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March 21, 2022


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Hi Sonya!
Sorry to hear about your marriage difficulties and in particular the poor behavior of your soon-to-be-ex.

The end of a twenty year marriage is a major life event.

I wish you profound moments peace, insight and strength as you move through all that this transition means, and the necessary time to transition through it.

Do you have social support from family or friends to help?

Posted by: Spence Tepper | March 21, 2022 at 07:12 PM

Thanks, Spence. Yes, I have friends—well, I guess we sort of spilt our friends now. But I’ll be fine. Lots of self-help books for these types of situations. Our marriage started going south when I left the path. It’s like the gap got a little wider day by day. But I’m not going to stay in something I don’t believe in just to keep my marriage. It’s a strange sacrifice.

Karma has elements that can be proven.

We are gong to go through destiny. In retrospect every event has a cause.

If we could understand all things perfectly, we could see it, just as easily as we plan and do most things, limited to what we know.

We are born under certain conditions, with biochemistry, certain people in our lives, certain treatment by them, certain locality, cultural beliefs certain education, and reactions by us. It is all understandable and predictable the more we can see.

So our life is preset by these initial conditions, and environments and proceeds predictably from them and the other events we witness and create.

The plan is basically there.

Our reactions also contribute new effects.

So, we have the unique plan for this life set at the start from conditions created long ago, before we were born.

We have the destiny we will predictably live through.

And we have all the effects on others and ourselves from our own participation and action. These effects that touch upon other people have long term effects that may extend beyond our life.

All this is observable fact.

What is not proven is our participation in the past that created the conditions we were given. Still, we were handed what we were handed. There is no denying it, only accepting and working with it.

Nor is there proof that we will be subjected to the effects of our behavior after this life is over. There is only the proof that what we helped or hurt affected others, and those effects echo through their own behavior to others still, for periods of time that cannot be fully perceived.

The part of Karma theory that can be seen is evidence that those parts are undeniable.

We can accept responsibility to do what we can for the good of all with what we have.

That much is on our hands.

"If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists."
— Blaise Pascal —

"If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists."
— Blaise Pascal —

Posted by: 777 | March 22, 2022 at 10:53 AM

😊 That’s what an on-the-fence-atheist friend of mine says sometimes.

Good quote.


Oddly I’m feeling pretty OK. I really appreciate your words. For the first three days I was curled up in a fetal position. But now I’m like, this is sort of ridiculous. So, I know I’m going to be fine.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of karma, though. I sort of get it in the most basic sense—cause and effect. But fate and destiny don’t make much sense. There’s so much you can do to alter your “fate” that it seems unlikely anything is really set in stone.

H Brian, not sure where to pose a question to you, but thought here would be okay. I've spent some time recently reading Dr. Newton's books on Past Life Regression. Fascinating stuff and not really convinced of what this really is, but with my background and upbringing in RSSB, it peaks my interest.

I went thru your blog history and found some references to this in a post from Nov 23, 2007: Grace & mercy or cause & effect? There are comments in this post by Manjit and william on PLR. On the face of it, there doesn't appear to be leading questions and independent of each regression, they appear to have very similar /aligned "experiences".

Do you have any input on whether this is just mumbo jumbo or is there some shred of credibility to this process? Curious on your thoughts.


Hi Sonya!
You wrote
"For the first three days I was curled up in a fetal position. But now I’m like, this is sort of ridiculous. So, I know I’m going to be fine."

Whatever inside you moved from A to B is wonderful.


Yesss 🤔 it truly is. 😊

From the depths of public humiliation in the scientific community, a courageous and determined scientist re-emerges with a bold and moving study.


Very interesting.

It isn't clear to me, though, how they might validate something like that. A bit like the Ouijah board, isn't it, if they haven't yet tried it out on folks who can corroborate that what appears to have been communicated is indeed what was communicated?

Literal question, not rhetorical. I'm not suggesting it's a fraud, only that I don't quite see that they've actually done that essential validation. Probably I don't see it because I know nothing about it beyond that article, that's all. Should anyone know, including you Spence, then it'd be great if you could fill me in.

Any case, fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting.

(How'd SH communicate from atop his magic chair? Wiggle his eyebrows or something? ----But of course, he wasn't quite "locked in", so that last, while interesting, wouldn't be apples to apples I suppose, and nor would validation be such an issue.)

Hi Appreciative!
Validation, internal validation of responses to yes and no questions, where the recorded response is distinct and consistent.

Your name is John
Yes /no
You are x years old,
Yes/ No
I like football
Yes / no...

Hundreds of such verifiable questions with consistent and distinct responses and you build the validity that yes means yes and no means no.

Then new questions..
Would you like water?
Yes / no

Did you like the water we gave you?
Yes /no.

But as the article stated, just exactly how the patient was able to trigger the detector in his brain to respond distinctly and consistently no one knows.
This is really new and early research, but with incredible positive implications for medical science and treatment.

The researchers and this patient and their family are nothing short of courageous in their pursuit of this field, that could help so many others.

Hm yes, makes sense. Hadn't thought it through, obvious now you spell it out. The validation I mean; the mechanism itself, as you say, and as the article mentions, is something they've yet to figure out.

Cool, thanks Spence.

From the depths of public humiliation in the scientific community, a courageous and determined scientist re-emerges with a bold and moving study.


Posted by: Spence Tepper | March 23, 2022 at 07:33 PM

It’s true, scientists haven’t quite figured out the exact mechanism of thought. They can’t stimulate the brain to think specific thoughts. We know that synapses fire in the brain and neurotransmitters do their thing but it’s not certain in the scientific community whether a thought precedes these chemical reactions in the brain or if the firing synapses create the thoughts. It’s a marvel.

But yes, no point belaboring this super depressing fact again and again, after having already made one's point clearly once. Sorry; mustn't have been very pleasant, coming on top of your personal troubles, that you've spoken of here. I trust you'll be able to walk out of that latter healthier and stronger, and hopefully, eventually, happier, and with the realization that you're well rid of what, basis what you say, is truly good riddance. Cheers, Sonya, and God bless.

Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 24, 2022 at 11:38 PM

Hi AR,

No, it’s fine. Sobering, but fine—there are no victors in war.

I’m good too. Was planning a trip to Paris in October for my 50th birthday. He had said he was good with that and looked forward to it, but when I booked the tickets he freaked out and said he couldn’t plan for anything that far ahead. Then one thing led to another. I don’t know… I’m in a state of uncertainty but I’m not depressed or even sad. It’s strange. Sometimes the hardest part about any relationship ending is that feeling of rejection. I’m mean, you could be with someone you don’t even like that much but being rejected never feels good. That said, all of the sudden that part didn’t matter to me. You can’t base your self worth on another persons opinion of you.

I’m still going to Paris, though. 😊 I finally decided on a hotel today. I could go alone and still have a great time because I really love that city. Or I might take my niece. Not sure.

Sooo… now Putin supports the transgender community? 😂 👏 He is a mixed bag of nuts.

I support the LGBTQ community as well, but I don’t think people should base their whole identity on their sexuality… just sayin’

@ AR: [ I can't figure out if you're agreeing with me as far as our "scientific genius astrologer", or disagreeing, or if, as you say "to some extent" ... ]

* redirected from "Death is the only victor in Russia's unjustified war against Ukraine"

I have no idea about the "genius" assessment. Like others though I'm
doubtful, just not completely dismissive. After all, not that long ago,
most saw "mindfulness" as a bizarre practice worthy of scorn if not a
danger to mental health itself. But even without a compelling scientific
explanation, it became popular when its health and cognitive benefits
became clear.

Astrology seems to satisfy some psychic need for personality insights
as well as predictive assurances about future events. Its record is
dubious but who can say an expert astrologer might not be far more
accurate. Besides, a dissatisfied astrology client might then transition
to a mindfulness path with a better track record and fewer charlatans.


Covid starts to reduce after in take of Ivermectine in Delhi.
They disrtibute the Ivermectine pills.

S* and Brian

Brian has written that he will nort accept fake news.
The site and the information you again place here S. is considered by mainstream medical sources as FAKE and also OUTDATED.

It says:
>>vermectin and HCQ were dropped from the clinical guidance after studies found that these drugs have little to no effect on Covid-related mortality or clinical recovery of the patient.<

S*... you are like a person that KNOWING that the person she is going to visit doesn't like the color blue, choses to go there all in dressed blue, to "please her". .

You should be ashamed of yourself.

I got vaccinated and still got Covid over Christmas. Some people haven’t been vaccinated and miraculously haven’t gotten Covid somehow like my oldest niece in High School who lives in a rural conservative town (and I can assure you she’s not wearing a mask all the time like she should).

It’s sort of random. HCQ might be in question, however the first time I got Covid (at the beginning of the pandemic) I noticed that when I took HCQ my symptoms diminished considerably for a few hours—I took it every 4 hours for a few dates.

You see, I have an autoimmune disease and take HCQ for that—once per day when I’m having flare ups. HCQ helps with this particular autoimmune disease (Sjogrens) even though medical research has no idea why. But doctors know that it helps based on many trials they just don’t understand exactly how it’s working to help patients with autoimmune diseases.

So, it definitely helped my immune system fight back at the virus. But that would necessarily work for everyone. Maybe just people with certain autoimmune diseases like RA, Lupus, Sjogrens.

That said, I can tell you that the vaccine is much safer for the body than taking HCQ. So, given a choice I would just get vaccinated. Seems logical.

Simple math.

@ Sonya

Vaccins in general do not protect against the contamination with a virus but to strengthen the immune system in such a way that when a person is infected with the virus, he or she will not end up in hospital and certainly not in an IC ward. And ... THAT ... is not only good news for the individual burt als for the overal healthcare in a country in order to prevend that their hospitals and IC's are flooded with "heayvy" cases.

And ... most people that are infected with this sars virus, have no noticeable symptoms. And if you life in a rural area with fewer inter-human contact the chances to get infected is lower and those in farmer families also have stronger and better developed immune systems then those living in crowded cities.

And .. wearing masks is NOT to protect the wearer unless it is a high grade medical mask. The mask that most people wear are to protect others from getting infected by those that are infected with or without their knowledge.



@ S°
I love U and your truthfull comment very much
Also Toal Japan recovered in 10 days after doing
wat you referred you and sending the moderna dirt back

I thank U with a little photo of yourself
attending my marriage with Helga in 1972


@ 777

What would the snake-oil seller in the market place do without the gullible people that are out for a simple answer on a complex problem?

But .. snake-oil wil never become a working medicinal drug .. irrespective of how sophisticated the snake-oil seller promotes his ideas.

It is simple G. .. snake-oil is just what it is, snake oil and no power in the world can change it.

Thank you 777
Very sweet of you!!
The world has changed...not easy!!

You were fabulously fashionable!

and Helga!

Thanks , both of you

Now official data give a modest 100 000 death by vacinations in the US &EU
This is nothing new
Pasteur had one one a million and 10 worse like lifelong migraine, autism

Increasing the expiration time for commercial reasons : Just multiply by 10
Do the count
But it was accepted the whole last century

No by added nano manipulation Do multiply by 100

Death is not the point tmho but 10 Million with lifelong Migraine etc
THAT is bad karma
Now think again about NOBEL PRIZE Ivermectine with 100% succes
, no single failure
... and Yes , I know BBJ left it to our own judgements take the risk
HE took the Jab - I hope he took the conventional Indian made category
because I have seen Him always together with Dear CharanJI in my own self
regularly , I guess He absorbs the karmas involved -I don't see dirty spots on Him there


Never stop learning. Never stop growing.

Where Science and Religion Meet


It’s curious, you focus so much on the importance of meditation, with the intent of being in the now or the timelessness presence of the One. Yet you are obsessed with the past, attributing everything in your “current” state to the past—past lives, past events.

With a belief system and thought system so firmly rooted in the past, getting to the “now” or the timelessness of God requires a revelation which makes you realize that there is no past. And yet you put so many stumbling blocks in your way by dooming yourself to your past. There is truly a great obsession with the past in Sant Mat.

Dungeness, this is in response to your comment, referencing that study on the lunar effect on crime, in the Ukraine thread. I’m bringing this discussion here in order not to take that thread, already derailed by this discussion on astrology, any further off-topic.

I enjoyed going through the report you referenced. (You’ve linked the abstract, but clicking on it gives you the pdf with the actual details.) And, my interest piqued, I went ahead and accessed some more studies about this “lunar effect” (as it is called, the alleged effect of the phases of the moon on human behavior). I’ll go ahead and present the links to the reports/studies as well as brief synopses of what those links will lead you to, but in a separate comment immediately after this one, in order to make for easy reading. Meanwhile, here are my comments about this study, and more generally about the lunar effect thingy. I’m numbering my comments, and separating them out, to (hopefully!) make for easy (or at least, easier) reading.


(1) First and foremost, let’s be clear about one thing. The (alleged) effect of lunar phases on human beings has absolutely nothing to do with astrology. Repeat, for emphasis, in full caps: THE (ALLEGED) EFFECT OF LUNAR PHASES ON HUMAN BEINGS HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ASTROLOGY.

Why do I say this? Because the moon is, like, our next-door neighbor. While, take for example, Pluto, that our fellow-commenter and his friend, Lobo the Scientific Genius, are so fond of:

I just did some back-of-the-envelope calculations just now. Now I’m no physicist, but this is simple school-level physics and math. And the masses of the moon, earth and Pluto, as well as the distances between the moon and Earth, as well as Earth and Pluto, are very easily available with one or two clicks. If you wish I can share my calculations with you, if you’d like to check them. Or you could just look up the masses and distances online and do the calculations yourself, if you wish to check (not that any potential error as far as the small details will make any difference to the larger argument I’m making here). The thing is, for us here on Earth, the gravitational pull of Pluto is like a BILLION times less than that of the moon.

That’s as far as planets. When it comes to stars, the distances are even more colossal. Stars are more massive, true; but just like with planets vis-à-vis the moon, and both with respect to us here on Earth, the effect of their greater distance far far far outweighs the effect of the greater mass, because, firstly, the distance is so very huge, and secondly and more importantly, because it is r-squared in the denominator, that is, the distance gets squared in the denominator, making distance a far more important factor than mass in the calculation, when it comes to bodies situated so very far away. So, just like with Pluto vis-à-vis the moon, similarly the gravitational effect of some individual star will be absolutely totally inconsequential.

Which is why the moon causes tides and all, but the planets don’t, and nor do the stars. (The Sun is a different matter, but of course that’s a whole different story, involving very different plotlines!)

And finally, astrology uses constellations as well. And that’s totally nonsensical, because constellations aren’t even a thing. They’re merely the visual representation from Earth of different stars, and individual stars within a single constellation may be at very different distances from earth as well as at very different planes of revolution.

The only way astrology can make any kind of sense, even assuming the lunar effect is a thing, is by invoking some kind of butterfly effect. Which is automatically an appeal to divinity (or maybe to time travel, or maybe to aliens), because no human agency today is capable of either formulating such insanely intricate relationships, nor of measuring all of those uncountable variables, and nor of carrying out those massive calculations.

Stated more concisely, if also maybe just a bit vulgarly: Regardless of the truth value of the lunar effect, astrology is horse shit. The lunar effect argument does not bear on astrology, at all.


(2) Like I said, I looked up some more research on the alleged lunar effect on crime. The implications of what I found is obvious enough, but I’ll spell them out in the next section; and the details and the links of those studies, as I said, I’ll present in a separate comment right after this one; but here’s the summary of what I found:

I looked at 13 studies (of which 12 were about criminality, and one was not about criminality per se but about the numbers of emergency psychiatric cases reported).

In nine of these 13 studies, there was zero correlation found between lunar phases and criminality.

Which means that in 4 studies there was positive correlation, right? And that’s, like, not all that bad, right? Hah, that’s the funny part!! Read on.

One of those four studies found a significant correlation --- except of the opposite kind than what was hypothesized!! That is, they found that there was DECLINE in criminality during full moons.

In two of them, while there was no correlation for indoor crimes, but outdoor crimes were found to have gone up. The researchers, in both cases, suggested the “illumination hypothesis”, which term I guess is self-explanatory. (If you’re unclear, you can check out the link from my subsequent comment, or else just ask me.)

And yes, in one of these 13 studies, absolutely, there was indeed higher criminality associated with full moons.


(3) So the implications of the above is obvious, but in this section I’m going to spell it out nevertheless.

To begin with, let me clarify that the selection I’ve presented is ideology-agnostic. That is, I’ve done no cherry-picking here. In other words, they’re a fair selection, simply the first substantial references that happened to come up, and they haven’t been curated in order to make them spell out some particular argument; the argument that they do end up making follows organically and spontaneously.

So the first thing that one sees from a large cross-section of research --- as opposed to a single data point (I mean from a meta-research point of view, and as represented by the single study that you’d referenced) --- is that the lunar effect does not really appear to be a thing. At least not in the way that its proponents claim. No “gravity effects”. It’s a straightforward case of more light leading to better visibility as well as more victims promenading about; besides, the correlation is all over the place, with one study showing DECLINE in crime rates during full moons; and finally, in by far the majority of studies, no significant correlation was found at all.

And here’s my personal conclusion. Not something some study has found, but something that’s occurred to yours truly, so take it with a pinch of salt! Thing is, statistics deal with very large numbers, and with representative samples. There is no reason to suppose that one or two or three cities, or even states, will necessarily be representative of the entire country, far less the entire globe. (Like you know, when you toss a balanced coin it is 50% heads and 50% tails, we all know that; but it is entirely possible in a single study covering 10,000 coin tosses to find 55% heads and 45% tails. See what I mean?) I think it should be no surprise if, out of twenty or thirty studies, one or two should show up a small but significant correlation. That’s merely statistical noise. The fact that we’ve found a decline correlated with full moon in one study is what helps substantiate this argument of mine to some degree.

In short then, like I said earlier, lunar effect has zilch to do with astrology. But as we see here, the lunar effect itself is far from evidenced from actual research. What little correlation there exists is easily explained by common sense reasons like the illumination effect, and we have no need to fall back on extravagant “gravitational” explanations.

Which makes sense. Lunar phases cause tides, sure. But do they cause your drink, that you’ve kept on your table, to slosh up? Does the water kept in a tumbler suddenly rise up when it’s full moon? It’s a question of mass. The oceans are super massive, and the moon near enough to have a discernible effect on that huge mass of water. Not so much a mug of coffee or a tumbler of water, and nor human beings.

And once again, regardless of the truth value of the lunar effect hypothesis, all of this has zilch to do with astrology, which involves faraway planets and stars as well as illusory constellations, not just the moon.

So here’s the list of the studies I mentioned in my comment immediately preceding. I’m going to present the links, as well as a brief summary of what the linked material is about.



Three studies referenced by an Associate Professor in Criminology at Bond University, Australia, in a 2018 Newsweek article:

(1) What he refers to as one of the most significant studies looking at moon phases and linking this with behavior: a 1985 meta-analysis (a study of the findings of 37 studies). The paper concludes that there is no significant correlation.

(2) 2009 study in Germany covering the period 1999 to 2005, that sees no significant correlation.

(3) A 2016 study covering 13 US states for the year 2014. This study separately studies indoor and outoor crimes. There was no correlation as far as indoor crime, nor even total crime. However, they found some increase in outdoor criminal activity, which they tentatively attributed to the “illumination hypothesis” (greater movement of people during lighter nights, thus providing a bigger pool of victims).



Article in SciTechDaily, 2019, reporting on two New York University studies, one covering the period 2014 through 2018 for Vallejo, California, and a larger study covering California and Ontario, Canada as well as Mexico (in order to make this study more broad-based).

In neither study was any significant correlation found between lunar phases and criminal activity.



Lunar cycle in homicides: a population-based time series study in Finland (1961 – 2014).

Their finding was surprising. They did find an association, but that association was negative. That is, their data actually showed up a decline in criminality during full moons.



A 2019 article in a legal publication (or at least, a legal website) references 5 separate studies, as follows:

(1) A Los Angeles study for 2018 found no significant correlation.

(2) A Virginia City study, also covering 2018, found what they term “a minor uptick” on full-moon nights.

(3) A 2010 study covering five years for San Antonio. No significant correlation found.

(4) A 2005 Mayo Clinic study covering four years found “no association between full moon and increased patient contacts” in the clinic’s psychiatric emergency patients. (This study wasn’t specifically about criminality.)

(5) The article then refers back to the meta-study I’ve already referenced earlier (covering 37 separate studies). As noted, the variance wasn’t significant.



This is just an abstract, but the full pdf of the actual research report is linked here, and can be downloaded.

A five-year study for the alleged lunar effect on criminality in “a major southwestern US city”. There was no significant correlation.



A 1979 US Department of Justice study covering “three medium-size law-enforcement agencies” for a period of 59 months.

Different kinds of crimes were studied separately: domestic, assault, disorderly conduct, drunkenness, robbery, breaking and entering, larceny, and shoplifting. Only for “breaking and entering” cases was there a small uptick on full moons, which the researchers tentatively attributed to the better moonlight on full moons; and for the other 7 categories, there was no correlation at all.



A study covering 18 years of crime in Chicago. Indoor and outdoor crimes were separately studied. There was no significant correlation for either.


So: Seven reports/articles/papers that I’ve referenced here, that refer to thirteen studies. Thirteen studies, twelve of which were about criminality, and one that was not about criminality per se but about emergency psychiatric cases. And in nine of these thirteen, no significant correlation was found. In one, there was no correlation for indoor crime, but some increase for outdoor crimes, which the researchers attributed to the “illumination hypothesis” (greater movement of people during lighter nights, thus providing a bigger pool of victims). In one, there was indeed an increase in criminality during full moons. And in one, for which 8 kinds of crime were separately studies, 7 kinds showed no correlation; and only “breaking and entering did”, which the researchers attributed to the better visibility on full moon nights. Not to forget the study which showed not an increase but instead a decline in criminality during full moons.

🌙 🌝 ⭐️ 🌟 💫 ☀️ 🌞 🔮

I’m just gonna say it—Atheists aren’t the most imaginative people in the world.

@AR : [ The only way astrology can make any kind of sense, even assuming the lunar effect is a thing, is by invoking some kind of butterfly effect. Which is automatically an appeal to divinity (or maybe to time travel, or maybe to aliens), because no human agency today is capable of either formulating such insanely intricate relationships, nor of measuring all of those uncountable variables, and nor of carrying out those massive calculations. ]

Impressive rebuttal, Appreciative. It's easy to cherry-pick the first study that confirms
bias as I've done in the case of a "lunar effect".

I notice one of the skeptics' articles is drolly titled "The Moon Is Acquitted of Murder in Cleveland".
Still, there is some proven creature behavior oddity:

So the "Butterfly Effect" analysts will need to do a little more moonlighting.

"Impressive rebuttal, Appreciative. It's easy to cherry-pick the first study that confirms bias as I've done in the case of a "lunar effect". ..."

Thank you kindly, Dungeness.

And I'm glad that you appreciate how, just like a single study might suffer from using unrepresentative data and in that way end up with erroneous conclusions, likewise from a meta-research perspective it is possible to have a study that is otherwise methodologically sound, but likewise is unrepresentative of the larger body of work comprising all of the studies in some particular area. In other words, the study that you'd referenced, while methodologically sound, clearly suffers from two crucial shortcomings: First, the data they study clearly does not admit of extrapolation beyond that particular data set itself, which fact they don't explicitly make clear; and second, in terms of the wild and unprofessionally extravagant speculation (about the gravitational pull of the moon) they put forward as the cause for the variance they observe, without clearly specifying that that is merely their fantasy/speculation, and is not actually based on the study itself, and nor is it scientifically grounded.


" ...Still, there is some proven creature behavior oddity:

So the "Butterfly Effect" analysts will need to do a little more moonlighting."

Dungeness, I appreciate your witty pun about moonlighting, but I'm afraid your meaning comes across as somewhat ambiguous. Perhaps you could clarify.

Do you present that shark reference merely as an interesting tidbit that is only indirectly related to our earlier discussion (and is not a direct continuation of the same implied theme that you'd put forward there)? In which case I appreciate it, and agree that such oddities are fascinating, and do indeed merit further study. Or do you in fact mean it as further implied support for speculations around the lunar effect on humans, and by extension for astrology --- as you initial comment had been?

Because if it the latter, then I'm afraid my somewhat painstakingly referenced response to you has impressed you only with its form and not so much with its, as I thought, incontrovertible evidence and logic. (After all the shark reference, if it turns out to be indeed true basis wider study, can be easily explained via tides for example, and will not admit of extrapolation on to humans. But of course, if that's just an interesting reference you bring up generally, then all good, and appreciated, absolutely. I ask only because how you've worded your subsequent comment about moonlighting makes your meaning somewhat unclear.)

To recap my earlier comment, I think it's entirely clear now, unless you can present some persuasive counter-argument and/or evidence, that, firstly, astrology has nothing to do with the lunar effect and that it (I mean astrology) is unsupported unscientific irrational claptrap; and further that the lunar effect itself (on humans, that is, and in terms of "gravitational pull") is no more than unsupported speculation with zero evidence or science to support it. I hope you agree with both those conclusions I draw.

(The butterfly effect comment of mine that you've quoted there was more a joke than anything else, and most certainly not central to or representative of my entire comment; and if indeed someone's going to invoke the butterfly effect in support of astrology, literally not jokingly, then, to begin with, that would make it a complete non-starter in practice and in terms of actual application and utility on the ground; but more fundamentally because a large elephant, for instance, on the other side of the Earth, would probably have just as much "butterfly effect" as far as its gravitational pull as some star far far away, so that there's no reason to assume that heavenly bodies have any especial gravitational effect on us (any more than large buildings or large animals or even large as well as not-so-large human beings walking around us or even far away from us but on the same planet).

I feel rather strongly about this because this isn't just an academic question. It's a matter of an unscrupulous man that lives off charlatanry; and what's more, given that he's based out of India, the man's victims likely include poor people (as in really literally hand-to-mouth poor people, of the sort that people in the West will be unlikely to actually come across) who can ill afford to pay him for his bullshit and are likely paying him money that might have gone to buying food and medicine and shelter instead; and finally because he (and his friend and our fellow-commenter) have the cheek to put forward the claim that it is Pluto that is somehow tied up with this damn pandemic (so that it is but a step from that to claiming that magic amulets and suchlike are what help with Covid rather than vaccines and masking etc).

People having fun with astrology, using it like some kind of a parlor game, that's a different matter, and I've no issue really with that sort of thing (speaking to and of you, Sonya!). And even when it comes to those who take this seriously, again I have sympathy for the ignorant that are gulled into this sort of thing. But the people who make use of these superstitions to profit personally, and especially from poor people who can ill afford it, as well as in case of such dire things like this pandemic? That is reprehensible, horrible, evil even.

@ AR :: [ Do you present that shark reference merely as an interesting tidbit that is only indirectly related to our earlier discussion (and is not a direct continuation of the same implied theme that you'd put forward there)? In which case I appreciate it, and agree that such oddities are fascinating, and do indeed merit further study. Or do you in fact mean it as further implied support for speculations around the lunar effect on humans, and by extension for astrology --- as you initial comment had been? ]

Appreciative, agreed: the shark and lion oddities were "interesting tidbits".
Even more so because they counterpoint the facile argument increased
lunar illumination accounts for more shark bites. Counter-intuitively lions
also hunt less in spite of the better lighting. Although in their case, better
lighting may be a liability since a lion relies on stealth and ambush.

So whether a person is a lunar effect debunker or believer, you'll have
to untangle these puzzles to put forth convincing cases. That's the
source of my torturous pun about "needing more moonlighting".
Certainly, asserting "gravitational planetary pull affects the human
psyche" is unsupportable without that research.

"...whether a person is a lunar effect debunker or believer, you'll have
to untangle these puzzles to put forth convincing cases..."

Agreed, there's no end to these fascinating oddities, all of which represent potential areas for research.


"Certainly, asserting "gravitational planetary pull affects the human
psyche" is unsupportable without that research."

Thank you, Dungeness, for clearly stating your agreement in those unambiguous terms.

And Spence

You write about the possibility of not provoking the president of Rusland and suggesting that the west makes itself guilty of what the president of Russia will do in the [near] future, if they do not act as you suggest.

First the president of Russia [POR] made the world understand that he was on a liberation and protection mission and not a war. Liberate the people of the Nazi regime.

When his liberation army was not received with flowers, he "realized" that the "disease" wwas not restricted to the regime, but was in the heart of the people.

So he concluded as others have done before him, that the population has to be purged,

Pol pot did So, Stalin an many others that should not be named even. As was done by the inquisition with fire and brimstone. People have to be safed from hell.

And what he is after, are only his own IDEALS, his oqn goals and NOBODY is going to stop him or have him change his mind...certainly not diplomates making common business as was done before the outbreak of WWII

Hi Um
You have misunderstood what I wrote about Russia and Putin. Because I was actually not addressing them. He is a person in a situation. He is not acting in a vacuum. All this focus on Putin creates a false image of an actor acting entirely independent of everyone else. Certainly you know that is impossible.

There are many players in this drama. And there is history out reactive events escalating up to today. Hamlet acts, tragically, from a misunderstanding. And then reacts thinking he must proceed. And we are fueling that misperception.

The escalation of nuclear weapons, US nuclear weapons shared with other nations thr NATO is part of that. It's real. The escalation of NATO and US influence using their shared nuclear weapons is real. Pretending it isn't simply adds to the problem. Just because you weren't aware of this doesn't change the facts.

Napoleon wrote that an army moves on its stomach. But the truth is an army and the nations involved in war move on ignorance.

And it is surprising how often people choose emotion and ignorance, and blame, over acknowldging a Truth that solves the problem. To acknowldge Truth, hatred must be relinquished, and converted to personal behavior change. That's no fun, right?

The cost? To take responsibility.

That is the true cost of leadership and personal progress.

Those parts we can actually do something about, is all that matters.

Parts we carry some responsibility for.

The real danger is acting without responsibility, blaming Putin. We are then playing in his sandbox according to his rules.

We can change the scenario overnight, but refuse to do so. It costs us nothing to try.

The cost is to focus on the situation and its history, and the leaders involved in that context.

The solution, at least the next step to peace, is easy.

The offer is simple.. Bi-lateral disarmament during a cease fire until all Russian and US/Nato forces are gone from Ukraine as stage one, in exchange for an agreement to honor Ukraine's sovereignty. And stage two, bi-lateral nuclear arms de-escalation of all NATO nations, and Russia, through an established and mutually accountable means of verification.

Until this offer is made, we are adding to the killing.

Once the offer is made, without other strings, there will be peace.

Prove me wrong. Prove Putin won't stop no matter what we offer.

But until we make the offer, claiming Putin won't stop is just war mongering rhetoric: A poor excuse to continue the killing.

One thing is certain, diplomacy is the only answer. More bloodshed will do nothing to stop Putin.

But if we make the offer, directly and fully, and Putin accepts the offer, then we shared some responsibility for this war. But doing so well have brought about peace and a path to lasting peace.

@ Spence

I am aware of the role of NATO and other forces in the west.
They certainly do agravate the situation or are an accuse for the president of Russia to act out his plans which he will do with or without the consent of others.

As said .... He has an IDEAL and he will act upon it.
History tells us that this type of idealists will go on to the bitter end AT ALL COSTS.

He is after the restoration of the greater Russia and will use the means to achieve it as all Russian rulers have done so before him.

There is one thing he might have underestimated and that his own people, his fellow Russians, have been exposed far to long to the western way of living and long for a chance as people did in the revolution.

And of course, it is not about the president of Russia .. he is just the focus point.

um, I’m both surprised and disappointed to see you repeatedly take this anti-scientific and irrational stance, in support of this astrology claptrap. Twice before I’ve let this slide, given my personal regard for you; but no more. I disagree vehemently with everything you’ve said here, and I’m going to clearly explain why.


First: You do India, and Indians, grave injustice by imagining that they are beyond the reach of rationality and science. The Indian is no less intelligent and no less educated and no less capable of rationality than, for instance, the European. To imagine otherwise is to be subtly racist, even if your sympathies happen to lie with the former.

You keep repeating time and time again that well worn cliché, that “East is East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall meet.” Are you aware who penned those lines? It was Rudyand Kipling. An asshole of a racist, if ever there was one, and a shameless imperialist apologist. He was a great writer, and I’ve enjoyed his books and stories; but that he was a racist is incontestably true, and you’d be ill advised to draw your understanding of “East” vis-à-vis “West” from his racist ideology. Not unless you’re sympathetic to racist ideas --- which I know you’re not, um.

It is nothing less than condescending to say that the reason and rationality that you expect from the European, say, is something you believe to be beyond the Indian. Come on, um, you’re better than to hold such utterly idiotic racist ideas.


You say, “Without leaving your point of view, the either-or position, you can also opt for the and-and position…”

Really, um? What about you, then? Why don’t you practice what you preach, in that case? When you see s* and 777 promote anti-vaxx comments here, and try to spread irrational anti-scientific ideas about Covid, then why don’t follow your own advice? Why do you not then, instead of going for an inclusive “and-and” position, go straight for the jugular and opt for an “either-or” position instead?

And it isn’t simply a matter of your own internal inconsistency. Not every point of view is correct. In some cases, in some situations, sure, inclusiveness is great. But there are times when one must take a stand, take a stand for what is true and right, and against what is false and wrong.

When people spread lies about the Covid pandemic --- the anbti-vaxx bullshit --- that is one such time. When people spread lies about this Ukraine war --- this Pluto nonsense --- that is also one such time.


You say, “Astrology is one of the tools, a means to an end, in the process of decision making…”

Well, it is a faulty tool. It is a wrong tool, that does not lead you correctly to the end you desire. To correct something that is wrong, you first need diagnosis, then action. When you’re looking at Covid, and someone tells you “Oh, it’s Pluto”; or if you’re looking at war, and someone tells you “Oh, it’s Pluto”; then, if you believe them, then you’ll be sitting around conducting fire ceremonies to propitiate Pluto, or consulting almanacs and wearing magic amulets, et cetera, instead of doing actually what needs to be done.

Why is anti-vaxx propaganda dangerous? Because it keeps people from doing what needs to be done. For exactly the same reason this astrology bullshit is dangerous, in as much as it keeps people from doing what needs to be done.

The only people who actually profit from this, the only ones who actually and successfully use it as means to their ends, are people like this Lobo character, who peddle this kind of bullshit to gull others, and themselves profit in every which way, including financially.

You really shouldn’t be defending these low-lifes, um. I’d not expected this from you.


You say “…there are astrologers that are considered in India as charlatans and others that are seen as great scholars…That might be teeth grinding for you but that is how it is.”

um, no one knowingly enriches a charlatan, or knowingly follows a charlatan’s advice. Every gullible person follows the charlatan, not because he knows him to be a charlatan, but because he believes that that person is a scholar and an adept in astrology.

No one, no one at all, is considered by everyone to be a charlatan. He couldn’t have plied his trade at all, if that were the case.

And while I respect scholarship, including scholarship in astrology; but that would be like Bible scholarship, scholarship for its own sake. Anyone who claims that their astrology scholarship helps them correctly divine the future, is by definition a charlatan; just as everyone who claims that their Bible scholarship gives them any insight into anything other than the Bible itself, or maybe historical incidentals like ancient Judaic and Roman customs and history or whatever, is clearly a charlatan, especially if in the process they end up enriching themselves.

That’s where the truth value of astrology comes in.


You mention the Hindu ceremony at some space probe launch, and talk of the difference between the East and West.

There’s no such difference. Bush launched the Iraq war, and before that the Afghanistan misadventure, by calling on God. Sure, there may well be a difference in degree, but none in kind.


“Your thinking and science is also not helping the poor”, you tell me, um, “neither in your country let alone in India”.

You are wrong. Science does help EVERYONE, including the poor. Whoever, rich or poor, goes to an astrologer, not for fun and games and parlor game kicks, but to actually understand themselves and their future, are wasting their time and money, and to that extent getting harmed. Stopping that helps them, absolutely. More importantly, their following astrological mumbo jumbo often gets them to waste further time and money on useless rituals and talismans and amulets et cetera, and keeps them from seeking real medical help (for example), and that also harms them; and preventing this tomfoolery helps prevent that very real harm.

Sorry, um, I think your entire POV around this whole business is entirely misplaced. And like I said, I’m both surprised and disappointed to find you suddenly take the side of superstition and irrationality like this, by trying to support arun marwah’s nonsense at that juncture.

@ AR

>> um, I’m both surprised and disappointed to see you repeatedly take this anti-scientific and irrational stance, in support of this astrology claptrap. Twice before I’ve let this slide, given my personal regard for you; but no more. I disagree vehemently with everything you’ve said here, and I’m going to clearly explain why.<<

AR, you need not nor should you be suprised and disappointed if you could and/or would have understood what I wrote.

I do understand, against the background of what you have written here in the past, that these things does not fit at all in your world view and does provoke these [emotional] re-actions so much so that you are forced to give up your regard for me.

That is alright AR .. you are free to look upon me or down as you deem fit, they are your emotions, they are your values that you mentally attach to me. They speak of you, not of me. They only and just tell me how YOU are looking into the world, They speak of what is going on inside the "house of AR". and ... it should not supprise you ... as it is your house, you have to clean it .

In reaction to the rest ....
I did not write or suggest that indians are beyond the reach of [your] rationality and [western] science. I did not do it in answer to you, nor did I do it ever before to anybody else, in regard to any issue.... I simply could not have done so.

That you accuse me of racism, because the appeal I made upon you to have understanding for the differences in culture, doesn't suit you, is up to you but to be honest I consider it as an projection.

Let me close off with writing again that there is more to life that what science and rational thinking has to offer.

Why these things upset you so much puzzles me, and mind you AR the answer to that question is not to be found in yet another, even more detailed, exposé on astrology, or the difference between how I react towards S*, Spence and Arun etc, no AR it is to be found inside yourself .. it is your upset, not mine or anybodies else and only you are resposible for it and nobody else.

At the end of the road you are walking on, no matter how long it takes you, you will find that to be true. In those days remember how you reacted to me today and do not be hard on yourself, that you could have found out much earlier ... but .. do rejoyce then.

Your worldview doesn't upset me, my should mine upset you?

I am going to make myself a cup of coffee and wish you good luck with your endeavor to free yourself from these emotional bonds.

There are many ways to look upon roses [astrology].
By the gardener, the botanist, the lover, the painter, the biologist, the seller, the writer and all others that i forgot.
You can claim that there is just ONE way to look upon things, yours but that is not how the world does so, they do not want you to rob them from their rights to attribute meaning to a thing as freely as you do.

Dear um, I didn't say, and I don't mean, that your comment there has resulted in my losing regard for you. What I said, and meant, is that twice in the past, when you posted comments supporting this astrology BS, I either did not post my own reaction to your post, or did it only very gently even at the cost of not making my point clearly, out of my regard for you; but that this time I'm not going to hold back out of my regard for you. That is not to say that that regard is lost, but only that that regard will not, this time around, hold me back from responding to your comment properly and fully.

As for the rest, um, I've explained my POV clearly in my comment to you. I'm afraid your comment doesn't really engage with any of it. I criticized arun marwah's beliefs as well as his conduct in the other thread, and he, either not understanding my words, or else as excuse not to engage with them, did not respond either to my rational criticism of the beliefs he was peddling here, or my ethical criticism of his conduct in using the Covid as well as the killings in Ukraine as hooks in order to promote and sell his friend's book on astrology, and instead took the easy way out by personalizing the discussion with content-free posts, and calling into question my upbringing and my sanity. Please don't do the same --- that is, please don't just see my words as a string of things that I'm saying against you, but please engage with my actual words, um. Please read the actual content of my earlier comment, as well as this one (which I'll number out to make for easy comprehension).

(1) I don't call you a racist to somehow get back at you for disagreeing with me. I'd NEVER, EVER do that to anybody, and least of all to you! But you're clearly suggesting that the rationality that one might expect from a "Westerner", is something one should not expect from an Indian, and that "ne'er shall (East and West) meet". You may not have meant it that way, but think about it: Isn't that condescending to Indians, and to that extent racist?

(2) There isn't MY rationality and WESTERN science, as opposed to some other kind rationality and some other kind of science. There is just the one kind. Anything that isn't rational is irrational, and anything that isn't scientific scientific is unscientific, regardless of the ethnicity of the person concerned. Of course, this is where factuality is concerned. Sure, with music for instance, or literature, you can have different kinds of music, and sure, people need to immerse themselves in different kinds of music and literature to properly appreciate such; but not where factuality is concerned. When someone claims that the Covid pandemic is a hoax, or that the vaccine is hoax, or that Covid is caused (or its course foretold) by the movements of Pluto, or that wars are fought and future events transpire according to the position of Pluto in some constellation, then that is 100% irrational, 100% unscientific, and 100% WRONG, regardless of whether the person making that claim is Dutch, or Belgian, or American, or Indian. Ethnicity and culture have nothing to do with rationality and science. Which is not to disregard culture and tradition; they have their own place, but they don't make their own alternative versions of rationality and science.

(3) Every time I bring up astrology, you tell me mine isn't the only way to look at things, and you insist I look at the psychology of the person (arun marwah, in this case) who is putting forward this claim about astrology. Well then I ask you, yet again, why on earth you don't do the same yourself when s* and 777 try to propagate anti-vaxx disinformation. Why do you THEN insist that YOUR way is the only way, and why do you object to their propagating their agenda on here?

(4) I don't object to arun marwah's privately believed superstitions, let me make that clear. But I do object to his promoting that poisonous irrationality (I mean about astrology), just as you object when s* and 777 promote their poisonous irrationality (I mean about Covid). And I do it for the same reason. Because to the extent that people in general buy these arguments, to that extent they will be hindered from taking the correct actions necessary in their situation, and thereby harm themselves and others. If he were to simply keep his beliefs to himself why should I mind? What I object to is his promoting to others this poisonous bullshit, just like you yourself object to people promoting bullshit about Covid.

(5) Finally, there is an additional element here that I find particularly loathsome. In this case we have a person, this Lobo, who himself profits, financially, from this irrationality, and at the cost of the gullible and the ignorant. Further, this book of his --- that he has published for commercial reasons, in order to benefit financially --- is being promoted here, callously and cynically, by taking advantage of this discussion on Ukraine. In two threads about Ukraine, including one with those gruesome pics of the dead, we've had this cynical promotion of this book, unmindful of the horror of the war itself, and derailing discussion on the war and the attendant horrors. That's ... I don't know, I find such rank cynical opportunism and such callous salesmanship disgusting.


That said, you're right about one thing, um. I am indeed getting emotionally involved in this discussion, and way more than is my wont. I know why I'm disgusted, and that is entirely justified IMV; but absolutely, my getting so very invested in that disgust, that is most certainly not very ...I don't know, wise, good, healthy, whatever.

To that extent you are right, and I will indeed take a step back. After all I'm no Atlas, and I do not carry the weight of the world on my shoulders; there is no need for me to pretend such a burden, and to suffer its consequences. Hell, this isn't my blog after all, and I'm no more than simply a looker-on. So sure, I appreciate that piece of advice from you, and I will indeed take a step back in order to disengage my emotions from this issue.

Again, all of this is not in any way to say or to imply that I've lost my regard for you; but it is, certainly, to let you know that I disagree with your POV, and to spell out to you why. While like I said I'll be taking a step back awhile --- to disengage, that is, in simple terms, to cool the hell down! --- and so I'm not going to be commenting here for a few days now, but I'll be happy to check back on any comment you might want to post here. Cheers, old friend.

Hi Um
You wrote
"He is after the restoration of the greater Russia and will use the means to achieve it as all Russian rulers have done so before him."

Every powerful nation has its bullies.

But I think he is also a pragmatist and will accept a federation of states, so long as Russia is respected and without threat.

So long as there is escalation of arms pointed to Russia, nuclear arms, this escalation does, pragmatically, require some action. And he has been unable to get any movement from the West on their escalation. Real diplomacy in this situation demands more than complaining and subterfuge, so it's outside of his strengths. But we can take the lead and help.

Had we offered another way out, as he has been patiently asking for years, he might have and might still take it, since diplomacy can accomplish the same thing.

I don't actually think Putin wants the headache of more nations to deal with. But I know for a fact that he does not want the growing threat of nuclear proliferation that risks the very existence of "Mother Russia".

The world is actually a federation of states today and diplomats who are successful regard it as such.

"The world has become a neighborhood before it has become a brotherhood."
Lyndon Johnson

But a great diplomat always approaches it as a brotherhood.

@ AR


Let me only adres the point you make aboiut the way I discriminated between S*, Spence and others. I will do it with somethin persona, something of the past and you have to grasp the import of it.

Our mother, peace be upon her souls if she and one, was a very devoot person. She used to pray for the welfare of all near and dear to her. Her eldest son, for reasons I came never to know was and atheist and rabid critic of the clergy. He often would create arguments with our mother for what he believed to be nonsense, to say te least.

When I would be around at those occasions i would draw the attention from my brother, which, by the way I highly respected and considered a "profound thinker", to our mother, to what praying was for her and away, from what [theoretical] meaning he attributed to praying.

We shared other wise many criticism towards the clergy and to the way, the different people that attented the services in the church, "used" their faith in public and we often had a good laugh about the differences between " talking and walking" as we were raised in a family were social status had no value at all and where the character of the person was the only thing that mattered.

It is the intend, AR

If a person likes you he or she might give you a bouquet of flowers to express it
bur AR ...
Not all that will give you flowers in your life will do it because they like you.

To know the difference AR, I know , i know it is a tricky affair, one has to read between the lines, read the body language. Tricky as one can also be wrong as to use the dictum grandma ... little boy, you can see the faces, the heads of other human beings but you can not look inside of them.

So to "prove" that a person has other then kind intends in offering flowers, is difficult if not impossible. So in the day to day circumstances it is better to keep mum but a truth not expressed will be visible for the trained eye and that makes me often feel uncomfortable in relation to people that are dishonest ... dishonesty AR ... is one of the endless amount of things that are beyond the grasp of science and logic thinking.

You love clear cut things and I am refring to the obscure and i do understand that it is not something you like and/or are used to.

You draw the attention to what you supose to be ill will of Arun, the writer of that book etc. I never reacted to that point neither positive nor negative but I wanted to draw your attention away to your fellow human beings and why they do certain things, things that often have no meaning in my life, social class, or culture but does have it in theirs. I do love to understand it without the need to agree or disagree ... after all it is theirs.

@ Spence

If there will be a tribunal, no judge will be interested in hiding behind "being provocated".
If there is a sentence it will be for genocide etc.

My brother died suddenly in a tragic car accident today. He was 52. I’m not looking for sympathy. I just want to point out how fragile life is and how quickly everything in your life can change in the blink of an eye. I am eternally grateful for having had such a special person as my brother. And my heart is absolutely broken.

Take the time that you have to show the important people in your life how precious they are and how much you love them.

I’ve got a hole in my heart.

*hole in my heart (a Rick Springfield song 🙃)

Very sorry. When it rains, it pours.

Sorry to hear of your brother's death, Sonya. My daughter is 50. I visualize her living for several decades longer. But like you said, we never know what life will bring. Yes, life is fragile.

Sorry to hear of your brother's death, Sonya. My daughter is 50. I visualize her living for several decades longer. But like you said, we never know what life will bring. Yes, life is fragile.

Posted by: Brian Hines | April 06, 2022 at 09:01 PM

Thanks, Brian…. I turn 50 this year and I have always thought 50 would be a pivotal year, but not like this.

My mother was shockingly stoic but my father whaled for hours when he heard the news—that’s what really broke my heart. My dad is a stereotypical Leo and he kept going on about how a parent should never have to outlive their child—which I agree with. It was so surreal.

More than anything, this evening made me realize how surreal this life is. It’s almost scary how life can completely turn upside down in a single moment. As my dad kept saying, life is so fragile…

My face is so swollen from crying that it hurts. And I need to put ice on it…

I really do appreciate your sympathies—I really do. It means so much. When someone you really love dies, it means so much to have family and friends—it’s everything. It’s what helps you make it through. Otherwise, it’s just too much too deal with on your own.

Just saw your post, Sonya, about your brother. My condolences.

Hi Sonya:

We are fragile beings. Life is a terrible, horrifying situation at times, and a joy at others.

Sawan Singh once wrote that life is like a paper bag. A few drops of water and it is easily destroyed. And all the priceless moments, gone....

But not really gone.

Grief is natural, and must take it's own course. Every stage of it is sacred. But we don't move through the stages of grief in any order. There are moments of calm, days of calm after the initial storm of sadness, followed by fear, followed by the numbness of incapacity to even stand or think. And then grief again, or sadness, or anger. There is no order, and moving through one stage doesn't mean it won't return. But with each return, there is greater depth, meaning and understanding. These stages are a gift, however painful, because moving through them we become who we were meant to be, more mature, more balanced, more understanding, and greater resource to each other. Your brother has passed away. Your marriage ended, now you are moving through your journey into something greater within.

And then, there will be re-emergence. The day will come when your brother, and all he meant and did and represented is inside of you, alive. With each memory, you won't think "He said that so long ago." You will just remember it as if it just happened. As if you and he were children, moments ago. There won't be time, there won't be birth and death, just the moments you shared.

And in that you will find peace and happiness. And your brother will be good company.

And in the acceptance of his company, as always part and parcel of who and what you are, you will become whole again.

Hi Um:
You wrote:
"If there will be a tribunal, no judge will be interested in hiding behind "being provocated".
If there is a sentence it will be for genocide etc."

If a tribunal creates such ill will that the war is escalated, it has not served justice at all, but rather fueled injustice.

And if there is just an agreement that ends killing, only an agreement between Ukraine, Russia, NATO and the US that ends the war, honors Ukraine's sovereignty, and begins a path back to nuclear de-escalation, there may be no tribunal at all.

The dead are gone, however unfair it all is.
But a future of peace and partnership is all that matters. And that never arises at the point of a gun. Not so easily.

It is very, very hard work to turn enemies into friends.

But on a shrinking planet of shrinking resources we have no other options.

@ Spence

Do not stumble over the word "tribunal" ...what i wrote had something to do with what you had to see about the attitude of the nato.

So be it.

Thank you, umami. 🙏
Thank you, Brian. 🙏
Thank you, Appreciative Reader. 🙏
Thank you, Spence. 🙏

I can’t believe this life altering event happened less than 36 hours ago. It feels like a lifetime of tears have flowed since we received the news.

I know I’ll get through this. I do know that. However, I also know that my world will never be the same again. I will never be the same again.

In ways that are difficult to explain, I realized that my older brother is half of me… perhaps half of my ego is a better way of putting it. No one shaped my psyche more than he.

Again, I do believe that my family and I will get through this. I know that we will get to a place of peace once again. I know that one day we'll be able to share all the stories about my brother and be able to smile and laugh. It just takes time.

However, this life feels completely surreal to me now. Nothing feels “real”. I don’t even know quite how to put it into words—but the world feels temporary in every since of the word. Very little seems as important as it used to. The gravity of life’s demands has diminished quite considerably because it’s just so fragile, fading and fleeting.

I sometimes wonder if I shared a past life with my brother and what it might have been like. I wonder why and how he was such a huge part of who I am. And I am utterly amazed that I never fully recognized this before. Karma I guess…

Thank you for your kind words. Every time someone calls or stops by or sends a message or brings food, flowers—anything—it helps sooo much. Normally I like to be alone when I’m dealing with difficult problems. But not this time. Every kind word is like a breath of fresh air and a reminder that you will get through this—you will be ok again.

Dear Sonya,
So sorry to hear this sad news about your brother...
Take extra good care of yourself...
Peace <3

A world famous architectural dream of a creative and sustainable future utopia from the 70's is gone...


Great post, Brian. Lovely homily. (Using that term merely as a descriptor, and without any negative connotation, and absolutely without the slightest irony or sarcasm intended.)

Absolutely, calm, equipoise, is something worth cultivating, both for one's own sanity and peace of mind, and also as a means of better functioning within the world. And agreed, such calm and equipoise has limited application if it stems from, and/or results in, a general withdrawal from life, in as much as such a course embraces only the former and not that latter: it would appear to be 'better' to have one's equipoise embrace both ends rather than just the one. And finally, absolutely, a slowing down is what directly contributes to that equipoise, especially when one starts to find oneself overwhelmed with one's reaction to what one sees and hears and experiences without, even if that means a (brief, temporary) withdrawal/respite from whatever it is one had been engaged with, agreed.

Great post, nicely formulated and spelled out.

Oops, wrong thread. This was meant for the "Calm Acceptance" thead. I had both threads open, in different tabs, and ended up posting to the wrong one. I've copied and posted this on to the correct thread.

Thanks for the link. 😊

My brother’s funeral service and burial were beautiful. I could add a lot more to it than that. It was sort of an elaborate ceremony—he was a 33 degree Mason and a Shriner so they had two separate ceremonies and then then two ministers. It’s kind of complicated.

Anyway, it was peaceful. Of course, now that the ceremonies are over I find myself a little sad when I don’t hear people talking about him all the time. It’s like I just want to talk about him to keep him alive. The grieving process is a very strange thing.

Overall I’m at peace with it. Just miss him.

Today we went to the funeral of the friend who was in the Truck with him and that was depressing because his friend was supposed to get married this weekend. So many hearts are broken.

One of the Master Masons at my brother’s service gave a 20 minute recital that was written so beautifully. He recited the entire thing from memory which was quite impressive. I wish I could get a copy of the actual writing. They believe in a soul but don’t use too many specific words to describe God. It could be used for almost any faith—a beautiful poem about death, as strange as that sounds.

There were some odd things about the accident and conflicting reports. However, I’m not going to obsess over that. He’s gone but not forgotten. Forever in our hearts.

Hi Sonya!

Is there is any way to get that recital? I would love to read it.

The world is starved for insight. Any, from anywhere, even a funeral, is welcome food.

Looks like GSD stopped making videos.

I don’t blame him.

You still were watching GSD's videos till this week? Hooked up yet untied till death do us part. If only love wasn't as thorny a path as its destiny is designed to be.

Very touching, Sonya. It's wonderful that you've been able to find peace with what's happened.


Your brother was a Freemason, was he? Cool. 33 degree I understand is pretty high-up in their hierarchy.

(I remember having been very drawn to the Mason thing at one time. This was when I was actively exploring different kinds of ...paths, if I may call it that, and I'd exchanged a good many emails with them, and I remember they'd been very accommodative of what was, as it appears to my present self, the earnest and very detailed and involved queries of a somewhat callow and rather ignorant young man. Yep, very gracious and patient they were, I have to say, and I came off with a great impression about the organization, going by my interactions with them that is to say -- although I never did join, I went on to other traditions, and afterwards evolved generally to a way more hardboiled and skeptical approach to these things, but that of course has nothing whatsoever to do with what I'd started saying, so scratch that last!)

Today was the best day I’ve had in decades. I took my eldest niece to the University that she’ll be attending this fall. We signed up for all sorts of programs that will help her in her pre-vet medicine program studies.

I guess that’s what joy is—helping others reach their full potential. It’s time to pass the torch.

It was such a beautiful day and we had so much fun. I’m just so grateful.

Brian, perhaps you can write an article on the bullshit of dharma transmission.

Just a suggestion…

“Things keep changing faster and faster and we keep keeping up because we are afraid to die.”
V Sauce


@ AR.


It is not that easy to follow the questions and answers but there is a "funny" moment around 30 minutes, were a man expresses his frustration, because this lady had an spontaneous enlightenment and he he not and that he cannot find what to do ...

Hahahaha ... it is a pity the sound quality is so miserable

Some one pointed at this lady with the core message that whatever is there is all ready there and for that reason there is nothing one can do to find it. It is there behind the mind and the mind is not made to find it.

The crow is born a crow, live as such and die.There is no way for a crow to find a solution on how to be come a crow ... he just happens to be one



Hi, um. *waves*

Haven't had time to see those two vids yet, but I will, absolutely, and I'll comment back after I've done that. Cheers.

Hello, um.

Watched that video talk finally. It was cool.

To start with it was kind of weird, right? The first quarter of an hour or so, she just sits there quietly, doing nothing, saying nothing. Not even meditating, I mean to say. ...But I could sense a certain ...collectedness, if I may call it that, a certain centeredness... to her silence. And in a way I liked that she wasn't miming the deep-absorbed-Buddha-slash-Guru all absorbed in perfect stillness, but merely stayed her own normal self.

Yep, that specific portion you refer to --- it was 25 minutes into the talk --- was both interesting and funny. Yes, what she said in response, although like the rest of her talk she kept it simple and free of detailed discourse --- all she said amounted to a rather endearingly simply "I don't know!" --- but I agree, her approach and her own personal understanding appear to reflect what you say here, and indeed what you've said in the past as well, about this sort of thing.

I'd never heard of this lady, actually, this Yolande Duran. Her website, that you've linked to, seems intriguing. I've bookmarked it, and I'll check it out, and some more of her talks, later on.

@ AR

The secondlink that was posted here was an 30 min interview. Did you see it?

I did search the internet but there is not much to be found in English.

"Silence heals" the sole book in English is only available second hand for almost 150 Dollars.

It seems that the communication with the world is disconnect. After all she is not a teacher .

What she shares with the world resembles what John Butler has to say, who is still active on you tube. Although he focuses more on what one can do to get to that same state he has reached and less of what that state is for him as a personal experience.

What matters to me is the division between those that have [spontaneous} experiences and those that have heard of it and try to force it upon themselves using this or that practice ... not to forget, those that after having such an experience as a gift, "opened their own shop" selling this or that practice.

Happy International Nurses Day! In 1855 Supernurse Florence Nightengale designed this unique polar chart to illustrate the needless deaths from war. Mind Blown.

"@ AR

The secondlink that was posted here was an 30 min interview. Did you see it?"

..........No, um, I didn't find any video there. Your second link led to her website, the English version of it --- that I've bookmarked for browsing through at leisure later on.


"It seems that the communication with the world is disconnect. After all she is not a teacher .

What she shares with the world resembles what John Butler has to say, who is still active on you tube. Although he focuses more on what one can do to get to that same state he has reached and less of what that state is for him as a personal experience.

What matters to me is the division between those that have [spontaneous} experiences and those that have heard of it and try to force it upon themselves using this or that practice ... not to forget, those that after having such an experience as a gift, "opened their own shop" selling this or that practice."

..........I've mixed thoughts about this, um. On the one hand, in some measure I agree with you. On the other hand, I have some reservations about your POV as well --- expressing which reservations will be a somewhat involved business, because I don't want to do that lightly and half-assedly, so that I'll pass on that for the time being. Clinchingly, and on the gripping hand, though, here's what I find just a bit ironic: Even though she's communicating that this cannot be shared, nevertheless the only way you and I know about her message is precisely because she's been sharing it. And what's more, as her website clearly says, apparently she's given up her prior career and has taken up this sharing thing as a full-time job now. Kind of ironic, that.

Now don't get me wrong: I don't mean this as a criticism of Yolande. She's a sweet old lady, and she seems perfectly sincere and above-board. Nevertheless, I wanted to point out the irony inherent in her communicating the message, and what's more spending all her time communicating the message, that the message cannot be communicated. (Although, caveat: I don't know enough about her message, yet, to know if her message does not also incorporate other elements, so take that as a qualified irony!)

This apart, I do have a conceptual, and more rigorous, criticism of this POV, as well. Once again, to stave off any misunderstandings: I appreciate this POV, and I do find merit in it. But I think I espy an obverse side to the coin as well. But like I said that's kind of involved, and, not wanting to do this half-assed-ly, I'll leave that more detailed (as it promises --- threatens? --- to turn out) discussion for another day.

And meantime, I'll browse around a bit more in that website of hers. First look, I like what she's got going there.

@ AR

>> ..No, um, I didn't find any video there. Your second link led to her website, the English version of it --- that I've bookmarked for browsing through at leisure later on.<<

If i go to that site and scroll down the page, I do find an video.

And .. you have already enough at your hands in debating spence etc.... this issue was just to bring something to your attention... other wise it is of no importance.

Are you sure you're using the same link, um? I just went back and checked that link one more time. In fact, it's open right now, that link (https://yolandeduran.com/en/yolande-en/), in the adjoining tab on my computer. There's further links there, on her website, that lead to Books, and Blog, etc --- that I haven't explored so far --- but there's no video directly on that page anywhere.

Clearly that video impressed you, for you to have shared it with me; so that I'd like to check it out, absolutely. I'm not sure how it transpires that you're seeing it there but not I, so I've no clue how to directly address this; but as a workaround, is the vid hosted on the Youtube server? In which case perhaps you could right-click and copy that link, the link to the video that you see there, and post it to me here (much like the earlier Youtube talk you'd linked to)?

@ AR
Maybe it is due to a so called regional block
Anyway here is the YOUTUBE link for the same interview:

Yep, got that, thanks um. I'll check it out.

Just listened to it, um.

Fascinating. Loved it.

(This one was her experience, and her POV, distilled, as it were. This talk moved me, as the other one had not.)

Thanks for the recommendation.

@ Ar

You are welcome ...:-)

Not now, um, but afterwards, after I've got my thoughts together, I'd like to put together my views on this, and also my thoughts about what you keep saying about the immutability of the nature of people, as far as this sort of thing.

Meanwhile, though, some quick bullets:

1. Loved this talk.

2. I'd like to know your thoughts about her. Unstructured, anything you'd like to say.

3. Do you think she bears out the central idea about immutability, that you often talk about?

4. Personally, she reminded me of Ashtavakra. Have you read Ashtavakra, and do you agree? That is, did that similarity occur to you as well?

5. I note again, with some amusement, that she's working hard to spread the message, and talk far and wide, about the silence that apparently cannot be talked of. I also note, again with amusement, that she's very much set up shop. It was a 27 minute video; and when, at 24 minutes in, she started flogging her wares, that's when I stopped the vid.

6. The above (#5) does not detract from her. Well okay, it does, but not too much. She's a sweet old lady, and I like her. And let's not forget, Ashtavakra walked home with a bunch of cows. That's what the Ashtavakra Gita is, after all, let's not forget: Ashtavakra flogging his wares to Janaka. It would be an ad hominem fallacy to see in her commercialization of her experience a failing in or a criticism of those wares. But still, it does give you pause, and occasion for some (just a wee bit cynical) amusement.

7. To reiterate again, especially given my #5 and #6: I liked her, and loved her talk, this second one.

@ AR

Listening to her does not arise any thought or emotion....I just see and hear her talking....when she speaks she is not addressing anybody or she speaks impersonal

This is the first time I hear the word ashtavarka.

As far as I understand, she had nothing to say about the immutability of human nature..

She pointed at the existence of an state of consciousness, that exists in every human being and the fact that she became aware of its existence.

Probably, she would never have gone public if she was not "asked" by her environment
Sometimes people speak because they are invited to speak. Why would somebody that has found peace of mind, say to others "do as I do"??

True, not once does she say "Do this, that and the other, and you'll experience this too." Every time people ask her how she got there, in these two talks, she always answers, simply, honestly, "I don't know."

Nor does she spins fairy tales, even when prompted. No reincarnation, no life after death. And no quarter from death, either, as magical fallout of an experience like this.


Ashtavakra was the (apocryphal?) author of an ancient book, and Yolande's observations and insights mirror his. Albeit Ashtavakra did dwell, far more than she does, on concepts and philosophy.


By "setting up shop" I was referring to the fact that she's apparently "busy" conducting a whole series of seminars and workshops and retreats and whatnot. True, she only answers when asked, far as I see in these two talks: but a co-host and co-organizer following a question-and-answer session about her "vertical silence", followed an open Q&A, is very different than people coming across her organically and asking her things organically. After all GSD also only "answers questions people ask him", in his Q&A sessions; as do people like Jaggi Vasudeva. It's simply how that particular format works, that's all.

Don't get me wrong, like I've been saying I like her, I loved her talk, and am intrigued by her experience. But I dislike prevarication, and the plain fact is she's commercialized her realization, in other words "set up shop", quite literally. That's fine, like I said that it is fallacious to therefore doubt her experience. And like I also said, Ashtavakra himself was not above earning a whole bunch of cows in exchange for his insights.

Like I keep saying I like her, and find her genuine; but I'd have liked her a lot more if she hadn't succumbed to the lure of commercialization. I'm not suggesting she's diluting (or exaggerating, or somehow amending) her message to pander to the commercialization project; but clearly at some level she felt the need for such commercialization, clearly her experience hasn't elevated her beyond such mundane needs.

The Zen masters do say "walking in the market after enlightenment", but that isn't the kind of market they mean. Although, again, heaps and heaps of Zen types have "set up shop" as well, so where do you turn? 😏


But her experience intrigues me, and I like how simply and unostentatiously she conducts herself.

In fact, I just ran that vid, and enjoyed both the content and the tone of her talk. (But once again I stopped after the 24 minute mark.)

@ AR

Where to start answering and how to say it?!

Often i feel handicapped by the use of language and concepts as all concepts have their roots in the material world we live in, a world we process with the mind.

So an indigenous Indian from the amazon, on explaining to his people what he experience in the civilize world, is restricted to the use of words that all have their roots in the amazon. So what he says, is correct and not correct in the same time.

People that have inner experiences face the same problem. Human language is by necessity not fit for describing inner experiences.

It is not just the lack of concepts and words but also the structure of language that makes it difficult to communicate an experience. The laws of grammar that are used my not at all fit to describe the workings of an inner experience.

The one that has the experience shares the world of the one that does not and the ne world he has entered into but that is not so the other way around. For that reason relations have been broken up after one person having an say NDE experience. For the one that had the experience, nothing has changed what he allready knew only something was added but those around him might face the feeling that this person is no longer the one as the have known him, he changed. That can be very painfull, so much so that people that loved and do love one another are forced to divorce.

Now back to the lady and your reaction on what yo heard and saw.

I do share in general what you wrote about the feelings and thoughts you have.That said we are confronted with what i would like to call the "perfect living teacher" problem or syndrome. We, the onlookers, the ones that share with such a one only THIS world and the whole of language that is connected to it and can not but use the word "perfect" to this world we share. But in this world, those that have these experiences are like all of us, they are NOT perfect ... better said ... they stil remain the person they were born, the physics of it and also the mental make up and things we can describe as personality. ...a born crow remains a crow irrespective of his inner experiences.

In order to understand why she, steps into the public domain, in order to share her experience, i would have to sit with her and have some coffee and sweets. It is and it must be related to the personality and her life as it was BEFORE her experience

You see AR, personally I have the feeling that she can do whatever she wants in this world, remaining hidden and mum or sell her experience in seminars etc, and be her [newly found] inner self as the outer world is no longer the outer world ... or better said the "relation" with the outer world and even her own personality and body.

And .. naturally as she expresses herself without the use of this or that formal mystical, religious or philosophical teaching it is easier to hear what she says without being triggered and to look upon it with an open mind.

She has nothing to defend so nobody can attack her.

defending and attacking is solely in the domain of those that share with one another the HEARSAY. They are the ones that without having an inner experience themselves, fight with one another about how the words of the mystic have to be understood, they are the thieves,, the ones that run away with what was given initially for free.

And ... if I would have such an experience, I to would probably act as they all have done, ... mystics have to live in this world as they were, like all of us human beings.
Some come with sweet character and others might be the opposite.

It is strange AR to know things that one should not know ... it is like having money on the bank account without understanding how it came to be there, without having stolen it, without having worked for it, without having received it as a gift in heritage.


On a site dedicated to Ramana Maharshi it says in regard to "practice"::

>>All that is necessary is to surrender yourself completely to the Guru, to surrender your notion of ‘I’ and ‘mine>Has not Bhagavan said that surrender and Self-enquiry are the only two ways to Self-Realisation<<

Yolande Duran on answering several "seekers" advises them:
"to trust the power of silence"

All these advises boil down to the personal circumstances and themental make up of the person that received the experience.

We do not have "guru's" in the west and the relation to whatever teacher we have in this part of the world, excludes the practice of "surender to the guru" ... we are not taught from childhood on to trust other people, not even our own parents.

But the "practice" demands "to give in" or "to surrender" ...OR...if that is not possible .... the approach of others in the wake of Ramana Maharshi .... to realize that there is nobody there that can surrender.

Both options were not open to Yolande Duran ...so .. after having her initial experience ... her "practice" is to surrender, to have faith or to trust the power is able to open up as it had done to her when the time was ripe.

In fact surrender is the key word in all practices ... even those mantra schools.

we have all our changes of mood .. we are aware of them but we have not the power to create them. It is like sleeping. Nobody has the power to sleep at will but we all have the possibilities to create the conditions for the sleep to overwhelm us. So meditation as a practice does not open the door at best it creates conditions.

We have not the power to change or bring about changes of consciousness at will.. if we had we would chose to be happy all the time not withstanding the circumstances of life ... only those that have surrendered to life ... Oh lord not my will but your will, wil be done.

Blessed are those that received that gift of life.

Hi Um
You wrote
"In order to understand why she, steps into the public domain, in order to share her experience, i would have to sit with her and have some coffee and sweets. It is and it must be related to the personality and her life as it was BEFORE her experience."

It's not too difficult to place her comments in a context. She spoke of finding a space beyond thought.

That's a common report of long term meditators. The perception if immense physical space that is completely separate from a train of thought. There is thought and there is awareness.

In meditation we begin to separate the two, so that the consciousness, in a calm place, can see the train of thought in real time, as an observer. And then there is the experience of immense light and immense space...

"If thine eye is single, the body is filled with light."

This is a recurring event, and a stage of meditation. Not uncommon at all among devout meditators in any number of devotional or long term practices.

And it is, as Sawan Singh pointed out, replicable. He said spirituality is like a lightening storm, while meditation was like an electric generator we can use to replicate, on a smaller scale, the same thing.

One can argue about the experiences that are rarer and fewer, beyond this.

But this is a very initial stage, a rudimentary and universal observation from any sincere effort at devotional, meditation practice.

You can read similar writings as the results of meditation and devotional prayer in the writings of monks and nuns of different faiths, and actually experience it for yourself.

It's just a step, and part of reality we can witness, not specific to any particular religion or practice.

But practice is the general method to get there. And there is a very initial step. My Master called it the eye center... Just a place of focus and peace, but that peace, light, silence, and inevitable sound are all part of that.

Why report the experience? Why did anyone report their experience, give voice to their personal experience? It's what human beings do, use their voice. Not hide or feel shame or pride. Just own who they are and what they are without apology.

Very natural.

@ Spence

You are not right, there is a huge difference between what she speaks off and that with what you compare it but beyond this statement there is nothing I have to say..

When yo can at will sleep and change the swings of mood and offer that as an practice to others, there would be a step towards a makeable world.

If you would read the literature of RSSB properly, you would find that "no amount of meditation" would open the door. ... it is all his grace ... hahaha

Hi Um
We always seem in disagreement, though we are both initiates.

But I think it reflects looking at what I wrote from a one perspective that is not actually comprehensive.

You see our Master, Maharaji, and his Master, Sawan Singh, and all the saints including Swami Ji, and modern saints such as Iswar Puri and Baba Ji spoke and wrote about the variety of different practices underpinning different religions as methods to make personal progress on this inner journey. And all of them are legitimate to the extent that some progress is made in each. I refer you to Sar Bachan which goes into great length on this point. The only difference is where people choae to stop, in ignorance, thinking they had reached the penultimate when they had not.

Not everyone is going to get to the same place at the same time.

Not everyone who goes to the gym is going to achieve the same level of results. There is much out of our hands. But most of the changes and stages will be similar, certainly at the early stages.

But go to the gym. Practice. Seek to refine your practice. Find a good trainer, when you are serious.

It's that simple.

If you take a closer look at what you wrote you will see that those inspired to do so will do so. They may be inspired by ancient writings, or a personal relationship, or their own inspiration from prayer.

That is reach person's journey. Just as many Saints sought to learn about a spiritual path and practice, and often passed through more than one to find their destined sacred practice, so we can and should honor the truth that we all have a part to play and our personal journey.

If God is setting all this in motion, then He is responsible for my optimism, your nihlism, and the variety of responses from any number of different readers.

What Yolande speaks of in her terms is quite common among experienced meditators.

Hi Um
I understand your view that there is a wide variation between what you heard Yolande say and the Path of The Masters.

As Swami Ji wrote in Sar Bachan, there is zero difference in the inner path at the early stages of nearly every form of meditation and devotional practice.
It's the same path.

Physiologically, it's the same equipment. Same experiences resulting from practice.

How far we choose to go is up to our own inner discrimination, like level of ignorance, and the good fortune of good guidance.

Swami Ji, in Sar Bachan writes eloquently and extensively on this very point.

Everything Yolande experiences most long term meditators, especially those using a devotional practice, experience.

And of course like every form of conditioning and experience, every form of learning, we are to one degree or another changed

One more point Um.
There comes a point in meditation when every thought alters reality.

That is both wonderful and horrifying.

People who like parlor tricks get a whiff of that sort of thing and feel powerful and, well, all the rest.

People with power in this world are very close to that.

But in spirituality, the idea is to have zero power. To shed ourselves off all that. To go into the basement of the building, to be with the bricks in the basement, at the bottom, even the foundation under the bricks, even the dirt under the foundation, not on top of the building.

Then we are happy to hide in a fold of our Master's robe, owning our status as ignorant children. We can be children pretending to be adults or we can just be children who are children.
We can be no more than children, on that point I concur, if that is what you meant.

@ Spence I did not write or suggest about such an variation .. quite the opposite.

Bhakti Yoga, Guru mat, sant mat and in the end shabd yoga is all about surrender and nothing else. surrender to the will of god,

It is all about accepting life as it comes and annihilating the desire to make, what the lord created, better, better according our expectations.

It is simple a crow is born a crow live as such and will die so.
We are here to witness in whatever form that was given to us to witness reality.
Not that there is a giver, but that is the only way it can be said in language.

Nothing was, is and will ever be in your hands Spence to will
That you are no able and/or willing to see it, accept and understand it is alright
but to suggest to others that they can use their will to change what is not even theirs, is an evil of wealth.

You have no power over yourself let alone over others that contact you.... you are a puppet at a string as your guru said. ... but that doesn't suit you

Hi Um
You wrote
"Nothing was, is and will ever be in your hands Spence to will
That you are no able and/or willing to see it, accept and understand it is alright
but to suggest to others that they can use their will to change what is not even theirs, is an evil of wealth."

" You have no power over yourself let alone over others that contact you.... you are a puppet at a string as your guru said. ... but that doesn't suit you"

As I wrote above, neither your nihilism nor my optimism is in our hands.

I only remark that you should do as our Master enjoined and light a candle rather than shout at the darkness. Or simply turn around and see Him in the light. You were never in darkness.

What did all that company of Saints lead to if you think he is stingy?

Do you really think Master wants anyone to remain separate and alone?

It is only ignorance that leads to such a conclusion.

It is most certainly in his power. We just have to ask. Really. And even that He does for us. We were never alone.

"Lord, I see that in life there were two sets of footprints in the sand, mine and yours. But when things were difficult, there were only one set of footprints. Why did you leave me then?"

And God answered, "Spence, do you need to have your eyes checked? Take a closer look. There were always only one set of footprints! Mine! Oh my aching back!"

@ Spence

That same God that spoke to Spence, never said to Um heed the words of Spence .... hahaha.

Spence has his own god, his own experience.

The number of people, westerners, asking for initiation are lowering each year not withstanding the stand you take.

Hi Um
You wrote
"That same God that spoke to Spence, never said to Um heed the words of Spence .... hahaha."

God is speaking to people all the time, Um. People are called to serve all the time.

The God in you is the same God in me, Um. Don't blame her if you haven't been listening. You can read good spiritual literature, or any good science textbook to get a better idea.

Same exact God. Can't be two. Just the One.

Now, as to what he or she is really saying, I think that's very personal and limited by our limitations.

We can certainly learn to hear her or him better.

My God tells me that reality isn't different. It is the one reality, but each of us can only experience it one point at a time and from one place at a time. And so our reports are going to be widely different.

So we speak to the place we are at.

My God loves that. Anyone who speaks to their experience honestly does honor to where they have been placed. So long as they respect the place others are speaking from. Because it is all God.

You wrote
"The number of people, westerners, asking for initiation are lowering each year not withstanding the stand you take."

Are you keeping count now?

People find their spirituality in their own way.

One light, many windows, as Baba Ji has often stated.

These people could be finding spirituality in New ways.

Precisely as God determines.

No one seeks God without God's will. No one seeks God's will without, in time, finding it. And no one can prevent anyone who seeks from finding God.

That is a source of joy for me, Um.

Hi Um
You wrote
"That same God that spoke to Spence, never said to Um heed the words of Spence .... hahaha."

God is speaking to people all the time, Um. People are called to serve all the time.

The God in you is the same God in me, Um.

@ Spence

Your words sound in my ears as an empty drum ... without any meaning or feeling attached to them.

They remind me of the empty words of vicars and priests, people as Huzur once said to me have nothing to share of themselves with others.

Mind you ... that is how I hear your words,
That said you might be the only mystic of the western hemisphere.
And I the sole blind and deaf one

Your understanding and attainments, if any, are of no meaning and value to me ... they not even change the taste of my coffee.
And I wonder If you are able to see another human being beyond the words that stand in between.

Hi Um
I have no criticism of you or anyone.

Everyone has their perspective and it is valuable to have all of them expressed.

Naturally what appeals to one may appear valueless to another.

My own inner experiences give me pause to appreciate the situation of others as fully legitimate, however varied.

And Religion also is a wonderful field of study. Because by studying other religions we can learn to appreciate those things that are different, new to us, but valuable to others, and be reminded of some common human elements among different peoples, histories and geographies.

Psychology, physics, chemistry all share this quality. We learn the laws that run things by learning.

I'm a big believer in learning and growth. No matter how old and ancient the oldest living pine, still it is green and continues in subtle ways to grow. To live it must grow. No living thing, no matter its age, can remain static. It is an illusion or ignorance to think so.

Therefore, since we are always in motion, let's move forward.

You wrote
"Bhakti Yoga, Guru mat, sant mat and in the end shabd yoga is all about surrender and nothing else. surrender to the will of god,"

Yes, that's what I wrote.
That will isn't what your father taught you, Um. It's what you uncover within yourself.

Surrender is not in our hands also, Um. But effort is. Love is the answer, Um. And that love comes right in you. Guru Bhakti is only real if you find Guru within yourself.

And as far as creating and making new things, every flower grows new petals. It is in us to create. That's His life expressing itself in ever more varied ways.

No, our job is not to kill that voice but to silence our chatter, to listen to that inner voice, to make that worship our life, to give it expression in the best way we can. Our life is art, our life is a poetry of love, written by God Himself, if we elect to mine that love that is within each of us. Absolutely your choice. Your duty.

The force of creativity comes right from life itself. And every firm of expression is its own meditation.

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