The Cassini spacecraft has been detecting intense radio emissions from the planet Saturn. They come from the planet’s aurorae, where magnetic field lines thread the polar regions. These signals have been shifted into the range of human hearing and compressed in time.
By: Vandita via anonhq.com
How anonymous are you? Google knows what you’re looking for. Facebook knows what you like. The CIA knows how to use your TV/Smartphone to spy on you. Your communications are being monitored 24X7. You are being manipulated 24X7. You are being tracked 24X7. To quote British author Alex Preston: “We have come to the end of privacy.” To quote former tabloid journalist Paul McMullan: “Privacy is for paed0s.”
If you still think you have privacy, 21-year-old Russian photographer Egor Tsvetkov will convince you to think otherwise.
In a thought-provoking social experiment for his art project titled Your Face Is Big Data conducted last year, Tsvetkov spent six weeks taking photos of 100 strangers on the Saint Petersburg’s subway before using FindFace (a facial-recognition app) to track down their profiles among the 55 million users on VKontakte (Russia’s biggest social networking site).
According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, Tsvetkov was able to identify about 70% of the passengers he photographed without their knowledge:
“The idea of this project came to me when I first heard of the FindFace app. I instantly knew that I wanted to convey to people how this thing will work. The people did not react in any way, although I was quite obviously photographing them. My project is a clear illustration of the future that awaits us if we continue to disclose as much about ourselves on the Internet as we do now.”
The project, Tsvetkov told The Guardian, was aimed to prove the end of privacy as well as highlight the difference between a person’s real life look and the image they project online:
“Nobody noticed that I photographed them, but I used a simple camera and I didn’t try to hide it. One girl in the project texted me after the publication and said that it was a bad feeling when she saw herself, but she fully understood my idea.”
Tsvetkov’s art project not only revealed how much information strangers can gather about us using facial recognition software, it also exposed how we are endangering our real identities by giving up anonymity on the Internet:
“People are accustomed to differentiating patterns of behavior in society and social networks, and allow strangers to see what is, in their opinion, the best, most successful moments of their lives. Such digital narcissism is a product of a culture of free expression that is defining the boundaries of private and public in our time.”
According to Stanislav Kozlovsky, an assistant professor at Moscow State University, the difference between the two images is not surprising:
“On a social network, people tend to present themselves as they would like to appear in other people’s eyes, which is often at variance with the way they really look in everyday life, say on the metro on their way to work. From the point of view of psychology, this is quite understandable.”
While the difference between the real and digital identities may not be as shocking, what is truly shocking, however, is the fact that Tsvetkov could effortlessly show how easy it is to identify and track complete strangers through random photos taken in public places.
“I learnt a lot about a person’s life without any contact. I felt slightly uncomfortable. I photographed people who were sitting in front of me in the subway, and then looked for them in social networks using open source software. I was feeling creepy, because when you learn a lot about somebody’s private information like family, or work, or pets you see them in another way.”
Tsvetkov’s social experiment is a cruel reminder that there is no such thing as privacy in the modern world. Christopher Weatherhead, a technologist for Privacy International, told The Telegraph:
“This experiment highlights the disconnect between individuals believing they are sharing personal information and pictures only with friends, family, and colleagues, when in reality such information is virtually public. It is critical that we should retain control of the information we put online.”
Identifying someone using facial-recognition technology is no longer a privilege of secret services and police departments — anyone can act like a Web stalker. Racial biases have been cited among the technology’s potential downsides, even apart from privacy implications.
Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, told PC World: “Capturing facial characteristics can be totally unobtrusive to those individuals whose faces are captured. They have no way of knowing it was done.”
Wow, that’s 65,000 people singing in unison. That is quite a feat.
The researchers, from the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, was the largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences.
According to the researchers, who spent more than four years studying more than 2,000 patients who had suffered cardiac arrests at 15 different hospitals in Austria, the United States, and the United Kingdom, nearly 40 percent of the patients who survived resuscitation described some sort of bodily awareness during the time in which they were considered clinically dead.
39 percent of the 140 survivors surveyed (out of just over 2,000 patients studied) noted this awareness, including sensations of peacefulness, or of time changing (either slowing down or speeding up).
Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining.
Others recounted feelings of fear, drowning or being dragged through deep water.
In one of the eeriest anecdotes, a 57-year-old man from Southampton, who was pronounced dead for three minutes, said he left his body entirely, watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room.
He was able to accurately recount the actions of the nursing staff and the sound of the machines used in his resuscitation process.
Commenting on the study, the editor-in-chief of the journal Resuscitation, Dr Jerry Nolan said Dr Parnia and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.
Image Credit – PixaBay
This looks like the real thing to me. I said 2 minutes because that’s all we need to see, as the rest is much of the same. I like the amateurish feel to it.
July 16, 2017
Alan Watts may be credited with popularizing Eastern philosophy in the West, but he owes the entire trajectory of his life and legacy to a single encounter with the Zen Buddhist sage D.T. Suzuki (October 18, 1870–July 12, 1966) — one of humanity’s greatest and most influential stewards of Zen philosophy. At the age of twenty-one, Watts attended a lecture by Suzuki in London, which so enthralled the young man that he spent the remainder of his life studying, propagating, and building upon Suzuki’s teachings. Legendary composer John Cage had a similar encounter with Suzuki, which profoundly shaped his life and music.
In the early 1920s, spurred by the concern that Zen masters are “unable to present their understanding in the light of modern thought,” Suzuki undertook “a tentative experiment to present Zen from our common-sense point of view” — a rather humble formulation of what he actually accomplished, which was nothing less than giving ancient Eastern philosophy a second life in the West and planting the seed for a new culture of secularized spirituality.
But by 1940, all of his books had gone out of print in war-torn England, and all remaining copies in Japan were destroyed in the great fire of 1945, which consumed three quarters of Tokyo. In 1946, Christmas Humphreys, president of London’s Buddhist Society, set out to undo the damage and traveled to Tokyo, where he began working with Suzuki on translating his new manuscripts and reprinting what remained of the old. The result was the timeless classic Essays in Zen Buddhism (public library), originally published in 1927 — a collection of Suzuki’s foundational texts introducing the principles of Zen into secular life as a discipline concerned first and foremost with what he called “the reconstruction of character.” As Suzuki observed, “Our ordinary life only touches the fringe of personality, it does not cause a commotion in the deepest parts of the soul.” His essays became, and remain, a moral toolkit for modern living, delivered through a grounding yet elevating perspective on secular spirituality.
Suzuki begins at the beginning, laying out the promise of Zen in our everyday lives:
Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. By making us drink right from the fountain of life, it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.
This body of ours is something like an electric battery in which a mysterious power latently lies. When this power is not properly brought into operation, it either grows mouldy and withers away or is warped and expresses itself abnormally. It is the object of Zen, therefore, to save us from going crazy or being crippled. This is what I mean by freedom, giving free play to all the creative and benevolent impulses inherently lying in our hearts. Generally, we are blind to this fact, that we are in possession of all the necessary faculties that will make us happy and loving towards one another. All the struggles that we see around us come from this ignorance… When the cloud of ignorance disappears… we see for the first time into the nature of our own being.
One of Suzuki’s most overlooked yet essential points — and one particularly prescient in the context of what modern developmental psychology has found in the decades since — has to do with the crucial role of adolescence as a pivotal point in moral development. The teenage years, he argues, are when we begin “deeply delving into the mysteries of life” and when we are “asked to choose between the ‘Everlasting No’ and the ‘Everlasting Yea’” — a notion young Nietzsche intuited half a century earlier when he resolved, “I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yea-sayer!” At this fork in the road of existence, Suzuki insists, mastering the principles of Zen can make the critical difference in leading us toward a meaningful and fulfilling life. He writes:
Life is after all a form of affirmation… However insistently the blind may deny the existence of the sun, they cannot annihilate it.
Much of that blindness, he admonishes, comes from our attachment to the ego. Paradoxical as it may sound to any parent or teacher of a teenager, Suzuki suggests that adolescence is the time most fruitful for the dissolution of the ego:
We are too ego-centered. The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow… We are, however, given many chances to break through this shell, and the first and greatest of them is when we reach adolescence.
And yet the “loss of the mental equilibrium” produced by the polar pull of “Everlasting No” and “Everlasting Yea,” which causes “so many cases of nervous prostration reported during adolescence,” can also derail and anguish us at any point in life. In a sentiment that once again calls to mind Nietzsche and his beliefs about the constructive role of suffering, Suzuki writes:
The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts.
Those ego-stripping struggles, Suzuki points out, can be of the intimate, most nonmaterial kind — the kind Rilke had articulated so beautifully two decades earlier in his letter on the burdens and blessings of love. Suzuki writes:
Love makes the ego lose itself in the object it loves, and yet at the same time it wants to have the object as its own… The greatest bulk of literature ever produced in this world is but the harping on the same string of love, and we never seem to grow weary of it. But… through the awakening of love we get a glimpse into the infinity of things… When the ego-shell is broken and the ‘other’ is taken into its own body, we can say that the ego has denied itself or that the ego has taken its first steps towards the infinite.
Although he takes care to note the invaluable role of the intellect in day-to-day life, Suzuki argues that the intellect is what keeps us from the infinite:
Zen proposes its solution by directly appealing to facts of personal experience and not to book-knowledge. The nature of one’s own being where apparently rages the struggle between the finite and the infinite is to be grasped by a higher faculty than the intellect… For the intellect has a peculiarly disquieting quality in it. Though it raises questions enough to disturb the serenity of the mind, it is too frequently unable to give satisfactory answers to them. It upsets the blissful peace of ignorance and yet it does not restore the former state of things by offering something else. Because it points out ignorance, it is often considered illuminating, whereas the fact is that it disturbs, not necessarily always bringing light on its path.
How poignant the latter remark is in the context of contemporary intellectual life. So much of our higher education is premised on the spirit of tearing things down rather than building things up — on how intelligently a student can criticize and counter an argument — which has, unsurprisingly, permeated the fabric of public discourse at large. We have a culture of criticism in which critics, professional and self-appointed, measure their merit by how intelligently they can eviscerate an idea, a work of art, or, increasingly and alarmingly, a person. We seem to have forgotten how to acquire what Bertrand Russell called, just a year before Suzuki’s essays were published, “a high degree of intellectual culture without emotional atrophy” in his magnificent meditation on why construction is more difficult yet more rewarding than destruction.
Similarly, Suzuki’s point is that the intellect is best at pointing out what doesn’t work, and as such can be a force of destruction, but when it comes to what does work, to the art of moral construction, we must rely on a wholly different faculty of the human spirit. He points to the lineage of philosophy — a discipline that continues to rely heavily on Descartes’s ultimate slogan for the intellect, cogito ergo sum — as evidence of the intellect’s insufficient powers in illuminating the path:
The history of thought proves that each new structure raised by a man of extraordinary intellect is sure to be pulled down by the succeeding ones. This constant pulling down and building up is all right as far as philosophy itself is concerned; for the inherent nature of the intellect, as I take it, demands it and we cannot put a stop to the progress of philosophical inquiries any more than to our breathing. But when it comes to the question of life itself we cannot wait for the ultimate solution to be offered by the intellect, even if it could do so. We cannot suspend even for a moment our life-activity for philosophy to unravel its mysteries. Let the mysteries remain as they are, but live we must… Zen therefore does not rely on the intellect for the solution of its deepest problems.
While the intellect may portend to fight illusion, Suzuki argues, it often does the opposite, creating different illusions that take us further from the truth of life rather than closer to it. He writes:
As nature abhors a vacuum, Zen abhors anything coming between the fact and ourselves. According to Zen there is no struggle in the fact itself such as between the finite and the infinite, between the flesh and the spirit. These are idle distinctions fictitiously designed by the intellect for its own interest. Those who take them too seriously or those who try to read them into the very fact of life are those who take the finger for the moon.
For anyone who has ever experienced the soul-squeezing sense of not-enoughness — and in a consumerist culture, most of us have, for the task of consumerism is to rob us of our sense of having enough and sell it back to us at the price of the product, over and over — Suzuki’s words resonate with particular poignancy:
Life as it is lived suffices. It is only when the disquieting intellect steps in and tries to murder it that we stop to live and imagine ourselves to be short of or in something. Let the intellect alone, it has its usefulness in its proper sphere, but let it not interfere with the flowing of the life-stream. If you are at all tempted to look into it, do so while letting it flow. The fact of flowing must under no circumstances be arrested or meddled with…
The great fact of life itself … flows altogether outside of these vain exercises of the intellect or of the imagination.
No amount of wordy explanations will ever lead us into the nature of our own selves. The more you explain, the further it runs away from you. It is like trying to get hold of your own shadow.
What Zen offers, Suzuki suggests, is a gateway into precisely that elusive nature of the self:
Zen … must be directly and personally experienced by each of us in his inner spirit. Just as two stainless mirrors reflect each other, the fact and our own spirits must stand facing each other with no intervening agents. When this is done we are able to seize upon the living, pulsating fact itself. Freedom is an empty word until then.
In a sentiment that the wise and wonderful Parker Palmer would come to echo decades later in his courageous call for “inner wholeness,” Suzuki adds:
The ultimate standpoint of Zen, therefore, is that we have been led astray through ignorance to find a split in our own being, that there was from the very beginning no need for a struggle between the finite and the infinite, that the peace we are seeking so eagerly after has been there all the time.
More than a century before Alan Lightman so elegantly assuaged our yearning for permanence in a universe of constant change, Suzuki writes:
We are all finite, we cannot live out of time and space; inasmuch as we are earth-created, there is no way to grasp the infinite, how can we deliver ourselves from the limitations of existence? … Salvation must be sought in the finite itself, there is nothing infinite apart from finite things; if you seek something transcendental, that will cut you off from this world of relativity, which is the same thing as the annihilation of yourself. You do not want salvation at the cost of your own existence… Whether you understand or not, just the same go on living in the finite, with the finite; for you die if you stop eating and keeping yourself warm on account of your aspiration for the infinite… Therefore the finite is the infinite, and vice versa. These are not two separate things, though we are compelled to conceive them so, intellectually.
Suzuki argues that the ultimate essence of Zen lies in its promise, both practical and profound, to “deliver us from the oppression and tyranny of these intellectual accumulations” and to offer, instead, a foundation of character at once solid and transcendent:
Zen may be considered a discipline aiming at the reconstruction of character. Our ordinary life only touches the fringe of personality, it does not cause a commotion in the deepest parts of the soul… We are … made to live on the superficiality of things. We may be clever, bright, and all that, but what we produce lacks depth, sincerity, and does not appeal to the inmost feelings… A deep spiritual experience is bound to effect a change in the moral structure of one’s personality.
And yet this “reconstruction of character”” is no cosmetic tweak:
Being so long accustomed to the oppression [of the intellect], the mental inertia becomes hard to remove. In fact it has gone down deep into the roots of our own being, and the whole structure of personality is to be overturned. The process of reconstruction is stained with tears and blood… It is no pastime but the most serious task in life; no idlers will ever dare attempt it.
Zen goes straight down to the foundations of personality.
In the remainder of Essays in Zen Buddhism, Suzuki goes on to equip us with the necessary tools of character and spirit for undertaking this task of a lifetime. Complement it with Alan Watts on life, reality, and becoming who you really are and the story of what John Cage’s journey into Buddhism reveals about the inner life of artists.
The United States might be waging a War on Terror, but the real killer — opioid medications — actually thrives because of that war.
Safety of the people and security of the nation should be priority number one for any leader who wishes to have a successful tenure in office, perhaps even multiple terms — and the President of the United States is no exception to this model.
So, why, then, has a killer of tens of thousands each year still on the loose inside those putatively impermeable borders? How could this executioner, unmasked and identified, roam main streets of small towns as comfortably as a seedy alley in some decrepit corner of an urban metroplex — unhindered by the threat of detention or arrest?
How could this nefarious reaper sever the lives of ninety-one Americans each and every day, yet — rather than earn a notorious status as Enemy of the Public Number One — this killer is encouraged to thrive, intentionally or not, by those supposedly the most trusted to guard us from bodily harm?
Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has waged the pernicious War on Terror — combating a concept most of its citizenry will never encounter firsthand — nearly everywhere on the planet, even toppling ostensively brutal but sovereign regimes in its name.
Yet, Terror — its tactics used most often by disciples fighting in the name of religion — has not been as efficacious in destroying American lives as the opioid medications prescribed, without irony, to kill their pain.
Since 1995, terrorists of varied stripe have killed 3,181 people in the U.S. — nearly 3,000 of them in the September 11 attacks, which sparked the nation’s unending war, alone.
That’s a startling figure, indeed — particularly in a country known for Orwellian surveillance and tracking of visitors and citizens, alike — but terror’s death toll cannot be examined separately from known killers more easily stopped.
In 2014, the span of a single year, an astounding 29,467 Americans died by overdose of opioid-related drugs, including prescriptions — and the following year saw more than 15,000 lose their lives to overdose on opioid medications legally prescribed by medical personnel.
Unintentional drug overdose is now the primary cause of accidental death’ in the U.S. — and prescription opioid industry bears a significant bulk of culpability in the problem.
Many opiate addicts never sought the escape of a substance recreationally — but were given prescriptions for medications like Vicodin (hydrocodone) or even OxyContin (oxycodone) following surgery, a serious injury, or as treatment for the chronic pain of another illness.
What might seem innocuous when written by a physician can quickly turn malevolent — a single month of prescribed medication might not be sufficient to fight the pain of a complex fracture or chronic ailment. If the prescriber then refuses an extension of that opioid — all-too frequently, under the benign premise of preventing dependence — that patient might seek other means to procure the same relief.
Many turn to heroin — highly illegal, but readily available from the black market — and without the rigorous federal restrictions guarding its legal opioid brethren. In fact, a large percentage of heroin addicts began using after prescriptions for strong opioids like OxyContin ran their course, leaving the patients suffering without recourse.
Every day, around 1,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for misuse of prescription opioids — and in 2014, alone, roughly 2,000,000 abused or were dependent on those opioid medications. One-quarter, given such a prescription on a long but terminal basis, struggles with dependency.
Fifteen-thousand people perished by overdosing on prescription opioid painkillers in 2015 — and the figures compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grow exponentially by the year. Even as the War on Terror rages on around the globe.
Indeed, veteran American troops have stumbled on that war’s undiscussed elephant in the room while fighting the supposed terrorists we’re made to believe threaten our security, overseas in Afghanistan — the origin, by most reports, of the majority of the world’s opium supply.
Standing guard over fields of opium poppies isn’t expressly stated in U.S. military recruitment brochures, yet troops returning stateside report that media images showing them doing so are entirely accurate.
Immediately prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan some sixteen years ago — in an irony of tragic shame to warhawk politicians and the pharmaceutical industry — the Taliban had all-but eradicated the opium poppy from the fertile lands under its control, evidenced by a record-smashing low, 185-ton, harvest.
Reversing that became paramount priority — even before dust kicked up by the boots of incoming soldiers had time to settle.
“Within six months of the U.S. invasion,” wrote Matthieu Aikins for the December 4, 2014, Rolling Stone, “the warlords we backed were running the opium trade, and the spring of 2002 saw a bumper harvest of 3,400 tons.”
To call the revival a success would severely undercut the facts. Production of Afghani opium doubled by 2014, and Afghanistan’s potent poppies — rumored to be rivaled in quantity only by secreted fields of the North Korean government — soon dominated markets, comprising 90 percent of the entire planet’s supply.
Opiates fuel a crisis of dependence and addiction that — in tandem with a dearth of treatment programs attainable by those with low incomes or lacking insurance — has mushroomed into an epidemic, without indication of diminishing soon.
Correlation might not equal causation, but that span and gravity of that epidemic run in lockstep with the astronomical rise in production of Afghanistan’s opium — and both share a birthdate roughly coinciding with the U.S. invasion.
Opiates are profitable. Opioid prescription painkillers — doled out to Americans for temporary relief of pain, four times more often than in 1999 — are Big Pharma’s bread and butter. Even when the health of the millions stands in peril — an epidemic reaching across class, gender, race, and income lines to perfect a stranglehold — prescription opioids profit their manufacturers and distributors so many billions, ethics can’t take priority.
Sadly, and with tragic irony, the opioid crisis rekindled the flames of another highly ineffective war — the war on drugs. This most violent, futile, and rights-violating attack on Americans does nothing to stop the problem and only serves to bolster the bottom line of the prison industrial complex.
In fact, the war on drugs has served its purpose in creating the very crisis it ostensibly fights — a result known by all those who’ve ever taken the time to study the horrid effects of prohibition.
It must be understood, black-clad terrorists shouting, ‘Death to America!’ might offer a captivating tidbit for nightly national news. However, in actuality, these militants do not present so much as a distant threat to anyone living in the confines of the United States.
Rather, the unscrupulous players in the pharmaceutical industry, motivated by profit more than individuals’ long-term health — and their lackeys in government, specialists in lax legislation tough in language, only — whose decisions, given the chain of responsibility in crises, can ultimately destroy countless families.
Our government will wage this War on Terror, assumedly until the ‘threat’ of ‘terrorism’ decreases substantially. In the meantime, the opium overseas, guarded by U.S. troops and tended by local farmers both incentivized by and hawkishly watched by Taliban warlords, will be to blame for the epidemic killing scores the terrorists otherwise couldn’t.
Many ancient texts refer to ‘magical’ and ‘mythical’ lands, which is fascinating, particularly when you consider how much of the writings in ancient Buddhism, Vedic philosophy, or other Eastern traditions is being confirmed by modern day science. Quantum physics in particular has gained a lot of momentum recently. One great example is the conundrum of consciousness, which is directly correlated with quantum physics and goes hand in hand with other realms of existence. Perhaps this is why some of Nikola Tesla’s ideas were influenced by ancient Eastern philosophy. Not many people know this, but most of our pioneering scientists were also mystics, including Issac Newton, who studied alchemy, among other subjects.
“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.”
– The Dalai Lama (source)
This is precisely why we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss other possible knowledge that remains hidden within ancient texts, especially when evidence is increasingly proving the strength of the connection between ancient wisdom and modern day knowledge.
We are surprisingly and inexplicably selective about which parts of ancient writings we hold to be true, and which we dismiss as fantasy. We might take, for example, a description of ancient Greek society written by a philosopher living at the time, such as Plato or Socrates, at face value, yet when confronted with the same philosopher’s description of an advanced ancient civilization, find some excuse to ignore it. We can take Plato’s description of things that are believable to the mind and accept them as fact, but as soon as we are confronted with something outside our known experience, our minds shut down, even in the face of mounting evidence lending credibility to many of these ‘mythical’ stories.
To read more about Plato’s description of the Lost Kingdom of Atlantis, you can refer to this article.
Several ancient texts from various traditions mention beings from ‘another world’ that exist within our own. One such world, referenced in Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu traditions, is Shambhala, which is a hidden kingdom within our own planet, a place which we do not understand and is difficult to find.
According to the Dalai Lama at a speech he gave in 1985 during the Kalachakra Initiations:
Although those with special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not a physical place that we can actually find. We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there. (sources)
This closely resembles descriptions of the spiritual principles that once guided Atlantis given by Plato and other scholars. According to Manly P. Hall, author, historian, and 33rd degree mason:
Before Atlantis sank, its spiritually illuminated Initiates, who realized that their land was doomed because it had departed from the Path of Light, withdrew from the ill fated continent. Carrying with them the sacred and secret doctrine, these Atlanteans established themselves in Egypt, where they became its first divine rulers. Nearly all the great cosmologic myths forming the foundation of the various sacred books of the world are based upon the Atlantean Mystery Rituals. (source)
And according to the modern theosophical tradition:
Sambhala, however, although no erudite Orientalist has yet succeeded in locating it geographically, is an actual land or district, the seat of the greatest brotherhood of spiritual adepts and their chiefs on earth today. From Sambhala at certain times in the history of the world, or more accurately of our own fifth root-race, come forth the messengers or envoys for spiritual and intellectual work among men.
Edwin Bernbaum, Ph.D., a lecturer, author, mountaineer, and scholar of comparative religion and mythology, writes that Shambhala is round but depicted as an eight-petalled lotus blossom, which is a symbol of the heart Chakra (left). He also makes it clear in his book, The Way To Shambhala, that the way is not clear. Shambhala is a physical place existing within the human realm, but it’s also a spiritual, even supernatural place, which many also believe exists within another dimension.
Michael Wood, a BBC journalist, based on his research describes it as a lost kingdom buried somewhere in the Himalayas, and writes about how the name Shambhala first appears in a text known as the Kalachakra tantra – or Wheel of Time teaching. This Kalachakra doctrine belongs to the highest level of Buddhist Mahayana teaching.
He writes that in Shambhala, the people live in peace and harmony, and are faithful to the principles of Buddhist. In this land, war, grief and sorrow were completely unknown. According to Michael, one commentator on the Kalachakra tantra puts it like this:
The land of Shambhala lies in a valley. It is only approachable through a ring of snow peaks like the petals of a lotus … At the centre is a nine-storey crystal mountain which stands over a sacred lake, and a palace adorned with lapis, coral, gems and pearls. Shambala is a kingdom where humanity’s wisdom is spared from the destructions and corruptions of time and history, ready to save the world in its hour of need.
Truth Be Told is joined by Legendary Researcher Jordan Maxwell Live at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel. He discusses his new projects and the true meanings of ancient religions. Please check Out his website at: jordanmaxwellshow.com
Khadija, who came to Syria from Tunis to live in Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) Syrian stronghold of Raqqa for three years, told RT that she saw plenty of cruelty and injustice, but no genuine pursuit of religion or Islamic law.
“My husband and I made a huge mistake by coming there. And I advise you not to believe those who say that ISIS is an Islamic state, which preaches Islam and Sharia and lives pursuant to the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and the Koran,” Khadija said.
The militants do not tolerate any dissent and opposition to their reign, she noted.
“Everybody, who takes a stand against them, they behead. And people don’t know when this is going to happen.”
“They are not on righteous path. This is the state of tyranny and Satan. My husband renounced them, and told me to do the same,” Khadija went on to say, adding that she and her husband escaped Raqqa running south to the town of al-Mayadeen and then to Turkey.
But before she made her escape, the young woman got to know IS’s darkest side with its ever-depreciating cost of human life, and in particular, of that of the most vulnerable, women and children.
“There was a lot of evil in the places where women live. Children were suffering from scabies, lice. When children were ill, they did not receive treatment at hospital,” Khadija said.
If women were found to be in violation of the strict code of conduct, imposed by IS, they were locked up in prison-like detention facilities by female watchers, put in charge of “women dormitories.”
“It was sickening to be there,” Khadija said, recounting stories of women in labor seeking help and receiving indifference at best. Women were routinely denied maternity care and forced to deliver babies on the spot.
One woman bled to death during labor after the dormitory’s superintendent refused to help her.
“That poor woman went to the garden, while bleeding heavily, stayed there till morning in a rainy and cold weather. Nobody paid attention to her. And in the morning her husband came, saw her body lying in the garden and passed by, without paying any attention, as nothing happened, as if [she] were a dog,” Khadija said.
In another case, a woman became crippled after her plea to be sent to hospital was rejected despite her saying that he leg was rotting.
While it appears that for a lot of women the life under IS was a living hell, it was not uncommon for the militants to have a sex slave in addition to a wife.
According to Khadija, women who are not sex slaves, are not subjected to the so-called “sex jihad.”
“You go to the city hall and get married. If you have been married and your husband got killed, you just got married to another man,” she said. The completely different story is, however, when a woman is captured and turned into a sex slave.
As a sex slave, a woman is considered to be the property of her owner, to do with as he pleases, for instance, to sell or give as a present.
“The wife and the other woman live separately. He lives with them in turns – one day with one woman, and the other day with another,” Khadija said, noting that despite their superior status lawful wives sometimes envy the Yazidi slave women.
“Many men love Yazidi girls more than their wives,” she said.
A 20-year-old, Nur Al-Khouda, originally from Tripoli, Lebanon, said her husband first joined a Salafi group where he was indoctrinated with IS ideology and left for Syria.
“He persuaded me that there’s nothing bad there and I trusted him as his wife so I arranged all the documents and I joined him in Syria,” the young woman told RT.
The slave trade is a booming market in IS, she said.
“They paid a lot of attention to women’s looks. They bought makeup to sell them for $15,000, the virgins were priced at $30,000.”
Young girls also became a mere commodity once they are in hands of jihadists, she added, recounting that the militants planned to sell a 10-year-old girl for some $10,000.
It was reported the girls as young as 8 are sold at such slave markets. Some 3,000 to 5,000 Yazidi women are believed to be held captive by IS as sex slaves.
A new study of the Stone Age-engraved panel ‘Hendraburnick Quoit’ in Cornwall, southwest England, revealed that 10 times the amount of markings were visible when the stone was viewed under moonlight or very low sunlight from the southeast.
“This makes Hendraburnick Quoit the most known decorated or deliberately marked stone in southern Britain – possibly topping even Stonehenge,” said archaeologist and digital heritage specialist Tom Goskar, who studied the stone.
After finding 105 new cup marks and 47 previously undiscovered grooved lines, archaeologists now believe the features may have been used for sacred moonlight rituals. This contradicts the previously held belief that Neolithic structures were built to align with the movements of the sun.
Click here for cool 3D graphic:
“We were aware there were some cup and ring marks on the rocks but we were there on a sunny afternoon and noticed it was casting shadows on others which nobody had seen before,” Dr. Andy Jones from the Cornwall Archaeological Unit told the Telegraph.
“When we went out to some imaging at night, when the camera flashed we suddenly saw more and more art, which suggested that it was meant to be seen at night and in the moonlight.”
Jones and Goskar, who published a study of the monument in Time and Mind, also found that pieces of quartz around the stone panel had been smashed to effectively glow in the dark and illuminate the area.
“I think the new marks show that this site was used at night and it is likely that other megalithic sites were as well,” said Jones.
“Then when you think about the quartz smashed around, which would have caused flashes and luminescence, suddenly you see that these images would have emerged out of the dark”.
Jones believes the discovery means many more stone formations, like the historical landmark Stonehenge located some 144 miles from Hendraburnick, could also have mysterious messages engraved.
“Stonehenge does have markings, and I think that many more would be found at sites across the country if people were to look at them in different light.”
China downplayed Japan’s claims that Thursday’s Xian H-6 bomber drills over a waterway between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa was something “unusual.” Beijing said that the warplanes legally passed through the Miyako Strait and did not rule out such drills in the future.
“It is legitimate for Chinese military planes to fly through the strait, and more similar training will be conducted on the high seas as needed,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang stated on Friday, as cited by Xinhua news agency.
The spokesman also advised them to react more calmly and to get used to such maneuvers.
“The parties concerned don’t need to overact and make a great fuss about it. They will feel better after getting used to such drills.”
China admitted that its air force conducted “multiple drills far out at sea,” including maneuvers in the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines apart from those in the Miyako Strait.
“China’s air force over the past week conducted multiple drills far out at sea, with H-6K bombers and many other types of aircraft flying through the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait, testing actual battle capabilities over the sea,” Reuters reported, citing an air force statement. The military also added that the routine exercises are not aimed at any specific country.
On Thursday, the flyover of six Chinese bombers in the Miyako Strait provoked Japan to scramble its own military planes, although the move did not violate the country’s airspace.
The Miyako Strait is a strategic waterway between Japanese islands, not far from Okinawa – an island that hosts about 70 percent of the US troops in Japan. The waterway is also east of Taiwan, which is officially Chinese territory, but seeking independence from the mainland. Taiwan’s military said they closely monitored the drills, Reuters reports.
Beijing and Tokyo have long been involved in territorial disputes, including claims over the Senkaku Islands, which are also not far from the site of the latest drills, in the East China Sea.
The islands, which are 200 nautical miles south of Okinawa, are controlled by Japan. However, Chinese military aircraft are frequently spotted flying over waters near the islands, called Diaoyudao in China.
In March, the Japanese Air Force deployed fighter jets in response to more than a dozen Chinese warplanes passing near the island of Okinawa.
“Every year, Congress authorizes billions of dollars of Pentagon pork at the expense of other security needs and other taxpayer priorities.”
The U.S. House on Friday overwhelmingly approved a $696 billion defense policy bill — the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — that critics were quick to denounce as yet another vote for “endless wars” and “Pentagon boondoggles.”
“Every year, Congress authorizes billions of dollars of Pentagon pork at the expense of other security needs and other taxpayer priorities,” Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said in a statement. “While war profiteers rejoice, voters wonder why the government cannot provide for education, job creation, healthcare, and needs in their community.”
The legislation, which passed with a vote of 344-81, far surpasses in cost President Donald Trump’s request for $603 billion earlier this year.
Politico summarized the bill’s contents:
“The House measure would authorize $621.5 billion for national defense programs, including the Pentagon’s base budget and nuclear programs under the Energy Department, as well as another $75 billion in war funding.
“It also would tap $10 billion from the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account to pay for base budget items, including $6 billion to boost Navy shipbuilding. The NDAA funding levels mirror a budget blueprint being crafted by the House Budget Committee.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who voted against the measure, said in a statement that “Congressional Republicans have chosen to bankroll bloated Pentagon spending and funnel billions into the Overseas Contingency Operations slush fund, while refusing to address our fundamental obligation to debate our ongoing military operations.”
The Intercept‘s Alex Emmons argued that the exorbitant military spending approved year after year underscores the warped priorities of Congress.
“As always,” Emmons wrote, “only spending that benefits the poor is ‘unaffordable.’ Larger sums are funneled straight into corporate pockets without protest.”
July 15, 2017
In what is seen as a deepening of the Pentagon’s commitment to waging war in the devastated region, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has convinced the administration of President Donald Trump to seek permission from Congress to expand military operations into Iraq and Syria, even as Daesh is being destroyed and Mosul has been retaken.
Trump’s White House issued a policy statement on Tuesday suggesting that legal requirements currently in place prevent the Pentagon from expanding into more of Syria and Iraq, even as costly base “repair and renovation” will also include “temporary intermediate staging facilities, ammunition supply points, and assembly areas that have adequate force protection.”
These additional requirements to cover the cost of expanding the war in Syria and Iraq will pay for “facilities, supply points, and assembly areas,” according to the White House statement, cited by al-Monitor.
Tuesday’s Statement of Administration Policy from the White House will see deliberations in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The Pentagon expansion would allow US military assets in the area to reach out and and attack known remaining Daesh strongholds in the region, according to Corri Zoli, director of research at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, cited by al-Monitor.
“It looks to me like what they’re trying to do is get a little more maneuverability to create some infrastructure for deepening the fight beyond Raqqa and Syria,” Zoli said.
“It’s kind of an attempt to create a lily-pad structure in the Levant to go after [Daesh] and their entrepreneurial efforts to start miniature caliphates in the region,” she added, according to the al-Monitor report.
The request to expand US military operations in the area comes directly from James Mattis, the current US Secretary of Defense, who “is thinking a couple steps ahead. He wants to win the peace, stabilize the region and militarily pressure Iran,” according to Zoli.
Many on Capitol Hill, however, note that Mattis’s tactics will draw the US deeper into Syria’s densely complicated civil war.
“The US is shooting down Syrian warplanes and Iranian-made drones and launching cruise missile attacks. It opens the spigot for them to establish those kinds of facilities and further entrench the US military presence in Syria for this unauthorized war,” according to Kate Gould, a lobbyist with the Quaker group Friends Committee on National Legislation, cited by al-Monitor.
Something very remarkable happened during US President Trump’s recent visit to France, and it is not being reported, possibly because it is a case of something which did not happen rather than of something that did.
During President Trump’s recent visit to Germany for the G20 summit in Hamburg protesters against him were out in force. The state visit President was invited to make to Britain in the autumn of this year has had to be put off because of massive protests against him.
By contrast there were barely any protests during President Trump’s visit to France, and apparently no arrests of protesters whatsoever. The entire occasion passed off quietly and peacefully, with President Trump able to attend the Bastille Day celebrations without incident.
This is especially remarkable given that France with its history of revolutions is no stranger to protests.
The consensus view is that President Trump is deeply unpopular in Europe where supposedly he is universally seen as a racist, xenophobic, illiberal misogynist monster.
I have never fully believed this. I have always been of the view that these opinions of President Trump were very much a north European phenomenon, and that southern Europe didn’t truly share them.
In this context France is an ambiguous country, in that geographically it extends into both northern and southern Europe. However culturally it is closer to southern Europe than the north.
The almost complete absence of protests against President Trump in France reinforces my view that hostility to President Trump in Europe is essentially a phenomenon of the liberal societies of north east Europe, just as hostility to President Trump in the US is essentially a phenomenon of the liberal East and West coasts.
The reality – and it is an important one – is that the hostility to President Trump, in Europe as well as the US, is far more narrow and far more concentrated amongst certain specific populations than the political and media attacks on him might lead one to think.
As for President Macron of France, he appears to have achieved the remarkable feat of forging a successful working relationship with President Trump – the most powerful leader of the West – at a time when the two countries which in recent years have been the US’s closest allies in Europe – Britain and Germany – have needlessly antagonised him.