miercuri, 28 mai 2008

Music for the soul

Austin Hartley-Leonard,
singer songwriter, born in Illinois,
residing in Austin, TX,
presents some nice shows,
playing live music,
leading vocal and guitar plus other instruments.

you can dowload at least one of his songs,
the shore and stars,

luni, 26 mai 2008

You Know You're In Trouble When...

You make more than you ever made, owe more than you ever owed, and have less than you've ever had.

sâmbătă, 24 mai 2008

What is Reality (And Why Should You Care)?

by Bill Harris,
Director, Centerpointe Research Institute

What is reality? What's it all about? Why are we here? These are questions many people fail to consider anymore in this age of quantum mechanics, computers, and high-tech gadgets. I guess people either think they know, or they think the questions have become irrelevant.

Personally, I think these are amazing, and even awe-inspiring, questions.

Alan Watts used to say that a philosopher—the kind of person who would consider such questions—is a kind of intellectual yokel who is amazed by things other people take for granted. "What is reality?" the philosopher asks, while the "normal" person says, "Beats me. Who cares? Let's go do something." To the philosopher, this question continues to evoke awe and wonder, but most people brush it aside as irrelevant.

I'm asking this question, though, not to have my head in the clouds or to discover how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but rather for very practical reasons. If there is an assumed, shared answer to this question, that underlies our way of living and seeing things—even though we may not be able to articulate it—and this answer is steering us into trouble, into suffering, into an inability to thrive in the world, then perhaps re- examining it could be a worthwhile idea.

For thousands of years, mystics have said that there is one energy in the universe, that the universe and everything in it is the play, the dance, the vibration, of that one energy. Underneath the seeming multiplicity, they say, everything is made of the same substance. This energy, they say, is everywhere, and "everywhen." This principle is sometimes described as Omnipresence, or God. The Hindus and Buddhists call this principle, Sat-one energy, everywhere, making up everything, always, past, present, and future.

Quantum mechanical physicists, for several decades, have been saying the same thing. They notice that on the sub-atomic level, particles come into being, seemingly out of nothing, and dissolve and disappear back into nothing, that two or more particles collide, and one, two, three, or more particles, of a different kind, appear from the collision, or all the particles cease to exist. There is a "something" that everything comes out of and returns to, and which makes up, or is the background of, everything.

The mystics, however, went one step further. In addition to noting that this one energy is omnipresent, they also said something else that I think is rather startling. They said that this one energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen: that it is conscious, that it has consciousness. The mystics called this second characteristic of reality Chit.

Consciousness, in this sense, is not the same as what we would ordinarily think of as "knowing," in a cognitive sense. This is not the same as your senses and your brain knowing or recognizing something, though that's one of the only reference points we have, intellectually, for understanding the term consciousness. Ultimately, you have to experience being it, and I'll talk more later about what I mean by that.

So, we have this one energy, this oneness, this unity, that is in and behind and over and around and through everything, and this energy of unity, this Oneness, is aware of itself being everything. Now, just for a moment, pretend that you are this one energy. If you were everything, there would be nothing outside of you to fear. That would be like fearing your own hand. If everything is you, and you're everything, there's nothing to fear.

There would also be nothing to get, nothing you would lack, because you're everything. There would also be no where to go, since you're already everywhere. So, here you are, everything, always, everywhere, with nothing to want, nothing to fear, no where to go.

If you had this awareness of who you are, you would be...happy, peaceful, blissful. So the third characteristic of reality, according to the mystics, is called Ananda, which means bliss.

So the mystical explanation of reality is called "satchitananda", which means one energy, everywhere, out of which everything is made and everything comes, aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen, and as a result it is blissful, happy, peaceful.

This, according to the mystical view, is who you really are. Your fears, your desires, your idea that you have to get to somewhere, the idea that you lack something, is, in this view, an illusion. You are not a separate ego in a bag of skin, but rather are this oneness.

Sure, you say. How poetic. Pie in the sky. Sounds nice, and I've heard it all before. But if this is true, why am I so unhappy so much of the time? Why do I feel so powerless. Whydoes it seem as if I am a separate creature in what looks to be a pretty dangerous world?

I mean, to live I need a constant supply of a very specific combination of gases to breath. I need food on a regular basis, or I die. I need to keep the temperature of my environment within a certain narrow range. And there's ultraviolet rays, and other dangerous electromagnetic forces, and poisons, and dangerous people who want to hurt me, and if I get just a few miles away from the surface of a planet (which needs a certain atmosphere, at a certain temperature, and which needs to be a certain distance from a certain kind of star), I can't survive.

Why, then, if I'm this one energy of everything, do I feel so isolated, so separate- and why am I so unhappy so often?

Well, the mystics have an answer for this question, and you've heard it before, and you may not like it, but here it is: you aren't happy and peaceful and in touch with the fact that you are all and everything, everywhere, eternally peaceful and blissful, because of your mind. Your mind is in the way of your experience of who you really are.

In fact, as we will see, your mind is creating an alternate reality, that is, in a sense, like dust covering a mirror and keeping you from seeing who you really are.

Seeing that the mind gets in the way and obscures your true nature from you, the mystics came up with some methods for perceiving reality directly, without the filter of the mind, and the most effective and most popular of those is meditation. Meditation is designed to still the mind, until eventually you gain enough control that you can look directly at reality, rather than filtering reality through the mind.

Those that master this ability to see reality directly report some rather startling things about it, and as we go along, I'm going to discuss this in much more depth.

Here's something to think about: Let's start with the premise that your mind is creating your reality. I hope by now, if you've been involved with me for any length of time, you understand that. So, assuming that that is the case, as long as you attend to what the mind creates and see it as "reality", you miss anything else that may be there.

When the mind wildly jumps around, creating, without your intention, really, a whole universe, inside and out, that universe will grab all your attention, and that's all you'll see. As the mind becomes quieter, however, you begin to see the spaces between what the mind creates, like parting the branches in a thicket to see snatches of the meadow and the sky beyond.

Mystics have also said that at the moment of creation, this one energy of all and everything polarized itself into a seeming duality: good and evil, up and down, male and female, here and there, black and white, off and on, yin and yang, and so on. And there is a tension between the two sides of each of these poles, and the mystics say that this tension between polar opposites is what causes the universe to manifest in the first place.

Now notice that I said this duality is a "seeming" duality. The reason why this duality, these opposites, only seem to exist is that each side of the duality depends on the other side for it's existence. Here makes no sense without there. Not me makes no sense without me. Good makes no sense without evil. Each of these exist only in relation to the other. They are not, as we usually think of them, mutually exclusive opposites, but rather aspects of the same thing, the same process.

Each of these seemingly opposite poles are, really, totally dependent on each other. They are one thing, not two. In being opposite, they are also inextricably tied to each other, and cannot exist independently. They're like two sides of the same coin. You can't have a one- sided coin, and the two aspects of duality cannot exist separately either, nor can one win out over the other. I'll have a lot more to say about this later, and why it is such an important point on a very practical level.

Something else I find very interesting is that this tension between polar opposites is reflected in the human brain. Your brain is divided into two hemispheres, a left and a right hemisphere, connected by a small piece of tissue called the corpus collossum.

And, it's possible for one side of the brain to be more active, more dominant, than the other at any given time. This situation, dominance of one side of the brain over the other, is called brain lateralization.

The most interesting thing about brain lateralization is that the more the brain is lateralized, the more unbalanced it is, the more likely we are to perceive things as separate. The more the brain is lateralized the more we miss the way in which good and evil, here and there, me and not-me, on and off, life and death, and all the other pairs of so- called opposites, are really aspects of the same thing.

On the other hand, the more balanced the brain is, the less the brain is lateralized to one side or the other, the more we naturally see how the two sides of any duality are really one, and the more you perceive how everything is connected. When we see in this way, we get more and more in touch with that satchitananda I described.

In other words, when I say the mind gets in the way of seeing and experiencing who you really are, it would be more accurate to say that the lateralized mind, the lateralized brain, gets in the way of seeing who you really are, the one timeless energy of all and everything.

When you do see who you really are, you relax. As I said, when you see reality directly, when you directly perceive who you really are, without the mind getting in the way and imposing the world it creates on top of everything, there's nowhere to go, nothing to get, nothing to fear. as a result, you relax and experience yourself as happiness, love, peace, and bliss.

This is where meditation comes in, because meditation is designed to balance the brain, which allows you to increasingly experience who you are. Meditation, in balancing the brain, helps to get the mind out of the way, allowing you to experience yourself, and reality, directly, and when this happens, everything flows.

Now some people, when I describe things in this way, have this idea that if you were able to see reality directly in the way I've described, that you would be this blob of Jello with no motivation and no connection to life as we know it. This however, is not at all what happens.

When you see who you really are, you still are aware of the world the mind creates, the world of things and events, and you still participate in it. You know, however, all the while, that it's all a game, a play, and nothing, really, can go wrong. Or, rather, that whatever happens, you (and everyone and everything else) is still that one energy of all and everything.

There are two ways of seeing things. In one way, the conventional way, we see the separation of things and the tension between opposites, and buy into its reality. This could be called "The Game of Black and White."

The problem with this way of seeing things is that when we play, we add a rule that gives us a lot of trouble: the rule that White Must Win. We think good must win over evil, without realizing that the two depend on each other, and cannot exist independently. We want life to win out over death, again without realizing that they are one thing, not two.

This struggle to make what cannot be, be, creates suffering.

The other way of seeing things involves acknowledging that all the seeming opposites are one system, one organism, and that everything "goes-with" everything else, and that fighting to make one side disappear or lose is futile.

Now this doesn't mean that you don't strive to be good, or to stay alive, but it does mean that you realize that this striving is not to be taken too seriously, and that you don't need to suffer over it.

Suffering, as Buddha said, is caused by attachment, and being attached to one side of a duality "winning" is as silly as being attached to throwing a ball in the air and it never coming down. It won't happen.

In fact, I'll tell you that operating in this other way, in which you see things as more of a game, works much better. Since I've adopted it, I'll tell you that I have much more passion for life, not less. I get better results. I feel more alive, not less. I just don't have to suffer over things being different than I would like them to be.

Ironically, the more you adopt this more conscious posture toward life, the less you are attached to what happens, or how it happens, the more things seem to happen the way you would like them to happen. You would think that the more attached you are, the more you would strive and the more things would go your way, but that isn't how it works.

When you adopt the posture I'm advocating, life becomes effortless, and what needs to happen, happens. It's as if the whole universe lined up on your side to help you. And when things turn out differently than you wanted, you just go on, remaining just as happy as if they had gone the way you wanted.

So, you ask, how do you get to this place? Well, there are many ways, and I don't claim Holosync is the only way, and it may not even be the best way, though it's the best way I have found.

I suggest you diligently meditate with Holosync, since doing so creates the changes in the brain that allow you to see how things are connected, and how everything works together.

And the second thing I suggest is learning what I'm teaching in my Life Principles Integration Process.

If you do these things, you become conscious of how your mind is creating your reality. At the very least, you become able to direct that creation in the direction you want. Then, if you want to go further, you can, at will, step out of the world created by your mind, and stand aside from it, so to speak, while still participating.

My view is that your participation in the world improves when you masters this perspective. Like getting all the taste without the calories, developing this kind of conscious awareness gives you all the zest for life without the suffering.

If you'd like to experience the kind of dramatic, positive change Holosync audio technology can create in your life, read the introduction which details all the benefits and reveals the scientific proof behind Holosync (and includes an extremely attractive, money-saving offer) found on the homepage.

miercuri, 21 mai 2008

Logically speaking


Which is worse: Ignorance or Apathy? Who knows? Who cares?

Why do psychics always have to ask for your name?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morailty come from morons?

Why is getting beat up and getting beat down the same thing?

If winners never quit, and quitters never win... then why do we say quit while you're ahead?

If knowledge is power, and power corrupts... Then School is Evil!

If man evolved from monkees and apes, then why do we still have monkees and apes?

If a trick-or-treater comes to your door wearing a sheet, are they a ghost, or a mattress?

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

If someone with multiple personality disorder threatens to kill themselves, is it considered suicide or a hostage situation?

Is a fly with no wings still a fly? Wouldn't it be a walk or a hop?

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

How come wrong numbers are never busy?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Does killing time damage eternity?

Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn't they be wearing night gowns?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?

Why is it that when we bounce a check, the bank charges us more of what they already know we don't have any of?

Why is it that night falls but day breaks?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why can't you make another word using all the letters in "anagram"?

Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop?

Why is it that we recite at a play and play at a recital?

Do jellyfish get gas from eating jellybeans?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Why don't tomb, comb, and bomb sound alike?

Have you ever seen a toad on a toadstool?

If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?

How can there be self-help "groups"?

Are people more violently opposed to fur rather than leather because it's much easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?

If a jogger runs at the speed of sound, can he still hear his Walkman?

If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't people from Holland called "Holes?"

If athletes get athlete's foot, do astronauts get mistletoe?

If Barbie's so popular, why do you have to buy all her friends?

If swimming is good for your shape, then why do the whales look the way they do?

If white wine goes with fish, do white grapes go with sushi?

If you can't drink and drive, why do bars have parking lots?

Why do the signs that say "Slow Children" have a picture of a running child?

Why do they call it "chili" if it's hot?

Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game, when we are already there?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Could it be that light bulbs don't really produce light, but rather just suck up all the dark?

Who's cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it.

What do little birdies see when they are knocked unconscious.

If you didn't get caught did you really do it?

Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?

If quitters never win, then who is the fool who said "Quit while you're ahead"?

why does monosyllable have so many syllables?

Why have an expireation date on sour cream?

If practice makes perfect, and nobody is perfect... then why practice?

Why do vampires always chase down Christians? Why not Jews, or Arabs? You know, somebody who won't be carrying a cross! - Galagher

Why isn't the word 'phonetically' spelled like it sounds?

Why is 'abbreviation' such a long word?

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, then why are they made of meat?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

What is the speed of dark?

Do witches run spell checkers?

Does fuzzy logic tickle?

What is a "free gift?" Aren't all gifts free?

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

Why are there interstates in Hawaii?

Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?

Why are cigarettes sold at gas stations when smoking is prohibited?

How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?

If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?

If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?

If buttered toast always lands buttered side down and a cat always lands on its feet, what would happen
if you tied a piece of buttered toast on the back of a cat and dropped it?

If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn on your headlights, what happens?

You know how most packages say "Open here". What should you do if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?

Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?

Why do we drive on parkways when we park on driveways?

Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called shipment but when you transport something by ship it's called cargo?

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes - why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

What does Geronimo say when he jumps out of a plane?

If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If olive oil comes from olives, and corn oil from corn, where does baby oil come from?

Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?

Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?

If a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose?

Why is brassiere singular and panties plural?

duminică, 4 mai 2008


By CBN.com

Finding an Anchor for the Storms of Life
The old sailor looked at the skies and saw a dark storm coming. As the sea became rough and choppy, the old salt calmly lowered the heavy-chained anchor link by link, battened down the hatches and went to bed for the night.He knew the storm would be rough. But he had faith in the grasp of the anchor. He knew his boat would be there in the morning.

Hope Defined
Like that sailor, we have an "anchor" for our lives that can help us stand fast through the storms of life. It's called hope.In biblical terms, hope is closely allied with faith.The writer of Hebrews tells us that, faith is "the assurance of things hoped for" (Hebrews 11:1). Hope, therefore, is the object upon which we direct our focus and energies.To the Christian, hope is the knowledge that we are being changed for the better as we trust in God's promises (Romans 8:28). It is the conviction that no matter the circumstances, God's plans for our lives are "for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11b NLT).

Hope Described
The Bible is full of examples of men and women who hoped in God's promises. The patriarch Abraham is held up for believers as a model of hope.When Abraham was 75, God promised to bless him and give him many descendants, as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham heard these words and believed God (Genesis 15:6).But despite his belief, Hebrews 6:15 explains, Abraham had to wait 25 years to see the fulfillment of his hope. Yet all the while, Abraham trusted in God, the Author of his hope, until he saw the promise come to pass.You see, Abraham's hope wasn't in his own ability to father a child. It was rooted in a trustworthy, unchangeable God, and in His eternal promises.The writer of Hebrews explains that God wants us to take encouragement from His character and hope in Him (Hebrews 6:16-18). In fact, the Scriptures describe this hope "… as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast" (Hebrews 6:19a).

Hope Derailed
What can cause our hope to go sour? Often, we hope in the wrong things. It's so easy to place our hope in the wrong things. It's so easy to place our hope in this material world - what we can see, taste, touch, and feel. These things are controllable to us. But God says His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). In fact, the things of this world do not provide a firm foundation for our lives (Colossians 2:8).Only when we look to the truly firm foundation for living - Jesus Christ - will we find a hope that can anchor our souls. It all begins with our relationship with God. If you have not been "born again," your hope is simply misplaced. If you are feeling hopeless right now, consider where your primary hope is grounded. If it's not in Jesus, come to Him now to find a hope unlike any other.
Jesus offers His hope freely to all who willingly come to Him, acknowledge their sin, and trust in His cleansing blood for eternal life. "I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus said, "He who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26a).

Building a Foundation of Hope
Even if you know Jesus as your Savior, you can still lose hope. We learn from Proverbs that "hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12). When our hopes are delayed, we can be overcome by a deep sense of despair.So, how did Abraham do it? How did he remain hopeful for more than two decades? Look at Abraham's relationship with God: he was a friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7); he was also God's servant (Genesis 26:24); and he was totally obedient (Genesis 22).You can do the same. Here are four practical steps you can take every day to build a sure foundation of hope that will carry you through the storms of life:1. Submit yourself to God. God is the source of our hope. Come to Him in humility and He will restore you (1 Peter 5:6-7).2. Strengthen your faith. Allow God's previously fulfilled promises to renew your hope. God has given us written record of countless ways He has provided hope for believers in centuries past. Look to these marvelous accounts for renewal (1 Chronicles 16:11-21).3. Trust God's timing. Sometimes God answers our prayers and fulfills our hopes quickly. At other times, for His own divine reasons, He allows us to wait. Remember, it was through faith and patience that Abraham's hope was fulfilled.4. Thank God today. Though it's arduous to rejoice as we wait for hopes to be fulfilled, rejoicing enables God to perfect us in ways we are unable to see at the time. And this kind of hope, purified in the crucible of waiting, and sometimes suffering, "does not disappoint" (Romans 5:1-5).
As You PrayHave you lost hope? You can regain lost hope, with Jesus' help. Right now, turn to the Author of all hope and rest in Him.
Pray this prayer:
"Father, forgive me for not seeing You as You truly are. Please use Your Word to encourage me. Help me to hide it in my heart. Let Your Holy Spirit direct me moment-by-moment as I wait in the hope You have given me through our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen."

God's Word on Hope
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast" (Hebrews 6:29a).Scriptures for StudyHebrews 6:10-19, Romans 5:1-11 - God's precious promise of hopeJob 13:13-16 - Hopes' perseverance through trialsPsalm 33:13-22 - Right and wrong objects of hopePsalm 25:1-11 - Hope's source of strength