Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2011

In the 60’s I was a trumpet player working gigs throughout the Deep South.  That experience changed all of my misguided perceptions regarding Dr. Martin Luther King and his passionate pursuit for social justice and equality.  In the deepest regions of the South, I was cautioned that it would be risky to give anyone any reason to believe I was a ‘Yankee,’ for that would make me suspect of being a Dr. King sympathizer.  History has certainly shown that to had been prudent advice.  However, Dr. King never shied away from taking that very clear and present risk and on April 4, 1968 Dr. King was assassinated.

Since his death, there has been no shortage of authors exploiting his life’s alleged shortcomings.  To one extent or another, certain authors have had a field day denouncing Dr. King as a man who liked women, a sexist, womanizer, sexual pervert, plagiarist, and a communist.

However, what is so remarkable about a man who likes women or about a man of that era to believe a woman’s place is in the home?

As far as Dr. King’s alleged sexual exploits are concerned, the truth is uncertain.  Most of the allegations come from FBI surveillance and wiretap data.  However, in knowing how much J. Edgar Hoover despised Dr. King and to the extent he went to discredit him and the civil rights movement, one has to question their accuracy and authenticity.

In 1989, CSpan’s Brian Lamb interviewed Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, author of “And the Walls Came Tumbling Down.”  In response to a question concerning a description in his book of Dr. King’s alleged sexual exploits on the last evening before his death, Abernathy told Lamb that he never said Dr. King had sex.  “I said that when I was awakened, he was coming out of the room [at the Lorraine Motel] with this lady [a Kentucky Legislator] …I don’t know what they did …”

And, I believe an accusation attributed to a 1998 Newsweek article claiming that in 1964 Dr. King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel where FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex, is simply not true.  I cannot find any reputable reporting that supports this accusation.
It certainly is a farfetched conclusion that Dr. King was anything even close to a sexual pervert.

Accusations of plagiarism are apparently true.  However, many have plagiarized at one time or another, some wittingly and some unwittingly.  Nonetheless, is that any reason to defame the reputation of a man who gave so much of himself for America?

Hoover’s FBI never came up with any evidence that Dr. King was a member of the Communist party.  But, so what if he was a communist.  Today that no longer is relevant, and McCarthyism was discredited long ago.

And why did Abernathy imply that his lifelong friend was engaging in extramarital sex?  To me, it’s simple:  Abernathy and his publishers concluded that such an accusation would generate stronger sales.

Read Full Post »

President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008.

At the conclusion of “American Thinker, on Point or Hate Piece?” by AC’s Lorraine Yapps Cohen, she requests “… let me know what you think.”

Well, here’s what I think!

I don’t know whether it’s a “hate piece or not.”  Just like in the article and in the opinion she supports, “The Mendacity of Barack Obama” by Steve McCann, one cannot say in the absence of any other evidence what is in Cohen’s or McCann’s mind.  Cohen questions herself by saying, “Could this be that I’m predisposed?”  Obviously, it is her predisposition, whatever that predisposition might be.  Until we can read another’s mind, we will never really know the truth, whether it is Obama, Cohen, McCann or anyone else.

But what does come to my mind is “just because you say it does not make it so.”

She and McCann claim that Barack Obama is dishonest.  McCann says his 13th of April federal budget speech “[is] chock full of lies, deceit, and crass fear-mongering …Barack Obama is the most dishonest, deceitful, and mendacious person in a position of power I have ever witnessed.”  McCann says Obama is narcissistic, a fraud, and “relies on his skin color to intimidate, either outright or by insinuation, those who oppose his radical agenda only adds to his audacity.”  McCann says that Obama has an “inbred radical ideology, which as its lynchpin desires to transform the country into a quasi-totalitarian state by any means possible …Barack Obama; he may well be the most dishonest and disingenuous occupant of the Oval Office in history, and will do more damage to the nation than all his predecessors combined.”  His failings … “[are] timidity fostered by race, with the euphemisms of spin, obfuscation, fabrication, or politics being used to avoid the truth.”  As if that wasn’t enough, McCann writes, “Obama is extremely adept at exploiting the celebrity culture that has overwhelmed the society as well as the erosion of the education system that has created a generation or more of citizens unaware of their history, culture as well as historical ethical standards based on Judeo-Christian teaching.”

In order to entice the reader into believing that what he says must be true, McCann writes, “I came to the United States as a survivor of the Second World War.  I spent my early years alone on the streets of a totally destroyed city somewhere in central Europe.  In order to survive I had to steal food where I could and lie in order to survive.  I spent a good part of my life, even after coming to America and being adopted, battling those inbred impulses.  It was a never-ending struggle with successes and failures, but I was able to finally defeat those demons.”  And, he and Cohen evidently expect their work experience, McCann’s forty-five and in Cohen’s “thirty-five years in the working world—from small businesses to the largest on earth,” somehow give them a certain trustworthy perspective that should not be ignored.

Cohen says, “It is working and creating and adding value and progressing forward that make for a better world.”

The foregoing is the only authentic statement she made in her piece.  However, her article and McCann’s article, which she fully supports, violate that perspective.  Characterizing Barack Obama as compulsively mendacious, a crass fear-monger, sociopath, narcissist, radical, and a fraud, just because you say he is, does not add value nor does it “make for a better world.”

Sources:

Steve McCann, The Mendacity of Barack Obama, AmericanThinker.com

Lorraine Yapps Cohen, American Thinker, on Point or Hate Piece?, Associated Content

Read Full Post »

On the morning of Tuesday, April 19, the Burlington Massachusetts Police Department received a 911 call from the security office at a Burlington Mall.  They reported that five Mall shoppers witnessed a white male appearing to be carrying a rifle had just entered the lower level men’s room in the Nordstrom store.  About a half-hour later, forty police officers from Burlington and the surrounding towns of Woburn, Billerica, Lexington, Wilmington, and Bedford, the Massachusetts State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement were on the scene.  The Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement SWAT Team was there in full regalia, including body armor and shields.  They brought with them their mobile Incident Command Center and an Armored Response Vehicle.  A Massachusetts State Police helicopter circled above the Mall.

Police who arrived first on the scene checked the men’s room.  They immediately secured the inner and outer perimeters and with location security officers evacuated the Mall.  Some worried workers locked themselves in their stores.  The SWAT Team then performed a search of the mall.

In the meantime, an employee of nearby Lahey Clinic notified Burlington Police that he might be the man they were looking for.  The State Police confirmed that they had their man, but in fact, he was carrying an umbrella that was contained in a sling-like case and not a rifle.

About two and a half hours after the initial 911 call the Mall was reopened.

Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said police acted on the information available at the time.  “We had five people say it was a weapon.  We tell people to be aware and vigilant and report anything suspicious and we take all calls seriously.  If the same thing happened tomorrow we would have the same response.”

This incident is not isolated.  It happened at an Atlanta University Campus in the summer of 2010 where someone mistook a similar umbrella with a samurai sword-like handle for a weapon.
It resulted with the same over-the-top police response.

Moreover, some irresponsible umbrella manufactures intentionally design not only samurai sword-like handled umbrellas but also umbrella handles with realistic-looking rifle butts.  These do not look real, but many folks have never seen a real gun.

It seems to me that it is incumbent upon police, citizens, consumers as well as manufacturers of such products to use good judgment.

Good judgment would have dictated that a cadre of police officers should respond first and preliminarily investigate the report.  If they had, I am certain that they would have determined form the surveillance video that it was not a rifle.

A pragmatic approach would have been for shoppers to take a closer look first before they took action, even approach the suspect and inquire in a discreet way about what their suspect is carrying.  If they had, they would have discovered an umbrella does not look like a rifle.

Logic would have dictated that most likely a person is not going to walk around with an unconcealed weapon.  The greater concern should be the proliferation of guns and those that are concealed.

Manufacturers should exercise good judgment in the products they produce.  Customers also must exercise good judgment in the products they buy.  Caveat emptor is always wise before making any purchase.  Clearly any product that realistically looks like a samurai sword or a gun is sure to attract attention, especially from the police.

Contrary to Burlington Police Chief Kent, the police should not have the same response the next time.  The cost to deploy such an armada of police officers, the chance that such a call might be a decoy or a purposeful detraction from some real crime or even a terrorist act, the loss of business to the Mall, the unnecessary fear it aroused, and a concern for citizens whose lives would be significantly interrupted should dictate a more reasoned response the next time.

Fear is an important attribute, for it encourages us to take appropriate measures for our safety.  The call to be vigilant and report suspicious activity is important.  But it should always be accompanied with good judgment, commonly known as common sense.


Sources:

John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff, and Nicholas Goss and Katherine Landergan, Globe Correspondents, Mass. mall ‘gunman’ was just carrying umbrella, Boston.com Metro Desk

Marie Szaniszlo, Chief blasts sales of sword-style umbrella, BostonHerald.com

Read Full Post »

It’s discouraging that political bickering, books, movies, music, television, news broadcast and newspapers exploit sensationalism, not only visually, but also in language in order to rile others into action.  The words must be provocative; therefore, in one way or other, it must indulge in raunchy, invective, sarcastic, or other contemptible language.  Moreover, whether what is written or said is factual, fictitious or something in between, it does not seem to matter.  In short, it must satisfy America’s egregiously bizarre appetite for what, in their view, is entertaining.

In America, we have abandoned decency, civility, and honesty.  We have abandoned probity for whatever enhances one’s bottom line.  In using inappropriate, meaningless, and callous language, we have lost the essence of persuasion, rather, we engage in manipulation.  Embracing inappropriate language mars one’s ability to lead effectively.  Leaders, instead, become a bully on the pulpit.

As leaders, we must behave so others will emulate our actions.  So, using appropriate language in speech and writing is incumbent upon all of us.

It is not as if we do not have a better choice.  There are many resources available from which one can choose to select a suitable word, phrase, euphemism or metaphor to symbolize one’s intention, view or opinion.

In employing a higher standard vocabulary to construct meaningful expressions, one reduces the chance of any unintentional meaning or misinterpretation, enabling one to communicate complex ideas and concepts that are succinct and non-esoteric.  Furthermore, to use slang or gobbledygook is only a shortcut to circumvent the hard work of developing appropriate and more meaningful expressions.  When we use shortcuts, we may blur fact and fiction.

So it should go without saying, don’t use the language of television and radio talk show hosts, who depend on confrontation, recrimination, incendiary words and hyperbole as tools to fire up their supporters and to discredit competition that don’t agree with them.

And certainly do not employ metaphoric militaristic language that has become so popular.  Sarah Palin’s notable quotation, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” is a good example of this egregious style.

The essence of communication is the creation of understanding.  A writer or speaker sometimes may be communicating some very sophisticated and complex ideas or concepts to general audiences.  It therefore is incumbent on the speaker or writer to be considerate of the symbols they employ.

We need leaders, their spokespersons and interlocutors to serve people rather than prey on them.  They need to use words crafted to create understanding and not to intimidate or entertain rather than inform.

Read Full Post »

In 1993, mountaineer Greg Mortenson joined a group of climbers set out to climb K2, the second peak of Pakistan’s Karakoram Range in northern Kashmir.  The climb was cut short in order to rescue another climber, during which Mortenson became lost and disorientated.  Exhausted and weak, he stumbled into the village of Korphe.  The village’s chief elder, the late Haji Ali, welcomed him and took him in, caring for him until he was well.  During his recuperation, he recognized there was a desperate need for education, especially for girls.  To show his appreciation for their hospitality he organized the funding necessary to build Korphe a school for girls.  From that beginning, building schools for girls in Pakistan and later in Afghanistan turned out to be his life’s work.  Teaming up with the late Jean Hoerni, a Silicon Valley pioneer, in 1996 they co-founded the Central Asia Institute (CAI), a foundation dedicated to building schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.  In 1994, students at Westside Elementary School, River Falls, Wisconsin collected 62,340 pennies to help build a school in Pakistan, which became the name of CAI’s philanthropic program “Pennies for Peace.”

In recent years, Greg Mortenson has written two books, “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones to Schools,” and has taken on a hectic schedule of speaking engagements, all to promote the CAI’s mission.

According to CAI, it has built 170 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan, supported fully or partially 687 teachers, and say they have educated over 58,000 students of which 44, 000 are girls.  Mortenson claims “This year alone (2011), just in Afghanistan, CAI plans and already started work to establish and build 63 to 68 more, mostly girls’ schools, based on the significant donations received in 2009-2010.”

Unfortunately, a CBS “60 Minutes” investigation charged that Greg Mortenson’s book “Three Cups of Tea” is exaggerated and fabricated; alleges that many schools CIA built don’t exist or were built by others, and that CIA may have mishandled donations.

Greg Mortenson and CIA strongly dispute these accusations.

I cannot agree more with Daniel Glick who says, 60 Minutes expose on Three Cups of Tea is weak – and wrong, and, that [he has] “no doubt he[Mortenson] has done orders of magnitude more good than harm.”

In 2009, in recognition for his humanitarian work and promotion of girl’s schools and education, Greg Mortenson received the Sitara-e-Pakistan (Star of Pakistan), Pakistan’s highest civilian award.

In 2009, he was deservingly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, by several bi-partisan members of U.S. Congress, and according to Norwegian odd-makers was believed to have been in a handful of finalists of the Peace prize that was awarded to President Obama on October 10, 2009.

According to a CBS News Release in 2009, the late Don Hewitt, creator of
60 Minutes, “liked to say that 60 Minutes’ success was not the best thing to happen to the small screen.  Especially later in his life, he railed about how his news magazine changed television for the worse.  News programs were never supposed to make money, he argued, and the minute they did, the pressure was on for news to get ratings.  The quest for ratings led to more sensational topics on an increasingly larger number of broadcasts.  Indeed, as soon as 60 Minutes broke the top 20 in 1977, a parade of imitators began and, at one point in the late ‘90s, nearly 30 percent of the top 20 programs were news magazines.  Hewitt began to say publicly that ‘behind every news magazine there is a failed sitcom’ – the networks were using the format to cover their mistakes, not the news.”

And so, “60 Minutes” is certainly no stranger to “yellow journalism,” and there is more than enough evidence of what stirs audiences to read or view certain material, clearly illustrating that sensationalism rules over probity.

It is my fervent hope that other reputable news outlets in their pursuit for sensationalism can produce evidence of where “60 Minutes” missed the boat.  After all, what news organization would not jump at the chance of proving a competitor wrong?

Sources:

60 Minutes, The Program Video Sunday, April 17, 2011

CBS News, Questions over Greg Mortenson’s stories, 60 Minutes

Daniel Glick, 60 Minutes expose on Three Cups of Tea is weak – and wrong, DanielGlick.net

Photojournalist Ellen Jaskol and author Karin Ronnow, Journey of Hope, Central Asia Institute

Greg Mortenson and CAI’s responses:

Greg Mortenson’s Message to Supporters
CAI Board of Directors Statement 04/16/11
CAI Board of Directors Response to “60 Minutes” Questions
Greg Mortenson’s response to “60 Minutes” Questions

Read Full Post »

In Chris Hellman’s article for Tomgram he calculates “The Real U.S. National Security Budget” outlay at $1.2  to $1.3 trillion.  The 2012 national security budget request is for $1.030–$1.415 trillion.  While the 2011 United States federal budget request by President Obama puts federal budget expenditures at $3.82 trillion, with a deficit of $1.65 trillion.

There are national security costs that are unknown and could in reality increase these costs even more.  Some of the unknowns are supplemental appropriations for defense, such as last year’s H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010, and “Top Secret America, a hidden world, growing beyond control [that] has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”  And there are contingencies such as Libya: “On the first day of strikes alone, U.S.-led forces launched 112 long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, which cost about $1 million to $1.5 million apiece, from ships stationed off the Libyan coast.  That totaled $112 million to $168 million.”

In reality, national security costs already add-up to greater than one-third, and possibly could end up at one-fourth to a half, of the federal budget.

Independents, democrats, and republicans alike have an egregiously disproportionate regard to funding national security, which supersedes any concern for the wellbeing of needy Americans.  Homeland Security and the Pentagon are rampant with cost excesses. For example, the Navy has eleven carrier strike groups.  Each group has a complement of 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier with an air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft, at least one cruiser, and two destroyers.  As James Carroll points out in “Our misguided faith in strength, More personnel serve on just one carrier task force than the total of US foreign service officers.  The familiar fact bears emphasizing: the State Department spends less than $50 billion annually, compared to the nearly trillion-dollar Pentagon — and Republicans want to cut the State Department even more.”  Carroll also points out that we are “spending more than the rest of the world combined on weapons and warriors.  …In fact, we outspend … China, roughly by a factor of 10.”

Bush’s “war on terror,” including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, since the 9/11 terror attacks and through 2010, have cost an estimated $1.15 trillion, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Bush borrowed most of the money to fund these wars.  At the same time, Bush and the republican majority cut taxes on the wealthy, pushing the middle class into poverty while bolstering America’s plutocracy.  At the beginning of this year, Obama compromised with republicans to extend Bush’s tax cuts for another two years, even though they were cognizant of the fact that these tax cuts would increase the deficit  by $858 billion dollars, and has become one of the deficit’s principal drivers.

This alone is proof positive that there is a lack of concern for Americans on Main Street, never mind the wellbeing of needy Americans, yet then we have Wisconsin Republican and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” the republican 2012 budget resolution.  It is designed “to trim more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade by reworking and cutting Medicaid and Medicare, defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, cutting farm subsidies, and other discretionary spending.  Additionally, Ryan proposes a tax rate reduction to 25 percent for affluent individuals, corporations, and to end deductions.

Republicans say they are proposing budget cuts in non-defense discretionary spending, despite the fact that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security constitute mandatory spending.  National security is necessary, but the sky is not the limit.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya fall under the category of discretionary spending, since it was America’s choice to engage in those endeavors.

And, it’s important to note that Obama’s spending plan also targets non-defense discretionary spending, cutting into programs that assist the poor, help the needy heat their homes, and expand access to graduate-level education.

Despite the fact that “A majority of Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health programs,” to the President and congress national security spending remains sacrosanct.  It’s America’s Sacred Cow.

RELATED VIDEO: Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 3): Cost of War
SOURCES:

Jacob Weisberg, “Good Plan!”  Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2290509/

E.J. Dionne, Jr., “The Right’s War on Moderation,” TruthDig.com: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_rights_war_on_moderation_20110406/. Posted on Apr 6, 2011

Jay Bookman, “The Ryan budget, Part I: Social Security,” Atlanta Journal- Constitution: http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/04/05/the-ryan-budget-part-i-social-security/

Jay Bookman, “The Ryan budget plan, Part II: Medicare,” Atlanta Journal- Constitution: http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/04/05/7498/

Jay Bookman, “The Ryan budget plan, Part III: More trickle-down,” Atlanta Journal- Constitution: http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/04/06/the-ryan-budget-plan-part-iii-more-trickle-down/

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Military budget of the United States’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 April 2011, 15:21 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Military_budget_of_the_United_States&oldid=423031582 [accessed 9 April 2011]

Christopher Hellman, “FY 2012 Budget Request: Detailed Numbers,” Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: http://armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/fy_2012_detailed_numbers/

Matthew Potter, “Despite Record Defense Spending Layoffs Starting to Mount,” Defense Procurement News: http://www.defenseprocurementnews.com/2011/02/15/despite-record-defense-spending-layoffs-starting-to-mount/

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Carrier strike group’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 March 2011, 01:19 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Carrier_strike_group&oldid=421413335 [accessed 9 April 2011]

Dana Priest and William M Arkin, “Top Secret America,” The Washington Post: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/

Christopher Hellman, “The Real U.S. National Security Budget,” TomDipatch.com: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175361/tomgram%3A_chris_hellman%2C_%241.2_trillion_for_national_security

James Carroll, “Our misguided faith in strength,” Boston.com: http://articles.boston.com/2011-03-28/bostonglobe/29360545_1_military-force-carrier-task-force-pentagon

Jennifer Liberto ,“Medicaid reduced by $1 trillion in GOP Plan,” Money.CNN.com: http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/05/news/economy/medicaid_cuts_budget_republicans/index.htm

Juan Cole, “The $1 Trillion Cost of War: Rethinking Afghanistan, Pt. 3,” JuanCole.com: http://www.juancole.com/2010/07/the-cost-of-war-rethinking-afghanistan-pt-3.html

Huffington Post, “Obama Budget Proposal: Cuts To Target Working Poor, Middle Class & Students (LIVE UPDATES),” HuffPost Politics: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/13/obama-budget-proposal-cut_n_822689.html

Read Full Post »

 

Around 475 BC, Leucippus, and his pupil Democritus developed a philosophical hypothesis of atomism, a doctrine postulating that simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles were the basic components of the universe.

About 4 centuries later, in 50 BC, Roman poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus published his epic poem “De rerum natura,” which when translated means “on the nature of things.”  Considered a masterpiece of Epicurean philosophy, it portrays nature as a source of life, death, joy, peace, and terror, and describes how human beings should conduct themselves in their relationships.  Lucretius conceived that the world could be understood by reason and that religion only aroused fear; that pursuing friendships over belligerence will avoid war; and that in Epicureanism lays the world’s best hope for happiness.  In his poem, Leucippus also describes atoms as the building blocks of every object and living thing, and predicts an infinite universe.

Today, about 20 centuries later, from that first philosophical concept of an atom, evolving technology

has made possible scientific study of sub-atomic reality.  Physicists such as Amit Goswami, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, are now exploring what quantum physics tell us about the origins of the universe: the factual nature of reality rather than its conventional perception, and of life itself.

What Hawking and Mlodinow, as well as Goswami and others have come up with, so far, is that “the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously.  When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect.  But the ‘top-down’ [downwards causation] approach to cosmology they describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us.  … the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.”

If, right now, all sentient life ceased to exist, would geologic or cosmic reality continue to exist?  It would not.  That is because sentient life creates its own reality, a reality that can only exist within our laws of physics, biology, and chemistry, which paradoxically in itself is a result of our own creation.  Our sentience, from which all phenomena are created, depends on chemical reactions to provide the sensory information that enables hearing, vision, touch, smell, and taste, as well as to form objects.  Without that cause and effect, nothing would exist.  Moreover, Amit Goswami says, “we become one with the neuronal images of an external object because of a strange loop circularity known as tangled hierarchy, wherein the “observer is the observed.”

The evidence clearly suggests that all sentient beings are reciprocally interconnected.  We have an inherent unity of consciousness, what Amit Goswami refers to as “monistic idealism,” the “downwards causation” view that consciousness is the foundation of everything that is now or ever will be.  The existence of consciousness is much like that of light: omnipresent but not visible.

Other than being curiously interesting, arousing one’s interest because of its novelty and strangeness, why are these findings important?

Foremost, it is necessary to come to an understanding that the purpose of our life is our evolution — not just Darwinian, but also in every other sense of that word.  A process of fluctuation, change and eventual transformation takes place in all creation.  Before the birth of Jesus Christ, Leucippus postulated that simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles were the basic components of the universe, a philosophical notion.  In 1900, the discovery of quantum mechanics brought science to the scientific study of the structure and behavior of atoms and molecules.  Today, Amit Goswami and others are studying the primacy of consciousness, where it is not atoms and molecules that are the basis of reality, but rather, the reality is that “consciousness is the ground of all being.”  The pursuit in life should not be for material things; it is the pursuit of knowledge and unity of consciousness that will bring a better life over time through change.  For, it is the lack of knowledge that has caused the world’s ills, and it is the gain of knowledge over time that is its cure.

The advancement of knowledge in science and technology, so far, has brought a more comfortable life with more conveniences for most people, while change has been slow in how humans conduct their relationships: we still cling to belligerence, violence, and war as solutions to conflict.  The cause has been a worldview grounded in religious values and materialism motivated by a quest for power and wealth.  But, the determination of Hawking, Mlodinow, and Goswami is that we must change our worldview if we are to progress and achieve world peace.

Achieving world peace will never come to fruition until the world understands that a pursuit of love and friendship, and embracing human values over religious, materialistic, and monetary values are the only way we will avoid war and unnecessary human conflict.  Moreover, there needs to be an understanding that peace is a process, and a way of living, a way of thinking, and a way of being.

These principles originating in consciousness are our only best hope for happiness.

Sources:

Amit Goswami, Center for Quantum Activism, http://www.amitgoswami.org/

Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, “The Grand Design”
Bantam | 2010 | ISBN: 0553805371 | 208 pages | PDF | 10,4 MB

Peter Russell, The Spirit of Now, http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php

Craig Hamilton, Scientific Proof of the Existence of God, an interview with Amit Goswami, EnlightenmentNext’ magazine: http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j11/goswami.asp

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: