The Maze

ENGLISH HEDGE MAZE

A maze is a puzzle in which there is only one route that leads to an exit.*

While travelling your path, you encounter many situations where at least one choice must be made of which way to go. There is no straight path that leads from entrance to exit.

In some cases, there is only one choice: the path you are on reaches a dead end, and you must turn or go back to the first open path available.

The path through the maze is long, circuitous, confusing, and frustrating, especially if it is a real, physical maze made of dense hedges that are taller than your own height.

If you have a poor sense of direction and no reference points within the maze or overhead, you can become lost and in serious trouble, because the way back to where you started is just as difficult to find as the way out. Unless you made fresh footprints, unrolled a ball of string behind you, or left a trail of visible objects, you need guidance from overhead, or perhaps a solution to the maze that is shown on your smartphone to get out.

If you are like me, even when  you get back to the starting point, it looks different from the way it looked before, and you still have the perception of disorientation, which is extremely uncomfortable.

Some of us should never attempt going through a complex physical maze, even with a companion. In the maze of our life experience, most of us need a map, drawn by someone who succeeded in finding a way through to an exit.

Or you could just hack your way through with an axe or machete–although it defeats the purpose of the learning experience, some people choose this method of dealing with their challenges.


*We all hope that life is not like that, and each of us hopes that there is more than one route leading to the desired exit. IS there? It depends on who designed the maze, and for what purpose.

The Democrat Debate

During the Democrat Debate in October 2015, Hillary Clinton said, “Diplomacy is not about getting to the best solution. It’s about balancing the risk.”

I have never heard any politician (or any non-politician) say this before. Is it a case of accidentally telling the truth? And is it true?

In dealing with international contention, do the diplomats actually not even try to reach the best (or ANY) solution to the problem—i.e., is this a secondary goal and an incidental outcome of balancing the risk to all parties?

What a revelation!—and a possible explanation for the behavior and apparent motivation of politicians and diplomats. They truly do not care about the effects of their negotiations and it is not their job to care. It might even make it harder for them to do their job if they did care. Instead, they approach problems like mathematicians, accountants, and historians.

Gospel of Positive Thinking

The Bible?
The Bible?

The Law of Attraction: “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

“Think positively and you will attract success, health, and wealth.” “Our supply is unlimited; we only need to claim it.” As modern Christians, we have all heard these sayings. And all we have to do is to get rid of our negative beliefs and think positively?

This is only an intellectualized way of begging God for what we need. “I believe, Lord—please feed me.” Like baby birds with our mouths wide open, or a pet dog standing on his hind legs, as he was taught: see, I believe—please feed me, we plead.

Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” He did NOT say he had come so that we could be successful, live forever, and have more money than we know what to do with.

How is it that by thinking positive thoughts, we are supposed to attract prosperity? We can have the mental idea or intention to change or use something, but we have to use physical means to affect the physical world.

Illogical
Illogical

It is possible that a person or animal could pick up my thought as a disturbance travelling through the magnetic field–and correctly interpret it–but I don’t believe that physical objects can be (directly) affected by thought.

Electricity just sits there until it is moved: a constant generated push on one end and a demand when a connection is made. (The water did not become wine until it was poured out: a total metaphor for idea + effort = effect.)

The main problem with the “Positive Thinking” method is that if everyone were thinking positive thoughts to attract abundance, there would not be the necessary balance for the transfer of energy to occur. All demand and no push.

Also, as you know, “positive” does not attract “positive” in the physical world (though it may attract “less positive.”) Negative electrons are held in their orbits by a central positive nucleus, which usually contains other charged particles that must balance electrically, or else it is unstable.

So a healthy person needs to balance optimistic confidence with enough ‘what ifs’ to prepare himself for obstacles.

The spiritual realm or level does not work differently from the physical realm or level. They are analogous. We have heard it claimed that there is an unlimited supply of all we need on the spiritual level, and all we need to do is to get access to it, make a connection through our higher consciousness by practicing meditation. However, what we actually receive are ideas, clarified perhaps by the removal of emotional baggage, which makes space for the formation of “Yes, why not?” thoughts. And in all probability, if you work on a win-win proposition, you will get cooperation, you will succeed, and so will others, who will in turn, help you. This works, this happens—I know.

 

 

All Cartoonists Are Philosophers

God’s Debris—A Thought Experiment, By Scott Adams,

Creator of Dilbert © [Pub. by Andrews McMeel Publishing]

 

I finished the book this morning, and have gone back to clarify a few points. But I will still have to re-read the whole thing.

Here is what I have to say now:

The ideas that I didn’t understand (and may never be able to gain insight into):

Light—is not physical; relative velocity is the same as absolute velocity; how light receptors work in humans, animals and plants.

Quantum physics—how objects and particles can be/not be/or be in 2 or more places at once because they pulse in and out of existence.

Time—is non-linear.

***********************************

What I did understand (thank you!)

Yes, I agree that the mind is a delusion generator. Intelligence works within the structure of learning. Awareness is unlearning; it removes wrong beliefs.

But the problem of a Plan, having a known End, co-existing with Free Will, has effectively been solved (for me) by calling God “All That Is”, and God’s Will “Probability.” (What an idea!)

There is no such thing as Truth, especially Absolute Truth. Since the existence of the universe depends on opposites, only probability can rule whatever happens within it.

There is one sentence at the end of page 72 that I would like to have the author explain: “More to the point, there is something about eyes that supports God’s inevitable reassembly.” Nothing more was said about it. If I can get Mr. Adams to explain it to me, I will pass it on to you.

(You can buy the book at amazon.com.)

 

Reblog of an Excellent Article

“Ed.–this is the best and clearest exposition I have ever read on the subject of the completed soul vs the evolving soul and the need vs desire for reincarnating in a physical body.

” The Real Driver of Evolution

(Posted on February 11, 2015 by J Douglas Bottorff on http://dougbottorff.com/2015/02/11/the-real-driver-of-evolution/

” Question: ‘If I understand what you have written about soul evolution, you basically say it does not happen, that the soul is already complete. How do you square this with the fact of evolution itself? You surely can’t be saying human evolution does not exist. The evidence is too overwhelming. I’d love to see you address this. ‘”

“Physical evolution is an undeniable fact. I am totally intrigued by the sciences that look into our planet’s past and piece together the ever-evolving story of earth and its inhabitants, which obviously includes us. When considering the notion of evolution in a spiritual context, many people mistakenly assume that the evolutionary process is driven by some cosmic need to express a completed state of perfection in the visible world. The process of evolution is seen as leading to something.

“This is a false assumption. The thing that drives evolution is adaptation to the present environment. The successful species adapts to environmental changes. The species that do[es] not adapt goes extinct. In other words, the organisms that we see alive today have achieved the state of …adaptation to the current environment. They are fulfilling their purpose and are currently as perfect as they need to be (italics mine).

“In the spiritual community, there is an idea that the human brain and body will one day be so highly evolved as to express the full spectrum of what we call Christ Consciousness. This too is a false assumption. The physical brain and body will never be able to express the infinite capacity of the soul. This is not what the physical organism is designed to do. The physical brain and body are designed to allow the soul, for whatever reasons we choose, to interface with the material environment. If you decide to see all the country you live in, for example, you can jump in your car and travel. When your interest in this kind of travel begins to wane, you stop.

“In spiritual circles it is commonly accepted that we each have a spiritual or astral body. This body is seen as having no restrictions. We accept that it never gets ill, hungry, fatigued and is not restricted by time and space. When some describe the evolutionary goal of our physical body, they describe what the astral body already does. They envision the physical body evolving to a state of non-restricted immortality already enjoyed by the astral body. This is redundant and totally misses the point of the physical body. The physical body, like the car, allows us to interface with the material world. When we no longer wish to do this, we stop taking on a body.

“The physical body and brain are now perfectly adapted, as evolved as they need to be, to experience our sojourn in the material realm. This material vehicle is perfectly adapted to our current environment. It is not the purpose of the body to become like the soul. The body and its brain will never reach a capacity where it can fully accommodate the complete spectrum of the soul’s capacity. This fact of physical restriction should not be taken as evidence of an unevolved soul.

“The body is subject to and restricted by material laws. Those who think it is the mark of soul evolution to be able to levitate the physical body, walk on water or travel without the aid of some material vehicle are attempting to force the body into service it was never intended to perform. The body has but one purpose and that is to allow interaction with the material realm. If we would rather levitate than walk, then we will stop taking on a physical body. The fact that we have taken on a physical body, with all its restrictions and maintenance needs, means that we have done it, not because the universe is forcing us to learn lessons yet unlearned, but because we, for whatever reason, wanted to.

“I believe when we took on this body that we knew what we were getting into. The lifespan of the average body is but a flash in the pan of our immortal existence. The fact that we lose sight of our immortality through a preoccupation with the care and keeping of the body does nothing to hinder or change the nature of the soul. We’re not here in this body to develop the soul. To the contrary, we’re here in this body as evidence that our soul is so developed that we’ve decided to take a trip into the material plane.

“To take this trip we have taken on the most highly evolved vehicle available. Evolution is not a means to some future end. It is a process whose success is measured by the fact that it is currently producing an organism capable of fully interfacing with the present environment. Measuring the capacity or state of the soul by weighing it against the present capacity of the brain and body is comparing apples to oranges. The body and its brain will never be able to express the full capacity of the completed soul. It doesn’t need to.”–J. Douglas Bottorff

ON JOY, OR LACK THEREOF

Perfect Expression of Form
Perfect Expression of Form

1.

Joy is a state of being,

Not of having.

In the moment that it comes,

There is supreme wellbeing–

Instant and independent of one’s physical state.

And then, too quickly, it departs,

Leaving only the memory

Of having been,

And the longing to know it again.

2.

Too long have I maintained

An even temper, a stoic response

To misfortune, loss, or pain.

Too long since I have laughed aloud,

But merely showed the tired nod

Of mirthless affirmation.

I am not unhappy;

I do not lack for what I need.

Most of what I wished for has been mine.

The heart beats, the lungs breathe,

The body moves at my command.

Yet, incessantly the mind reflects

Upon its ultimate destination.

3.

What has made it worth the years?

Why did I wake and work and sleep?

Why did I eat and grow and learn,

And why did I birth my babes?

Only a few jewels worth the cost:

Discovery–a problem solved.

Beauty of perfect execution

And perfect expression of form.

Falling in love. Need I say more?

A first taste of something delicious.

A cat or dog who loves you,

As much as you love it.

Getting warm when you are cold.

And joy–out of nowhere, for no reason,

Often just when it’s needed:

The sense of one’s True Home.

KLM 082813

What does 7.9% Unemployment Really Mean?

…is it a straight percentage of all the people between the ages of 18 and 65 who could be working for wages, but are not, because they can’t find jobs? Of course not. Some of these people own businesses, are self-employed, or work for cash at whatever they can do. Some of these people are artisans and craftsmen who make items and sell them. Some of them (though not so many now) are famers and ranchers. Some are investors, buying and selling; some are artists, musicians, and writers. Some even make a living by panhandling. And some sell their bodies in one way or another for money…

How does the US Government calculate the percentage of people who are unemployed each month? A more fundamental question  is, “What is this figure a percentage of?” (Yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition, but it reads better that way.)

Moving on–is it a straight percentage of all the people between the ages of 18 and 65 who could be working for wages, but are not, because they can’t find jobs? Of course not. Some of these people own businesses, are self-employed, or work for cash at whatever they can do. Some of these people are artisans and craftsmen who make items and sell them. Some of them (though not so many now) are farmers and ranchers. Some are investors, buying and selling; some are artists, musicians, and writers. Some even make a living by panhandling. And some sell their bodies in one way or another for money.

So who are the people who are represented by unemployment figures and percentages? First, notice that they are reported in round figures–9,000,000 today–a frank estimate. How are the figures gathered? They are reported to the government by employment agencies where people who work for wages come because they have lost a job that they had and are looking for a new job. They come there to collect unemployment insurance checks, and in order to collect them, they must be looking for work. People laid off from jobs where they did not have unemployment insurance, or who were fired for cause, do not collect unemployment checks and are not counted (at least this used to be the case.) People who have never had a job yet don’t count.  Also, those who stop looking for work and are no longer in the “system” are not counted. Those people may become part of another government system of welfare recipients, who may be employed or underemployed, but no longer have to be.

Did anyone think the government got its unemployment figures and percentages by sending counters around to knock on doors and ask if the people living there are employed?

Did anyone think the government sent out surveys in the mail or made phone calls to every household in the country asking how many of the residents were employed, unemployed, looking for work, how long, or had given up?

Even if government did such things as samples of the national population, and even if they gave them a dollar to answer the questions and paid the postage to mail back the envelope, could the results of such methods of counting be useful or reliable?

So what does it REALLY mean when we hear that the percentage of unemployed people in Amercia is, say, 7.9% and inching up to 8.0%? It means that OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR WAGES, FOR EMPLOYERS WHO PROVIDE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (GUI), THAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION SYSTEM AND WERE LOOKING FOR WORK IN THE MONTH JUST PASSED——IS 7.9%. Edit the statistics to include only certain high-risk ethnic groups, and the numbers go much higher.

More meaningful to most people is how many of their family members, neighbors, friends, and former co-workers are out of work. But it’s apparently the best that the government can do to keep a running count, and the method that produces the most cosmetic figure for the public media.–Kaye