Spirituality, religion and Nature

In 2017 Jesse Preston and Faith Shin published their research on spiritual experiences in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.1

Points from Preston and Shin’s article

  1. Spirituality is associated with awe (wonder and amazement) and it involves:
  • A feeling of smallness to something greater than oneself – God, the grandeur of nature, or some greater force in the Universe.
  • Humility in relation to that greater something.
  • Connection to that greatness — feeling part of a greater whole.

2. Spirituality is different to religiosity.

  • Religiosity is defined in terms of affiliation and adherence to a prescribed set of beliefs and practices.

3. Spirituality can be felt outside of religious affiliation.

4. Religious/non-religious people recall different kinds of spiritual experiences:

  • Religious people mention events that are more explicitly religious.
  • Non-religious people report more alternative spiritual sources (e.g. nature, yoga, meditation, science).

5. Religious/non-religious spiritual experiences share the features of point 1 above.

Frequency of spiritual experience types

Following are the types of spiritual experience reported most frequently in Preston and Shin’s research.

Religious

The most frequent type (41%) of spiritual experience for religious participants was religious, i.e. the experience had a direct connection to an explicit religious activity or belief such as attending church. In contrast, only 15% of the spiritual experiences reported by non-religious people were religious.

Life and death experiences

Life/death experiences (e.g. birth of a child, death of a loved one) were the second most frequent (32%) spiritual experience for religious people and the third most frequent (22%) for non-religious respondents.

Nature

For religious people this was the third most frequent (15%) spiritual experience but the most frequent (27%) spiritual experience for non-religious individuals. In other words, it seems that religion is spiritually much more important than nature for religious people, but nature is much more spiritually important than religion for non-religious people.

Practical relevance of these findings for helping Nature

These findings are consistent with my impression of religious vs non-religious people concerning our ecological crisis. Among followers of the Abrahamic religions whom I personally know (mostly Christians and Jews), none show high awareness or concern about the ecological collapse, few can even identify common birds other than the most common (robin, house sparrow, carrion crow, etc) and even fewer are making a meaningful effort (examples on home page) to try conserve God’s creations. In fact nearly all the religious people I know are decidedly consumerist, i.e. they are part of the problem.

Among the religious people I know who are at least slightly aware of the mass extinction, nearly all express low felt responsibility for addressing the problem (recycling plastic bags and prayer while continuing to pig-out in consumerist ways doesn’t count) and are instead waiting for God to intervene. In the meantime, most of the people I know who are knowledgeable about nature and making a real effort to try save God’s endangered creations, are not religious.

In contrast to our ancestral religion of Paganism, which venerates Nature,2 it seems that the Abrahamic religions’ lack of concern for nature has been disastrous for nature and therefore humans. Why then are so many people still following these religions? Is it because religious people actually don’t give a f**k about God’s creations?

Related posts
Holocene extinction
God and Heaven
Aspects of Mind
Meaning of Suffering
Prophecy for our times

References

1. Preston, J. L., & Shin, F. (2017). Spiritual experiences evoke awe through the small self in both religious and non-religious individuals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, May 2017.

2. The Pagan Federation

Holocene extinction

Physicist Peter Russell explains1 with the compelling logic of physics that our species is whirling toward the plughole of extinction. Similarly, scientific data of the Holocene extinction (caused mainly by human activity) show that this ecological collapse is accelerating,2 a key driver of the destructive human activity is increased human population and per capita consumption,2 and the outlook for life, including human life, is dismal.3

Examples of this human-caused catastrophe

Big cats

Big cat populations have severely declined and are facing extinction. In 2011 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)4 estimated that over the past 50 years:

  • Lions are down from 450,000 to 25,000
  • Leopards are down from 750,000 to 50,000
  • Cheetahs are down from 45,000 to 12,000
  • Tigers are down from 50,000 to 3,000

The collapse is likely much worse by now. A December 2016 study5 found that there are only 7,100 cheetahs remaining in the wild, i.e. 41% less than the IUCN estimate. Further, these cheetahs are crammed within only 9% of their historic range.

Other large mammals

Other large mammals predicted to become extinct in the near future include:

  • Rhinoceros6
  • Nonhuman primates7
  • Giraffes8
  • African elephants9

Smaller mammals and amphibians

Species predicted to become extinct in the near future include:

  • Pangolins10
  • Platypus11
  • Bats — in the US bat population drops due to a fungal infection have been as great as 90% within five years, and extinction of at least one bat species is predicted.12
  • Amphibians — this is now the most endangered vertebrate group.13

Insects

Pollinators (necessary for 75% of food crops) are declining globally in both abundance and diversity.14 For example, in protected areas over 27 years there was a decline of more than 75% in total flying insect biomass in Germany.15 As one of the researchers observed, humans are approaching ecological Armageddon due to them making large parts of the planet uninhabitable for wildlife, and if we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.

In England the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009.16

Bees. There has been a drastic rise in reports of disappearances of honey bee colonies in North America,17 in most European countries,18,19,20 and globally.21 Proposed reasons for this colony collapse include infections, various pathogens, and loss of habitat.22

The most significant drivers in the decline of insect populations are associated with intensive farming practices.23

Birds

“Since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signalling a widespread ecological crisis [due to] human activities. . . . These data are consistent with what we’re seeing elsewhere with other taxa showing massive declines, including insects and amphibians.”24

In Ireland 40% of the country’s waterbirds, or half a million, were lost in the prior 20 years due to loss of habitat. One of every five Irish bird species is threatened with extinction. Lapwing numbers are down 67% in 20 years and there has been an almost complete extermination of farmland birds, e.g. the Corncrake. The Curlew is on the verge of extinction in Ireland.25 

Other

Within the UK, 41% of the species of animal, plant and fungus whose numbers we can estimate are declining moderately or strongly. For most taxonomic groups the level of decline in the most recent decade is as steep or steeper than the longer term trend. Agricultural change has had the most significant, and largely negative, impact on plants and other wildlife over the past five decades.26

There has been a “shocking” rate of plant extinctions in South Africa. The main drivers for extinctions in South Africa were found to be agriculture (49.4%), urbanization (38%) and invasive species (22%).27

Marine organisms. Fishing has had a devastating effect on marine organism populations, especially since the destructive and highly effective fishing practices like trawling.28

Reasons for this ecological collapse

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 2016 Living Planet Report,29 global wildlife populations have declined primarily due to habitat destruction, over-hunting (see also 30,31,32) and pollution. In their 2018 report,33 the WWF found that over-consumption of resources by the global population has destroyed 60% of animal populations since 1970, and this continued destruction of wildlife is an emergency which threatens the survival of human civilization. As was noted above, the IPBES report2 records that a key driver of this destructive human activity is increased human population and per capita consumption.

Wireless radiation and 5G. As if humans have not been destructive enough, we now inflict toxic wireless radiation on surviving creatures and ourselves. For more information about the biological harm of wireless radiation (wireless Internet, cell phones, ‘smart’ devices, smart meters, Internet of Things) — especially 5G — see research publications such as those listed in the references.34

A sad ending

“For the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we face a global mass extinction of wildlife. . . . they are the barometer that reveals our impact on the world that sustains us” (Mike Barrett, director of science and policy at WWF’s UK branch, 2017).35

“When people make mistakes, they tend to expect they can reverse things; fix things. But very often we cannot.”36 As Peter Russell said,1 when the reality of our demise hits home, we will see widespread and profound grief at what has befallen us. Humans are part of an interconnected web of life on Earth — we cannot live without the animals and plants we are destroying. We will follow them into oblivion. However even at this late stage in our disastrous abuse of nature, we can show respect for our remaining ecosystems and exit with grace.

Related posts
Dying for faster downloads
Stress and Coping
Spirituality, religion and Nature
Related videos
The Holocene extinction
Mass bird death by 5G

References 

1. Russell, P. Blind Spot: The Unforeseen End of Accelerating Change.

2. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services — IPBES (May 2019) Report.

3. Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P. R., & Dirzo, R. (2017).  Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (30).

4. International Union for Conservation of Nature — IUCN (2011).

5. Zoological Society of London, Panthera Corporation and Wildlife Conservation Society (Dec 2016). Sprinting Towards Extinction? Cheetah Numbers Crash Globally.

6. Platt, J. R. (2013). How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct. Scientific American, 13 Nov 2013.

7. Estrada, A., Garber, P. A., Rylands, A. B. et al. (2017). Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: Why primates matter. Science Advances, 3 (1), 18 Jan 2017.

8. Sharp, R. (2017). Giraffes: a tall and disturbing tale. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 17 Aug 2017.

9. World Wildlife Fund — WWF (2016). Huge drop in African elephant population as poaching crisis continues.

10. International Union for Conservation of Nature — IUCN (2014). Eating pangolins to extinction. 29 Jul 2014.

11. Bino, G., Kingsford, R. T., & Wintle, B. A. (2020). A stitch in time – Synergistic impacts to platypus metapopulation extinction risk. Biological Conservation, 242: 108399.

12. Blehert, D. S., Hicks, A. C., Behr, M. et al. (2009). Bat White-Nose Syndrome: An Emerging Fungal Pathogen? Science, 323 (5911): 227.

13. Kolbert, E. (2014). This is now the most endangered vertebrate group. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York City: Henry Holt and Company.

14. Dirzo, R., Young, H. S., Galetti, M. et al. (2014). Defaunation in the Anthropocene. Science, 345 (6195): 401–406.

15. Hallmann, C. A., Sorg, M., Jongejans, E. et al. (2017) More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLoS ONE 12(10).

16. Gilburn, A. S., Bunnefeld, N., Wilson, J. M. et al. (2015). Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies? PeerJ, 3: e1402.

17. Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences (2007). Honey Bee Die-Off Alarms Beekeepers, Crop Growers and Researchers.

18. Dupont, G. (2007). Les abeilles malades de l’homme. Le Monde (in French), 29 Aug 2007.

19. Weakening, collapse and mortality of bee colonies. (Nov 2008, Updated Apr 2009). anses.fr (in French).

20. Minutes of Northern Ireland Assembly (2008). Theyworkforyou.com, 8 Jun 2009.

21. Independent (10 Mar 2011). Decline of honey bees now a global phenomenon, says United Nations.

22. Cepero, A., Ravoet, J., Gómez-Moracho, T. et al. (2014). Holistic screening of collapsing honey bee colonies in Spain: a case study. BMC Research Notes, 7: 649 (15 Sep 2014).

23. Seibold, S., Gossner, M.M., Simons, N.K. et al. (2019). Arthropod decline in grasslands and forests is associated with landscape-level drivers. Nature 574, 671–674.

24. Cornell University (2019). US and Canada have lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the past 50 years. ScienceDaily, 19 Sep 2019.

25. Birdwatch Ireland (Jul 2019). The Irish bird population is in dramatic decline.

26. State of Nature Report (Oct 2019). 

27. Le Roux, J. J., Hui, C., Castillo, M. L. et al. (2019). Recent Anthropogenic Plant Extinctions Differ in Biodiversity Hotspots and Coldspots. Current Biology, 2019.

28. Roberts, C. (2007). The Unnatural History of the Sea. Washington, DC: Island Press/Shearwater Books.

29. World Wildlife Fund — WWF (2016). Living Planet Report.

30. Pennisi, E. (2016). People are hunting primates, bats, and other mammals to extinction. Science, 18 Oct 2016.

31. Ripple, W. J., Abernethy, K., Betts, M. et al. (2016). Bushmeat hunting and extinction risk to the world’s mammals. Royal Society Open Science, 3 (10): 1–16.

32. Benítez-López, A., Alkemade, R., Schipper, A. M. et al. (2017). The impact of hunting on tropical mammal and bird populations. Science, 356 (6334): 180–183 (14 Apr 2017).

33. World Wildlife Fund — WWF (2018). Report 2018: Aiming higher.

34. Biological damage of wireless radiation:
Environmental Health Trust.
5G Crisis.

35. 60 percent of global wildlife species wiped out (28 Oct 2016). Al Jazeera.

36. Human mistakes that caused this ecological collapse, Russia Today, 10 Oct 2019.

Solar storm effects on humans

Solar storms

The sun continuously emits a stream of charged particles (“solar wind”) in all directions. The wind blows radially away from the sun, its speed and density are highly variable, and it contains a magnetic field that is also highly variable in magnitude and direction. When the sun is relatively calm, the only manifestation of solar wind may be the auroras (Northern or Southern Lights), caused by the excitation of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen by the wind’s energetic electrons (Lenz, 2004).

A geomagnetic storm, or solar storm, is caused by a solar wind shock wave that strikes Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in a worldwide temporary disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere, distinct from regular diurnal variations. This only occurs if the shock wave travels in a direction toward Earth. During a geomagnetic storm, “portions of the solar wind’s energy are transferred to the magnetosphere, causing Earth’s magnetic field to change rapidly in direction and intensity and energize the particle populations within it” (NOAA).

Geomagnetic storms comprise three major components: solar flares, solar proton events (SPEs) and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The largest geomagnetic storms tend to involve all three elements. About 8 minutes after a solar flare, a powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation reaches Earth. About an hour after a SPE, high-energy cosmic rays reach Earth. Within about two days of a CME, the compressed magnetic fields and charged plasma of its leading edge smash into Earth’s magnetic field like a battering ram (Marusek, 2007). The strength and frequency of geomagnetic storms correlates with the eleven-year sunspot cycle. As the sun rotates completely in about 27 days as seen from Earth, and great sunspot groups can stay active for several solar rotations, a 27-day pattern of geomagnetic storms can occur (NOAA; Marusek, 2007).

Geomagnetic storms are traditionally divided into three phases: the initial phase, the main phase and the recovery phase. During the initial phase (duration 2-8 hours) the magnetosphere is compressed, causing local intensity. During the main phase (duration 12-24 hours) there are erratic but general decreases in background field intensities, followed by the recovery phase (duration tens of hours up to a week). Geomagnetic storms are predictable and usually last for two to four days, but occasionally they last for many more days. We have an average of 35 stormy days a year with a higher concentration of stormy days in March-April and September-October (Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Health effects

There is a growing body of evidence that geomagnetic storms have brief but pervasive effects on human mental and physical health. These effects are far more significant than the well-known influence of the Full Moon and they are also stronger than the effects of meteorological factors (Dimitrova, 2005). The literature reviewed by Krivelyova and Robotti (2003) and Ward and Henshaw (2006) shows that geomagnetic storms have been related to mood disorders, anxiety, sleep disturbance, suicide, decreased functional activity of the central nervous system; double the frequency of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, violation of cardial rhythm and acute violation of brain blood circulation; and 30-80% increases in urgent hospitalization of patients in connection with suicides, mental disorders, myocardial infarction, defects of cerebrum vessels and arterial and venous diseases.

Krivelyova and Robotti’s (2003) literature review shows a harmful effect of solar activity on both sick and healthy people. Zakharov and Tyronov (2001, in Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003) stated: “It is commonly agreed that solar activity has adverse effects first of all on enfeebled and ill organisms. In our study we have traced that under conditions of nervous and emotional stresses (at work, in the street, and in cars) the effect may be larger for healthy people. The effect is most marked during the recovery phase of geomagnetic storms and accompanied by the inhibition of the central nervous system.”

Both environmental light and magnetic fields, which undergo diurnal and seasonal variations, influence the activity of the pineal gland. By altering the activity of this gland, geomagnetic storms cause imbalances and disruptions of the circadian rhythm of melatonin production, a factor that plays an important role in mood disturbances. A variety of behavioural changes and mood disorders have been strongly linked to abnormal melatonin patterns. In particular, patients suffering from depression have been shown to suffer decreased nocturnal melatonin levels. Depression in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is also associated with an unstable circadian pattern of melatonin secretion (literature reviewed by Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Although SAD is defined by a pattern of autumn and winter depression, unusually high geomagnetic activity levels seem to disturb people’s mood intermittently throughout the year. Further, a singular intense geomagnetic storm may continue to affect a person for several days after the storm has ended (Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Geomagnetic effects are greater at higher magnetic latitudes, extremely high as well as extremely low geomagnetic activity seems to have adverse health effects, and about 10 – 15% of the population is predisposed to ill health of geomagnetic variations. Although suppression of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland is a likely link between geomagnetic activity and human health, it is unlikely that all reported health effects of geomagnetic variation are due to a single mechanism (Palmer et al., 2006).

Behavioural effects

Emotions provide information, perhaps unconsciously, to people about their environment. Further, people often attribute their feelings to the wrong source, leading to incorrect judgments and behaviour. For example, someone in a bad mood because of high geomagnetic activity levels may unconsciously attribute their feelings to other aspects of their situation. People in a bad mood tend to make more pessimistic judgments and choices, especially in relatively abstract matters about which they lack concrete information (literature reviewed by Hirshleifer & Shumway, 2001; Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Sunspot cycle and behaviour

During World War I a Russian professor of Astronomy and Biological Physics, A. L. Tchijevsky, noticed that particularly severe battles followed solar flares. He consequently studied the histories of 72 countries from 500 BC to 1922 AD and found that 80% of the most significant human events, mostly of war and violence, occurred during periods of maximum sunspot activity, specifically, during the five years around the maximum in sunspot activity.  In addition to the higher likelihood of major battles, riots and migrations during this period, this time of maximum sunspot activity was also associated with the dissemination of different doctrines (political, religious, etc); the spreading of heresies, religious riots, pilgrimages, etc; the appearance of social, military and religious leaders and reformers; and the formation of political, military, religious and commercial corporations, associations, unions, leagues, sects, companies, etc. (Michalec, 1990; Mandeville, 2003).

During recent years scientific understanding of the relationship between solar activity and Earth climate, weather, agriculture and commodity markets has developed substantially. In contrast, the relationship between solar activity and human behaviour has been relatively neglected. “Modern humans, unlike the ancient cultures of Egypt, Sumer, Bhararti, Maya, and China, are highly reluctant to admit that their collective behavior is influenced strongly by the sun. They prefer to believe that reason rules their societies” (Mandeville, 2003). Mandeville (2003) showed that a strong association between maximum sunspot activity and significant human events, especially of war and violence, has persisted across the centuries up until the present time.  I (Aspects of Mind) can verify from my own record of sunspot numbers and significant human events that this association continued beyond the maximum peak of April 2014. 

References

Dimitrova, S. (2005). Investigations of some human physiological parameters in relation to geomagnetic variations of solar origin and meteorological factors. Recent Advances in Space Technologies, 2005. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on, 9-11 June 2005, 728–733.

Hirshleifer, D., & Shumway, T. (2001). Good day sunshine: Stock returns and the weather.

Krivelyova, A., & Robotti, C. (2003). Playing the field: Geomagnetic storms and the stock market. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Paper, 2003 (5b).

Lenz, D. (2004). Understanding and predicting space weather. The Industrial Physicist, 9 (6), 18-21.

Mandeville, M. W. (2003). Sunspot cycles and their influence on human history.

Marusek, J. A. (2007). Solar storm threat analysis. Impact, 2007, 1-29.

Michalec, A. (1990). Solar activity and human history.

NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center. A primer on space weather.

Palmer, S., Rycroft, M., & Cermack, M. (2006). Solar and geomagnetic activity, extremely low frequency magnetic and electric fields and human health at the Earth’s surface. Surveys in Geophysics, 27 (5), 557-595.

SIDC – Solar Influences Data Analysis Center.

Ward, J. P., & Henshaw, D. L. (2006). Geomagnetic fields, their fluctuations and health effects.

Resources

Space Weather Prediction Center. Solar Cycle Progression

Space Weather Prediction Center. Current Space Weather Conditions – Planetary K-Index

World Data Center for the International Sunspot Number

SpaceWeather.com

Mass human violence: Solar, Season and Lunar factors

Start of Wars and Revolutions: 11-year solar cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. War: American Civil (12 Apr 1861), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. War: WW1 (28 Jul 1914), S Cycle rising for 2 years but not at peak, Summer, NM
  3. Revolution: Russian (8 Mar 1917), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  4. War: Spanish Civil (17 Jul 1936), S Cycle rising for 3 years and near Peak, Summer, NM
  5. War: WW2 (1 Sep 1939), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM
  6. Revolution: Cuban (26 Jul 1953), S Cycle Trough, Summer, FM Day
  7. Revolution: Hungarian (23 Oct 1956), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  8. War: Six-Day (5 Jun 1967), start = Israel attacks Egypt’s airfields, nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, LQ/NM
  9. War: Yom Kippur (6 Oct 1973), start = Egypt crosses Suez Canal, nearing S Cycle Trough, Autumn, FQ
  10. War: Israel invades S Lebanon (6 Jun 1982), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM Day
  11. War: Jews kill c. 3,000 gentiles in USA (11 Sep 2001), S Cycle Peak, Summer, LQ
  12. War: US invades Afghanistan (7 Oct 2001), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  13. War: Coalition forces invade Iraq (19 Mar 2003), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM
  14. War: Coalition forces start bombing Libya (19 Mar 2011), nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  15. War: Saudi Arabian-led bombing starts in Yemen (26 Mar 2015), S Cycle falling but still near Peak, Spring, NM

Summary

Solar cycle. Most (80%) of these events started in the area of the 11-year solar cycle peak. WW1 is a notable exception.

Season. These events typically (80%) started in Spring / Summer. None started during the coldest months (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb in N Hem).

Lunar phase. The vast majority (86%) of these events started during Full Moon phase (53%) or New Moon phase (33%). Although the 11 Sep 2001 attack on gentiles was two days after FM phase, this complicated false flag attack could easily have been behind schedule. If 9/11 is counted as a FM phase attack, 93% of these events are associated with FM (60%) or NM (33%) phases.

Conclusion

At the start of these wars and revolutions we see strong solar cycle, season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.

Terrorism (50+ deaths reported, except #4) and an attempted revolution: 11-year Solar Cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. Terrorism: Bali bombings (12 Oct 2002), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. Terrorism: Madrid train bombings (11 Mar 2004), S Cycle past peak, Winter (almost Spring), FM
  3. Terrorism: London bombings (7 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, NM
  4. Terrorism: London bombings (21 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, FM Day
  5. ?Terrorism: Jim Stone report — Israel detonated nuclear bombs to cause tsunami and Fukushima explosion + meltdown (11 Mar 2011), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  6. ?Terrorism: Christopher Bollyn — ?Israel caused disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (8 Mar 2014), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  7. Terrorism: Paris attacks (13 Nov 2015), S Cycle past peak, Autumn, NM
  8. Terrorism: Nice truck attack (14 Jul 2016), S Cycle nearing trough, Summer, FQ
  9. Attempted revolution: Venezuela military fails in uprising attempt (19 Apr 2019), S Cycle Trough, Spring, FM

Note: Incident #4 would have likely caused large-scale loss of life but only the bomb detonators exploded.

Summary

Solar cycle. These events were not associated with the 11-year solar cycle. Only a small percentage (33%) of them were in the area of a solar cycle peak.

Season. If the three events in early to mid-March (late Winter, nearly Spring in N hem) are counted as being in Spring, 89% of these events were in Spring / Summer and only 11% in Autumn / Winter.

Lunar phase. The vast majority (89%) of these events were in Full Moon phase (33%) or New Moon phase (56%).

Conclusion

In these incidents of terrorism we do not see a solar cycle effect. However we do see strong season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.

Discussion

These findings suggest that wars and revolutions are much more likely to start in the area of solar cycle peaks than in the area of solar cycle troughs.

Although the terrorism was not associated with a particular area of the solar cycle, all these events of mass human violence (start of war and revolution, terrorism) were strongly associated with season (Spring / Summer) and lunar phase (Full Moon or New Moon).

There is reason to consider the self-evident importance of lunar phase in planning and executing these violent events in relation to an ethnic group known as a moon people and psychopathic lunatics.

Suicide by Lunar and Seasonal Factors

In my work I (Aspects of Mind) noticed that lunar and seasonal factors were associated with demand for appointments, symptoms and symptom intensity reported across meetings, and relapse. In order to investigate the effects of lunar and seasonal factors on psychological distress, in 2011 I analyzed the dates of 43,645 suicides in England and Wales from 2001 to 2010. Due to other work demands I never finished preparing the study for publication. Extracts from a draft write-up are posted below. In my work I often referred to these results in order to help people understand and better manage their difficulties associated with these natural environment stressors.

Stress

The concept of homeostasis is central to the idea of stress. Most biochemical processes in biology strive to maintain equilibrium, which is more of an ideal steady state rather than an achievable condition. As internal and external environmental factors continually disrupt homeostasis, an organism’s condition wavers about a homeostatic point that is the organism’s optimal condition for living. Factors that cause an organism’s condition to waver away from homeostasis result in stress.1 Neuroscientists of today emphasize the role of environmental demands (stressors) that exceed the natural regulatory capacity of an organism to cause stress.1 Such stressors might include those of the moon and seasons. Further, stress can be described as either “eustress”, which is stress that is healthy or gives one positive feelings, or “distress”, the most commonly-referred to type of stress and which has negative implications.2

Stressful person-environment relationships can be thought of in terms of the relative balance of forces between environmental demands and the person’s psychological resources for dealing with them. A seesaw analogy can be used, with environmental load on one side of the fulcrum and the person’s resources on the other side. If the environmental load substantially exceeds the person’s resources, a stressful relationship exists. If the person’s resources are about equal to or exceed the demands, the situation is not stressful. A lack of involvement or stimulation can result in boredom or tedium, while excessive demands can result in feelings of panic, hopelessness and depression.3 Thus in human psychobiology it has been found that psychological stress results from both under-stimulation as well as over-stimulation.4

Suicide

Worldwide suicide rates have increased by 60 percent in the past 45 years, mainly in the developing countries. Suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death5 with about a million suicides annually, or a suicide every 40 seconds.6

Factors correlated with suicide risk include underlying mental disorder, drug addiction, availability of means, family history of suicide, previous head injury,7 socio-economic factors such as unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and discrimination.8 Ultimately, hopelessness, the feeling that there is no prospect of improvement in one’s situation, is a strong indicator of suicide.9

Lunar phase

Although several studies have found limited support for lunar effects in abnormal behaviour, most have failed to show any relationship between such behaviour and the phase of the moon.10 In particular, a review of twenty studies examining correlations between moon phase and suicides showed that most of these studies found no correlation, and the ones that did report positive results were inconsistent with each other.11

Nevertheless, human and animal physiology is subject to lunar rhythms.12 The lunar cycle has been found to influence human fertility, menstruation and birth rate.12 Moreover, strong lunar cycle effects were found in stock returns. Returns in the 15 days around new moon dates were about double the returns in the 15 days around full moon dates. Evidence suggests that pessimism follows a sinusoidal pattern along the lunar cycle, with people become increasingly pessimistic in the 15 days around full moons, and increasingly optimistic around new moons.13

There does not seem to be published research on the lunar eclipse (which occurs the night of a full moon) or solar eclipse (which happens during a new moon) in relation to human behaviour.

Lunar apogee and perigee

Although there seems to be no published study of the apogee-perigee cycle in relation to humans or animals, the apogee-perigee cycle has been observed in the timing of volcanic eruptions and an eight-fold increase in earthquakes was found during the First and Last Quarter at perigee.14 It has also been noted that natural disasters such as the South East Asia earthquake and tidal wave disaster of 26 December 2004 (the day of Full Moon and the day before apogee) are more likely to occur at Full Moon, especially if the moon is at apogee.15 Apparently the earth is subject to exceptional strains when the moon is at apogee, particularly when this occurs at Full Moon.15

Seasons

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health during most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer, spring or autumn, year after year.16 This condition in summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.17 About 20% of Irish people are affected by SAD18 and an estimated 10% of the Netherlands population suffer from SAD.19

Seasonal mood variations seem to be related to light.20 It has been theorized that the cause may be related to melatonin which is produced in dim light and darkness by the pineal gland, since there are direct connections, via the retinohypothalamic tract and the suprachiasmatic nucleus, between the retina and the pineal gland.21

Suicides fall during the winter months and peak during spring and early summer.22 As there is a correlation between the winter season and rates of depression, it has been suggested that individuals decide to commit suicide while profoundly depressed in winter when they lack the ability to organize their death. Later, when the weather improves and the person feels more in control, they are able to arrange their suicide.23

Purpose of the present study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of any relationship between lunar phase and abnormal behaviour by broadening the scope of the typical study in this field to include variables of the apogee-perigee cycle and season.

Method

The dates of 43,645 suicides in England and Wales from 2001 to 2010 were classified and compared according to lunar and seasonal characteristics. The suicide dates were the known dates of suicides as defined and recorded by the Office for National Statistics. The dates were studied in relation to lunar phase, which was divided into halves; lunar apogee and perigee; and twelve annual seasonal periods determined by equinox and solstice dates and the division of each season into three equal periods. A chi-square (X2) statistic was used to investigate whether the distribution of suicide dates differed according to these variables. P-values were calculated with two tails.

Summary of findings

The following results were statistically significant, with p-values of 0.0000 from the seasonal variation variable onward. The lunar and seasonal factors are presented in order of increasing association with suicide risk.

1. Lunar and solar eclipse — Weak effect (0.8% and 0.9% increases respectively).

2. Lunar phase differences — Small. Fewest suicides occurred during New Moon phase and the largest difference (between New Moon and First Quarter) was 0.9%.

3. Seasonal variation — Suicide numbers rose and fell in trends that peaked in mid spring (about 20 April to 21 May) and troughed in late autumn (about 21 November to 21 December). The difference between these highest and lowest months was 2.1%

4. Lunar phase and apogee / perigee

4.1 Lunar phase and apogee — Suicides increased substantially when the moon was close to apogee, with biggest increases around Full Moon (6.4%) and New Moon (5.7%).

4.2 Lunar phase and perigee — Suicides decreased substantially when the moon was close to perigee, with biggest decreases around New Moon(-5.8%) and Full Moon(-5.5%).

5. The lunar phase and apogee / perigee effect varied by season.

The findings referred to in 4.1 and 4.2 obscure the variation in strength and direction of the apogee / perigee effect according to season, e.g. around Full Moon and near apogee, suicides largely decreased (-12.1%) during early Spring but largely increased (11.1%) during mid Summer. Conversely, around Full Moon and near perigee, suicides largely increased (12.7%) during early Spring but decreased (-7.8%) during mid Summer.

Conclusion

Consistent with previous research, this study found that lunar phase alone is of limited value in explaining the distribution of suicide dates. However, in conjunction with the apogee-perigee cycle and seasonal periods, lunar factors can explain variations in the distribution of suicide dates to a substantial degree. Concepts of stress, particularly those of distress and eustress, under-stimulation and over-stimulation, can provide a coherent way of thinking about the present findings.

References

1. Koolhaas, J., et al. (2011). Stress revisited: A critical evaluation of the stress concept. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 1291–1301.

2. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.

3. Lazarus, R. S. (1999). Stress and emotion: a new synthesis. New York: Springer.

4. Lundberg, U. (1984). Human psychobiology in Scandinavia: II. Psychoneuroendocrinology—human stress and coping processes. Scandinavian J of Psychology, 25 (3), 214–26.

5. Hawton K., & van Heeringen, K. (2009). Suicide, Lancet, 373 (April), 1372–81.

6. World Health Organization (2006). Suicide prevention. WHO Sites: Mental Health, (16 Feb). Retrieved 2011-12-29.

7. Teasdale T. W., & Engberg, A. W. (2001). Suicide after traumatic brain injury: a population study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 71(4), 436-40.

8. Qin P., Agerbo, E., & Mortensen, P. B. (2003). Suicide risk in relation to socioeconomic, demographic, psychiatric, and familial factors: a national register-based study of all suicides in Denmark, 1981–1997. Am J Psychiatry, 160 (4), 765–72.

9. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., Kovacs, M., et al. (1985). Hopelessness and eventual suicide: a 10-year prospective study of patients hospitalized with suicidal ideation. Am J Psychiatry, 142 (5), 559-63.

10. Chulder, E. Moonstruck! Does the full moon influence behavior?”. Neuroscience for Kids. U of Washington. http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler Retrieved 2011-12-29.

11. Kelly, I., Rotton, J., & Culver, R. (1996). The moon was full and nothing happened: a review of studies on the moon and human behavior. Revised and updated in The Outer Edge: Classic Investigations of the Paranormal, edited by J. Nickell, B. Karr, & T. Genoni, CSICOP.

12. Zimecki, M. (2006). The lunar cycle: effects on human and animal behavior and physiology. Postepy Hig Med Dosw, 60, 1-7.

13. Dichev, I. D., & Janes, T. D. (2003). Lunar cycle effects in stock returns. J of Private Equity, Fall, 8-29.

14. Pasichnyk, R. M. The living cosmos. http://www.livingcosmos.com Retrieved 2011-12-29.

15. National Association for Scientific and Cultural Appreciation. http://www.nasca.org.uk Retrieved 2011-12-29.

16. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington, DC.

17. Mayo Clinic. Seasonal Affective Disorder. http://www.mayoclinic.com Retrieved 2011-12-29.

18. BreakingNews.ie – One in five suffers from SAD http://www.breakingnews.ie Retrieved 2011-12-29.

19. Elsevier – Dark days: winter depression (Dutch) http://www.elsevier.nl Retrieved 2011-12-29.

20. Lam, R. W., Levitt, A. J., Levitan, R. D., Enns, M. W., Morehouse, R., Michalak, E.E., & Tam, E. M. (2006). The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder. Am J of Psychiatry, 163 (5), 805–12.

21. Brainard, G. C., Hanifin, J.P., Greeson, J. M., Byrne, B., Glickman, G., Gerner, E., & Rollag, M. D. (2001). Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor. J of neuroscience : the official j of the Society for Neuroscience, 21 (16), 6405–12.

22. NPR: Study: Suicides drop during holidays. http://www.npr.org Retrieved 2011-12-29.

23. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org Retrieved 2011-12-29.

Resources

From Earth and Moon Viewer and Solar System Explorer:

View of Present Moon

Perigees and Apogees, New and Full Moons

Mass human violence: Solar, Season and Lunar factors

Start of Wars and Revolutions: 11-year solar cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. War: American Civil (12 Apr 1861), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. War: WW1 (28 Jul 1914), S Cycle rising for 2 years but not at peak, Summer, NM
  3. Revolution: Russian (8 Mar 1917), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  4. War: Spanish Civil (17 Jul 1936), S Cycle rising for 3 years and near Peak, Summer, NM
  5. War: WW2 (1 Sep 1939), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM
  6. Revolution: Cuban (26 Jul 1953), S Cycle Trough, Summer, FM Day
  7. Revolution: Hungarian (23 Oct 1956), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  8. War: Six-Day (5 Jun 1967), start = Israel attacks Egypt’s airfields, nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, LQ/NM
  9. War: Yom Kippur (6 Oct 1973), start = Egypt crosses Suez Canal, nearing S Cycle Trough, Autumn, FQ
  10. War: Israel invades S Lebanon (6 Jun 1982), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM Day
  11. War: Jews kill c. 3,000 gentiles in USA (11 Sep 2001), S Cycle Peak, Summer, LQ
  12. War: US invades Afghanistan (7 Oct 2001), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  13. War: Coalition forces invade Iraq (19 Mar 2003), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM
  14. War: Coalition forces start bombing Libya (19 Mar 2011), nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  15. War: Saudi Arabian-led bombing starts in Yemen (26 Mar 2015), S Cycle falling but still near Peak, Spring, NM

Summary

Solar cycle. Most (80%) of these events started in the area of the 11-year solar cycle peak. WW1 is a notable exception.

Season. These events typically (80%) started in Spring / Summer. None started during the coldest months (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb in N Hem).

Lunar phase. The vast majority (86%) of these events started during Full Moon phase (53%) or New Moon phase (33%). Although the 11 Sep 2001 attack on gentiles was two days after FM phase, this complicated false flag attack could easily have been behind schedule. If 9/11 is counted as a FM phase attack, 93% of these events are associated with FM (60%) or NM (33%) phases.

Conclusion

At the start of these wars and revolutions we see strong solar cycle, season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.

Terrorism (50+ deaths reported, except #4) and an attempted revolution: 11-year Solar Cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. Terrorism: Bali bombings (12 Oct 2002), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. Terrorism: Madrid train bombings (11 Mar 2004), S Cycle past peak, Winter (almost Spring), FM
  3. Terrorism: London bombings (7 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, NM
  4. Terrorism: London bombings (21 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, FM Day
  5. ?Terrorism: Jim Stone report — Israel detonated nuclear bombs to cause tsunami and Fukushima explosion + meltdown (11 Mar 2011), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  6. ?Terrorism: Christopher Bollyn — ?Israel caused disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (8 Mar 2014), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  7. Terrorism: Paris attacks (13 Nov 2015), S Cycle past peak, Autumn, NM
  8. Terrorism: Nice truck attack (14 Jul 2016), S Cycle nearing trough, Summer, FQ
  9. Attempted revolution: Venezuela military fails in uprising attempt (19 Apr 2019), S Cycle Trough, Spring, FM

Note: Incident #4 would have likely caused large-scale loss of life but only the bomb detonators exploded.

Summary

Solar cycle. These events were not associated with the 11-year solar cycle. Only a small percentage (33%) of them were in the area of a solar cycle peak.

Season. If the three events in early to mid-March (late Winter, nearly Spring in N hem) are counted as being in Spring, 89% of these events were in Spring / Summer and only 11% in Autumn / Winter.

Lunar phase. The vast majority (89%) of these events were in Full Moon phase (33%) or New Moon phase (56%).

Conclusion

In these incidents of terrorism we do not see a solar cycle effect. However we do see strong season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.

Discussion

These findings suggest that wars and revolutions are much more likely to start in the area of solar cycle peaks than in the area of solar cycle troughs.

Although the terrorism was not associated with a particular area of the solar cycle, all these events of mass human violence (start of war and revolution, terrorism) were strongly associated with season (Spring / Summer) and lunar phase (Full Moon or New Moon).

There is reason to consider the self-evident importance of lunar phase in planning and executing these violent events in relation to an ethnic group known as a moon people and psychopathic lunatics.

Life Events

The work of Holmes and Rahe (1967) suggested that an accumulation of significant life events in any one year increased your vulnerability to stress-related health problems. Total up your score. A score over 300 points in one year suggests increased susceptibility to stress-related problems, while a score below 150 means a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-related health problems.

Life eventLife change unit
Death of a spouse/partner100
Divorce73
Marital separation65
Imprisonment63
Death of a close family member60
Personal injury or illness55
Marriage50
Moving house49
Dismissal from work47
Retirement45
Change in health of a family member44
Pregnancy40
Sexual difficulties39
Gaining a new family member39
Business/work changes39
Change in financial state38
Death of a close friend37
Changes in amount of arguments with spouse36
Major mortgage32
Son or daughter leaving home29
Outstanding personal achievement29
Trouble with in-laws28
Spouse begins or stops work27
Change in living conditions27
Change in social activities26
Change in recreational activities25
Change in school24
Holidays15
Christmas14
Minor violation of the law11
TOTAL SCORE

Work Stressors

Common occupational stressors are listed below.
Stressors need to be identified before they can be managed.

Job Intrinsic
Too much work
Too little work
Role conflict
Role ambiguity
Shift work
Time pressures
Long hours
Responsibility for people
Interpersonal conflict
Lack of support
Over-promotion
Lack of job security
Repetitive, paced work
Low pay
Lack of job mobility
Unfulfilled job expectations
Lack of recognition of accomplishments
Excessive travel
Technology
Public scrutiny of activities
Report to committee
Extreme accountability for high-risk tasks
Intensive contact with customers/clients
Organizational
Lack of autonomy/freedom
No participation in decision-making
Lack of consultation & sense of belonging
Poor communications
Office politics
Racial tension
Organizational changes
Environmental
Physical hazards: noize, heat, cold, humidity, dust, odours, smoke, sunlight, radiation, vibration, injury
Chemical hazards
Biological & ergonomic hazards
Ill-fitting protective equipment/clothing
Job Extrinsic
Parent/employee role conflict
Family & personal problems
Pregnancy
Money
Other social demands

List any other work stressors that trouble you.

God and Heaven

The Primacy of Consciousness

There is no external ‘reality.’ Our entire experience is a construction in our mind (consciousness). Everything we know, including space, time and matter, manifests from consciousness. Other names for consciousness include God, Allah, and the Quantum Vacuum Field. Source: The Primacy of Consciousness, an article by physicist Peter Russell. 

References

The Primacy of Consciousness — physicist Peter Russell (video).

Why Explore Cosmos and Consciousness? — physicist Andrei Linde (video), e.g. “Before you observe, nothing exists. Once you observe, everything looks as if it existed all the time. Consciousness exists without matter.

Scientific Proof of the Existence of God — an interview with physicist Amit Goswami (article), e.g. “Consciousness is the ground of all being.”

Experiments Show Consciousness Affects MatterDean Radin, PhD.

Quantum Entanglement


All things are connected at the quantum level

References

A Quantum View of the WorldDean Radin, PhD (video).

Entangled Minds and BeyondDean Radin, PhD (video).

Selected Psi Research Publications.

The Global Consciousness Project.

Continuity of Consciousness (Life after Death)

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Many people who are resuscitated from clinical death report that they had left their physical body and continued life in another realm. These near-death experiences, or NDEs, are consistent across people. A typical experience is a dying man suddenly finds himself floating above his body and watching what is going on; within moments he travels at great speed through a darkness or a tunnel; he enters a realm of dazzling light and is warmly met by recently deceased friends and relatives; he hears indescribably beautiful music and sees landscapes (rolling meadows, flower-filled valleys, and sparkling streams) more lovely than anything he has seen on earth. In this light-filled world he feels no pain or fear and is pervaded with an overwhelming feeling of joy, love, and peace; he meets a being (or beings) of light who emanates a feeling of enormous compassion, and is prompted by the being(s) to experience a “life review,” a panoramic replay of his life; he becomes so enraptured by his experience of this greater reality that he desires nothing more than to stay; however, the being tells him that it is not his time yet and persuades him to return to his earthly life and re-enter his physical body.

Numerous studies have found evidence of consciousness in patients during clinical death, e.g. the research of cardiologist Pim van Lommel and colleagues, published in the highly respected international medical journal, The Lancet, in 2001. After resuscitation, many patients in van Lommel’s study reported NDEs involving heightened, lucid awareness and logical thought processes while clinically dead (flat EEG). These people felt as though they had taken off their body like an old coat while retaining their identity with the possibility of perception, emotions, and very clear consciousness. They say that in the realm of light and love, time and space do not seem to exist; communication with deceased loved ones there is by thought transfer; they felt home, where they come from; the experience is more real than in this world; and they know that there is a continuity of their consciousness, because they experienced it. 

References

van Lommel et al. (2001), van Lommel (2004, 2006), video interviews of Dr van Lommel by Mel Van Dusen (2010) and Iain McNay (2013). All referenced sources are available on Dr van Lommel’s site.

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Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772)

Swedenborg was the Leonardo da Vinci of his era. He was the leading mathematician in Sweden, spoke nine languages, was a politician, astronomer, wrote books on metallurgy, colour theory, commerce, economics, physics, chemistry, mining, and anatomy, and invented prototypes for the airplane and the submarine. He meditated regularly and as of middle age Swedenborg was able to enter deep trances during which he left his body and visited what appeared to him to be heaven, where he conversed with “angels” and “spirits.” Swedenborg is one of several individuals in history who possessed the ability to make out-of-body journeys to the subtler levels of reality and he wrote numerous volumes about his experiences. Here is a video introduction to Swedenborg, Who was Swedenborg? (Download free ebooks and pdfs of Swedenborg’s books at links in the text beneath this video). Other videos about Swedenborg include Splendors of the Spirit: Swedenborg’s Quest for Insight and Outer Streams, Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Nature of Creation

Swedenborg said creation is made of two separate and yet coexisting “worlds”: the natural world (where we are now) and the spiritual world, comprising heaven, hell, and the world of spirits in betweenReference.

The spiritual world. Here people have bodies; live in houses; enjoy community life; are surrounded by landscapes like those of Earth, with familiar plants and animals (in addition to plants, NDE reports include hearing wonderful birdsong and seeing animals, mostly dogs, e.g. all the dogs of one’s life); particular individuals are only as near or as far away as our thoughts of them, and thinking of a person or place can actually bring us there; and everything is vivid and much more alive than in the natural world. Further, what we see responds to what we are thinking, i.e. it is a realm where the inner state of individuals is reflected in their surroundings. All life is sustained by the love and wisdom of God and originates from the spiritual world.  Reference.

Swedenborg said that heaven is: a more fundamental level of reality than our own physical world and the archetypal source from where all earthly forms originate, and to which all forms return; different from physical reality in degree but not in kind — the material world is just a frozen version of the thought-built reality of heaven and “flows in by stages” to the physical reality and “at each new stage it becomes more general and therefore coarser and hazier, and it becomes slower, and therefore more viscous and colder.”  Reference.

Similarity to NDE reports. Swedenborg’s accounts of the afterlife match descriptions of modern-day NDEs, e.g. passing through a dark tunnel; being met by welcoming spirits; landscapes more beautiful than any on Earth; a realm where time and space no longer exist; a dazzling light that emits feelings of love; appearing before beings of light; being enveloped by an all-encompassing peace and serenity; seeing the newly deceased in the spiritual world being subjected to a life review during which a person witnesses “everything they had ever been or done;” and angels communicating by “thought balls” — telepathic bursts of knowledge as a picture language so dense with information that each image contains a thousand ideas. Swedenborg also corroborates some of the less commonly reported elements of the NDE, that in the spirit world we no longer need to eat food, as information takes its place as a source of nourishmentReference.

Although it is not a feature reported by modern NDEers, Swedenborg said that in heaven there are also spirits from other planets.  Reference.

The Process of Crossing Over

A person’s experience in the spiritual world depends on what type of life s/he has led. Most people start in the world of spirits.

The World of Spirits

This is the realm we enter immediately after death, an intermediate realm situated between heaven and hell. It is like a “sorting outzone from which spirits go to either heaven or hell and it has three states.

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1. First state. Here we are essentially the same as we were in this world, e.g. we have all our memories, beliefs and attitudes. We often meet friends or relatives who crossed over before us and spouses will be reunited, although not necessarily forever. Here our inner nature becomes the whole of our being. Friends and relatives are our guide to the spiritual world, and, with the help of good spirits, our true inner nature will gradually be revealed. The duration of this state depends on how long it takes for our outer nature (what we outwardly say and do) to harmonize with our inner nature (what we truly feel and believe). Anyone who has become totally transparent in this life, whether transparently loving or transparently hateful, is fully ready for either heaven or hell, and goes straight in.

2. Second state. Here we become aware of the deeper parts of our inner nature. We start saying what we really think and we act according to what we feel without worrying about appearances or making other people happy. We act according to our inner values — the way we might act on Earth when nobody else is watching or when we’re sure we won’t get caught. People who are truly good inside will be kind and generous to others, while people who are inherently evil will be openly selfish and cruel. While we can all be generous or selfish sometimes, inherently good spirits will reject the selfish thoughts and work to rid themselves of those impulses, while inherently evil spirits will justify their bad behaviour and thereby embrace it as part of themselves. At this point, like is drawn to like, so the sorting out begins. No “judge” passes sentences of guilt or innocence — we seek out kindred spirits because that is where we feel at home.

3. Third state

a) For people who are ready for heaven, this is a time of instruction — to learn about heaven and how to lead a life that allows one to experience it. At this point, the person is already in touch with the community in heaven where s/he will ultimately live, but still has a lot to learn about that community — what it does, how the individual can contribute to it, how the community can fill the individual’s needs, and so on.

b) People who have joined a community of evil spirits will continue to descend further and further into hell until they reach those people who are most similar to them. This is not a punishment; it is simply the place where they feel most comfortable. If they have freely chosen a path that is the opposite of love and wisdom, there is nothing more the angels can do for them. The most merciful thing to do is to let them live the life they have chosen.

All people have an equal chance to go to either heaven or hell. That decision is made by the individuals themselves, in the form of every choice they’ve made to act in either a loving way or a selfish way.

Heaven

Heaven has three levels: the heavenly or celestial, the spiritual, and the natural.

Those in the “highest” heaven are closest to God while those in the “lowest” hell are described as being furthest away. At the top of everything is God, who Swedenborg describes as a living sun radiating divine good and truth throughout creation.

Heaven is in a human form, with individual communities corresponding to the function of the organs in our body, with God being the spiritual “core” of the being, sustaining it just as we are sustained by our souls. Heaven is a place of inexpressible joy and peace.

Heaven is a collective entity made up of good people who perform an important use, much as we ourselves are made up of individual cells and atoms that are essential to the full functioning of our body. The animating force of heaven, as well as of living creatures on earth, is God’s love and wisdom. God is the very essence of life, love, and wisdom itself, the source and sustenance of all that exists. We are only close to God to the extent that we align ourselves with God’s will, thus opening ourselves to the inflow of God’s love and wisdom, i.e. heaven.

People who are not ready to experience a certain level of heaven will feel uncomfortable, even sick, and will be forced to retreat back down to lower levels until they have been properly prepared. This is even truer of spirits who are bound for hell.

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Hell

Hell is the part of creation that is furthest away from God. If we visualize heaven as being in the form of a human being as described above, hell would be the area beneath that being’s feet.

Swedenborg did not describe hell as a place of fiery torment where God punishes sinners. Rather, it is human beings themselves who choose hell by consistently choosing to act selfishly or cruelly toward others. Also, there is no one Devil or Satan who is the counterpart to God. In hell the inhabitants are “devils” or “satans” and they torture each other by lying, manipulating and inflicting pain on others in an attempt to dominate and gain power.

To angels, the inhabitants of hell are twisted, misshapen and live in buildings that are ugly, filthy, and stink horribly. However, to the inhabitants of hell their surroundings seem pleasant and they can even be attractive to each other. Therefore devils prefer hell to heaven and would not choose to live anywhere else even if they were given the option. They find heaven repulsive and cannot stand its light for even a few moments. They perceive heavenly teachings as sickly sweet and may dismiss good people as being too idealistic or impractical.

As with heaven, hell has different regions and levels. The deepest hells are the darkest and coldest (as God is the source of light and heat in the spiritual world). The only light and warmth in hell arises from the fires of malice that emanate from its inhabitants. Those who live in the deepest hells are the ones who embrace evil on the innermost levels of their being, who love themselves more than anything else, and who find great delight in inflicting pain on others.

Origin of angels and devils. Like the angels in heaven, all devils were once human beings; there are no beings in either heaven or hell who were not once living on Earth.

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Marriage (Conjugal Love)

If two people were truly of one mind on earth, they will live together as spouses in heaven too. However, if they were not happily married, or if their personalities are fundamentally different, they will eventually part ways. Swedenborg says those who did not find love on earth will eventually find their perfect match in heaven — no one is ever alone unless they wish to be.  Reference.

Consistent with his observation that angels are not a separately created race of genderless beings, Swedenborg is adamant that gender characteristics are part of one’s spiritual substance and thus survive death. He says not only that there are marriages in heaven, but that such unions involve supremely pleasurable sexual experiences.  Reference.

Civilization in the higher dimension

Individuals such as NDEers, yogic adepts and ayahuasca-using shamans who are privileged enough to have visited civilizations of the subtle realms universally report seeing many vast and celestially beautiful cities there. The most notable feature of these great cities is that they are brilliantly luminous. They are also frequently described as foreign in architecture, sublimely beautiful and grand beyond words. In describing one such city Swedenborg said that it was a place “of staggering architectural design, so beautiful that you would say this is the home and the source of the art itself.” They are also frequently described as having an unusual number of schools and other buildings associated with the pursuit of knowledge. NDEers have said that the buildings of higher learning they visited were not just devoted to knowledge, but were literally built out of knowledgeReference.

Related posts
Aspects of Mind
Meaning of Suffering
Spirituality, religion and Nature
Prophecy for our times

Aspects of Mind

Aspects of consciousness are briefly discussed below.

1. All in the mind

Scientific evidence indicates that our entire experience is a construction in our mind (consciousness or awareness).1 There is no external ‘reality.’ It has been suggested, “Everything we know, including space, time and matter, manifests from consciousness.”2

2. Everything has mind

It has been proposed that consciousness is an intrinsic property of creation. Therefore it is in everything, from atoms through to creatures with complex nervous systems such as ours. This does not mean that simpler systems have thoughts or feelings, or any of the other mental functions that we associate with consciousness. It only implies that everything in the universe has the capacity for consciousness in some form, however faint.3

3. Same mind

A person’s sense of inner ‘me’ (constant regardless of age, experience and location) is pure consciousness and it is the same for all of us. “The light of consciousness shining in me is the same light that shines in you.”2

4. Source of mind

Consciousness streams from the physically real virtual energy field known as the vacuum state (also called the vacuum),1 called Akasha by ancient Indian philosophers and the Akashic field or A-field by Ervin László.3,4,5 The vacuum is beyond time and space and the source of everything that exists. Other names for the vacuum include Allah, God, Jehovah and Collective Unconscious.1

5. Nature of mind

The vacuum consists of a subtle sea of fluctuating energies that informs not just the current universe, but all universes past and present (collectively, the “Metaverse”).4 The vacuum can explain why our universe appears to be fine-tuned as to form galaxies and conscious lifeforms; and why evolution is an informed, not random, process.4 The vacuum is the constantly updated holographic memory of the universe, holding the record of all that ever happened in life, on Earth and in the cosmos, and it relates this to all that is yet to happen.3 Names for the records include Akashic Records, Cosmic Consciousness, Collective Unconscious, Hall of Records, Matrix and Book of Life.4 The Bible refers to the records as the Book of Life in both the Old Testament (Psalm 69:28) and the New Testament (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 20:15 and Revelation 21:27)7 We access our personal Hall of Records through archetypes (the dynamic principles that organize the material of the collective unconscious) and our genetic encoding.4 

(i) Barcode access. It has been suggested that our genome serves a ‘barcode’ function: “a new organism opens an ‘account’ on the ‘Internet’ of the physical universe using the DNA structure as an access code . . . . Due to the activities of individual organisms the species data warehouse is transformed.”8 The effects of foreign DNA on a person’s consciousness support the barcode theory. In several publications 9,10,11 it has been reported that following a heart transplant sometimes the recipient experiences thoughts and feelings that are totally strange and new, and later it becomes obvious that they fit with the character and consciousness of the deceased donor. The DNA in the donor heart seems to give rise to fields of consciousness that are received by the organ recipient. 

(ii) Evolution. It has been suggested12 that the vacuum develops consciousness over the course of many universes that arise from and return to the vacuum, until eventually the vacuum’s consciousness will be fully developed. This process necessarily involves suffering in the universe, as one region in the mind field perceives another and consciousness interacts with consciousness.1 The laws of “physics” can be thought of as “the laws governing the unfolding of a mental field” and “how perturbations in this field interact.”1

(iii) Thinning of energy. The universe is much less energetic than the vacuum. Therefore the universe is not a solid condensate floating on top of the vacuum, but like a set of bubbles suspended in it. In terms of energy, the material world is a thinning of the vacuum.6

(iv) Light. The physical world and the world of mind share a common ground that we experience as light. Physical light has no mass, is not part of the material world, seems to be fundamental to the universe and does not exist in space and time (it is absolute). Similarly, the light of consciousness is immaterial, fundamental (without it there would be no experience), and originates beyond the material world where there is neither space nor time (it is absolute).2 Mystics have spoken of this inner light as the Divine Light, the Cosmic Light, the Light of Light, the Eternal Light that shines in every heart and the Uncreated Light from which all creation takes form.2 Similarly, according to the Bible “God is Light” (1 John 1:5) and “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12 and John 9:5).7

(v) Beauty. The process wherein the vacuum clarifies, understands and assimilates the akashic records is beautiful as beauty characterizes truth, e.g. aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations.13 This is consistent with numerous biblical passages indicating that God’s purpose is glory (defined in Christianity as “the beauty and bliss of heaven”14), e.g. “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever!” (Rom 11:36).7

(vi) Love. This process involves love because beauty is associated with love. Plato explained that love is an appreciation of the beauty of the subject, or even appreciation of beauty itself.13 Indeed, it has been found that the EEG patterns of a couple deeply in love are closely synchronized,6 i.e. the beauty of symmetry underlies their feeling of a deep oneness. Further, a view common in both Eastern and Western religions is that love is the ‘ground state’ or essential foundation of the entire universe, e.g “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and “If I have . . . but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).7

6. Continuity of mind

“You take the life inside you with you when you go” said cardiologist and near-death experience (NDE) researcher Pim van Lommel.15 Research into NDEs indicates that consciousness continues beyond death of the body.16,17 Quantum mechanics can explain this continuity of consciousness; when we die our consciousness only has an eternal aspect of waves.18

Effects of supporting / not supporting evolution

Consistent with the concept of karma, evidence suggests that the vacuum tends to support or extinguish behaviour in the universe according to its compatibility with the evolution of light and love. This evidence is (a) biological, e.g. the superior health outcomes of non-smokers versus smokers (lack of respect for self); (b) psychological, e.g. the superior psychological outcomes of assertive (respect for self and others) versus aggressive (respect for self but not others) or submissive (respect for others but not self) patterns of behaviour; (c) social, e.g. the importance of nurturance (love) in interpersonal relationship satisfaction and continuation; and (d) environmental, e.g. the increased risk of flood disaster in areas of deforestation. Moreover, research indicates that meditation, which increases spiritual awareness, leads to more effective coping and improved mental wellbeing.13 Conversely, behaviour which is at odds with vacuum evolution (a lack of spiritual awareness) could be expected to elicit a Divine response ranging in scope from the premature death of a substance misuser, for example, through to the current mass species extinction — expected to include humans — as a result of humans’ catastrophic destruction of Earth’s ecosystems.

Related posts
God and Heaven
Meaning of Suffering
Spirituality, religion and Nature
Prophecy for our times

References

1. Russell, P. (2006). The Primacy of Consciousness. Chapter contributed to László, E., Science and the reenchantment of the cosmos: The rise of the integral vision of reality. Inner Traditions.

2. Russell, P. (2005). From science to God: A physicist’s journey into the mystery of consciousness.

3. László, E (2006). Science and the reenchantment of the cosmos: The rise of the integral vision of reality. Inner Traditions.

4. László, E. (2004). Science and the Akashic Field: An integral theory of everything. Inner Traditions.

5. László, E. (2009). The old and the new concept of a self-renewing universe.

6. László, E. (1996). Subtle Connections: Psi, Grof, Jung, and the Quantum Vacuum. The International Society for the Systems Sciences and The Club of Budapest.

7. The Holy Bible, New International Version.

8. Berkovich, S. (2005). Prediction of the Virgo axis anisotropy: CMB radiation illuminates the nature of things.

9. Sylvia, C. & Novak, W. (1997). A change of heart: A memoir. New York: Little Brown.

10. Pearsall, P. (1998). The heart’s code. New York: Broadway.

11. Pearsall, P., Schwartz, G. E. R., & Russek, L.G. S. (2000). Changes in heart transplant recipients that parallel the personalities of their donors. Integrative Medicine, 2 (2-3), Spring, 65-72. Also available here.

12. László, E. (2009). Science and the akashic field: An integral theory of everything. The Great Rethinking: Oxford.

13. Wikipedia.

14. The Free Dictionary.

15. Neimark, J. (2003). New Life for Near-Death. Spirituality & Health, September-October.

16. van Lommel, P., van Wees, R., Meyers, V., & Elfferich, I. (2001). Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands. The Lancet, 358 (15 Dec), 2039-45.

17. Fenwick, P. (2004). Science and spirituality: A challenge for the 21st century. The Bruce Greyson lecture from the International Association for Near-Death Studies Annual Conference.

18. van Lommel, P. (2004). About the continuity of our consciousness. In: Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness, 550: 15-132. Machado, C. and Shewmon, D.A., Eds. New York: Academic/ Plenum.

Meaning of Suffering

Suffering is the experience of pain or distress; loss, injury or harm.1 The intensity of suffering is influenced by the extent to which we view it as avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved. There are reasons to believe that suffering is not avoidable, always useful and neither deserved nor undeserved.

Suffering is not avoidable

“Everything in this life has a purpose, there are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” (Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, 1926 – 2004, Swiss-born psychiatrist and pioneer in Near-death studies)

Scientific knowledge of the “vacuum” (discussed below) indicates that personal events are indeed subject to forces beyond the individual’s control.

Suffering is useful

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” (Elbert Hubbard, 1856 – 1915, American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher)

It might be easy to see the usefulness of suffering when it is not excessive or the benefit is self-evident. However, when an individual is physically / mentally broken beyond repair, with no discernible benefit, the usefulness of adversity is far more difficult to appreciate. In these situations it may only be possible to find purpose in suffering at a spiritual (incorporeal consciousness1) level.

Before considering the spiritual value of suffering, it is necessary to address the nature of reality and the continuity of consciousness.

The only reality is spiritual. There is a trend in theoretical physics to view the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals.2 In this approach the universe is seen as holographic. If the world is a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and transforms them into sensory perceptions, objective reality ceases to exist.3 All ‘reality’ is subjective (e.g. physicist Amit Goswami, 20014 ), that is, it exists only within the experiencer’s mind.

Spiritual reality continues. Summarizing 30 years of research, one of the world’s leading near-death experience (NDE) researchers, psychiatrist Peter Fenwick (2004)5 reported, “consciousness may survive death of the body” (p. 6). One of the most important studies to find evidence of consciousness beyond clinical death was by cardiologist Pim van Lommel. It was published in The Lancet (2001).6

Spiritual benefits of suffering

In most religions all suffering is considered useful at a spiritual level. Pope John Paul II explained7 that our suffering represents divine love, as did the suffering of Christ, and that through suffering we can have eternal life. This view is consistent with scientific understanding of the vacuum and the role of stress (suffering) in the expression of consciousness and love.

The vacuum. This is the physically real dynamic virtual-energy substratum that endures through all of time and fills all of space. It is equivalent in meaning to “Allah” and “God.” The vacuum generates events that can be located in the manifest world and it is the holographic memory of everything that happens in the universe. Further, it seems that the vacuum develops consciousness (awareness) through the universe.8,9

The development of consciousness is stressful. Examples of this include the origin of our cosmos in the Big Bang, the birth of new life, the psychological development of human life (e.g. the psycho-social “crises” from infancy to late adulthood described by psychologist Erik Erikson) and artistic creation. Artistic creation involves suffering10 and it is inspired by suffering.11

Suffering is associated with love. The only way to appreciate suffering is to experience it, and this power of understanding is essential to the development of compassion for others.12 Conversely, suffering evokes compassion in others.13 The interconnectedness in the natural world of seemingly contrary forces, such as suffering and love, is described in Chinese philosophy by the concept of yin yang.

The link between suffering (associated with the development of consciousness) and love is consistent with (a) the quantum mechanics-based theory of physicist Amit Goswami (1995)14 who reasoned that love and consciousness are the fundamental ground structure of the universe and (b) the review (Fenwick, 2004)5 of research on NDEs which found that “love and light are fundamental to the dying experience” (p. 6). Further, the connection between suffering and love supports the view common in both Eastern and Western religions that love is the ‘ground state’ or essential foundation of the entire universe, e.g 1 John 4:16 (“God is love”), 1 John 1:5 (“God is light”) and 1 Corinthians 13:2 (“If I have . . . but have not love, I am nothing”).15 Moreover, it is well established in psychological research that nurturance (love) within interpersonal relationships is a powerful therapeutic force. Such findings endorse the view of psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1997):16 “The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love” (p. 15).

We suffer together

Subatomic particles are able to communicate with each other instantly regardless of the distance separating them, whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart. This is because at a deeper level of reality such particles are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of the same fundamental something.3 This implies that the electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky.3 The suffering of a particular individual is therefore inseparable from all other instances of consciousness and cosmic consciousness as a whole.

Related posts
God and Heaven
Aspects of Mind
Spirituality, religion and Nature
Prophecy for our times

References

1. The Free Dictionary.

2. Bekenstein, J. D. (2003). Information in the holographic universe. Scientific American (August).

3. Talbot, M. (1991). The holographic universe. Harper Collins.

4. Goswami, A. (2001). The quantum book of living, dying, reincarnation and immortality.  Hampton Roads Publishing.

5. Fenwick, P. (2004). Science and spirituality: A challenge for the 21st century. The Bruce Greyson lecture from the International Association for Near-Death Studies Annual Conference.

6. van Lommel, P., van Wees, R., Meyers, V., & Elfferich, I. (2001). Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands. The Lancet, 358 (15 Dec), 2039-45. 

7. The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II (1984). On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering. Apostolic letter, (11 Feb).

8. László, E. (2009). Science and the akashic field: An integral theory of everything. The Great Rethinking: Oxford.

9. László, E. (2009). The old and the new concept of a self-renewing universe.

10. Salles, C. A. (1994). Artistic creation as a semiotic process: The esthetic lure of final causes. Semiotica, 102 (3-4), 225-236.

11. Storr, A. (1988). Solitude. Flamingo.

12. Hoisington, W. D. (2010). A Theory of Compassion Development.

13. Gilbert, D. T., Fiske, S. T., & Lindzey, G. (1998). The handbook of social psychology, 1, 4th ed.

14. Goswami, A., Reed, R. E., & Goswami, M. (1995). The self-aware universe: How consciousness creates the material world. New York, NY: Tarcher.

15. The Holy Bible, New International Version.

16. Kübler-Ross, E. (1997). The Wheel of Life…A Memoir of Living and Dying. New York, NY: Touchstone Press.

Life Stages

Life stages are part of the normal growth process. Adult development, like that of children, occurs in a predictable, if not always orderly, pattern. Bodies change. Responsibilities shift. Goals are revised. Dreams are restructured. Self-image fluctuates.

Each life stage poses unique developmental tasks. There are challenges to be met, skills to be developed, issues to be resolved. The young adult must leave the family, establish independence, test values. The older adult needs to accept mortality and personal limitations, nurture deep friendships, deal with grief.

Each stage has its unique stresses. The striving for success after leaving school, the values upheaval of the ‘mid-life crisis’ and the loss of companions that accompanies aging are intrinsically stressful. Adults have ‘growing pains’ too.

The stress of growth is compounded if we fight the process or don’t give ourselves permission to experience a stage fully.

Use these brief descriptions of the issues commonly encountered from late adolescence onward to see where you are in your own journey.

Breaking loose (late teens): Leaving home, focus on peers, testing your wings, loneliness, attachment to causes, changing life style, throwing out family morals, conforming to friends.

Building the nest (twenties): Search for identity, intimate friendships, marriage, intoxication with own power, great dreams, making commitments, taking on responsibilities, getting launched in a career, working toward goals, doing ‘shoulds’, finding a mentor, having children.

Looking around (thirties): Raising questions, recognizing painful limitations, gathering possessions, moving up the career ladder, declining satisfaction in marriage, settling down, desiring freedom, asking “What do I want to do with my life?”

Mid-life rebirth (around forty): Awareness of mortality, diminishing physical energy, emotional turmoil, parenting teenagers, finding new friends, deep questions, changing careers, second adolescence, sense of aloneness, divorce, remarriage, conflicting pressures, remodeling life structure, learning to play again.

Investing in life (fifties): Life reordered, settling down, acting on new values, focus on people instead of possessions and power, selecting a few good friends, last child leaving home, grand-parenting, more financial freedom, enjoying life, empty nest, lost dreams.

Deepening wisdom (later years): Softening feelings, mellowing wisdom, steady commitments to self and others, deepening richness, simplifying life, adjustment to limitations, loss of energy, financial pressures, retirement, quiet joys, self-knowledge, self-acceptance, facing death.

Twilight years: Loneliness, freedom from ‘shoulds’, dependence on those who once depended on you, mind sharp/body failing, body fine/mind failing, loss of mate and friends, preparing for death, sense of peace and perspective.

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