Magic Moment

Magic Moment
Some times your there at the right moment!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where is God?

Where is God?

Yes, I’m walking into dangerous territory. I am about step into the cosmic dodo. What the heck, let’s just go for the ride and enjoy this discussion. For a few minutes, let’s set aside our current point of view and look at the universe in a few different ways. Why do this? OK, it is just healthy and can be fun.

There are many religions, cultures, sects, ideologies and individuals that have opposing beliefs about where, if, who and how God exists. Let’s look at the famous Allen Watts description of the three most commonly held world views of God.

1. God as a maker of artefacts (the universe). A God who created the universe with “his” hands. Much like you would make a clay pot. This God is outside of the universe and manages everything from a location outside of our experience. “He” is out there or up there, “he” does not live in our universe.

2. God as the dreamer. This version of God creates the universe in “his” dream. There is no distinction or separation between anything. Everything is part of God’s Dream. This view might remind you of the movie The Matrix.

3. God as a living organism. In this view of the universe, everything just exists much like a single cell organism just exists. This Universe exists because it does. It is because it is. There is no understandable meaning that can define the “who or what” of this God. You cannot comprehend what you are immersed in. A fish may experience water the same way we experience the air we breathe. Normally we do not notice the air we breathe because we are immersed in air.

Yes it is a lot to digest. Could you see your version of God in these three generalized views? These three descriptions are not meant to replace a true study or research of religion. These generalizations are being presented here to provide a high level point of reference. Look at these three descriptions as models of how the universe works. We can then experiment with any specific observation in terms of these models. We could test out some observations of human behaviour in these models see if we can predict the result. A good model can simulate a process and suggest a result. For example scientists use models to predict the weather.

So, let’s test a few behaviours against these models and see what happens.

How would people, who believe in God as a Dreamer, view the birth and death cycle? Perhaps if you ascribe to God as the Dreamer, then reincarnation could be a real possibility in your world.

On the other hand, if you believed in God as an Organism, then perhaps a holistic life style would be highly valued. In your universe as a living organism, everything you do has a impact on everything else around you.

What if your God is a creator of Artefacts? How might this person behave or view the world if everything is “made” by God?

Can we predict how two people with different views of God would react to having same experience? Say, look at worldwide war and how two people discussing the impact of World War II might react to each other. The “God as a Dreamer” might tell the “God as a maker of Artefacts” person that in the “big picture” the impact of World War II has no meaning because it is just a dream.

So, where the heck is God? Well perhaps our personal definition of God is more useful knowledge then understanding where God is located.

That’s what I think, how about you?

Steve Oliver
June 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is Energy?

What is Energy?

A simple science definition of Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work. Energy has been studied, researched and utilized in a variety of means for many years. However, whatever the form or source of the Energy it all has the same characteristics. Some of the more interesting characteristics of Energy are:

      1. Energy cannot be destroyed or created
      2. Energy has many forms – Light, Heat, Gravity and more
      3. One form of Energy can be transformed into another form
      4. All movement requires Energy
      5. Still Objects are described as having “Potential Energy” 
Eastern sages considered Energy as being everything and that Energy is the only thing that exists. In fact the sage’s description of the creation of the universe is very close to our recent scientific discoveries about The Big Bang Theory. It is only very recently that scientist discovered what the Eastern sages have been talking about for 1,000’s of years!

      1. There is only one Energy that can take many forms
      2. That Energy is conscious and is aware of itself
      3. All other forms of Energy come from “The One” Energy
      4. All other forms of Energy return to “The One” Energy 

 Most ancient  cultures have a version of this description of Energy. The Theory of Ying and Yang is an excellent example of the description of “The One” Energy. But variations can be found in many religions and cultures dating back thousands of years. The largest scientific study EVER conducted is being implemented today in Switzerland. The goal of The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) study is to prove the existence of “The One” Energy or particle. The scientific world has named this particle “The God” particle.

The CERN Hicks "God Particle" Analysis

Ok, now that everyone agrees that there is only one Energy in the universe, so what? In our day to day existence how is this information going to help us? What does this mean? What does it matter?

Perhaps everything we see, feel, hear and in anyway experience is part of this one Energy. What if our earlier North American cultures understood this knowledge at a deep personal level? If we believe this then everything has the same intrinsic value. Perhaps this explains why some cultures respect all expressions of this conscious Energy. These cultures have the highest regard for nature and all life forms.  Whatever we experience has to be part of this “One” Energy.  There is no other option.

However, we do not normally experience this "One" Energy. On a day to day basis we experience the differences of life.  The differences is sometimes call the Duality.  Meditation is one method we can use to gain an understanding of the"One" energy.  This is some times called being at one with nature.

That is what I think? What do you think?

Steve Oliver

August 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What is Attachment?

What is Attachment?

The concept of attachment has several possible meanings. Using a physical definition, attachment could be viewed as the process of connecting two “things “together, such as when I want to attach a button to my shirt. This is a very basic definition. We have two separate things and we want to attach them together. An interesting note is that this process will require the use energy.

So, a basic definition could be: Attachment is the use of energy to maintain a connection between two separate things.

When I look at attachment as it applies to personal development, my physical definition seems to still hold true. The only difference is that the “things” we are attaching together are thoughts. A personal development definition could be: Attachment is the use of our personal energy to maintain a connection between two thoughts or concepts. In this case, one of the two things could be the concept of you. An example would be thinking that “I want a new car” or “I desire you”. We are connecting the thought of me with the thought of a car. The last time I checked we cannot physically connect with a car, another person or with anything. However, we can think about being connected with a car or another person.

However, even when I have purchased that car or married that lady, all these connections are still a concept or an understanding. I do not really own the car it only appears that way. Yes, we have laws that prove that I own that car. But this only works when everyone else believes in the same laws as I do. Someone who disregards this law could believe that is OK to just take my car.

Perhaps a more personal or spiritual view of attachment is that it is The Process of wanting to maintain a connection between ourselves and anything else. As it turns out, understanding deeper meanings of attachment is considered the key to personal happiness and joy. Being able to detach these connections when they no longer serve our needs is key to our happiness and wellness.

Learning how to “Detach” is the technique of letting go of the connection between you and a thought. Most of us continually maintain these connections sub-consciously or automatically. On a moment to moment basic we re-build these connections and maybe totally unaware of this activity.

I believe that attachments are great. Without attachment we would not have likes, desires and goals. Life could become very dry and uninteresting. Hey, get everything that you want in life! The only issue is when our attachments begin to give us sadness and suffering. Unless you enjoy sadness and suffering, perhaps you should let those attachments dissolve. Yes, you do have the power to just let go of all those attachments that no longer server you. Just let them go.

OK, so it not really that easy!   Yes, you do have to some work!  However learning to "Detach" is totally within your abilities.  The rewards are truly worth all the work.

That’s what I think. What do you think?

Steve Oliver
June 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

What is in a Thought?

What is in a Thought?

What is in a thought? Have you ever wondered what a thought was made out of? We have these things called thoughts all the time. When we are talking, resting and working we may have thoughts. So what are these things called thoughts? Some thoughts make us happy and some make us sad. Some thoughts motivate us to take action and still others may cause us to procrastinate.

Scientist can measure our mental activity when we are thinking. Some measurements show the electrical activity changes while other research has shown the blood flow patterns associated with the thinking process. Then there is the more recent research that shows significant chemical activity changes take place when we are thinking. Scientist have mapped thousands of specialized chemicals generated in and around the brain when we are thinking.

We can recognize when we are thinking and identify when we are being quite. In fact, we have the ability to watch ourselves having a thought! The actual activity of thinking can be observed as if someone else was having our thoughts. Meditation can be used to enhance our ability to control our thoughts. It has been said that our thoughts are the only thing we can control. We can choose to think about anything we want.

How about this? Do we have thoughts when we are not consciences? What are we doing when are not have any thoughts? Are there ways of thinking that are more powerful or more desirable the other methods of thinking? What is the relationship between our senses and our thoughts?

Some of our thoughts are memories of the past, some thoughts are about the future and yet others contemplate our current experiences. The mind has the ability to think about the past, present and future in an elegant and fluid mix of images, sounds, textures and with all of our senses. Can you recall the Christmas mornings with the smell of your mother’s turkey cooking. Recall that feeling of getting your first childhood kiss. Or what will you new car look like? How will you feel when you receive that award?

Is there any limit to our ability to contemplate our reality?

What are our thoughts made out of? Where do our thoughts come from and where do they go? And.. Does it matter? Perhaps the answers to these questions do not matter. Perhaps by definition a thought cannot be held, measured or in any meaningful way be contained. Hey we do not question the act of sight; so why should we question the act of thinking. Thinking may be our six sense!  Perhaps thinking is our way of "feeling" or "sensing" our reality.

What do you think?

Steve Oliver
June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Starting a New Life's Project?

Starting a New Life's Project

Oh what fun it is! What a joy! You are starting a new business or creating a significant change in your life? Getting ready to get married or buying your first home? Just completed college or university and looking for your first job?

It is all just so easy, right?  It is a “piece of cake”?  Starting a new life project is just real easy.  Everything goes just the way you want.  No confusion and every decision you make is perfect.

OK, as they say in the computer business: “That’s the demo version!” What is reality?

In reality, you may get frustrated, make many errors and wonder why the heck you started this project. Sometimes people get the “Demo Version” and everything goes just perfect.  However, for most of us, it is really hard to make major changes.  People experience a lot of chaos when making a major change or starting a significant life project.

It seems like the larger the project or the more significant the life change the more chaos we experience. The chaos can be so intense that we may even stop the project or decide the price for making the life change is too expensive. We may “back off”, run like heck and try to avoid the project or change. The chaos may have just become way too intense!   You may even feel physcally bad, not able to eat and feel sick.

Have you ever tried to stop smoking?  Leave a long term dysfunctional relationship?  Hey, these are all good things to do in your life.  So, why do we experience all this chaos when we are trying to do “good” things in our lives?

Ok, let’s look at it a different way.  What if the experience of chaos was an indicator that we are having some success?  The act of experiencing all this confusion, doubt, anxiety and the eruption of chaos may be normal.

Consider these three levels of learning and personal growth:
  1. First we are totally ignorant of what we need to know inorder to make the change,
  2. Then we become knowledgeable about what we don’t know and we may panic,
  3. Finally we gain some understanding and begin to master this new knowledge.

The chaos usually happens in the second level.  If you are at the second level, keep going until you reach the third level.  It has been proven that people on the second level may become totally messed up and confused.  The brain just does not have the neural pathways to complete the tasks.  The process of creating the needed neural pathways or learn the new skills, takes time, practice and patience.  Do not quit!  If this change is important to you than just keep going until to reach the third level.  Just trust that you can do it!

More later..

Steve Oliver
May 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why should I meditate?

Why Should I Meditate?

The art of meditation may seem like a mystery.   If you have never tried to meditate or have not researched it, you may have some vague impressions about the art.  There are many different descriptions about meditation and lots of mis-information about this age old art.   Some people view meditation as a religion while others view it as a science.  There are numerous schools, churches, healing centres  and institutes dedicated to the art of meditation.    

Hey, most if not all of the major world contributors practiced the art of meditation.   Great people like Mahatma Gandhi, The Beatles, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King and the list could go on and on..

Perhaps one good question maybe “What did these great men and women of the world gain from meditation?”.  So, what is the big deal?  Perhaps these great people were born with special “gifts”.  Maybe these great people of the world were lucky and were given special powers and wisdom.  It could be argued that some people have great understanding and wisdom and others just do not.  Some just have “it”. 

Is it really true that some have “it” and others do not?  And what heck is this “it”?  And what does the art of meditation have to do with anything?  Let us just call this “it” ones  Personal Power.  With that, let’s take a deeper look at meditation.

Well, I can see three major types of meditation;  guided, focused and empty.  The guided meditation cover styles like group prayer and meditation for a specific goal or outcome.  Focused meditations styles include chanting, mantras or watching one’s breath.  Finally, the empty meditation is when we detach and specifically avoid “thinking”.

OK, so what does all that mean?  It means that  we can train our mind.  We can enhance the way we think.   From the time we are conceived, we begin to develop our ability to think.  At some point, we become an adult with some level of mental ability.   We end up with our unique level of understanding and ability to comprehend the world.  

Brain research has proven that our ability to learn is vast.  We have the ability to grow new neural pathways all of our lives.  So what is the connection between neural pathways, meditation and personal power? 

The neural pathways in our brains is our programming.   This programming determines everything in our lives.  Perhaps our neural pathways  might have something to do with one's level of personal power?  Here is a basic definition of meditation: “An exercise to enhance on mind.”

And most important, with the practice of meditation, we can continue to change and grow more neural pathways for the rest of our lives, thus continuing to enhance our Personal Power.

What do you think?

Steve Oliver
May 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do Our Feelings Lie?

Do our Feelings Lie?

Our day to day experiences can seem to generate fear, anxiety and other negative emotions.  We may even make some very important decisions based on how we emotionally “feel”.

Hold on now! Our emotional state of mind should be the direct result of what we are thinking.  The things in our lives and our actions do not by themselves have feelings.  So if we have positive thoughts about a thing or action we create a positive emotional state of mind.  That makes sense to me.

However, we do the opposite.  We believe that a strong negative emotion means that we are about to do something wrong, or that something “bad” is about to happen.  In this way, our emotions can miss lead us. The problem is that our emotions do not have any content.  Emotions are a state on mind and are not real.  In reality our emotions come and go based on how we are thinking.

Strong positive or negative emotions mean only one thing....
We are having positive or negative thoughts about the past, present or the future.  That’s all.

Making decisions based on how we emotionally “feel” may result in poor quality decisions.  Why?  Because how we think about the past, present and future is subjective.  Each person sees the world differently.  And our beliefs change over time.  What we believed to be bad yesterday could be perceived to be good today.  We can change the way we think about the world and this will change our emotional state of mind.

Our moment to moment emotion state are very important.  Our emotional state of mind gives us valuable feedback about our world.  Strong negative or positive emotions can help us understand what we are focused on or thinking about.  What we want or what we don’t want.

So, do emotions lie?  Well, perhaps they don’t lie because they can't.  However when we assign a meaning to our emotions we put the cart before the horse.  Perhaps our emotions do not have any actual meaning.   Perhaps our emotions are just a reaction to what we are thinking.

What do you think?
More later ...

Steve Oliver
May 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yikes - More Internet Exposure

OK, I know! Yet another way of reaching out to the world.

Here is the deal. I'll share what I see, hear and learn. I love to travel, meet people and learn new things.

Perhaps the information I post will create some interesting communication with others.