Pay It Forward / The Last Samurai

Pay It Forward is not a bad movie. I think what it's trying to say is great and there a lot of good scenes. It loses it a bit along the way and the ending seems to be there just because it "fits" with the rest of movie. There's one scene that I really love. Jim Caviezel is a homeless heroine addict in the movie and is having a hard to getting his life straight. He's backpacking across the San Francisco bridge and notices a woman that's about to jump off to commit suicide. They have a bit of an exchange and then Caviezel says "save my life" to her. She's about to kill herself and he says forget you, save my life. I love that because in a way it gives that woman who was going to kill herself some purpose in her life. You don't really hear too often that a person gives that kind of order to someone trying to kill him/herself. It's almost like you would think it's the last thing that person would need but it could have been EXACTLY what she needed. Maybe you can say suicide is selfish. I don't know. I just love that one line.

In The Last Samurai, one of the scenes that sticks with me is the one where Tom Cruise has not yet been fully accepted by the samurai and gets into a fight with wooden practice swords. It's basically a training session where emotions entered. Tom Cruise had not yet been properly trained very much in their style and so he was thorougly beaten down but there's this moment where he's just waving the sword on the ground. He can't even get up but all he's doing is trying to swing the sword. It's just one of those scenes that makes you think about motivation and not giving up. 

I want to watch Rocky again too. That's another really great motivational movie.

 "You could be somebody but you're just a bum!"


Pascal's Wager

Pascal's Wager (or Pascal's Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should "wager" as though God exists, because so living has potentially everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose. It was set out in note 233 of his Pensées, a posthumously published collection of notes made by Pascal in his last years as he worked on a treatise on Christian apologetics. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascals_wager

In WHAT God We Trust?

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; ..." the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches, James Madiso

I don't like it when people say that the founding fathers were Christian or that America is a Christian nation. Many of the founding fathers of America were Deists, not Christians. This is why a lot of people get confused. When Benjamin Franklin or Jefferson mention God or virtue or value, they tend to automatically think that they were talking about Christianity. It was actually a mixed bag, but the majority opinion was to be secularists. Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were probably the least religious, bordering on atheism.

Taken from the Wikipedia article:

Deism is the belief that a supreme God exists and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason alone, without dependence on revelation. It is in contrast with fideism, found in many forms of Christianity[1], Islamic and Judaic teachings, which holds that religious truths rely upon revelation in sacred scriptures and upon the testimony of other people as well as reasoning.
Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God has a plan for the universe, which he does not alter by intervening in the affairs of human life nor by suspending the natural laws of the universe.

Here are some quotes from some of the Founding Fathers:

". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist." - Benjamin Franklin

"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of  pleasing the Deity." -Benjamin Franklin

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams

"Gouverneur Morris had often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system (Christianity) than did he himself." -Thomas Jefferson, in his private journal, Feb. 1800

"What is it the New Testament teaches us?  To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith." -Thomas Paine

Now there is this link that has a lot of Christian quotes from them. I would judge any quote that does not directly mention the Bible or Jesus very carefully. It could just be in reference to Deism. http://christianparty.net/christianationquotes.htm

But here are some more that might make you think differently.

"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." - Thomas Jefferson

"It has been fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and then I considered it merely the ravings of a maniac." - Thomas Jefferson

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." -Thomas Jefferson

Just because there are Christians in America does mean that the country has to be a Christian nation. I'm on the side of the Constitution and the Treat of Tripoli. I'm not trying to get the founding fathers on my side but I am trying to show you something that can be construed quite easily. I just wanted to show the other side.


Shows I Watched As a Kid

I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid. I remember when I would talk to a kid about cartoons, he would talk like he'd watch only one show or a week or so. I always felt like I knew ALL of that kid's show and all of all the others. I watched a LOT of TV. I don't regret it actually. I still love animation. I have always been a fan of just any kind of media...maybe more than others. This is a list of shows that I watched REGULARLY, some every day.

Scooby Doo
Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
Captain N: Game Master
Curious George
Care Bears
Captain Caveman
The Centurions
Dennis the Menace
Dink the Last Dinosaur
Winnie the Pooh
Duck Tales
Flintstone Kids
The Flintstones
Fraggle Rock
G.I. Joe
Garfield and Friends
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Inspector Gadget
Mighty Mouse
Muppet Babies
The New Adventures of Johnny Quest
A Pup Named Scooby Doo
Schoolhouse Rock
The Super Mario Brothers
Tom and Jerry
Looney Tunes
Turbo Teen

I can't mention the 90s without the NickToons.

I saw every episode of:
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Rocko's Modern Life

several times.

Aaahh! Real Monsters!
Hey Arnold!
Angry Beavers
SpongeBob Squarepants
Pete and Pete
Batman: the new Animated Series
The Pirates of Dark Water
Eek! the Cat
Bobby's World
Cow and Chicken
Dexter's Lab
PowerPuff Girls
Earthworm Jim (only like half a season was ever made)
Johnny Bravo
Pinky and the Brain (although I always thought this was the weakest of the Animaniac's characters)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Swat Kats
The Tick

Then there was Snick, which was Saturday Night Nickelodeon.

Clarissa Explains It All
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Summer 1993 and 1994
Clarissa Explains It All
The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
1994-early 1996
The Secret World of Alex Mack
All That
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Early 1996-late 1996
The Secret World of Alex Mack
All That
Space Cases
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Late 1996-early 1997
Kenan & Kel
All That
The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
All That
Action League Now!
Kenan & Kel

There were some other shows that I watched maybe once or just half an episode that I did not list. Snick, NickToons, X-Men, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Batman, and Rocko's Modern Life were and still are at the top of m list!


A question on everyone's mind

Is Barack a Muslin?


1. He is not a Muslim.

2. Being on a committee with a terrorist that was more than likely formed to do something very good and definitely not for terrorism does not make him a terrorist.

3. He is half-white. His very mother is white. I think calling him black is ridiculous. We should be able to call him white as well if we do that. 

4. He's not an elitist. He's cutting all the taxes for the middle class. He may come off as elitist because he's very intelligent. He went to Harvard for crying out loud. Isn't the President of the United States of America the most elite office on Earth anyway? The elitist argument is worst bullshit I've ever heard. They're all elitist. The question is why is that bad? Everyone should strive to be elite. Being elite does not automatically mean hating on those you feel lower than you.

5. The Republican is using you. They always say they're Christian and whatnot. In 8 years, did Bush do ANYTHING to end abortion? Let's think about that.

6. I totally agree with John Stewart on this one. Muslim boys that died fighting for America in Iraq are American. Being Muslim automatically makes you non-American now? Why the Hell am I even talking about this when Obama is openly a Christian? Did everyone forget about his crazy CHRISTIAN pastor?

7. Are Democrats all of a sudden non-American now? Having a different opinion is non-American now? That's not the kind of America I was taught. 

8. If you're the king of a country, why would you destroy your own country? If Obama is a terrorist and wins the election, what would he do? 

9. Bush was eating with Osama Bin Laden's family on the morning of 9/11. There are talks that Bush planned 9/11 to gain support for his agenda, i.e. the Patriot Act and the War. When time for re-election came about, a video from Osama was released at SUCH a convenient time. The video helped secure his win. Who's the terrorist?

10. Democrats tend to fall more toward socialist views but Obama has never said he was a socialist. Look at the Patriot Act. Isn't this the scariest thing in fucking history? Doesn't this make it easier for the government to take advantage of your rights? What about the bailout? The government bailed out a company. Isn't that socialist? Why did Republicans support this bullshit? Who are you anymore?

This post was inspired from this link.


Found It

OK, so this is the Middle Eastern sounding one. In the areas where people still speak Aramaic, the Lord's Prayer is actually sung, not recited. Notice how Islamy this sounds.

The Way I See It

It probably happened something like this...as far I as I can tell right now.

1. There was one, several, or no real Jesus figures at that time.

2. Real or not, many or one, this person became some sort of religious figure.

3. Early Christianity had no set canon as far as I can tell. All of the Bible, Apocrypha, and Lost Books were read and used ...probably depending on the tribe.

4. The religion gained some sort of popularity but really picked up steam when it was basically picked reluctantly by Constantine to be the official state religion of Rome. The Council of Nicaea picked the books they deemed fit and so formed what we now call Helios Biblia...I mean Sun Book...I mean Holy Bible.

5. After that, it became basically the religion of the West. Before that, white people were basically these pagans. I feel that since it's a part of history...deeply rooted...some people might think that's reason enough for its validity.

The questions that come to mind are:

A.) Is Christianity in America and in the West in general the same as it was during its formative years?

B.) Isn't it dangerous that today's "Christian soldiers" don't even think about this kind of history?

C.) Shouldn't people be questioning their own community's version of Christianity? How do Christians in the Middle East view their religion?

D.) Don't you know that if you're a Christian, you basically entrust your whole life to this set of books that were picked by old white guy at a council a long time ago. Of course, this question never goes anywhere because people always say the council was "divinely led." In the words of Sam Harris, that's a conversation-ender.

Anyway, since I'm posting about this stuff, I thought I'd include a video of the Lord's Prayer...being sung in Aramaic, the language Jesus (if he existed, and if that actually matters) spoke. The first version I saw but cannot find now sounded much more "Middle Eastern" but this is not bad. It's just interesting to hear it in that language.

America Is Broken

   The following shows the kind of person in America that I disagree with. The super right-wing of America is crazy. They'll say things like "That's not the Christianity, I know" when I can't help but think that their own fucking Christianity is not the Christianity that their forefathers gave them. Most Christian scholars believe that in early Christianity and up until fairly recently...a few hundred years ago or so, ...no one took the Bible THAT literally. I don't think anyone cared to. The Christianity of every age is different. Everyone says it's one unchanging thing but that's bullshit. What happened in America ...especially the South is that the extremely religious from Scotland and Ireland came over and set up camp. That's basically it. The British were never as religious as the Scottish or Irish. If you look at the South's heritage, you can see that most people there are of that heritage. This is how we get the Bible Belt today. This is why the North is different. There's two different original cultures here.
   Just one more thing before I go, I hate it when people believe the Rapture WILL happen in their lifetime. I don't care if you believe it'll happen at some point. I don't care if you say it MIGHT happen in our lifetime...but for Christ's sake, ...believing that without a doubt that the world WILL end in the next 60 or so years is madness. It is dangerous and it will not set up things in the best way, I feel, for generations to come. Anyway, the video below of this woman is just one thing that's wrong with Americans. Keep the populace stupid and they'll do whatever you want.



A while back, Christopher Hitchens endorsed Obama. Hitchens is known for his unusual political views. He fully supports preemptive invasions to over thrown dangerous regimes, such as Iraq and Iran, which many of his collegues dissagree with. This is one choice he won't need to defend as much as usual.

More recently, Obama received perhaps his most important endorsement ever. Colin Powell. He is one of the most respected public officials around today, as far as I know. Here's the video from meet the press.


Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals

This was one of those stupid skits that I know is stupid but I still really liked it.

And this is the follow-up with the real Mark Wahlberg and maybe even funnier.

The Real Palin on SNL



I don't know why but I'm getting into hockey recently. I haven't played it myself yet but I've been trying to find some people on-line that play hockey in Tokyo. The video below are some good goals.

Language Is Not Fair

I think Japanese people put more emphasis on pronunciation than we do in English. For me, it's grammar. If I hear someone say "I go to the bathroom" instead of "I WILL go to the bathroom" with perfect pronunciation the red light goes off in my head a lot more than if someone places the accent in the wrong spot. If you place the accent in the wrong spot in Japanese, I feel like their red lights go off. Like, if you same tsuNAmi instead of TSUnami, it goes off big time for them. I feel like if your grammar is good, then I can understand you more. If you mispronounce something and the grammar is good, I can probably guess from context what you're talking about anyway. I guess pronunciation is important but what I'm trying to say is that when I listen to someone in any language, I'm MUUUUUUCCCH more sensitive to their grammar than pronunciation. Anytime they forget "will" or plurals or "the" or "a," I feel like it's the same thing for them when you have that gaijin accent.

This is why it's so hard to learn another language. Every language has its own standards and ideas for speaking well. In Japanese, you have to be succinct and efficient. In English, we prefer to be clear grammatically and leave little to be understood in context. If you think about it this way, the two are exactly opposite.

Japanese is concise.

English is precise.

Politics Make Me Angry

1. What was the purpose of the committee that Obama and that terrorist guy were on? The guy is a former terrorist. That's a fact. However, what if the purpose of that committee was something that wasn't so crazy? Let's get all the facts straight first.

2. McCain's rallies are going nuts. I like the way McCain's handling it though. It really shows the mentality of some of those people there. Calling Obama an Arab is fucking ridiculous. Being Muslim does not mean being Arab and vice-versa. Even if he was Arab or Muslim, who gives  a fuck? Calling every Muslim a radical like the Taliban is like calling every Christian a Nazi. Bottom line. It just so happens that Obama is a (openly) a Christian. My theory is that he's not as "religious" in the right-wing sense as people may think he is. 

3. Oil is king. Afghanistan attacks us and then we go into Iran and Iraq. Why? If France attacks us will we attack Germany and Austria? What the fuck? Every American just thinks "they're all the same" and that's how this mess gets support. Do you know how fucking dangerous that way of thinking is?

4. Recycling doesn't kick enough ass. Electric cars don't kick enough ass for Americans to care. Things have to really KICK ASS for Americans to give a shit. The truth is that polluting and not converting to all electric (NOT this hybrid bullshit) cars is kicking the earth's ass every day. Ask any reputable scientist on the planet. I've actually heard some Americans say that only because they don't go 150mph, they think electric sucks. Or...shit like..they just don't have that sound...or there's always some fond connection to the traditional engine. Excuse me for not being nostalgic. I don't give a fuck. I say let's get rid of all gas-powered cars for good and use gas only for aircraft until we build good enough electric engines for those too. They have electric cars that can run all day and all night for very cheap but guess what...Exxon bought the patent. Fuck that.


Everyone Loves Good Impressions

Mike showed me this. The impression of Robert DeNiro playing Frankenstein is the best one.


John's Blog

One of these days, I'll write about something that isn't such heavy subject. My friend John Fannin, who is a friend of my oldest friend, Reid, wrote something that really rings true to me. It's a blog about people's perceptions of God and the universe. Check it out here.



Me: OK, I thought of a few.  you said "which perceive other dimensions as being aspects of time." I was wondering if you explain a littler further what you mean by "other dimensions being aspects of time"?

Also, you said," looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object." Is there any way you can explain how these discrete objects become one? Is there an easy way for a layman to grasp this kind of thing? Thanks a lot

Matt: In order to understand how spacial dimensions can be packed into time, it's necessary to think about how space and time appear to the consciousness of a lower animal. First, take a snail. Snails have a very simple sensorium, as well as a very bare-bones nervous system (if I can be forgiven that phrase for a boneless animal.) Now, to a snail, the world it perceives is very small: essentially, only that which is immediately in front of, and immediately behind it. In essence, it perceives the world to be fundamentally one-dimensional, a line along which it travels. Of course, we can look at it and see that it's actually travelling within three dimensions, but the snail can't see that; to the snail, the other two spacial dimensions exist only as aspects of time. That is, while it can encounter other aspects of an object, it doesn't grasp the unity of those aspects, but experiences each aspect as a stand-alone.

Now, take a higher animal, say, a dog. Here the discussion gets a little more involved. Dogs - or any other animal, besides a human - are unable to form abstract concepts, because the formation of such concepts requires language. They can sense things, and they can form impressions, but that's the limit. This means that the third dimension - which can exist, cognitively, only as a concept - is fundamentally beyond their grasp. If you think about it, the third dimension is actually invisible; you can't ever see it. All the eyes can see is a two-dimensional image of reality. In the human mind, of course, that 2D spread is interpolated into three dimensions, something we can do only because we can form concepts, ie in our mind there is the concept of tree: we might see many trees, all different, but all are an example of the type 'tree', whereas for a dog or any other animal, every tree is one-of-a-kind, to be treated as an individual.

My own understanding of this is somewhat imperfect, so it could be that I'm not explaining it too well. I'll direct you to the source, then, the Russian philosopher Ouspensky:


You can find an extended excerpt from one of Ouspensky's books at that link.

At any rate, when I say that higher dimensions are packed into time, what I'm basically talking about is perception. Lower animals perceive fewer dimensions, because the higher dimensions (ie 2nd and 3rd) which we perceive, we do so by virtue of cognitive faculties which they lack. Following this chain of reasoning, it's easy to speculate that there are yet higher levels of awareness, as far beyond us as we are beyond snails or dogs, which allow the perception of higher dimensions, dimensions which appear to us be aspects of time.

Now for the second question. It's helpful to understand a bit about higher dimensional thinking, here. Diagrams would be useful, but difficult in an email, so I'll do what I can. Now, imagine that you're only able to perceive two dimensions, ie, you're a flat creature on a flat world, a living diagram on a piece of paper. If someone jabs a fork into the paper, what you'll see is four suddenly appearing line segments, apparently separate, but linked through the 3rd dimension (which is of course invisible to you.) Essentially, any group of lower-dimensional objects can be linked through higher dimensions, while leaving their lower-dimensional appearance unaltered.

Another useful conceptual tool is the idea of the wormhole, which I'm sure you've encountered due to its ubiquity in SF. What a wormhole does is link two points in space-time through a higher dimension. Togo back to our two dimensional world, say we made two little holes on opposite ends of a strip of paper. To a 2D entity, going from one hole to the other would take a certain amount of time; however, the paper can be easily folded through the 3rd dimension, such that the two
holes now touch. Of course this folding is imperceptible to the 2D entity, but if it could locate the hole it would be able to cross over to the other side of the paper instantaneously. The same logic applies at higher dimenions: lower dimensions can always be folded and connected through higher dimensions.

Now, I wasn't talking about wormholes, exactly; rather, I was alluding to the concept that discrete particles in 3D space (electrons, protons, etc) may well be projections into the 3rd dimension of a single shape in a higher dimension. Maybe the 4th, maybe the 5th, maybe the 13th. At this point, with what we know of science, it's impossible to say with any certainty.


"Thomas Jefferson rode his horse alone every day for months to mourn the loss of his wife. He was quite the romantic." 

"Thomas Jefferson is famous for the Louisian Purchase."

Which of these is more interesting. I guess both are important but a good way to get to know a historical figure and to just make it interesting is to introduce the figure with something like the first example. Every student in the room will pay attention to that. Then you can go into Louis and Clark and Louisiana, etc. American education makes things that would be interesting very boring.

The Universe Connected, Part 2

Me: If you're getting tired of this, please let me know. Do you believe that the whole universe is connected and if so, how do atoms or anything connect through the vacuum of space? I could understand everything on earth being connected due to everything being atoms, but in empty space, it would seem
like it's a way of separated things in the universe...

Matt: Through gravity, quantum entanglement, or higher dimensions (take your pick, one or all three), everything is connected instantaneously, ie,connected as though there is NO intervening space. That objects seem to be discrete, separate, and localized in space, is an illusion arising from our, which perceive other dimensions as being aspects of time. Looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object.

Also, space isn't empty: it's filled with virtual particles (just do a wikipedia search), which pop in and out of existence almost too fast too measure (ALMOST; see Casimir effect.) Thus 'empty' space is also an illusion.

At the same time, 'matter' itself is mostly 'empty' space. But space isn't exactly empty....

So we seem to have a paradox. Which usually indicates that our understanding is imperfect. As to how, exactly, we might go about perfecting our understanding, I'm not exactly certain. However, I have a gut feeling that issues of simultaneity and non-locality (that's physics-speak for universal connectedness) will figure greatly, one way or another.

Everything is connected, of course. If All is One, how could it be otherwise? More seriously, entangled quantum systems affect each other instantaneously, regardless of distance. There's some evidence that gravity itself is an instantaneous effect. Either way leads one inescapably to the conclusion that every piece of matter, everywhere, is under the continual summed influence of every other piece of matter in the universe.

Difficult to treat mathematically, of course.

Also, don't make the mistake of three dimensional thinking. It is very likely that the only reason we perceive three dimensions is that our minds happen to work that way. At higher dimensions, every piece of matter may well be connected.


Waveform Collapse, the Saga Continues

Me: What exactly is the evidence or backing or how do people support the claim

for the One? You might have already answered this in some way but I was just

wanting to clarify it. Thanks.

Matt: Evidence? What evidence? The evidence is everywhere, including inside you.

God does not give proof. It demeans him, and besides which, it serves no purpose. Think about it: at what point are you satisfied that the evidence is sufficient? No matter what were to be brought forward, at any point you can say, "Well, that doesn't prove it. It might equally be explained by x, y, or z."

Proof, of necessity, is something external to that which is to be proven. This is why you can't define a word by using the word. Thing is, when you're talking about the One, there is nothing external to it. By definition. It is everything. Thus, it cannot be proven.

Me: Thanks a lot. Can you explain in laymen's terms what waveform collapse is

and its implications to what we're talking about...thanks.

Matt: The wavefunction is the mathematical description of all the possible states a given particle might occupy, expressed as a probabilistic wave. Collapse is what happens when the particle is observed (i.e. interacts with consciousness, or is measured): the act of looking at it causes the particle to immediately jump into one of the various states from the wavefunction. In other words, collapsing the

wavefunction removes all of the possible states to leave a single remaining actual state. This might seem like a mathematical formalism or philosophical game, but actual laboratory experiment bears it out time and again: when a particle isn't being looked at, it's a wave, and when it is, it's a particle.

Me: Doesn't that have to do with light being shown on it though? Also, when humans look at something, doesn't something in the atmosphere change anyway...like...just because our heads are occupying that space? Are you saying that if we looked at it but did not recognize it, the particle would not change? Would it have to be registered consciously to change?

Matt:The question of precisely why observation causes particles to change as they do is one of the great questions of modern physics. People have been asking it since the discipline was formulated back in the 30s, and as yet, there are no satisfactory answers.

Me: But does it actually have to register in the brain to change? Are our perceptions and those electrons linked? Is it our physically looking at it that makes them change or is it actually us becoming conscious of them? This kind of thing is confusing...

Matt: Try not to anthropomorphize (difficult, I know, given we're talking consciousness here. Bear with me.) You have to be careful to see phrases like 'looking' at the particle in a somewhat metaphorical light. Cells, for example, don't 'look' at anything. They do however sense, and by doing that, exert a very low level of consciousness.

I'd even argue (and from a scientific perspective I'm way out on a limb) that atoms themselves possess a certain degree of consciousness, insofar as an atom can a) sense another atom and b) react to what it senses (ie, moving towards something that attracts it, away from something that repels it.)

Now, you can't talk about the measurement problem without talking about entanglement. The simplest way I can put entanglement is this: entanglement is what happens when the wavefunctions of two previously separate systems merge. After entangling, neither system can be described in isolation, for their have become one system. This is very important.

Now, you have an atom, alone in space. Un'observed', its wave function smears out. Then it gets perturbed by another atom; this constitutes observation, and the wave-function collapses. Those two atoms, however, are now a single system; merely by coming into contact, they have entangled, and are now described by a single wavefunction, which again smears out until it's 'observed' (ie, brought into contact with, perturbed, etc) by something outside itself ... which then merges ...and so on ... until you get to the level of the entire Universe.

Me: And how would you define consciousness? I always thought of it as something similar to sentience. Self-awareness. Animals are somewhat conscious but I wouldn't say rocks are. I'd even go so far as to say plants are probably conscious.

Matt: Even rocks have consciousness. Everything does. Consciousness is inherent in matter. Neither can exist without the other.

Me: By the way, everyone should check out Matt's own blog here on blogspot. It's at http://psikigram.blogspot.com/ . He has a lot of good stuff on there.


Mary Poppins

Governor Palin

SNL does the VP debate. For those of you who made the debate a drinking game (I know I did), watch this to the end. Hilarious.

Sarah Palin in 30 seconds:

Bill Maher New Rules. Palin and her cult religion.



Do people only care about the afterlife and religious things because of culture? Is it all just nurture. I used to think it was very much a nature thing because we all die but it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that that is just not the case. 

When someone tells me that I should not care about the afterlife so much and start to think about NOW I feel like, "Alright, I want every fucking second from now until I die to be fucking amazing. I want nothing but that. I want happiness crystallized and injected inside of me." Of course, this just can't be the case but I feel like the people that tell me about NOW don't share the same feelings. 


Nicholas Haywood and the Priory of Scion

The Priory of Scion is a society located mainly in France that people say that they have the mummified bodies of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. I don't know if I believe all of that. I really can't with the evidence I have but this guy's interview is really really amazing. He is quite believable considering the claims he's making.

And then there's this clip of him talking about the coming Apocalypse.

Jesus Was a Buddhist

At this point, I really don't know if I believe in the historicity of Jesus or not. I am not sure if I need to care or not. I'm sure a lot of these questions have more complicated answers than I can imagine right now. 

There is some evidence that shows that during the period that is not really recorded in the standard canon, Jesus went to India. Actually, I can't remember the exact place but it's a place where Buddhism was being practiced. There are actually temples where these Buddhists have scriptures of a Middle Eastern man staying with them for several years in order to learn their ways. I believe "Iesu" is how you say Jesus in Hebrew, which is one language Jesus could speak other than Aramaic. In Aramaic, I think it's "Yehashua." Anyway, at these temples, they speak of a man named "Iasu." Actually, in those languages back then in that time period, vowels were interchangeable...so there ya go. 

"An Eye for an Eye, A Tooth for a Tooth" was the Old Testament way of thinking. One of Jesus' teachings was something that went directly against that, "turn the other cheek." This kind of thinking was and is a Buddhist teaching. Also, if you look at Gnosis, which is something that is talked about in detail in the Gospel of Thomas and other books not found in the standard canon, it is very revealing. Gnosis is a very Eastern-ish religious practice ...much more so than anything that was being practiced in the area where Jesus was at that time.

To be honest with you, when I think of the "Mystery Plays" of Egypt and how they might be more connected than most people suspect, I feel like the Jesus story could be something like that. Some people believe that the Mystery Plays of Egypt were basically plays to help grow your mind. Almost like a thought experiment that many physicists and philosophers do. It's an interesting way to think about it. 

If any of my facts (not beliefs because I really didn't post about those this time) were wrong, please comment and let me know.


The E-Mail Think Tank continued...

1. Matt: So, how is it that when my eyes look at something and it registers in my animal brain that there's some magic happening just because it's being observed. How does dumb matter even know it's being observed? Does the observer have to be as sentient as us or can this work with dolphins and chimpanzees as well? Sorry, I just don't get this all the way. Thanks.  

Matt: It's an open question, scientifically, just how conscious an observer has to be to collapse the wavefunction. My guess would be that, the more conscious an observer is, the more wavefunctions it's able to collapse.  

As to how dumb matter knows it's being observed, welcome to one of th mysteries of quantum physics. We don't really know how, exactly. We just know that it does.  

2. Me: Is the soul and the spark of Awareness the same thing?  

Matt: More or less, I'd say. Could be wrong though.


the Absolute, Matter and Consciousness, E-Mail Think Tank Series

So I asked my friend, Matt, some questions about the universe again and this was his answer(s)...

The universe is temporally bracketed. In the past is the Big Bang: primal matter and energy springing out from an infinitely small point. In the future is the One, the Universe Become Conscious, which from its perspective at the end of time can see and remember everything that has ever happened, and by thus observing it snaps it all into actual being. This might sound like mysticism but it's really quantum physics: in order for matter to exist, it needs an observor, for without observation it stays in a diffuse cloud of probability and never really becomes real. The two - Big Bang and the Absolute, matter and consciousness - cannot be understood in isolation. Ultimately they are the same thing. - Matt

My Responses to Matt, E-Mail Think Tank Series

So I asked my friend, Matt, some questions about the universe again and this was his answer(s)...

Hey, go ahead! I have no problem with this being made public. Now,

I have a few questions...

1. How can you know that the One exists?

Matt: A mixture of logic and introspection. It's difficult to communicateverbally. 'It exists because it has to'. A tautology, yes, but it captures the essence.

2. Also, I have problems believing in a soul even with your explanations.

Matt: See above.

3. You're pretty much talking about reincarnation as well.

Matt: Not pretty much, I am.

4. I really don't remember any of my past lives. Do you?

Matt: Nope.

5. I have always been extremely suspicious of that kind of stuff.

Matt: Ditto.

6. Either this is my first time or...I dunno.

Matt: Highly doubtful. Look, the trajectory of every soul is from the One, through the world, and back to the One, each along it's own independent course but meeting at origin and destination. But now what happens after it goes back into the One? Well, everything fuses there (by definition) and then radiates out again. You could well look at it as though every soul not only follows a unique trajectory through one cycle of the universe, but a unique cycle through every universe. If the universe has had (and will have) an infinite number of cycles, that means that every soul lives every possible life. Which brings us back to the One.

(The picture I've just painted is a very linear one. It's important to note that we are in fact talking about a highly nonlinear process here, so that while from our perspective it appears as a great chain of being, in fact from other perspectives it's more like a tree or a network; higher entities might, for example, be able to incarnate simultaneously in multiple realities.)

People don't generally remember past lives for the simple reason that there are too many to remember. The human brain can only resonate with so much infornation.

7. So the purpose would then be to reincarnate enough times until you get it right? Why do you have to reincarnate? Why can't you get closer to the One in the non-physical realm?

Matt: You can. At each stage, the soul chooses to reincarnate. It does so because it wants to; what it wants to do (insofar as 'want' is a state that can be accurately ascribed to a soul) is to reach union with the One; but doing that requires not just 'wishing' it, but actually becoming it. Just like if you want to become something (say, a doctor), you can't just wish it to happen, but have to actually apply yourself and learn. Now, souls undoubtedly CAN move towards union without incarnating; in fact, at the higher levels discarnate pathways are likely the only ones remaining. It just so happens that the physical route at this level of reality is the one that has been chosen by our souls.

Hope this clarified a few things, or at least stimulated some thought.



The Spark of Awareness, E-Mail Think Tank Series


That 'spark of awareness' is inherently an immaterial thing, thus
difficult to measure and so outside the purview of science, at least
science as conceptualized in the Western tradition. It's what you get
when you take any entity - human, animal, plant, or bacterium - and
strip away everything 'external' to it. Body, memory, emotion, sense,
all of these things can be removed while still leaving the little
light of awareness intact.

Even 'dead' matter can be said to possess this spark, at a very
fundamental level, if you think about the way in which matter is
mostly empty space, with vanishingly compact concentrations of stuff
(very similar to the mathematical concept of Cantor dust) which are
able to create larger and more complex structures by virtue of their
ability to 'sense' and 'react' to other particles. The forces -
electromagnetic, gravitational, strong and weak nuclear - endow every
particle with both the ability to notice other particles (through the
forces those particles exert) and to act upon those particles (by
extering force on them), either pushing them away or pulling them
closer. In this metaphor, the material component of matter is
analogous to the spark of awareness: that which notices the world,
initiates action upon it, but is too small to see (quarks are the
smallest part that have been observed, but the laws of physics make
probing at lower levels prohibitively difficult; however the pattern
that science has so far shown indicates that the Cantor dust of matter
may well continue on to much smaller scales), and is not, itself,
fundamentally changed by anything in the outer world. That is, a
particle's position may be affected, but the motion itself does not
alter the particle in any internal way. In an analogous fashion, the
Self internal to every being cannot be altered by anything that
happens external to it, including events both within the entity and

Of course, that Self or Awareness is also identical between any two
entities, for it is found by removing all of the features that
distinguish one entity from another. Thus another way to look at the
situation is of myriad little windows upon the world, allowing the
world to perceive itself from every conceivable direction. I think of
it as God's Eyes, endlessly observing the universe and thus bringing
it into being.

Like I said, this is not the kind of thing easily penetrated by the
usual methods of science. Physics has probably made more inroads into
the subject than any other branch, but if it has done so, it has been
because it has spent centuries rigorously ignoring all of the wider
implications of its researches into the nature of matter, and swearing
blind that it is not engaged in any sort of study of the nature of
consciousness. The Eastern Vedic tradition, and the Buddhist tradition
that evolved out of it, have tackled the problem in a very scientific
fashion, though their methods - rigorous comparison of the internal
states created through contemplation, meditation, and introspection -
are so far outside the purview of Western science that even now few
scientists will even toy with the idea of their validity.

Now, you might well object that the awareness of a rock is not to be
compared with the awareness of a worm, much less a human. The best I
can put it is, while the spark of awareness of a human being is itself
exactly identical to that of a quark, the human organism serves to
amplify the ability of that spark to both perceive and act upon the
world. A quark is limited in its perceptions and actions to a few
other quarks inside a subatomic particle, whereas a human can, of
course, work at a much greater scale. Indeed, you could say that the
whole purpose of the great chain of being is to amplify the effects of
awareness so that it can operate at every possible scale.

Whew! A long answer to a short question. Let me know if you have any more.