Archive for October, 2010

Mindfuck #5: We’re All Mad

Posted in All, Psychology, Spirituality on October 10, 2010 by marushiadark

“Everyone here is mad. I’m mad. You’re mad.  It’s only by chance n’ careful planning if you’re not.” ~ The Cheshire Cat

What does it mean to be mad?  Madness is a synonym for insanity, which is the opposite of sanity, which means to be sane.  The dictionary defines “sane” as “being free from mental derangement” and “having sound judgment.”  But what does that mean?

Typically, when we think of an insane person, we think of someone foaming at the mouth, talking to the voices in their head, imagining that the walls are covered with insects, but there are other types of insane.

No one can know everything, therefore no one can know the whole truth.  So all of our individual realities are limited by our perceptions.  Thus, our realities are subjective and relative, based more on consensus and mutual agreement than objectivity.

Even the scientific method is subjective, since it’s based on observations that are fallible.  If reality is consensual, then the scientific method just says that whichever subjective observation gets the most votes wins the “What is real?” poll.  It’s like the guess the candies game.  You can increase your odds through various methods, such as measuring the size of the candies and calculating their volumes and the volume of the jar they’re contained in.  Maybe your guess is even the closest, or even exactly the right amount, but only the person who initially counted the candies knows for sure.  Science seeks to analyze our universe, yet we are part of the universe, and the very act of measuring it changes everything.  So science isn’t all that different from philosophy or religion.  They’re all just people taking their best guess based on the information they have.  As long as it works for what the person is trying to achieve, then it is effectively correct.

To know what actually exists, we’d have to remove ourselves from reality and view it as a closed, isolated system, which is next to impossible.  Even if we could do that, I have a hunch that the result will simply serve to prove the same conclusions that a few observant people have been trying to tell us for thousands of years.

So if reality is subjective, then no one knows the whole truth.  So how do we know who is of sound mind and who is deranged?

A reasonable person would have to conclude that, if no one knows the whole truth, then we’re all just a bit missed misinformed.  We all shape reality to reflect our beliefs instead of shaping our beliefs to reflect reality.  None of us sees reality for what it truly is, which means we’re all just a bit delusional.  We’re all just a little bit mad.

And if we’re just God in a void playing fingerpuppets, then some would characterize that as having already gone mad, just like how Tom Hank’s character in Castaway created Wilson to avoid going mad; but in a different light, talking to a volleyball is madness too, since it’s not a real person and can’t talk back.

So madness is all a matter of perspective, really.

“The world ain’t what is it seems … You keep that in mind.  The moment you think you got it figured, you’re wrong.” ~ Mr. Rate, Shooter

It’s ironic that those who have a better understanding of what’s going on tend to be labeled by the masses as “crazy, insane nuts.”  You hear all the time about so-called “conspiracy nuts” that say the government has done all these things to its own people.  Are they crazy?  Or do they just know something that you don’t because they have more information than you do?  If they’re grounding their arguments on logic and evidence and you choose to ignore them, doesn’t that make you the crazy one for denying some part of reality?

Not every conspiracy theory is true, of course, which is why it’s just a theory; and new information could come along to change or even debunk that theory at anytime.  But not every conspiracy theory is false either.  To make a blanket statement like “all conspiracy theorists are nuts” is to assume that you know everything there is to know about the government and the people who work for it and what their minds are like, and that based on both your extensive knowledge and mind-reading abilities, you have come to the conclusion that no, the government cannot and never would do something or anything like that.

But the reality is, at least the last time I checked, that government is comprised of people (and possibly aliens) and that humans are fallible and prone to such things as rape and murder and abuse of any and all power.  So what is conspiracy except two or more people coming together to do such things?  What is government conspiracy except those conspirators being in the government?  So the pejorative use of the term is in fact pretty stupid.

Speaking of stupid, religious nuts are common, right?  I’m sure we’ve all seen the guy on the street holding up a cardboard sign that says “The End is Near.”

Is he crazy?  Only if the end is not near, because that would be a denial of reality.  But the end of what?  And what exactly is “near”?  Two months?  Two years?  Two hundred years?  Two hundred years is very near if viewed from the perspective of human history, but no one would be alarmed or take notice of a guy who said, “The End is 200 Years Away.”

So is this guy crazy?  Perhaps.  It may simply be that he is looking around at the world and misapplying the teachings of his holy book in regards to it.  But it could just as easily be that he knows something that the rest of us don’t.  Who are we to say that God didn’t send him a message in his sleep to tell him to go do that?  Are we so arrogant that we think we know what God can and can’t do?  If God can talk to people and create prophets to carry his message, why couldn’t he make new ones in our own time?  Especially if we didn’t get it the first several times around.

I’ve always wanted to sit down and talk with one of those people and find out just what’s going through their heads.  They could tell me what they know and believe and I could share with them what I know and believe, and hopefully as least one of us will get something out of the experience.

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right.  When he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong.” ~ Clarke’s First Law

Another common cliche is the mad scientist who stumbles upon a new truth but is then rejected by his colleagues.

Most of the time, this truth is perverted and abused for uses that are harmful, destructive, and immoral, but that’s not always the case.  Sometimes, genuine breakthroughs are ignored by those of small mind, unwilling or unable to expand their thinking; or by those whose paychecks are on the line, researching something contrary to what that one person discovered. 

Nikola Tesla would be good examples of both.  In fact, he appears in a number of propaganda cartoons, including one with giant robots.

But either way, all these “mad” scientists did was discover something true about the way the universe works.  Whether it’s good or bad depends upon the character of the person that uses it.  The knife that kills can be used to save your life.

Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws of prediction lead us to believe that reality is a lot stranger than we think it is presently.  They emphasize expansion of consciousness and a journey further down the rabbit hole into Wonderland where things get “curiouser and curiouser.”

In a way, we are all arrogant for assuming that we know anything at all about what’s really going on.  Religious minds are arrogant to say that God needs anything from us.  Scientific minds are arrogant to say that they know that God doesn’t exist.  And so on.

We are all mad.  We are all arrogant.  We are all delusional.  Some more than others, but that too is part of the illusion and we cannot say for certain that we know which ones those are.  Pride goes before the fall, and all fall short in the eyes of the Lord.

Mindfuck #4: Infinity

Posted in All, Humor, Psychology, Science, Spirituality on October 9, 2010 by marushiadark

“The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.” ~ Alan Watts, philosopher

The concept of infinity is another one of those doors that I opened up once without actually knowing what it was and then quickly slammed it shut in fear upon realizing what I was looking at. I don’t recall how old I was at the time when I first had that revelation, but I must have been around fourteen or so, because I still held firm to a Christian understanding of the afterlife.

In school, they taught me that when you die and go to either heaven or hell, you go there for an eternity.  One day, I found myself wondering about that.  I imagined myself up in heaven, sitting on a cloud with God and angels plucking at their little harps.  You know, heaven.  Then, I thought about being in such a situation as that forever.  So after all that had been done, then what?  Still the same, with the singing and the clouds and the halos.  Fast forward a million, billion, gazillion years (numbers that I couldn’t even fathom in their own right) and that still wasn’t the end.  Fast forward a million, billion, zillion, bazillion years, … nope.  Still the same spot.

I tried to stretch my mind  to keep going as far into the future as I could.  But intuitively, I knew that, no matter how far ahead I went, the situation would always remain the same.  If heaven was being on a cloud with God for all eternity, then this is what it would look like.

At about that point, I started becoming deathly afraid.  I realized, in that moment, that no matter how hard I tried, there would be no end to it.  It would just keep going and going and going to the point of madness.

Truthfully, words like “infinity” and “eternal” have no meaning until you actually come face to face with the realities they describe.  Only then do you truly realize how frightening the concept really is.

It’s just like how words like “heights” and “hundredth floor” don’t mean anything until you get up there and look down and the threat of imminent death is slammed into your face.  You become like Eddie Murphey’s character in The Golden Child where, in one scene, he drops a quarter into a bottomless pit.  He waits and waits for there to be a sound.  He knows that it ought to make a sound if there’s a floor, but none is made.  After a few seconds, he started to become confused.  After half a minute, he becomes worried.  The longer time drags on without a sound, the more frightened he becomes, as the more he realizes that there is no bottom!

Infinite time and infinite space are linked.  But infinite time is less frightening when one is always living in the now.  Infinite space, however, is another matter entirely.

In art, the principles of linear perspective and relative scale help define a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional medium.  Such depth, especially infinite depth, is merely an illusion on the page.  But the reality of infinite depth is potentially incomprehensible, and certainly very frightening.

To illustrate this point, consider the following parable I created.

Imagine a spaceman who travels out into the universe in search of God and meaning and truth and other such things.  He knows that God is greater than anything there is, and this is all he has to go by.  So he travels out into the depths of space until he loses all sight of the earth.  He travels to the end of the solar system, until the sun appears as nothing more than a tiny dot.  By now, he has traveled incredibly far, but space is vast and there’s still so much left.  He presses on to the edge of the galaxy, until millions upon millions of stars are now within his field of vision.  Still he trudges on until the whole of the galaxy now appears within his windshield.  By this point, if he were traveling at the speed of light, it would have taken him over 100,000 years to see such a thing.  In such a time, the ancient cavemen would have developed to the point where they could build ships like his.  And there’s still so far to go.

Our spaceman turns to his left and sees Andromeda, the nearest spiral galaxy, through his port window.  To reach it, it would take twenty-five times longer than it took him to go from earth to where he is now.  Such a trip would be maddening.  As he travels towards Andromeda, it would appear as though he wasn’t even moving at all.  Andromeda would appear to stay exactly the same size and distance away.

But supposing our spaceman took pictures every few millenniums of Andromeda to prove to himself that he wasn’t losing it, but that he was, in fact, showing marked progress in gaining towards Andromeda.  Such might encourage him to stave off madness and press on a little further (never minding how the hell he’s even still alive at this point).

So our astronaut friend has traveled about 2.5 million light years.  The galactic equivalent of moving from one blade of grass to an adjacent blade of grass in a great big universal lawn.

In his millions of years of travel, he’s found no God.  But he’s seen the wonders of the universe through his windshield and has grown quite bored of them.  He decides that he will make a trip to the edges of the universe itself.  Assuming our little spaceman was somewhere near the middle of the universe, it would take him about forty-six billion (46,000,000,000) years to reach the edge.  The significance of such a number in terms of either time or distance is really lost on human beings.  It’s just beyond our comprehension.

Most people can’t even last a single day without going mad from boredom (some of you probably won’t even make it to the end of this post).  If our astronaut friend didn’t shoot himself in the head after 2.5 million years, he might do it in 2.6 million, or three million, or even five million; and that’s still only a fraction of the way to his destination.  Even if he managed to make it as many as a billion years, that still leaves 45 billion more to go.

And we humans think we know what God is?!  God is supposed to be greater than the whole of the universe, right?  To be able to even see the whole of the universe in his windshield, we’d have to travel at least twice that distance, or close to 90 billion light years!

Again, such a concept loses all meaning in human minds.  I could probably take you to the beach and say, “Here’s a billion grains of sand,” and have you line them up end to end.  Now multiply that by ninety (good luck even imagining ninety beaches).  That would make ninety billion grains of sand, but we’re talking in terms of light-years here, not microns.  A light-year is 10^16 kilometers.  To make just one light-year, you’d need like a million, billion, billion beaches.  Yeah, ok.  The human mind can imagine that, right?  No!

So to reach the other side of the universe, you’d need like 90 million, billion, billion, billion grains of sand and … you see where this going.  It’s just too much for any mind to comprehend.

And we’re still not even done yet!

Supposing our astronaut gets far enough away from the universe that he can see the whole thing in his windshield.  Who’s to say there isn’t a multiverse made of a trillion universes, each about 90 billion light-years across and several trillion light-years between them?  At this point, the only way we can talk about such things is through comparison and scale.  To shrink down the universe through a metaphor.

Now imagine the astronaut gets to the end of all of that and sufficiently beyond (say 1.5 times the distance from the center) to see the whole thing in his front windshield.  Is that God?  I don’t know.  It could be.  Or maybe there’s even more to existence.

But for sake of argument, let’s say there isn’t.  Let’s say that after the multiverse, there’s just nothing as far as the eye can see, except when you’re look directly at the multiverse.

Supposing also that our spaceman is a closed-minded, uptight, and arrogant little fucktard who’s not at all impressed with the fact that he’s got the whole of the multiverse in one glance.  So he begins to wonder what’s “out there” in the emptiness of the void beyond existence.  Is there just oblivion or is whatever it is just so far away that he can’t seen it?  After all, he’s seen the universe itself become a spec within his window and that was pretty big.  But he still hasn’t seen God yet.

He continues on and on into the void of space beyond the multiverse.  Only this time, he has no visual reference to go by.  There is no point of light appearing in the distance to mark his journey by, no matter how far out he travels.  Because there is no secondary point, there is no time, since time requires a change in the relationship between two objects in space.  He’s in solitary and time seems to stand still.

Eventually, he looks back behind him and sees that the whole of existence is quickly fading into the distance, appearing now as just a faint point of light.

Our astronaut begins to get worried.  Like Eddie Murphy from the Golden Child, he is becoming more aware of the infinity before him.  He starts to sweat now at the thought of there not being anything else out there.  What if he goes to far and loses sight of the multiverse behind him?  How will he knew which way to go to get back?  He could be lost in the void for all eternity, too late to reverse his foolish and prideful decision to soldier on.

At this point, he has two options.

The first option is to admit to himself that he is afraid and will turn back in fear, returning to the multiverse.  He will have to admit to himself that reality is an island in a void and that God is the sum total of it all and that meaning and purpose are self-defined.  He will then return a changed man and have a new-found spiritual awareness.  He will appreciate the universe for what it is, having seen every last bit of it and realizing that there never was an end point at all.  He will feel at one with anything and everything there is.  He will then travel to planets of lesser minds and cultivate them with this profound spiritual wisdom.  Both he and they will be much happier for it and he will live out the rest of eternity in peace.

The second option is to continue on into the void and stay there for all eternity, living in abject nihilism.  Since he will have existed for billions of years, he will no doubt have done a lot of thinking in that time and have unlocked all the mysteries of existence.  This may be why he chose to carry on, because nothing in reality fulfilled him.  So if there is nothing left for him in the universe, he will go on to create his own, using what he has available: his thoughts.  He will divide himself and enter the realm of dualism and separateness where he is a fissure of mind, a fragmented consciousness, a veiled awareness.  He shall either be the most enlightened soul in all existence, or the maddest.

Chi is for Chakra

Posted in All, Health, Spirituality on October 8, 2010 by marushiadark

“Aang, tell me everything you know about Chakras.”

“What are Chakras?” ~ Avatar: The Last Airbender

I don’t have very much faith in the human race as a whole, but every once in a while, someone comes along that really proves they know something about what’s truly going on in this world.  I would have to say that the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender are one such group of people.

For instance, I learned more about chakras from watching the episode The Guru than I had from any other source.  I think a lot of it had to do with the way in which it was presented, between use of simpler language, visual examples, and their ties with the four elements.

After watching that episode, I became more acutely aware of my chakras and figured out how to sense when there was a problem with one of them.

Chakras are large collections of energy within the body.  They are a part of the energy layer.  Where chi is like blood and meridians like blood vessels, chakras would be like the various organs.  Indeed, the various chakras have a direct effect on the organs of the body.  Clarity of the chakras means health of the body, while blockage of the chakras leads to disease, be it mental, emotional, or physical.  So understanding how your chakras work is vitally important for anyone wishing to be healthy.

Most aficionados will tell you that you have seven chakras.  In actual fact, you have a lot more than that; possibly well over a hundred, depending on how loosely you define the word chakra.  But most people agree on at least the main seven, so we’ll start there.

“In order to enter the avatar state, you must open all the chakras.” ~ Guru Pathik

The seven main chakras follow along the spine from the coccyx at the base, all the way up to the skull.  Their actual positions correspond roughly to the organs of the endocrine system, called glands.  The endocrine system is an information system, much like the nervous system.  The glands release chemicals through the bloodstream that then attach to our cells and cause the cells to execute all the various functions of the body, such as growth, sleep, emotion, metabolism, etc.

In TCM, doctors are often able to diagnose energetic symptoms before physical symptoms become apparent.  The soul will use the chakras as a medium to communicate its desires to the endocrine system, which in turn communicate that desire to the rest of the body.

Energy flows through the chakras like electricity through a circuit board or water through a river.  If there is a blockage or resistance at any point along the way, it will disrupt the flow of energy, which will impede upon the desires of the soul being carried out.  These blockages are created and removed by various emotions held in our mind.

“Each pool of energy has a purpose and can be blocked by a specific kind of emotional muck.” ~ Guru Pathik

The chakras go by various names and have different properties, but the basic understanding is as follows:

  1. Muladhara – The Base Chakra, also called the Root Chakra or the Earth Chakra.  It’s located at the base of the spine, at the tip of the coccyx (tailbone) near the perinium.  It is responsible for survival and blocked by fear.  Its element is earth and its color is red.
  2. Svadhisthana – The Sacral Chakra, also called the Sexual Chakra or the Water Chakra.  It’s located between the sacrum and the L5 vertebrae (lower back).  It is responsible for pleasure and is blocked by guilt.  Its element is water and its color is orange.  Its corresponding endocrine gland is the sex organs (naturally).
  3. Manipura – The Solar Plexus Chakra, also called the Stomach Chakra or the Fire Chakra.  It’s located between the L1 and T12 vertebra.  It is responsible for willpower and is blocked by shame.  Its element is fire and its color is yellow.  Its corresponding endocrine gland is the adrenal gland (as in adrenaline).  Interestingly, it is also referred to as the Sea of Chi, presumably because it is a very large pool of energy.  The use of the word “solar” in solar plexus is not accidental, since the sun is the largest source of firey energy in the solar system.
  4. Anahata – The Heart Chakra, also called the Air Chakra.  It’s located between the T6 and T7 vertebra, about where the heart is.  It is responsible for love and is blocked by grief.  Its element is air and its color is green.  Its corresponding endocrine gland is the thymus gland.  Interestingly, the ancient Egyptians believed the heart is where the soul of the body was housed, not unlike the spark in Transformers.
  5. Visshuda – The Throat Chakra, also called the Sound Chakra.  It’s located between the T1 and V7 vertebra.  It is responsible for truth and is blocked by lies that we tell others and ourselves.  Its element is earth and its color is blue.  Its corresponding endocrine gland is the thyroid gland.
  6. Ajna – The Brow Chakra, also called the Third-Eye Chakra or the Light Chakra.  It’s located in the middle of the forehead, between the eyes.  It’s responsible for intuition and oneness and is blocked by the illusion of separation.  Its element is water and its color is indigo.  Its corresponding endocrine gland is the pineal gland.  The Ajna is perhaps the most well-known chakra.  The Hindu bindi is a symbol of it and many pop culture references depict a literal eye there.  The Ajna is your own person all-seeing eye that gives you the power of second sight and inner knowledge.  It also relates to dreams and mystical experiences.  An open Ajna is the defining characteristic of all Indigo Children.
  7. Sahasrara – The Crown Chakra, also called the Cosmic Chakra or the Thought Chakra.  It’s located at the top of the skull.  It’s responsible for being in the present and is blocked by attachment to the past or the future.  Its element is aether and its color is violet.  Its corresponding endocrine glands are the pituitary and hypothalamus glands.  The crown chakra is the point of connection with the divine Allness.

These are the basic seven chakra.  The lower chakras are yang chakras (male, day, sun, positive, extroverted), while the upper chakras are yin chakras (female, night, moon, negative, introverted).  The heart, being in the middle, is both and neither.  It is in perfect balance.  Each chakra, except for the heart, is paired with its correlated chakra of equal distance from the heart.  If the heart is zero, the lower chakras would be 1, 2, 3, … while the upper chakras would be -1, -2, -3, … and their properties relate accordingly.

“Born in you along with all this strife is the power to restore balance to the world.” ~ Uncle Iroh

Recall that the chakras are the mediums that your mind uses to direct the actions of your body.  Depending on what physical and emotional sensations you are feeling, you can diagnose which chakra is blocked and correct it.

Case in point, if you have stomach pains, it’s a problem with your stomach chakra.  If you know it’s not caused by something you ate, or getting punched there, you can ask yourself, “What am I ashamed of?” “What am I too proud to let go of?” “In what way can I be more humble?” and when you find it and correct it, you will feel a lot better.

I used to have obstructive sleep apnea until I started being more honest with myself about who I was, what my situation was, and what I wanted or needed.  Soon, my throat chakra started to heal itself and I could literally feel the difference.  When I entered a mindset of “I want to figure out what’s wrong here,” my thyroid would swell up as though I was choking until I finally found the problem.  Once I corrected it, I would belch and the feeling in my throat would go away.  Similarly, after I’d broken up with my girlfriend of four years, I felt like there was a great weight on my chest.  But as I started to get through the grieving stage and move on with my life, I could literally feel that weight sink down from my chest into my stomach.  Then I knew it was time to move onto shame.

Because each of the chakras is paired (except for the heart) and grouped according to yin and yang, it is possible to experience disease in multiple chakras at the same time.  For instance, guilt and shame are related to one another, so you might feel lower back pain and stomach pain at the same time.  Or maybe neck and stomach pain since solar plexus and throat are paired.

As I said before, you have the main seven chakras, but there are other ones besides these.  Usually, these other chakras have auxiliary effects and appear at the halfway points between the main chakras, or in pairs running up and down either side.  For instance, there is a pair at the knees, hips, kidneys, shoulders, ears, and temples of the head.  These provide extra energy for the base, sacral, stomach, heart, throat, and brow chakras respectively.

All in all, it should be fairly straight-forward as to what these other chakras do.  For instance, the ear chakras are responsible for hearing.  If you have problems with your ears, it could mean that you aren’t listening to someone, and so your body is just obeying the orders of the mind and producing chemicals that induce a physical change.  If your hips are sore, it’s a problem guilt.  And so forth.

There is also a large chakra at the base of your feet called the Ground Chakra, which receives energy from earth.  There is also one several feet above your head that discharges energy out of your body.

A river naturally flows from a source atop a mountain, moving on downhill towards some larger body of water, such as the ocean.  When we look at a map, our natural inclination is to think that a river is always flowing south, because south on a map is down.  However, some rivers, such as the Nile actually flow north.  The energy of the body is a lot like that.  It flows contrary to our expectation.

The top of the mountain is actually the bottoms of your feet where we gather energy from the earth (the phrase “being well-grounded” relates to electromagnetism).  Earth is female (mother earth) and negative, while yang is male and positive.  Opposites attract, so the energy flows up from the earth to the body through the yang chakras, passing into the heart.  The heart, being neutral, converts the negative energy into positive energy (fear into love), which is then attracted to the negative, female yin chakras.  The energy then flows through the upper chakras out the crown of the head and into the cosmos or Allness, which is a great ocean of energy.

In this way, we draw essential life force that allows us to run out bodies and interact with our world and be a source of energy for future creation.

C is for Chi

Posted in All, Health, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by marushiadark

“You guys can do all this awesome Bending stuff … I’m just the guy in the group who’s regular.” ~ Sokka, Avatar: The Last Airbender

When I was young, around nine-years old, my dad decided to enroll me and my younger siblings in martial arts.  My father was a black belt.  The sensei of the school he enrolled us in studied under the same master as him.  From time to time, my dad would show us techniques well in advance of what most of the other students were learning.  I don’t really consider my father to be the best of teachers.  I feel he lacks the patience to go through things in a step-by-step, kinesthetic, ground-up manner.  When I first learned to drive, he started me on my mom’s SUV, which to this day I still get nervous driving.  However, regardless of how I may feel about him, there’s one thing I owe him my gratitude for and that’s introducing me to the concept of chi.

I don’t remember exactly how I old I was at the time, maybe somewhere around fourteen years of age.  But I remember my father sitting me down in the living room.  He didn’t really go into too much detail; he just explained that there was a sort of energy inside us and that we could learn to use it with practice.  He told me to hold out my hand, which I did.  Then he held his own up around mine without touching it and asked what I felt.  I remember feeling a sort of warm energy when he did this.  That’s chi, he said.

So ended the lesson.  It wasn’t much of anything, really.  All I had to go by was that experience, that feeling, and a vague idea that it had something to do with breathing.  But fortunately, that was enough to get me started.

It’s truly a revelatory experience your first time.  I remember my eyes went wide when I first felt it.  Over the years, I had to figure a lot of stuff out for myself and my progress was very slow.  Having someone there to guide you through your exploration of internal energy is a very beneficial thing.  Joining a Tai Chi or Chi Kung or Yoga class, or even just working with a partner who knows something about it, is a lot better than trying to figure it all out all on your own.

“To train the mind, one must first train the body.” ~ Izumi Curtis, Full Metal Alchemist

In my house, we have a lot of old Shaw Brothers kung fu films.  The first one I ever saw was The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.  It’s the story of a young man named San Te who enters Shaolin Temple and learns kung fu.  At first, San Te’s eager to the point of foolishness and wants to start with the highest art, so he’s taken to the 35th Chamber where a bunch of old and senior monks are reciting Buddhist sutras.  The master of the chamber tells the San Te to leave because San Te clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.  When he refuses, the master raises his arms and the man falls back on his ass.

The monk never touched him, but was sitting at least ten feet away.  You can imagine the look on San Te’s face and how afraid and confused he was.  That was his first experience with chi.

While that may have been a movie, the idea of chi has basis in reality.  The other day, I was watching Stan Lee’s Superhumans, which is a documentary series about real life superhuman abilities.  Among the ones I saw in the episode was a Shaolin monk named Shi Yan Ming who used chi in martial arts.  The premise of the show is to try and determine the scientific basis of such superhuman feats.  A collision scientist was brought in with equipment that revealed results unlike anything the woman had ever seen before.  Shi Yan Ming’s punches delivered damage greater than that of a 30 MPH car crash.  That was just one of several feats performed that would appear impossible given his size and muscular build, so clearly chi has an affect here.

Many martial artists have spent years developing their chi power through training of the body and getting a feel for their own energy.  Unfortunately, few of them spend as much time studying the nature of reality, science, healing, philosophy, and metaphysics, so their ability to use chi is limited mostly to its connection with their physical bodies.

“Teacher, what is this?  This isn’t kung fu!”

“That’s the highest form you’ll ever see, the final form.  You don’t understand.” ~ 36th Chamber of Shaolin.

So what exactly is chi?

In its most basic sense, chi is a type of energy that exists within your body.  It originates from your soul and is the essential life force that powers your mind and body like electricity flowing through your computer.

Your body has many different systems of organs, such as the nervous system, the circulatory system, the skeletal system, the digestive system, etc.  There is also an energy system.  You may have seen diagrams of energy meridians which map out the locations of this system for use in acupuncture, reiki, and other healing arts.  If the meridians are the blood vessels, the chi is the blood that flows through them.

Through mental training and practice, you can learn how to use and manipulate your own chi for a variety of purposes.  If you’ve never worked with it before, it’s essential that you experience it for yourself.  I can’t think of a better way to start you off than to say find someone who knows about it and get them to show you, just like how my dad first showed me.  It will jump start your awareness.

The nearest I can describe it in words is that it’s like an electromagnetic effect.  If you were to hold two magnets of the same polarity in your hands and try to bring them together, you’ll feel a well of magnetism between your hands as if there were an invisible ball there.  That’s basically the same effect that you are creating here.

It’s likely that chi is electromagnetic energy, but I us the word “chi” out of tradition and because it just sounds cooler.  Recall that everything in the universe is made of energy, most of which, if not all of which, is electromagnetic in nature.

The human body is indeed capable of generating electrical charge, which creates magnetism.  The effect of putting your hands out acts like two opposing capacitor plates.  Through focus, you can turn the current on or off and control the flow of electromagnetism between your hands.  I’ve heard of people that can actually shoot sparks across their fingertips like a van de graaff generator.  That’s probably what allows the Sith and Firebenders to manipulate lightning, at least in theory.

Over the years, I’ve been able to do a lot of things with my chi.  I can generate it, manipulate it into different shapes, alter its “mass,” and use it for healing purposes.  I haven’t been able to use it for telekinesis yet, bu

Realistically, I’ve found that, for the amount of time and focus you’d need to gather the energy necessary to flip off a light switch from across the room, it’d be a hell of a lot easier to just summon the discipline and energy to get up and turn it off manually.  So that scene with Anakin Skywalker feeding Padme with the Force … not likely to happen.

Persistence of Memory

Posted in All, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by marushiadark

“God is Santa Claus for grown-ups.” ~ Unknown

People of faith often believe that, when we die, if we are good, we’ll get eternal happiness, and if we’re bad, we’ll get eternal punishment.  But does that sound fair to you?  Does that sound like the invention of an all-knowing, compassionate being?  Or does that sound more like a bedtime story you’d tell to kids?

Hey, kids, you know, if you’re really good, Santa Claus will bring you lots of presents, but if you’re bad, he’ll bring you an icky lump of coal instead.  And he can see when you are sleeping and knows when you’re awake.  In fact, he won’t even come until after you’re in bed.

You know, there’s a reason they call it eternal rest and sleeping like the dead.

It doesn’t seem right to me that God should give you an eternity of something based on the actions of a fraction of a fraction of that time.  Given all the hype about God, I think he would have more sense than that.  I mean, even our own limited and fallible human institutions know that people change over time and that reward and punishment must be in accordance with a person’s recent behavior.  For some, it may takes moments to change, for others decades, for some maybe even a few hundred years, but that’s still nothing compared to eternity.

Based on the laws of karma, I do believe that you receive some sort of reward or punishment after you die, but I hardly think it’s eternal.

“Death is rest for the soul.  Who was it that said that?  If the body did not die, and the fears borne in the mind just continued to pile up, the world would be nothing more than an eternal prison.” ~ Ziggy, Xenosaga Episode II

The law of conservation of energy states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transferred.  Even a cynical empiricist who worships the scientific method must admit that if consciousness is energy, then it retains some form even after the body has died.  It might not be in exactly the same state, but it still continues to exist in one state or another.  And what does that sound like from a spiritual perspective?  Reincarnation, perhaps?

Reincarnation is simply the conservation of consciousness between one lifetime and the next.  Many religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Christianity teach that this is what happens to you when you die.  The body decays and the carbon, water, and other components go back into the environment.  The mind goes offline and reawakens in some other body, like transferring documents from one computer to the next.  And the soul just remains as it’s always been, in the position of the observer.

The concept of reincarnation can be scientifically verified.  In fact, some people have already tried.  Maybe you’ve heard stories and news reports about young children being taken to certain places and having knowledge of those places and certain events relating to them that no one has mentioned to the child and which the child can’t possibly know otherwise, except through some sort of metaphysical transfer of information.  That would be a way of proving reincarnation to someone else, but there are other ways of proving it to yourself.

“‘How can I tell,’ said the man, ‘that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?'” ~ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Ever since I was young, I’d always gotten along a lot better with adults than I did people my own age.  I think a number of people can probably say they feel the same way.  Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve conversed with people much older than myself and have come to realize that there are people ten, twenty, even thirty years older than me that act like children.  I don’t really count myself particularly privileged, at least no more-so than those individuals.  So what accounts for this?

When I was in college, I took an introductory course on Psychology and learned about the various stages of development that the human mind goes through.  Among them was the concept of Generativity vs. Stagnation, more commonly known as the mid-life crisis, in which a person looks back on their life and feels that they’ve done nothing but waste time and miss opportunities.  I was only about twenty at the time, but I felt as though I’d already had several mid-life crises over the course of my lifetime.

Some months later, I began to do a great deal of soul searching and starting to become aware of the fact that this wasn’t the first time I’d been here on this planet.  All in all, I’d been here at least five or six times that I can recall (possibly even more than that), which would mean that I’m a fairly old soul.

People often ask me how I know all this, how I came to realize that I’d had past lives and that they took on the particular characteristics that I claim they did.  Well, let me put it to you like this.

I know that there is a lot of New Age emphasis on the Power of Now, as made famous by Eckhart Tolle and others, and that along with this comes the realization that there is no past or future.  But for sake of argument, let’s assume that there is a past.  Most people would think it reasonable to say there is a past.  But how do you know?  How do you know that you weren’t literally born yesterday?  How do you even know that there was a yesterday?  How do you know that, when you woke up this morning, it wasn’t the beginning of time and you simply discovered you had all these thoughts in your head from the very beginning?

When you play a video game, it’s all a programmed illusion that begins as soon as you turn the game on.  That is year zero.  Yet when you turn the game on, you are immersed into a world and a body that has history, or so it believes.  In rare cases, such as Assassin’s Creed II, you get to know the character from the time of their birth; but usually you just wake up one day to find that you are now in a situation and that you have thoughts and ideas in your head about who you are, where you are, what you do, and who your friends are.  Time began at that moment, so all the so-called past is really just an illusion.

Do you think it’s reasonable to suggest that the same could be true for us as well?  That time could just be an illusion and the past merely accounting for discrepancies between our present condition and our memories?

But let us suppose that the opposite is true.  Supposing there really is a past.  So there’s a yesterday and a last year.  Why would your birth, then, be the beginning of your consciousness?  Genetic memory and the 100th Monkey Effect can explain where behavioral instincts come from, but not memories and wisdom of things that neither you nor your ancestors experienced.  For that, you’d need reincarnation.

So how do I know that I lived a past life?  Simple.  I remember something about it, the same as I remember something that happened yesterday or last year.  How do I know it’s memory and not imagination?  Well, how does anyone know that what they experienced yesterday or last year was real and not simply made up?  You feel it in your gut that this is true and accurate and what really happened to you.  That’s how.

“Now if you’re thinking, just now, ‘Why me, oh God?’  The answer is, God has nothing to do with it.  In fact, God is never in France this time of year.” Dorleac, Count of Monte Cristo

Reincarnation is tied with karma.  What you do in the past effects your future.  Even if you get away with something in this lifetime, there are higher forces at work that will see to it that you make up for it next time.  Just like in playing a video game, if you fuck up and die, you retain the memory of what happened and that can effect future outcomes.

That’s probably also what Déjà Vu is, too.  If you feel like you’ve experienced something before, it’s probably because you have.  You just hit the restart button and decided to play over from your last checkpoint.  Like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day, when he keeps trying to find the right words to say to his coworker.

So if you find yourself thinking, “Why me, oh God?” the answer is, it’s always been on you.  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people and to young children?  It’s probably to teach you a lesson for something you did in a past life.  For instance, in one of my past lives, I was a really shitty parent.  So God decided to grace me with a bad father.  Not as bad as I had been, but enough that I could understand what it was like from the receiving end.

In another past life, I was a cruel Templar master.  So God decided to set me in a time and place where the Templars ruled as the sort of cruel masters that I had been.  He set me on a path to learn about the New World Order from the perspective of one of their slaves.  If I am truly the observer and the creator of my universe, then it stands to reason that such things as The Da Vinci Code and Assassin’s Creed were also created by me as tools for my benefit.  The entire history of the world has been constructed and uploaded into my mind to serve as context while I progress through the game of life towards my objectives.  It’s only logical.

It’s a lot like Alice dreaming of the Red King, who’s dreaming of Alice, who’s dreaming of the Red King … From your perspective, I’m the illusion and the whole world is created for your benefit and lesson.  So life becomes a dream, a shared dream (like in Inception), in which we all create and grow and experience together.  And when we die, we simply wake up somewhere else, with only the memory remaining.

K is for Karma

Posted in All, Economics, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by marushiadark

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” ~ Galatians 6:7

I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that the concept of karma isn’t expressed in the Bible, but I can’t think of a more concise definition of karma that than passage right there.  What you sow is what you reap.  So simple that even a child can understand, yet profound enough to have an impact on everything we do.  It’s also one of the few fundamental laws of the universe.  There aren’t very many absolutes in life, but causality, action-reaction, is one of them.  Everything has a cause and everything has an effect.  Nothing happens by accident.  If you had full and complete knowledge of a system’s causes, you could predict all its effects.

That’s really what karma is, except that karma tends to be more focused on the behaviors of human beings.  If you do something good, you’ll eventually be rewarded.  If you do something bad, you’ll eventually be punished.  And usually, that reward or punishment will be both in accordance with what you did and several times greater in yield.  Just as a single seed, overtime, can yield many fruits, each with many seeds of the same type, so too do our actions bear fruit.

In explaining the concept of karma, I’ve always found it helpful to think of karma as a form of spiritual currency.  Many of the same rules of currency can also be applied to karma.

For instance, say you get paid and are feeling really good about it.  You go to the bank and deposit your money into a savings account.  The bank then takes that money and lends it to someone else, so the money makes its way through the system.  The bank then collects interest on loans and transfers it to your savings account in the form of interest.  Now you have more money than you put into the system.  Conversely, when you take out a loan, the idea is that you borrow someone else’s money, use it to create something of value, and then repay the full amount with a little extra as the cost of doing business.  The extra value comes from having multiplied your commercial energy through the act of creation.  If you can’t pay your debts, then your creditors will add penalties and fees because they think you’re being irresponsible and squandering the money they gave you, so you must be taught a lesson.

When you do something for another person.  You are giving some of your own energy to that person.  They then take that energy and transfer it to someone else.  That energy goes into the system we call the universe, which has theoretically unlimited energy.  Eventually, some of that energy will come back to you through the deeds of other people or from the universe itself, usually with a bit more or at exactly the right time you need something.  So going things for others is like investing your energy into the Bank of the Universe and collecting interest on it.

Conversely, when you do something for yourself, it’s like taking out a loan.  You are borrowing energy from the universe to satisfy your own needs.  Hopefully, once those needs are met, you’ll be in a better position to give back that energy and contribute to serving others.  If you don’t, but instead squander that energy and use it to hurt others or deprive them, then eventually you will have to pay for what you’ve done with extra fees attached.

That is the basic principle of karma.  What you put in, you get out.  What you take out, you must put back in.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~ Romans 6:23

I was listening to some audio lectures by Brandon Adams on commercial law.  One of the things he talked about is how the Bible can be seen through many lenses, one of which includes a commercial lens.

For instance, it’s said that Christ’s sacrifice has redeemed us.  What does it mean to redeem something?  If you have a coupon, you go and redeem it and get stuff.  Well, the redemption is basically a certificate that says the thing is prepaid, whether in part or in full.  It’s on someone else’s tab, a gift that you just have to accept.

Originally, we lived in a paradise called Eden, which was a commercial-free zone.  Everything we wanted was free for the taking, so long as we observed the rules that God set down.  The only rules at the time were be fruitful and multiply, take care of the earth and everything on it, and don’t touch the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge.  If the rules were broken, God would demand payment in blood.

Adam and Eve broke the rules by eating from the tree.  God said that the punishment for this would be payment in blood, but as we know, Adam and Eve didn’t die.  Instead, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden, i.e. they entered a different jurisdiction of law.  They no longer had access to free stuff and were forced to labor (Gensis 3:16 for Eve and 3:17 for Adam) for things.  God revoked the privileges of Eden, but discharged the debt, off-setting it to a later date.  So Adam and Eve and their descendants could live for a while, but they still had to pay for the damages.  Originally, they offered fig leaves, but God, being the creditor, wanted payment in the form of blood sacrifice, so eventually, the two would have to die.  During the course of their lives, however, they and their descendants would have to offer up animal sacrifices.

Cain tried to offer fruits and vegetables, but that wasn’t an acceptable form of currency.  Abel, on the other hand, offered God an acceptable currency in the blood of lambs, and God favored Abel more.  So Cain slew Abel to pay his debts, but this damaged God’s property (our bodies are vessels of the soul) and so God demanded restitution.  So Cain’s fate became the same as that of Adam and Eve: banishment and labor.

Abraham offered payment to God in this form as well.  Eventually, following the Exodus, this became the standard ritual and God further contracted with mankind in the form of a covenant.  Basically, sin is a form of spiritual debt and must be repaid in blood, which is where we get such ideas as an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  This is all balancing debts.

In Exodus 34:7, God declares that he is willing to offer mercy and forgiveness to those that have repaid their karmic debts, but that those who remain guilty, his wrath will extend to the man’s descendants.  Basically, this is the spiritual equivalent of life insurance.  If you have enough money saved up, your descendants will inherit when you die and receive a better start on life.  Likewise, if you leave the world in a better place than when you found it, future generations will reap the benefits.  Conversely, if you leave this world with a lot of debts, your family will suffer in paying your bills.  And unfortunately, we as humans have wracked up a lot of karmic debts over the course of thousands of years and the Bank of the Universe isn’t at all pleased with this.

So now we come to the time of Christ where Jesus volunteered his own life, taking on the sins (karmic debts) of the world.  He and God made a deal that Christ’s blood would replace the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament and serve as an extension of credit to the human race.  This is why Christ declares that his is the “blood of the new and everlasting covenant,” with the old covenant being “pay with the blood of animals or die.”

In dying for our sins, Christ gave us a great gift.  He settled our tab, as it were, and wiped the slate clean, balancing our karmic books and zeroing out all the accounts.  God would no longer demand blood sacrifice during the course of our lives.  The original debt had been paid.  So only new debts would affect us and it was our choice to put his gift to good use or squander it.  If we put it to good use, then we will eventually prove that we are responsible individuals worthy of returning to the commercial-free zone of Eden.  However, if we squander that gift, God will once again demand payment in blood and suffering.

One-Month Anniversary

Posted in All, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by marushiadark

“It’s not about me.  It’s not about you, either.  It’s about legacy, the legacy left behind for future generations.” ~ Tony Stark

This post marks the one-month anniversary of The Darkness Files.  I have successfully completed thirty days worth of consecutive posts, and it was anything but easy.

When I started this blog, I told myself I was going to stick to doing one post per day, no more, no less.  At first, I was really excited and gung-ho and I thought I could write three or four posts per day without stopping.  Now I find it’s becoming more difficult to just do one.  On occasion, I’ve found myself squeaking one in before midnight, or publishing it to get the time stamp and then going back and editing it.  I don’t know if that’s, in the strictest sense of the words, integral or ethical or honest, but I do like symmetry and I could think of no better way for me to make sure I had, indeed, done a full set of thirty.

Part of the reason it’s been so difficult for me to come up with material is that I don’t yet have much of an audience to provide me with feedback and encouragement.  Part of it’s also because my intentions for this blog have changed considerably since when I first started it.

At first, I wanted to use this blog as a way of educating the world about the New World Order, beginning from the ground up.  But there are a lot of great speakers and researchers who have done a far better job of that than I ever could, and I felt as though all I’d really be doing is pointing to them and saying, “Hey, here’s some information, go and look at that,” without being able to provide much of my own opinion on the matter.

I wondered if maybe this blog could perhaps serve as a central hub for that sort of information, drawing insight and wisdom from a great many disparate sources; but those sights exist too, and are far older, more widespread, and better researched than mine, and have much larger followings to boot.

As for myself, I hope to leave behind a legacy someday that will change the world for the better, but I don’t feel as though my life is interesting enough that I could blog about such things on a daily basis.

But maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe there are some of you reading this who enjoy what I have to write about.  I don’t know.  It’s just that, a lot of the experiences I have that people might think are interesting just seem like ordinary occurrences to me now.

I don’t consider myself to be a very imaginative or creative writer.  I just write about what I know and these are the things that I know and have experienced.  I hope that’s enough and that someone finds it worth their time to read, and that it may one day help them in a way that no one else could have.

There’s still a lot of stuff left to cover.  Halloween is fast approaching, as are a bunch of other holidays.  I have some more symbols to go over, as well as some more conspiracies.  And I also have a few little annecdotes that I want to share, which I feel are rather appropriate for this time of year.

So all that’s coming up.  I hope you enjoy it and are able to take away something from it.  Thanks for reading.