Friday, October 31, 2014

The Plague Is Very Hot


With ample scare mongering going on with the Ebola threat, this item is timely.  It provides a detailed eye witness report on the day to day in the middle of a plague outbreak some 350 years ago.  The ultimate defense will be self quarantine.  Yet i do not think that it will become that pervasive at all.  I have not dug deep into the biology except to note that while infection is possible it is also not probable.  The victims seem to work at it.

On the other hand it is a good excuse to work up our defensive protocols for that horrible day when a truly nasty bug sets its teeth into us.

This item at least shows us how a society can still function even while it is dying and at risk of dying.

The Plague Is Very Hot
Reflections on disease in the time of Ebola

Samuel Pepys. Diary. 1660–1669.

This week, media headlines and my Facebook feed are filled with stories like these:

“Texas Town Quarantined after Family of Five Test Positive for the Ebola Virus”
“Battle over Ebola Travel Ban”
“Infected Ebola Patients Flee after Attack on Clinic”
“Cruise Ship Docks with Ebola-Watched Health Worker”
“Doctor: Ebola Might Be Transmitted in Air via ‘Droplets’”
That means that, for one final time, this column is turning to the pages of Samuel Pepys's great 17th century diary — because these stories sound like they could have been lifted from the London news that Pepys followed so avidly.

The disease that terrified Pepys and haunted London in the terrible year of 1665 was not Ebola, of course, but the plague. So virulent that deaths in one week for London and its suburbs reached 7,000, and so lethal that death could occur within hours of the first symptoms, the plague was London’s horror story.

And Pepys recorded it all.

Less sensational than Daniel Defoe’s later fictionalized account, A Journal of the Plague Year, Pepys’s 1665 diary still makes for chilling reading. It is perhaps all the more chilling because it isn’t sensational. It’s just Pepys, telling you about his life, which sounds so much like ours.

And so when Pepys goes to Starbucks the coffeehouse in Corn-Hill to get the news and hears that “the plague is got to Amsterdam, brought by a ship from Argier; and it is also carried to Hambrough” (October 19, 1663), we have the sense not only of historical inevitability — we know exactly how bad the plague is going to get in the next 18 months — but also the sense that Pepys is eerily reporting on our own 21st-century stories and concerns. We too are anxiously getting the news every day to follow the path of a disease coming from faraway places.

Our concerns about travel and about cruise ships and airplanes coming in from infected countries mirror Pepys’s worries. He anxiously records, over the course of months, the state of the plague among the Dutch, with whom the English had countless trade and military connections during this period.

June 16, 1664
The talk upon the 'Change is, that De Ruyter is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales.…
June 22, 1664
At noon to the 'Change and Coffee-house, where great talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships. The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land.
July 25, 1664
Thence back again homewards, and Sir W. Batten and I to the Coffee-house, but no newes, only the plague is very hot still, and encreases among the Dutch.
Open borders have always made us wealthy. And their implications — ease of movement for people, ideas, and diseases — have always made us nervous.

As plague begins to come to London, Pepys’s experiences continue to mirror our own. We read of families quarantined in Texas, and Pepys notes the appearance of the first houses of quarantine in London: “This day, much against my Will, I did in Drury-lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there — which was a sad sight to me, being the first of that kind that to my remembrance I ever saw” (June 7, 1665).

Fears about medical or government conspiracies to cover up the spread of Ebola — unfounded or not — mirror Pepys’s concerns about the inaccuracy of the reporting of the numbers of plague deaths “partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them” (August 31, 1665). We worry about fleeing Ebola patients spreading the disease further, and Pepys recounts grisly stories of encounters with the corpses of plague victims and with the occasional “walking dead” victim escaping quarantine and roaming the streets of London.

Mr. Marr telling me by the way how a mayde servant of Mr. John Wright’s … falling sick of the plague, she was removed to an out-house, and a nurse appointed to look to her; who, being once absent, the mayde got out of the house at the window, and run away. The nurse coming and knocking, and having no answer, believed she was dead, and went and told Mr. Wright so; who and his lady were in great strait what to do to get her buried. At last resolved to go to Burntwood hard by, being in the parish, and there get people to do it. But they would not; so he went home full of trouble, and in the way met the wench walking over the common, which frighted him worse than before; and was forced to send people to take her, which he did; and they got one of the pest coaches and put her into it to carry her to a pest house. And passing in a narrow lane, Sir Anthony Browne, with his brother and some friends in the coach, met this coach with the curtains drawn close. The brother … thrust his head out of his own into her coach, and to look, and there saw somebody look very ill, and in a sick dress, and stunk mightily; which the coachman also cried out upon. And presently they come up to some people that stood looking after it, and told our gallants that it was a mayde of Mr. Wright’s carried away sick of the plague; which put the young gentleman into a fright had almost cost him his life, but is now well again. [August 3, 1665]
This ghastly vision of a playful young man peeking into a coach to flirt with a mysterious woman but encountering a plague victim instead makes a dark little morality tale that we are sure to see repeated in urban legends about Ebola today.

My point is not that Ebola will do the grim work of the plague of 1665, and I abhor the occasional suggestion that it would be a “good thing” if it did. My point is merely to say that history and the voice of Samuel Pepys, yet again, provide us with a way to consider what is happening to us now and the way we respond to it by remembering what has happened to us in the past and the way we responded then.

I celebrated Pepys a few weeks ago for providing us with an example of the way that medical technology has silently and radically increased our wealth in the centuries that separate him from us. Rereading his diary of the plague reminds me that our increase in medical knowledge has not changed us as humans. We still have the same fears, the same tendency to panic, and the same desire to quarantine, to close borders, to flee when we fear we are under the threat of disease. Our instinct is understandable. It has kept us alive as a species for thousands of years. But how do we engage the better angels of our nature?

Neither Pepys nor I have solutions for the problematic ways that atavistic fear can counter and undermine our better information about disease and about transmission. I leave that to the epidemiologists. But as William H. McNeill reminded the American Historical Association in 1985, answers are not necessarily what history gives us. It gives us “no more and no less than carefully and critically constructed collective memory. As such it can both make us wiser in our public choices and more richly human in our private lives.” And it can help us think more carefully about “the unending effort to understand ourselves and others, and what happens and will happen to us and to them, time without end.”

Secret Lore of the Fall

 Jonathan Black


Something for Halloween and a reminder that the whole world of spirit was well understood or at least perceived in most of human history through traditional narratives.   We live now in an age of complete denial and scant communication.  From this folk tale we discover the possibility of a ointment able to empower an eye to see in the spectrum of the spiritual world.  It is something that needs to be rediscovered.

Recall Swedenborg went from one day to the next abruptly seeing the spiritual world around him and that this lead to direct mind to mind communication that continued for decades.  Because the spirit is in fact physical and vastly richer in terms of information content, it is naturally described as as light body.  The physical is in the form of recently admitted dark matter that is held together with photonic energy.  This naturally radiates but at a level far removed from our spectrum.

Yet they are among us and their heaven is our own physical world through which they can move at will including upwards.  We are simply blind.  From this physical reality, all the legends arise including those of fairy.  As a side note the apparent physical density will be three orders of magnitude less than our physical reality.


Stories of the Fall: Two folk tales and the secret lore of the Fall
By Jonathan Black

In this article Mark Booth (aka Jonathan Black), author of the bestselling The Secret History of the World and The Sacred History, explores the significance of autumn to the spiritual world and recounts two unsettling and thought-provoking folk lore tales.

The arrival of autumn affects the human spirit. As the nights draw in we are driven indoors and also driven in upon ourselves. Our place in the world feels different. 

But does spirit really change? Do spiritual realms have their own season? Do spirits behave differently in autumn?

All the world’s great religions have roots in astronomy. In the great monotheistic religions these roots have of course been covered over and the influence of the gods or spirits of the stars and planets is played down.

In public Christianity denounces astrology, but many ancient churches from Canterbury to Chartres are full of astrological symbols, and most are built according to an astronomical orientation which is as exact as that of an Egyptian temple. Christian archangels are routinely represented as the great spirits of the heavenly bodies – St Michael being the Archangel of the Sun, for instance, and Gabriel the Archangel of the Moon. In The Secret History of the World I show how at the time the Fourth Gospel was written ‘the Word’ was a traditional title of the Sun god who, it was said, would come to lighten the darkness. I show, too, how in the Bible Lucifer is identified with ‘the morning star’, which is to say Venus.

There is much more going on in Christianity than meets the eye – and these hidden elements are described in secret or ‘esoteric’ teachings. In these teachings the stars and planets have not only had the role in helping to form human life that modern science allows, they also have had a role in the forming of human consciousness and continue to do so. The revolutions of the planet Venus affect the tides of our sexual desire, for example, and we are enabled to reflect or think because the Moon reflects the light of the Sun.

In the astrological account life on earth moves according to a series of cycles determined by the movements of the heavenly bodies – a daily cycle, a seasonal cycle, a yearly cycle, the cycle formed by the precession of the equinoxes and so on.

As the Sun withdraws and the natural world begins to die, the spiritual world comes alive, becoming more active. Autumn may be thought of as a great door in the cosmos – and spirits come pouring through.

As the mid-point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, Halloween traditionally marks the beginning of winter. The spirits that flow first and more easily through the opening of the great cosmic door at this time are the spirits of the dead. Goblins, ghosts and the spirits of the dead are the lowest denizens of the spirit worlds.

It was traditionally thought that the beginning of winter was a propitious time to interact positively and helpfully with the spirits of the dead. The feasting traditionally associated with the harvest and Halloween is intended to draw the dead to us, to make them salivate and encourage them to be nostalgic for the pleasures of the material world. It’s a way of attracting the dead and working with them that is described by both Homer and Virgil, and it is still kept alive in cultures – for example Thailand – where offerings of food are sometimes placed in cemeteries.

None of this is necessarily done in a doleful way. Think of the Day of the Dead in Mexico and the fun in all that imagery. Likewise in English tradition ‘mumming’ – from which we get ‘mummers’ as in actors – began when people dressed up like the dead to make them feel at home, to greet them in a playful sort of way. The word ‘mummer’ comes from the mum-mum sound these mummers used to make imitating the walking dead’s attempts to speak.

Halloween has always been a time when you might commune with your ancestors, when you might ask their advice on your future dealings, a time when the spirit of prophecy was particularly strong. Halloween parties today still sometimes include the old game of apple-bobbing, for example. Girls used to bob for apples in search of love. Traditionally the apple is the fruit of Venus; the 5 point pattern pips make in a slice of apple mimics the patterns that Venus makes in the sky over a 40 year period. If you bobbed successfully, you’d put the apple you pulled out of the bucket under your pillow that night and hope to dream of the man you’d marry.

Autumn then is a time to explore the great mysteries of life, death and destiny, to get to grips with what it means to die, even to taste death. In the bleak midwinter, on the 25th December, the sun-god will be born and the death forces will be driven back, but in the meantime the world grows darker and colder. The Fall is then the fall into matter.

The great spirits of death weave in and out of our daily lives and may brush past us though we are unaware of them. In esoteric philosophy as in depth psychology the death forces and love forces – thanatos and eros – are tightly interwoven and we are never closer to death than when we fall in love. This spiritual reality is revealed in a beautiful Scottish folk tale. The notion of the corn dolly may well seem charming, even comforting, but that is perhaps because we have lost touch with spiritual realities that may have been more alive to us when we worked in harmony with the changing of the season. (And it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that, as I show in The Secret History of the World, the original corn dollies were effigies of Osiris and totems of death. In spring new sprouts pushed through the dolly’s silver mask to give us the image we know today as the Green Man).

Two sisters lived in a little cottage on the Isle of Mull. Margaret was a great beauty with black hair and flashing eyes, but she was also a dreamer. She preferred her own company. Her sister Ailsa was more outgoing, and at an early age she made sure she found herself a boyfriend in the village. He was a sturdy farmer’s son, a good, reliable marriage prospect from a respectable family. Ailsa began to spend more and more time in the village. 

Meanwhile Margaret was happy to be left alone, daydreaming that someday her prince would come. One hot summer’s morning when she was working in the garden, she looked up to see a dark, handsome stranger coming in through the gate. He had black hair like her own, and intense, gleaming eyes, and she could tell from his clothes that he was not local – a traveller, maybe a gypsy. He asked for a mug of water, and as it was nearing lunchtime she also invited him in for something eat. And he stayed with her all afternoon, disappearing before evening when Ailsa was due to return. He said he would come back, but he made her promise never to tell a living soul about his visit.

Shortly after this Ailsa married and moved out of the old cottage to set up home in the village. Margaret continued to live in the cottage, where she lived for her secret lover’s visits. 

Sometimes Ailsa would visit her and try to encourage her to come to the village more often in order to find a suitable husband. Margaret said she wasn’t interested. She would only marry for love.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about!” Ailsa said, exasperated. “What do you know about love?”

Margaret’s eyes flashed. “More than you do…” she said, but she knew the moment the words were out of her lips that she’d made a fatal mistake. She made Ailsa swear on the Bible not to tell anyone. But Ailsa couldn’t keep her sister’s secret to herself, and the next day everyone in the village was gossiping. 

The gossip didn’t reach Margaret herself, but her lover didn’t come to her that day, nor the next, nor the next. Then she went out into a storm, weeping and wailing and crying out and cursing her sister.
Weeks went by and no-one saw or heard of Margaret, so eventually Ailsa went to the cottage to find her. The door was wide open, the kitchen full of leaves and it was cold and damp. It looked deserted.
In the months that followed shepherds would occasionally report that they’d seen or heard Margaret in the hills. She lived out in the open, they said, still weeping and wailing for her lover. It seemed she had gone mad.

But life goes on, and joy came to Ailsa and her husband in the form of their son. Called Torquill, he grew to be big and strong, a bit like his aunt Margaret in his style of looks. He was a great help to his parents, and when still only a boy he was recognized as the best reaper in the village. As such, it was his privilege at the end of the harvest to take his sickle and cut the barley to make the corn dolly. 

A few years passed and rumours began to circulate of a beautiful young girl in the country surrounding the village who was herself an astonishingly good reaper. Torquill was eaten up by curiosity. 

One autumn evening with the harvest moon rising in the sky he was just about to finish work, when he looked up and saw the girl, and he knew who she was, because she was working the field too and she was ahead of him, wielding her sickle with exceptional skill. It flashed in the moonlight and she called to him “Over take me! Overtake me!”

Torquill laughed as he took up the challenge, and began wielding his sickle with as much force and speed as he could muster.

“Over take me! Overtake me!” she cried again.

But he couldn’t seem to gain on her. He was drenched with sweat and his back was aching like hell, but he drove himself harder.

“Over take me! Overtake me!”

His eyes were blurred with sweat as he saw her standing still at last. She had completed the last furrow. She was smiling at him, radiant in the moonlight. She had plaited the last handful of barley to make the corn dolly and was holding it out for him to sever with his scythe. He staggered towards her exhausted, and as he cut the dolly, her eyes flashed and he fell dead on the ground.

Many folk tales of encounters with fairies or journeys into the realm of the fairies are thinly disguised accounts of journeys into the realm of the dead. The Cornish story relating the experiences of Mr Noy, which I included in The Sacred History, takes place at the time of the end of harvest and its celebrations. This journey the story describes might be involuntary, to be compared, for example, with a modern near-death experience brought about by a sudden illness or road accident. Or it might be the result of a religious rite intended to induce an altered state of consciousness in which communion with the dead would be a practical possibility. In the following Welsh story, with its intriguing hint at the Third Eye, the dead and their representatives are shown mixing freely with us in our everyday world, and at the centre of this story there is a shaman or magus with a foot both in this world and the next.

An old Welsh couple went to Caernarvon to hire a servant at the Allhallows' Fair. They went to the spot where the young men and women who wanted work were accustomed to gather, and saw a girl with golden hair, standing a little apart from all the others. They asked her if she wanted a place? She replied that she did. Her name, she said, was Eilian.

In the long winter months it was customary to spin after supper. On nights when the moon was shining, Eilian would take her wheel down to the meadow. On these nights she accomplished a prodigious amount of spinning, and the old couple were glad to have secured services of such a skilful maid-servant.

But it was all too good to last. When spring arrived and the days grew longer, Eilian disappeared. Everyone wondered if she had gone off to live with the gypsies – and if she was herself a gypsy.

The old woman was a nurse and midwife, and sometime after Eilian's disappearance, on a night when the moon was full and there was a little rain falling through a thin mist, a gentleman on horseback came to fetch her. She rode off, sitting behind the stranger on his horse. They arrived at a great house which was situated at the foot of a hill and set into it. The two dismounted and entered a great hall. They went through a door at the far end of it passed into a bed-chamber, where a lady lay in her bed. It was the finest house the old woman had ever seen in her life. Wonderful food was laid out around the lady’s bed, but no servants appeared in the course of the night. 

By morning the baby’s fever was subsiding. The husband reappeared and gave the old woman a bottle of ointment to anoint the baby's eyes with. "Take care," he said, "that you do not touch your own eyes with it." The old woman promised to be careful, but somehow or other, after putting the bottle on the bedside table, her left eye began to itch, and without thinking what she was doing she rubbed it with the same finger that she had used for the baby's eyes. And now a strange thing happened: with the right eye she saw everything as before, gorgeous and luxurious as the heart could wish, but with the left eye she saw a damp, miserable cave, and lying on some rushes and withered ferns, with big stones all round her, was her former servant girl, Eilian.

In the course of the day she saw a great deal more. There were small men and women going rapidly in and out of the cave. They took not notice of her and their movements were quick and light like shadows. They seemed really fond of Eilian, treating her with kindness and affection.

In the evening the old woman said, "You have had a great many visitors to-day, Eilian."

"Yes," was the reply, "but how do you know?"

Then the old woman explained that she had accidentally rubbed her left eye with the baby's ointment.
"Take care that my husband does not find out that you recognise me," said Eilian, and she told the old woman her story. It turned out that she had been such a wonderful spinner of cloth because she was helped by the fairies – on condition that she married one of them. "I never meant to carry out the agreement," she explained, "and I used to draw a knife whenever they pestered me too much about it in the meadow. That always made them vanish immediately. And for fear they should carry me off when I was asleep, I placed a long stick of mountain ash across my bed, for I’d been told as a child that no fairy dares touch or even cross a branch of the rowan tree. That kept me safe for a while but after a few months I grew careless, and the day we sheared the sheep I was so tired that I forgot to protect my bed. That very night I was whisked off to Fairyland."

The old woman was very cautious after Eilian's warning, and that evening she gave the fairy husband no inkling that her left eye had any different power of vision from the right. The next day, the baby seemed to have recovered and so her time came to an end without mishap. She was given a fine sum of money for her services and was taken home on horseback just as she had come.

Sometime after the old woman was late in getting to market. When she arrived a friend said to her, "The fairies must be here to-day; the noise is swelling and prices are rising." Sure enough the fairies were there, but they were invisible to all eyes except the old woman's left eye. She saw Eilian's husband stealing something from a stall close by her: she went up to him and, forgetting the warning, said, "Good morning, sir. How is Eilian?"

"She is quite well," he replied, "but with what eye do you see me?"

"With this," said the old woman, pointing to her left. He immediately struck her with a bulrush and from that day she could no longer see into the other world.

Junk DNA & Human Consciousness


We have identified an expanded string of DNA unique to humanity.  I am sure that we will find plenty more before we are finished.

Others are also recognizing the primacy of consciousness even if they have not yet understood the massive increase in information density.  

It also reminds us that we have barely begun to gather all the data available to us,  Thus it may be better to not so quick to draw conclusions.  There is enough gratuitous error out there.

Junk DNA & Human Consciousness

tom Bunzel,
Have you thought deeply about the latest discovery in genetics? DUF1220 – “DUF” stands for a (protein) domain of unknown function – presumably “junk DNA.” But this one seems to be what distinguishes us as “human” and may correspond to greater brain functionality.

In fact, we possess more than twice the amount of replications (copies) of this protein as a result of the instructions (code) of our genome than our nearest genetic relative –the chimp. It seems to be clearly related to the growth of certain parts of the brain –and presumably to more sophisticated neural networks.

According to Wikipedia:
“DUF1220 is a protein domain of unknown function that shows a striking human lineage-specific (HLS) increase in copy number and may be important to human brain evolution.[1] The copy number of DUF1220 domains increases generally as a function of a species evolutionary proximity to humans. DUF1220 copy number is highest in human (over 270, with some person-to-person variations).[2] and shows the largest HLS increase in copy number (an additional 160 copies) of any protein coding region in the human genome. DUF1220 copy number is reduced in African great apes (estimated 125 copies in chimpanzees), further reduced in orangutan (92) and Old World monkeys (35), single- or low-copy in non-primate mammals and absent in non-mammals.”

“Unknown function” may be another way of saying “junk DNA” –DNA that is unaccounted for so that current science disregards it but clearly if this is the “Software code” that distinguishes us from other primates in terms of intelligence –it is no Junk.

Wikipedia continues with this nugget:
“DUF1220 domains are approximately 65 amino acids in length and are encoded by a two-exon doublet. In the human genome DUF1220 sequences are located primarily on chromosome 1 in region 1q21.1-q21.2, with several copies also found at 1p36, 1p13.3, and 1p12. Sequences encoding DUF1220 domains show signs of positive selection, especially in primates, and are expressed in several human tissues including the brain, where their expression is restricted to neurons.”
What this seems to mean is that we have identified specific areas of our DNA code (regions of specific chromosomes) that will express growth of higher brain functions.  Since we are at the threshold of being able to write our own DNA code, this has immense implications for our future as a species.

Of course the problem is that this line of inquiry has been hijacked in the recent past by philosophies that have used it to justify genocide and Eugenics.  Still as this blogger says:

“But at least we are slowly stumbling upon some of the answers to our questions. As long as we do not allow our science to be perverted by a misplaced sense of political correctness, we should eventually obtain a fairly clear picture of how larger and more intelligent brains evolved.”
But there is another largely ignored aspect to this discovery.

Where & Who Did This Come From?

First, how and why did our copies of this particular “line of code” simply double at one point in our evolution? Can this be attributed to mutation or chance? And perhaps more important – this is code that no human originally wrote – not like Microsoft Word or Photoshop – which was written by human programmers. Obviously this particular bit of “software” has intention and meaning –it actually created the capacity of a brain to eventually write the code for Microsoft Word or Photoshop!

There are a number of ways to approach this.

Modern science simply says that this is the result of natural selection and evolution. But is it reasonable to think that one cell organisms over eons of time will simply create this level of functionality without an intervening intelligence?

And we KNOW that software we created -programs like Photoshop or Word –did not “evolve” through chance. They were the result of sessions of planning, development and conscious effort. For want of a better word, they were “designed.”

 A waterfall will never become intelligent. A cloud of vapor will never become intelligent. Only a living organism that expresses Consciousness can ever become intelligent. (This is not an argument for fundamentalist Intelligent Design theory which is simply another projection of our own anthropomorphic human thought patterns). 

It is simply an acknowledgment of different levels of “being.” Mind must be seen as what it is –a different “dimension” of being from matter.

Alien Intervention?


Others would have us make the leap that since there are monuments on the planet we cannot explain, a higher form of life (alien) deliberately manipulated our genome, as we are beginning to do with other life forms, and “upgraded” our intelligence in a quantum leap that took us from ape to human.
While plausible on many levels, there is no direct evidence for this at this point.  And it begs the question – where and how did these “aliens” evolve? The ONLY direct evidence that exists is this –we now KNOW that something akin to the software humans now create is operational within our organic being.

The Role of Consciousness

If we “flip” the notion that consciousness is “created” by the brain, and instead become open to the possibility that our brain is a receiver of consciousness, then we can begin to fathom a completely different reality – that the entire universe (of which we know only a tiny sliver through our limited sensory capacity) is immensely intelligent.

Of course this has profound implications for our personal ego, as pointed out by thought leaders like Eckhart Tolle.

Thought itself –its origin and meaning –comes under greater scrutiny as to its relationship to a reality that is far beyond the capacity of thought itself to completely comprehend; take only the notion of Infinity –which is a word we use to describe the unfathomable but which has no real “meaning” –now the notion of infinity begins to make sense… Infinity would become connected in some way to the Source of the level of meaning and intelligence within which we find ourselves.

Our cosmology would also open immensely. With the primacy of intellect and mind now apparent, we might begin to intuit what “dimensions” actually represent – levels of mental acuity that open to us only when a certain level of being (physiologically, psychologically and chemically) is attained. This would begin to account for experiences with ESP, drugs, past lives, near death and all kinds of other mental realities which our material science cannot begin to address.

As Eckhart Tolle says, death is not the opposite of life, birth is the opposite of death. Birth and death are both part of an inconceivably intelligent reality which we experience as Life. Does this mean that we should not, as a species, follow our discoveries in this area and begin to affect our own evolution? Let’s face it –the genie is out of the bottle.

I would suggest that we have an imperative to do so –but to do so consciously with a profound reverence for higher levels of meaning and intelligence that we will ultimately encounter. This is why the ancients merged science with a sense of the Sacred –because there needs to be a profound relationship of surrender and humility in the face of this recognition. Our entire notion of a “mastery” over Life must be seen as nonsensical, along with all of the other trappings of our conceptual “understanding” of a reality that cannot be “explained” in our own human terms.

We Need To Change The Way We See


Does this mean that we stop building, growing and evolving? Not at all, that is apparently our nature. But it might mean, for starters, that we begin to observe reverently that the relationships between plants, bees, atmosphere and resources that we have tried to “master” work according to much higher principles and laws.


More important, those principles are not “personal” – if we go extinct as a species “nothing went wrong” –the universe in its infinite intelligence will continue without us. Accordingly we will need to drop the conceptual conceits, scientific and religious, which have taken us into a state of disharmony with the intelligent natural order from which we “evolved.”
Seeing our minds as a “work in progress” and not the be all and end all of evolution, we might begin to question everything –including the veracity and even the significance of our own thoughts –which to this point have been the only Mind we’ve ever known. Instead, upon more direct examination, we must comprehend that we are merely a tiny fraction of All that exists, of an Intelligence that encoded our genes, in the same way that we have encoded our intelligence into computers.
In our current level of being we cannot begin to comprehend this intelligence – that is why so many of us simply “worship” It.  But just because Life is expressing a level of being and intelligence far beyond anything we can currently comprehend does not mean we should simply accept “not knowing” and surrender completely. It means that we need to study what “knowing” truly means and perhaps as T.S. Elliot said, we can return to the present and begin to truly know it for the very first time.

Scientists Might Have Accidentally Solved The Hardest Part Of Building Space Elevators

The more we discover what is possible with carbon, the less impossible becomes that Space elevator.  We want that in order to haul tonnage into space as we haul tonnage on the Ocean and rail.  It obviously matters even if we produce a Magnetic Field Exclusion Vessel or perhaps even if we develop gravity control.  Both may simply be too sensitive to mass variation.


A robust cable system sidesteps all that.

What is true today is that we can do it all on the back of an envelope with these new products.  We could not when Artur C. Clark wrote about it.  Right now i think that it sets us nasty technical problems that still can be solved.  It is really going to happen.

Scientists Might Have Accidentally Solved The Hardest Part Of Building Space Elevators

Vincent Crespi Lab/Penn State University Diamond nanothreads are only a few atoms across, more than 20,000 times thinner than a human hair. They're also stronger and stiffer than any carbon nanotube or polymer to date, which could make them an ideal option for a space elevator tether. 

A space elevator is essentially a cable  anchored to the Earth's equator and attached to a counterweight somewhere way above Earth's atmosphere — much higher than satellites in orbit.  Having one would allow us to send cargo into space for  a fraction of the cost of using rockets  and allow us to harvest vast amounts of solar energy by placing solar collectors well above the Earth's atmosphere, where the sun never stops shining.

Finding a material strong enough to serve as a tether is one of the most daunting technical challenges standing in the way.

Earlier this year, however, researchers  may have accidentally discovered the  best candidate yet for building a space elevator.  A set of diamond nanothreads created under immense pressures in a lab might rival or exceed the strength of  carbon nanotubes , which are 100 times stronger than steel.

A little bit of luck J ohn Badding of Penn State University and his team discovered that liquid benzene, when subjected to extreme pressure (around 200,000 times the pressure at the surface of the Earth) and then slowly relieved of that pressure, forms extremely thin, tight rings of carbon that are structurally identical to diamonds.

In other words, if you could unravel a diamond like you can a piece of fabric, you'd get these far-out threads. The result is a chain, thousands of times thinner than a human hair, that has the potential to be the strongest, stiffest material ever discovered.

The discovery was something of an accident, but far from a hapless one. The team used a large, high-pressure device called the Paris-Edinburgh device at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compress a 6-millimeter wide quantity of liquid benzene — a huge amount compared with previous experiments. The volume of liquid benzene, coupled with the size of the device, forced them to relieve the pressure more slowly than they would have otherwise.

"It's been known for a long time  that if you put benzene under pressure, it’d make a type of polymer," Badding told Business Insider. "An Italian team did a similar experiment and found it was amorphous, disordered, with no pattern to the way material’s held together, kind of like glass. We were trying to make the same material everyone else had made, but in larger quantities."

When they released the pressure, "something interesting happened: the material became ordered," Badding said.  The carbon atoms in the liquid benzene arranged themselves so that each was linked with four others, in what's called a tetrahedral structure.  Structurally, the threads formed by the liquid benzene are identical to diamond, with each carbon atom linked with four others. You can see what they look like below.

It was the breakthrough that Badding had been seeking for 20 years.

"Luck favors the prepared mind," Badding said.  "I’d love to be able to say I predicted this was going to happen for benzene. I don’t think I can say that. But in a way our studies in benzene were a step in this larger goal, and we just happened to find that faster than we thought we would."

Now that Badding and his colleagues have shown that this structure is possible, the next step is to confirm the precise structure of the material and look for any imperfections that might exist.

" Theory suggests that if you can make the structures perfect, they could be as strong or stronger than carbon nanotubes, but we have not confirmed that experimentally," Badding said.

Going up 

Towards the end of his life, science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke predicted that a space elevator would be built ten years after everybody stopped laughing. By the time he died, in 2008, everybody had.
But it's still too early to say whether these diamond nanothreads will be up to the task of being strung up in space. Ted Semon, Director of the International Space Elevator Consortium, points out that, as with carbon nanotubes, the real challenge will be scaling the nanothreads to the necessary length — about 60,000 miles. The longest carbon nanotubes to date are only a few centimeters long.

"In any event, options are good things," Semon noted.

While some observers are doubtful that a space elevator will ever happen, others, like Clarke, are confident that it's only a matter of time. Obayashi, a construction company based in Tokyo, has said that it wants to build one by 2050.

If it comes to fruition, everyone will have stopped laughing for a long time.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Krill Oil Penetrates Nervous System to Heal

Chronic back pain and many other conditions add up as we all get older.  The take home is that DHA is been best supplied by squid oil and krill oil and in a form that penetrates the nervous system and even the brain.

Thus we have a helpful protocol to add to our war chest.

 Increase dosage over two weeks until the issue resolves or until it is plainly not going to work.

 October 23, 2014
Dear Reader,
I’ve been studying health and nutrition almost my entire life, and even I didn’t know about the power of the tiny sea creatures called krill at first. For years, no one knew much about them.
But they are a more potent source of protective omega-3 than fish, and have a much higher content of the most important omega-3 that we don’t get enough of, DHA. Even better, the DHA in krill penetrates into your cells better than omega-3 from other sources.
One of the reasons is that the fatty acids in krill oil are stored in a different biochemical form than fish oil. Krill store most of their fatty acids as phospholipids. These are much simpler to digest than the triglyceride form you find in fish.
But what puts the DHA from krill over the top in my book is that it can cross the blood brain barrier. You see, attached to each phospholipid in krill is a carotenoid called astaxanthin. It’s an extremely powerful antioxidant that can cross the blood-brain barrier. This allows krill DHA to penetrate into the cells of your brain and your nervous system.
Let me show you why this is important and how it can help you.
As I’ve continued studying the benefits of getting high amounts of DHA from krill oil, I found a new study out of Italy that shows DHA can stop inflammation in your spinal cord.1
Who hasn’t had some kind of back pain or nerve discomfort where your spine or your discs are bothering you?
And for people over 55, the most common cause of spine-weakening conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis is a spinal condition called cervical myelopathy.2 It can lead to difficulty walking, neck and arm pain, hand numbness, and weakness of the limbs.
Now, here comes DHA, and it can help.
In the study I just mentioned they gave DHA to mice with spinal cord injuries and listen to the long list of problems DHA prevented or healed:
  • Reduced spinal cord inflammation
  • Reduced tissue injury
  • Stopped production of pro-inflammatory cytokines
  • lowered nitrotyrosine formation (a marker of cell damage and inflammation)
  • Prevented cell death
  • Improved recovery of limb function
  • Lowered oxidative stress on nerve cells
  • Helped restart nerve cell growth.
In another animal study, only DHA and not the omega-3 EPA, reduced inflammation to the spinal cord.3
And in a study that looked at 21 men with spinal cord injuries, DHA helped them run farther and faster, and increase the strength in their limbs.4
DHA has a pretty impressive track record of beating inflammation. Every organ and system that gets DHA has reduced inflammation. Studies show it stamps out inflammation in the liver 5 and brain.6 And DHA especially reduces inflammation in the muscles and joints, particularly for people who exercise 7 and those who have arthritis.8
In fact, when I started taking a higher dose of DHA, the soreness and pain I usually have from an old Achilles injury disappeared in a few short days.
Besides krill, there are a few other ways to get more DHA into your diet,I recommend small, coldwater fatty fish like anchovies, herring, and sardines. If you’re going to eat salmon for its omega-3 and DHA content, make sure it’s wild-caught and not the farmed kind. Farmed salmon has too much omega-6 fat and not enough omega-3, the kind that includes DHA.
But, to really boost your DHA it’s best to supplement with krill oil. A study by a team of German scientists found that the “highest incorporation of …DHA [in the body]… was provoked by krill oil…” 9 In other words, krill oil is what boosts DHA levels the best.
Krill is even better when you combine it with maybe the most highly-concentrated source of DHA in the ocean we’ve found so far, calamari oil.
The problem always was, how do you get the calamari oil? Even if you eat calamari you’re not getting very high concentrations of oil. Technology has helped us solve that and now we can get high-DHA omega-3 from Squid that live in the pure waters of the Southern Pacific. After the oil is distilled it’s over 65% DHA – the highest concentration of DHA10 I’ve found yet.
Also, krill and calamari oil are in the absorbable phospholipid form, the form that can really get into all areas to relieve inflammation.
I recommend you get at least 1 gram of omega-3 every day, with 600 mg from DHA and 400 mg from its cousin EPA. That way you can soothe every organ and tissue in your body with the world’s most penetrating omega-3 and get all of DHA’s anti-inflammatory benefit.
To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD
1. Paterniti I, Impellizzeri D, et. al. "Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates the early inflammatory response following spinal cord injury in mice: in-vivo and in-vitro studies." J Neuroinflammation. 2014;11:6.
2. Schmidt E. "Curry spice, omega-3 fatty acid preserve walking ability following spinal-cord injury." UCLA Newsroon. June 26, 2012.
3. Hall J, et. al. "Docosahexaenoic acid, but not eicosapentaenoic acid, reduces the early inflammatory response following compression spinal cord injury in the rat." J Neurochemistry, 2012;Volume 121, Issue 5, pages 738–750.
4. Javierre C, Vidal J, Segura R, Lizarraga M, Medina J, Ventura J. "The effect of supplementation with n-3 fatty acids on the physical performance in subjects with spinal cord injury." J Physiol Biochem. 2006;62(4):271-9.
5. Depner C, Philbrick K, Jump D. "Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis without decreasing hepatosteatosis in a Ldlr(-/-) mouse model of western diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis." J Nutr. 2013;143(3):315-23.
6. Orr S, Palumbo S, Bosetti F, Mount H, Kang J, Greenwood C, Ma D, Serhan C, Bazinet R. "Unesterified docosahexaenoic acid is protective in neuroinflammation." J Neurochem. 2013;127(3):378-93.
7. DiLorenzo F, Drager C, Rankin J. "Docosahexaenoic Acid affects markers of inflammation and muscle damage after eccentric exercise." J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(10):2768-74.
8. Olson M, Liu Y, Dangi B, Paul Zimmer J, Salem N, Nauroth J. "Docosahexaenoic acid reduces inflammation and joint destruction in mice with collagen-induced arthritis." Inflamm Res. 2013;62(12):1003-13.
9. Schuchardt J, et. al. “Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations - a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil.” Lip H and Dis. 2011; 10: 145.
10. Hwang L, Liang J. "Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters." Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 2001, Volume 78, Issue 5, pp 473-476.