Shocking Election Results

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Like most Hillary supporters I was shocked by last night’s election results. Like most perennial optimists, I believe there is a reason for everything. As a result I decided to share an interesting outlook with you.

I recently picked up the November copy of a monthly publication called Conscious Community. It’s free and available at numerous locations in the Chicago area. In it a young woman named Kaye Berjot (www.askkaye.com) writes a monthly column on astrology titled “Cosmic Daily Weather.” Over the past six months I’ve realized her observations were insightful and, more often than not, right on when it came to describing what is going on in my life, as well as the world at large. Below is her write-up (p. 35) for November 8:

“Tuesday, November 8: All planets are involved today, and each has a position. The Moon and Jupiter are still collaborating, and have managed to bring Uranus in on the discussion. This is a conversation about what is best for the collective consciousness, and Uranus knows that in order to do what’s best, you have to do unconventional things.”

‘What’s best for our collective consciousness …’ that’s an interesting thought. It made me realize I don’t have all the answers or always know what’s best for everyone. Sometimes we have to ‘let go and let God,’ even when we’re disappointed. Over time we’ll find the silver lining in the dark cloud. My hope is it will lead us toward Peace, Love, and Harmony.

Voter Turnout

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All the controversy  around the Presidential Election made me wonder how things have changed over time. I also wondered what percent of the eligible population normally casts votes for President.

In the 2016 Presidential Election, 69% of voters are white, 12% are African-American, 12% are Hispanic and 4% are Asian. Since 2012 the white percentage as dipped (older whites are passing away) and the voter eligible Hispanic population has grown (birth rate). The total number of eligible voters in 2016 is just under 226 million people out of a population of 324 million. This is in line with what I expected to find. (Source: Pew Research)

On the other hand I found startling news in Wikipedia when I looked for voter turnout as a percent of the general population. In 1860 it reached its highest level when it jumped to 81.2%, probably because the country was about to enter the Civil War.  OK, so what about “modern times?” In 1900 it was 73.2%. In 1932 it was 56.9%. In 1960 (Kennedy vs Nixon) it was 62% and in 1968 (Viet Nam) it was 60.7%. Those last two were contentious years. Since 1968, the average turnout for a Presidential Election is in the 50+% range, not very impressive. (Source: The American Presidency Project). However the actual number of people voting has gone from 68.8 million in 1968, to 129 million in 2012. This is due to population growth. So while the percentages seem flat, the actual numbers are growing.

Early on in our history only land owners could vote. African-Americans couldn’t vote until after the Civil War. Women couldn’t vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. The Baby Boomers began arriving after 1945. And our 18-year-old citizens couldn’t vote for President until 1972.

If you find these numbers confusing, so do I. Searching online for this information has raised other questions I don’t know how to pursue. For instance, the American Presidency Project shows 235 million eligible voters in 2012 while Pew Research shows only 226 million eligible for this year. Where could 9 million voters have gone? Donald would have fun with that statistic.

Frontline: The Choice 2016

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I’m not influencing your vote. This is about the PBS program Frontline and the two hour documentary they created regarding Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I am a big fan of PBS, WTTW here in the Chicago viewing area. This documentary raises the bar for reporting to a new high. Considering our political climate, this is the most objective analysis you will find.

The Choice 2016 spends two hours switching back and forth between candidates tracing their lives from childhood to the present. It spotlights highs and lows in each candidate’s life. The interviews with their friends and associates reveal how each person evolved. I watched this program twice and now feel compassion for both candidates.

It’s so interesting I’ll watch it again Sunday night, October 9. It’s on 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM CDT right before the second Presidential debate. Do yourself a favor and tune in!

Who Are We: Astronauts or Earthlings?

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Recently there were stories about the discovery of a new earth-like planet. A scientist was quoted as saying, “It just raises public awareness that there’s a new world next door.” I think that kind of wishful thinking is misleading. By next door he means it’s only 4.2 Light Years away. If we had nuclear powered space ships, which we don’t, the journey could be accomplished in one to two hundred years. Next door? Uh-huh!

Earlier this year Astronaut Scott Kelly returned from the International Space Station having lived there 340 days. While this was a brave, record-setting accomplishment, it raised sobering issues. While in space Scott’s body changed due to micro gravity. Fluids shifted to his upper body because his legs lost their ability to re-circulate blood into the upper torso, causing dizziness and problems with balance. The backs of his eyes swelled causing poor eyesight and changes in vision. His intestinal bacteria changed and became more potent. His immune system may have been affected. NASA’s study of the effects of space on Scott’s body is still in progress.

There’s been talk of going to Mars, fueled by the recent movie The Martian. NASA indicates the roundtrip would take two to three years. But Scott’s new information has caused me to wonder if we are kidding ourselves. It’s one thing to build a nuclear powered space ship, another to reengineer the human body. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have fine tuned our bodies to the physical needs of living on Earth, not in space. Humans are not machines. We are biological miracles resulting from millennia of natural selection. 

In his Essay on Man, Alexander Pope wrote, “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan. The proper study of Mankind, is Man.” Perhaps we should focus on improving the lives of all Earthlings before we attempt to change our biology. NASA’s 2016 budget is about $18B. Can you imagine how much food, medicine and other assistance that would buy?

Small Acts Of Kindness Can Change The World!

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Have you ever noticed how a small act of kindness can make someone smile? Think about the last time you were entering a building, noticed someone coming in behind you, and held the door open for them to grab it. The odds are that that person looked at you, smiled, and said “Thanks.” They recognized your small act of kindness and acknowledged it. You felt good. They felt good.

If you didn’t see them, or if you did and just let the door go, they probably felt slighted. Which situation would you want them to experience? I’m sure the first, pleasant one.

If a police officer approaches you when you are in your car, do you look up and smile at them? If they ask for your driver’s license and insurance card do you say, “Yes, of course” or do you say  “I’m not doing anything wrong, why do you want me to do that?” The first answer paves the way for a polite exchange. It also recognizes the legal authority of the officer. The second is the introduction to a confrontation.

Which would you rather promote with a police officer, a polite conversation or a confrontation? I always give the first answer and I have never, ever, regretted it, even if I got a ticket.

Small acts of kindness fall under the category of common courtesy. Common courtesy consists of the ways we act toward our fellow human beings, especially the first time we meet them. They are the acts which tell our fellow human beings that we recognize them as fellow human beings who deserve our respect, and that we expect their respect in return. They are mandatory if we are going to live together as civilized people.

Oh, and for you Millennials, the proper response for “Thank you” is “You’re welcome”, not “No problem.” “No problem” means you were not inconvenienced. “You’re welcome” means you enjoyed giving the small service you just provided. The difference is minor but noted by those of us in the older generations.

Small acts of kindness can change the world!

Hate versus Love

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I believe the United States should not allow citizens to buy automatic weapons which are primarily designed to kill human beings. However I believe the problem goes deeper than gun control.

We see ourselves as separate beings. Our beliefs are the only correct beliefs. I’m right. Everyone else is wrong. This is what causes Republicans and Democrats to refuse to cooperate. It causes the members of one church to despise the members of other churches. It causes distrust between different racial groups and groups with different sexual preferences. It leads to such extremes it even causes fans of one soccer team to injure the fans of an opposing soccer team. How ridiculous.

The problem is magnified by television stations, and reporters, who try to get more viewers for higher ratings so they can make more money on advertising. Everything is Breaking News. They spend hours regurgitating the few details they know, pretending the information has just been released. They are professional agitators.

We must stop focusing on our differences and refocus on our similarities. According to a PBS program about human origins, the physical differences in all humans alive on the planet today are caused by 3% of our DNA. Yet our focus on the 3% causes an inordinately large portion of our problems.

We must focus on similarities. We are God’s children. We are brothers and sisters.  Focus on differences attracts hate. We should attract love.

Now available on Amazon.com

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My Journeys To The Spirit World , my new book, is now available on Amazon dot com. It is available in both printed and eBook formats. It explains how I found spirit walking and contains information about power animals, journeying, interacting with spirits and soul retrievals, including four commentaries from soul retrieval clients. Check it out by clicking on the above link. Thanks.

 

Communicating with Nature

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Yesterday I went for a walk around 11:00 AM. My outside thermometer indicated it was already 68 degrees. I took my usual route and headed toward Memorial Park. Just before I got to the park I heard geese flying above me. I looked and looked but couldn’t see them. I kept walking. Hearing them again I looked up to see a flock of maybe 20 geese in ‘v’ formation high above me. I watched as they moved northwest and realized they were migrating to Canada. Geese always fly northwest when migrating near Chicago. They are avoiding Lake Michigan.

When I got to the park I walked a short distance and heard a second flock overhead. They too were flying northwest, high in the sky above me. I found a bench overlooking the football field and sat down. For the next ten to fifteen minutes I watched as five more flocks flew overhead following the first two. The largest flock must have had 40 to 50 geese. I decided to read Animal Speak when I got home to see what they can mean as omens.

They can represent a call to a quest or travels to legendary places. Their ‘v’ formation is symbolic. In Hebrew ‘v’ is pronounced “vav” meaning nail. The ‘v’ formation can therefore represent a message about nailing or fixing ourselves to a new path. Geese have many symbolic meanings.

The one that caught my attention is that they have to do with communications, especially written communications since their quills were used for writing. This has a special meaning for me. This past Monday I gave final approval to publish my next book, My Journeys To The Spirit World. I’m hoping the geese represent success in finding the right audience for this spiritual autobiography. It will be published in March, exclusively through Amazon dot com, in print and eBook formats. I’ll let you know when it‘s available.

Brain Scans of Journeys

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My friend Razena posted an article on my FaceBook page about a study done in Germany and Austria. Fifteen experienced shamanic practitioners had their brains scanned while they were journeying to the spirit world. The results were published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Pathology in June of 2015. Functional MRI scans revealed which areas of the brain were active during the journey.

I read that article as well as one written for non-scientists, The Neuroscience Of Trance. I noted the three major areas of activity and also researched them on Wikipedia. I wanted to see how the observed brain functions matched up with my own experiences.

There was increased activity in the posterior cingulate cortex. This part is associated with internally directed thought, first impressions, wakeful rest, and is not focused on the outside world.

The insular cortex is associated with the sources of urges and cravings, decision making, and communicates with other areas of the brain. It is part of the core control network and is suspected of helping maintain internally directed states.

The third part is the anterior cingulate cortex which acts as a core network controller also, and helps regulate the amygdala. In turn, the amygdala controls autonomic functions such as blood pressure and heart rate. The amygdala is also associated with rational functions like decision making, impulse control, empathy, and the emotions. The amygdala is important in deciding what is a threat and what is not (survival instinct).

These findings please me. The functions described are not concerned with the outside world but internally on a state of wakeful rest. They are focused on decision-making, internal brain communications, and maintaining internally directed states. There is a connection to our feelings. Note that, other than the internally directed state, the other areas of focus are areas our brains engage in during our normal, non-trance, every day experiences.

This tracks perfectly with my journeys. As I report in my soon-to-be-published book, My Journeys To The Spirit World, journeying is so real that I view it as a normal event. My first journey to the spirit world was on April 13, 2011. After describing that journey on page 6 of my book, I wrote, “Simply put, it was real. I knew it was real. I acted on this reality.”

Who Are We? Our Beliefs!

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As we have seen, our two brains function in certain ways that have helped humanity survive. Our instincts also promote survival; our needs for food, a place to live, safety, good health, sex and intimacy, community. These instincts are so basic as to be an integral part of ourselves. Without them Homo sapiens would not be here today.

However we are not like animals, moving automatically at the direction of these driving forces. We can to use our conscious brains to think and reason, to decide what we do want as opposed to what we don’t want. Using our consciousness we can make choices which will direct the course of our lives. We are, in this sense, CO-creators. The sum of our individual beliefs shape the society in which we live. If we don’t like our existing world it is up to us to think about it and decide what we want to change. We will succeed if enough people believe along with us.

I end today’s blog with a quote from the book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, by Leonard Mlodinow, page 218.

“We choose the facts that we want to believe. We also choose our friends, lovers, and spouses, not just because of the way we perceive them, but because of the way they perceive us. Unlike phenomena in physics, in life, events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe. It is a gift of the human mind to be extraordinarily open to accepting the theory of ourselves that pushes us in the direction of survival, and even happiness.”

 

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