Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chris Hedges: "I don't believe in atheists"

Interesting argument put forward in this speech. Journalist and author, Chris Hedges, points out the dogmatic similarities between religious extremism and new atheism. The externalization of "evil" beyond the self; simplistic, binary, us versus them, white and black, point of view of the world; and a sense of superiority, are some of the characteristics of both these philosophies, which pave the way to dangerous extremism that knows no empathy.

Hedges comes across as very lucid and well researched intellectual with always extremely powerful arguments backed by facts. I guess we're all extreme in one way or another ; )

"I certainly understand that there is nothing intrinsically moral about being a believer or a nonbeliever, that many people of great moral probity and courage define themselves outside of religious structures, do not engage in religious ritual or use religious language, in the same way that many people who advocate intolerance, bigotry and even violence cloak themselves in the garb of religion and oftentimes have prominent positions within religious institutions."
~ Chris Hedges interview to

PS: Chris has also written a book entitled I don't believe in atheists.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

We are all leaders

This was sent to me recently by a good friend. I thought it was important to share, if you can spare 6 minutes.

Dilige et quod vis fac.

I thought I would share something profound that I (re) discovered last night. I was reading about the law of attraction and came across this book which claims that only 1 in 1000 people are able to manifest their wishes using the law of Attraction, and those who do it doesn't appear to be the law that manifests them. The book claims that the law of attraction as it's being taught is incomplete. There's one crucial ingredient missing for successful manifestation of all our desires. And not surprisingly that thing is Love. Not the feeling or emotion of Love but love as a state of being. When I read this I had a aha moment and several pieces of my truth seeking puzzle came together in my head. Everything makes sense The Law of Attraction, Deepak, Echart and all of the spiritual books that I have read say the same thing. When you love unconditionally you're able to manifest what you want because you no longer have egotistical desires. What you want becomes what the Universe needs and that is always what's the best for the Universe as a whole. And so the Universe's force creates the circumstances to manifest its needs. Although this seems quite obvious now that I write it, last night I felt like the meaning of life was for the first time being revealed to me. And now every time that I think about it, I marvel in amazement at how simple it all is and how it could not be any other way. The quote "Love and do what you will" never made so much sense as it does now. This is I think the most beautiful and meaningful quotation that I have ever read. So I thought that I would share this with you...
 ~ AL 01/04/2009

The sound of spring

Today while walking in the park I noticed the birds are starting to get erm, amorous.

Spring is just around the corner and so is that feeling that nature is about to explode. Easy, I'm referring to the plants here! And so, while wanting to be somewhat part of this momentous annual awakening, many of us have already started to get our hands smelling of delicious soil as we sow for the upcoming season.

What better choice to do this than at the sound of The Penguin Café Orchestra. Dig, sow, smell... smile.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

"You are all screwed."

Julian Assange warns users of mass spying systems being employed by governments on their citizens. Dictatorships and democracies alike spy on users of the most popular technologies, such as iPhone, BlackBerry and Gmail.

"What's wrong with surveillance? If you have nothing to hide, why do you care?", someone said looking at me as if I was some sort of terrorist. If you don't see the fallacy with this train of thought, first ask yourself why do you close the toilet door, then read Debunking a myth: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Finally, have a leisurely stroll through this list of real life examples of Data Abuse... it might be quite a sobering experience.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ride to the edge of the Universe

Thought I had already posted this video about a year ago but can't find it in the archive so here it is; a three dimensional animation of the currently mapped Universe up to the cosmic horizon. Each object is represented to the correct scale and location according to scientific research... including the size of your ego after watching this. : )

Size of the Universe from Paul Eyler on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine's day from Earth

Time lapse footage of the planet that enables your existence. Shot from the International Space Station in 2011 at an altitude of 350km. Isn't she awe-inspiring?

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

In pursuit of happiness

While walking today my mind was wondering and pondering on what seems to be an ever growing epidemic of existential crisis. Starting with a close friend, everyone I speak to seems to be going through some sort of stage of questioning themselves and what they should be doing and where.

I've never seen so many people in search for meaning in their lives and that is both exciting and a bit scary. Exciting because more than ever we seem ready to question the status quo and explore different possibilities, and scary because we don't seem to know what we want so there doesn't seem to be any satisfying alternatives out there.

It is only logical that when we set off on a search for something undefined chances are, we won't find it. I know this is far from a new idea but I feel very strongly that the lack of meaning and satisfaction in our lives is the lack of feeling that we belong somewhere and that our contribution is valuable. I remember watching somewhere (possibly a TED talk) that research found that the common denominator to happiness is spending time with people you like/love. That sounds obvious. With the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism we have sold out community for the pursuit of individual wants and comforts without realizing we were throwing away the most important factor to happiness - being part of a "tribe". Belonging to a community of friends/family that work together to achieve a common goal or to meet each others basic needs; physical, mental and spiritual.

There are many communities sparking up out there with all sorts of goals and motivations but today I  visualise my idea of community. I imagine waking up in my straw bail house beside my other half, with the sunshine coming through the window. The temperature is warm enough to walk around comfortably in minimal clothing.

Permaculture garden
I look through the window to admire the somewhat wild garden outside. Flowers mix with vegetables among climbers hanging from fruit trees and shrubs. I walk through it and pick a few cherries, strawberries and an apple for breakfast. I walk down the garden to the grassy path and shout good morning to you, painting on the balcony of your beautiful cob house.

Another friend's already busy in the garden below, harvesting potatoes for tonight's dinner party. In the distance we hear a friend plucking away at his/her guitar. On the other side of the stream of pristine clear water, we notice the smoke coming out of a friend couple's yurt and we hear the faint sound of a baby laughing. Today we are all helping to build the home of some new arrivals...

We all know each other pretty well and everyone communicates openly because there's a supportive atmosphere. We know that challenges aren't a problem because we work on them together. We live simply, we share time, effort and resources. We have few perks and commodities but we know we have the things that matter... the earth and all its incredible biodiversity, the rain, the sun and each other.

We are happy because we give each other lives' meaning... after all isn't this what life is meant to be about?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Before and after

Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.
~ Zen Proverb