Common Miracles

At first glance, the above may appear to be an oxymoron as, by definition, miracles are rare occurrences. There is another way to define them however, which is: miracles are (beneficial) events which cannot be explained1. By using this definition, miracles abound. To narrow the discussion, let’s pick a very common example: apples. How does an apple seed, which is about the size of this capital “O”2 cause many millions (or was that billions) of molecules to spontaneously organize themselves into not just an apple3 but in fact into an apple tree which in turn produces numerous apples over its lifespan. Part of what makes this a miracle is that apples are not just usefully for food, but they are (almost universally) considered to be tasty as well4. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is. I think the reason it is overlooked so routinely is because it is so, well, routine. This in no way takes away from its miraculousness. Just a thought from my brain to yours…

-Chris

Footnotes:
1. Sure there may be theories or partial explanations but when you get right down to it, the phenomenon remains essentially unexplainable.
2. At least on my screen. 😉
3. Which would be highly miraculous in itself!
4. As opposed to say Brussels sprouts for example.:-D

Do electrons live?

Today’s philosophical conundrum is: do electrons live? Or to put it another way, what physical difference is there between a living thing and a non-living thing? Surely at the atomic level, nothing, since all matter is made up of atoms. So then, we have the following argument:

1) All living things are made of matter

2) All matter is composed of atoms

3) Atoms are not alive (according to the most widely held definitions)

Therefore, life (whatever it may be) is not itself a physical thing, but only manifests itself through physical things. What are the ramifications of this? Well, for me it points to the concept that life transcends matter. In other words living things (which by the way includes you and I) have a life entity (or soul if you will) that in all likelihood can survive physical death. So now, (assuming you are still with me), the question becomes, what happens to this life force after physical death?

For an answer to this question, we need to seek out research conducted on those whom have come close to death or those whom have been temporarily clinically dead, and subsequently revived via external means (usually via electric shock to the heart). Here, definitions come in to play. See here for a definition of clinical death. Has any such research been done and if so, where is it. Well, happily, the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second question is provided in the links below. Remember that this research may necessitate a change in world view on your part and so it will be necessary to keep an open mind when reviewing this material.

* The International Association for Near-Death Studies

* The Near Death Experience Research Foundation

* Who’s Who in NDE Research

Attitude

Here is a snippet from the first book (mentioned in my last posting) about how we regard our work days.

I think it’s quite interesting.

Now the great and profound mistake which my typical man makes in regard to his day is a mistake of general attitude, a mistake which vitiates and weakens two-thirds of his energies and interests. In the majority of instances he does not precisely feel a passion for his business; at best he does not dislike it. He begins his business functions with reluctance, as late as he can, and he ends them with joy, as early as he can. And his engines while he is engaged in his business are seldom at their full “h.p.” (I know that I shall be accused by angry readers of traducing the city worker; but I am pretty thoroughly acquainted with the City, and I stick to what I say.)

Yet in spite of all this he persists in looking upon those hours from ten to six as “the day,” to which the ten hours preceding them and the six hours following them are nothing but a prologue and epilogue. Such an attitude, unconscious though it be, of course kills his interest in the odd sixteen hours, with the result that, even if he does not waste them, he does not count them; he regards them simply as margin.

This general attitude is utterly illogical and unhealthy, since it formally gives the central prominence to a patch of time and a bunch of activities which the man’s one idea is to “get through” and have “done with.” If a man makes two-thirds of his existence subservient to one-third, for which admittedly he has no absolutely feverish zest, how can he hope to live fully and completely? He cannot.

Arnold Bennett

One of my favourite authors is Arnold Bennett. Of all his writings, it’s his non-fiction that appeals to me. Specifically, the book called “How to Live”, which I know sounds rather presumptuous. This book is actually a collection of four books combined into one volume. The four separate books are as follows:

  • How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

  • The Human Machine

  • Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women

  • Self and Self-Management

These books can be purchased (quite cheaply) at ABEBooks .

The first book can also be found at Project Gutenberg .

Vancouver Bikes Grind Guatemala Corn

So here I am with my first bit of truly good, nay great news: Vancouver Bikes Grind Guatemala Corn

In small Cakchiquel and Quiche villages in the highlands of Guatemala there is a new way to grind corn, thanks in part to the staff and volunteers of Our Community Bikes. What, you may well ask, is OCB doing in Guatemala?Un poco historia…

See here for the full story.

News

There are two kinds of useful news:

  • Good news, because it lightens your spirit and encourages you.
  • Bad news that you can do something(1) about, because it gives you an opportunity to help change things for the better

Unfortunately, 99% of the news you hear is of the non-useful variety (i.e. Bad news that disheartens(2) you and that you can do nothing(3) about). And the truly sad part is that finding good news is a real chore. Many times I have looked for good news on the internet only to discover that the news is either:

  • some frivolous nonsense
  • closely linked to some horrible news (you know what I mean…)
  • not my definition of good news (often closer to bad news, according to my world view)

So because of this, I will try to only post useful news on this site. When I post bad news, I will give pointers on what practical things you can do to help changes things for the better. I will strive to also frequently post genuinely good news.

Thanks for reading…



Footnotes:

(1) Either directly or indirectly

(2) and also makes you numb and/or callous

(3) Or very little