health law.
The part of the Public Health Service Act they want to strengthen is the part that gives them power under the U.S. Constitution to restrict the freedoms of people entering the U.S. or travelling within the country between states if they believe them infected or at risk of infection with certain kinds of communicable diseases.
This Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) involves the use of federally funded state health departments and state facilities as the majority of police power to detain, isolate, and quarantine citizens belongs to the individual states.
What Could Happen if This Passes?
If this NPRM is implemented and the states comply we could all be subjected to forced quarantines and vaccinations. Failing to comply with these regulations could also land you in prison for up to a year and fined anywhere between $100,00 and $250,000.
There are 69 different CDC recommended vaccines. Public health surveys show that 87% of parents have denied at least one of these 69 vaccines for their children. Any one of these persons could be subject to a forced vaccination.
Regardless of whether or not you believe vaccines to be effective in treating disease, this is a gross violation of human rights that is being carried out by a government organization that is largely controlled by pharmaceutical companies through regulatory capture. The majority of the officials in charge of the CDC also have previously worked or serve on the boards of major pharmaceutical companies.
What we are seeing here is not a measure to improve public health but a measure to use the state to force you to use a pharmaceutical product. The directors of the CDC are not concerned for our health. If they really cared they would not have a history of preventable disease communication due to structural incompetence.
We have bureaucrats who are financially incentivized to have you buy pharmaceutical products. They will have this done by your own will or through the state. Either way, you or the government you fund will pay for the cost and the drugs are going to get into your system.
We are led to believe that regulatory agencies such as the CDC, FDA, and USDA are there to protect public health. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each organization serves to enforce a corporate oligopoly in the food and drug industries. They serve many people, but we aren’t among them.
What You Can Do About This
You only have until October 14, 2016, to make a public comment to the CDC and contact your legislators in Congress, so please take this seriously, because what the CDC is proposing applies to all Americans who travel outside the country or between states, especially on commercial airlines, and could affect international travellers, too.
Sharing information about proposed changes in legislation like this online and in person are essential to preventing them from being passed.
We are in a state of evolution in our consciousness but that growth in our awareness is there to help us take the necessary action to change our world. The very fact that you have read this means that you are a part of this expansion in global human consciousness. It is up to all of us to expand the awareness of others so that we can get past this terrible chapter of history together and begin creating a new world.
Is Software The Result of Our Inadvertent Biomimicry?
I first became interested in biomimicry when it pointed out the many natural forms that follow the Fibonacci sequence, suggesting a mathematical perfection at the heart of nature that organic life emulates as it evolves.
The Biomimicry Institute has this definition:
“Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.”
Examples from the website:
- Learning from humpback whales how to create efficient wind power
- Learning from termites how to create sustainable buildings
- Learning from kingfishers how to break through boundaries
- Learning from mosquitos to create “a nicer needle”
Other examples would include Velcro and aerodynamic designs based on other birds and insects.
To the extent that nature “mimics” mathematics and geometry it already begins to suggest the primacy of consciousness or an intelligence at the heart of Being.
Eckhart Tolle says that, for example, an immense intelligence regulates your breath, circulation, elimination, sexuality, and all of your bodily functions without the intervention of your “conscious” self.
Scientists like Robert Lanza who coined the term Biocentrism suggest that a more viable scientific approach is to take nature as primary, and our thoughts (discoveries, measurements, etc.) about nature as a byproduct of organic processes.
But isn’t it possible to look at the phenomenon of software from this same perspective?
I have asked the question — “If DNA is software, who wrote the code?” because with the sequencing of DNA the discovery has been made that it operates as computer software.
And as a relatively new phenomenon in human history, from our current perspective, we can see that DNA is the only software or “active” encoded intelligence that was not “written” by a team of programmers.
When I asked about this to skeptics like Michael Shermer or other conventional scientists, the answer to how code could arise organically from inanimate matter — when it clearly conveys a “meaning” that is intentional” — is always “evolution” or “natural selection.”
But if we instead consider the possibility of consciousness being primary, then the invention of software makes perfect sense as a wonderful example of biomimicry (through evolution); it is the unconscious recreation of the natural evolution to order from chaos (mathematics) through the intervention of Mind.
Even in scripture this is metaphorically suggested — we were created in the “image” of God – perhaps not in a “personal” sense but in the realm of forms or ideas — as Plato suggested — in fact mimicking the geometric and mathematical perfection of an absolute intelligence.
When considering DNA the concept, “in the beginning was the Word” makes an entirely different impression when one views code. Code as symbolic mimicry of nature is in fact sequenced in the letters A, C, T and G, whose “meaning” simply represents the activity and combination of chemical agents that do the “work” — of regulating biology.
In our software the meaning of the code is conveyed in actual English words. If you look at the source code of any webpage you will see the expression of a page in a web browser represented in English, cryptic to the nonprogrammer but perfectly logical (or it won’t work).
She extrapolated the possibilities to suggest that future iterations (with more powerful calculating abilities) could begin to simulate human mental activity to perform various intellectual tasks.
She was the first computer scientist to imagine a programming language.
From a New Yorker piece about Ms. Lovelace:
This science constitutes the language through which alone we can adequately express the great facts of the natural world, and those unceasing changes of mutual relationship which, visibly or invisibly, consciously or unconsciously to our immediate physical perceptions, are interminably going on in the agencies of the creation we live amidst. . . .
A new, a vast, and a powerful language is developed for the future use of analysis, in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind than the means hitherto in our possession have rendered possible. Thus not only the mental and the material, but the theoretical and the practical in the mathematical world, are brought into more intimate and effective connection with each other.
— Ada Lovelace (Betsy Moray, New Yorker, 10/15/2013)
Of course we now recognize DNA as an organic programming language — sort of a sub-language (in the mode of Visual Basic for Applications as a sub-language to Microsoft Office) — in that we can re-program and even synthesize DNA itself, but not the energetic field within which it functions — Life itself.
In the quote above it is interesting to note that even Ms. Lovelace refers to an “expression of the great facts of the natural world,” revealing the attitude of a time when science did not yet anoint itself as an objective perspective with respect to nature.
Now, contemplated from the perspective of Biocentrism and biomimicry, I wonder if we can begin to reframe the reality of computer “science” as indeed the as yet unconscious expression of that immense intelligence at the heart of nature and begin to see our proper relationship to it as one of reverence and awe; our own intelligence is a pale shadow (from Plato’s cave) of what we are in fact mimicking with our software of Google, Apple, and Microsoft…
From this perspective our science would become a sacred enterprise in its awareness that we are in fact mimicking or simply reinterpreting and reintegrating the secrets of nature itself.
Instead of just mimicking the forms of nature, with software we are mimicking its conscious intelligence.
From this same viewpoint it makes infinite sense that in the ancient world the constant mathematical absolutes of Pi and Phi (the Fibonacci sequence) were regarded as in fact sacred, and the expression of a deity that was not personal, but rather perfect at a level unattainable through purely human reason.
Rather than seeing DNA as an anomaly somehow coincidentally mimicking our own creation of encoded intelligence — “software” — rather we might now reverse the inference and see software, rather, as a higher expression of our own natural functions, which operate on a level of intelligence the programmers of Google, Apple, and Microsoft can barely approach.
Die Before You Die: A New Kind Of Retirement Plan
In a recent post, I examined the legitimacy of the financial “industry” and its operating principles and described some issues I faced in planning for the future with so-called financial “experts.” One thing the financial consultants never brought up with me – and which should be an integral part of any realistic retirement plan is… Death.
While it’s obvious that no financial professional would ever want to make a client uncomfortable by bringing up his inevitable and potentially imminent demise, from the client’s perspective it’s a pretty significant thing to consider.
(Some advisers are open about writing a will or trust but it’s usually an upsell strategy and also a way to scare the client into action.)
As a single guy I have told women who wondered if I could be “generous” that I had to think in the following way: If I knew I had ten years left (or less) I could be “quite generous,” for twenty years I would need to be a bit more careful but I could still splurge on occasion, and if I was going to live for 30 years or longer, I had to be frugal.
Not surprisingly, along with relationships, this issue of what is “enough” money takes its toll psychologically. (No pun intended).
So it was that I found a suggestion by Eckhart Tolle and other spiritual teachers, that one “die before you die,” so paradoxically helpful.
By factoring both the inevitability of my own death, as well as the uncertainty as to when it would occur, into my “financial plan” I could relieve much of the pressure.
For one thing instead of stressing about making it 30 years and providing for it I figured that I could consider maximizing my enjoyment in the present moment and let things unfold.
If I was “lucky” I’d die before I outlived my money.
If I was less fortunate I’d live longer and maybe get a job.
But it was by making my own death central to my financial plan, and realizing that no plan was going to be guaranteed, much less perfect, that I was able to feel a great deal better.
It was yet another example of facing and accepting “not knowing” as a stark fact.
And interestingly, by facing death as a certainty instead of as a tragedy or something to put off or obsessively try to avoid (and accepting the not knowing of when or how), the anxiety about both death and my finances subsided.
I believe this is the premise behind quite a few new acceptance movements and particularly in a feature length documentary that has been produced by an old friend, which also features noted teachers like Deepak Chopra.
Death Makes Life Possible “follows cultural anthropologist and scientist Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., as she explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. Sparked by her own near death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death for the past three decades.
The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death.”
I really welcome this honest and direct approach to an issue that, when ignored or denied, can lead to so much unnecessary suffering.
My own first really honest approach to death occurred when I was in the throes of anxiety and read “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” which discussed matter-of-factly the ways to talk to the dying, and actually provided guidance in accepting the process for oneself.
At the same time I realized that having been so closely present when both my parents died had probably numbed me in many ways and made me resist the inevitable – which now arose as anxiety.
It was eye opening to see that the obsessive struggle to make death invisible is a Western phenomenon. Something I had always taken for granted – that death was “bad” – was actually not the way millions of other people on the planet lived their lives.
At around the same time, after working on the Eckhart Tolle material, I was on the phone with an old friend and at one point I said to him, “you know you’re going to die.”
He was appalled. “Why would you say such a thing?” he shouted at me. And it made me realize again how deeply conditioned we are to persuade ourselves that we’re invincible, and that death will happen to everyone else but that we ourselves are somehow immune.
(And also our conditioned belief that our thoughts about it will make it happen – if we keep the demon locked away in the dark it will all be okay).
Another favorite opening to this issue is Ram Dass’ book, “Still Here” (which helped me with my own anxiety) – and he is now featured in an upcoming film with a wonderful title – “Dying to Know” by Robert Redford about his friendship with Timothy Leary.
(“Dying to Know” will have its Sedona premier at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, AZ on Friday, May 29. Contact info: 928-421-1108)
It is interesting to ponder to what extent our technology and particularly the mass media are functioning in such a way as to distract us continually from this obvious fact: our days are numbered, and “all things must pass” – even us. And yet, confronting it directly and honestly can be paradoxically liberating.
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