Monday, February 28, 2011

Tasting the Universe - A Personal Experience with Synesthesia by Maureen Seaberg

A couple of years ago, I decided to solve a mystery going on in my own life. A breaking news journalist for a couple of decades with thousands of stories about other people’s lives, often tragic ones, I decided to put down the ashen adjectives of my past and embark on a quest to discover the truth of a beautiful and ethereal happening before my own eyes. What is synesthesia, I wondered one night, typing the details of a horrible crime story and seeing the unlikely and graceful multicolored filaments of light emanating from the letters of the story on my computer screen.

Prestigious labs around the world were now studying the brain trait I was born with, having proven through brain scans it was “real.” But how could they ever prove what many synesthetes, including myself despite my hard news background, seemed to think – that it had mystical qualities; that it was a form of enhanced consciousness and that it may be spiritual in nature.

I spent a year immersing myself in the cutting edge research and arts opportunities abounding now, a new Renaissance echoing the time 100 years ago when synesthesia was not only known, it was chic. Despite the many answers that could now be found (unlike my childhood in the 60s), I still had the deep existential question: Why synesthesia? And why me?

After gaining historic interviews with prominent celebrities and top scientists in hopes of bringing even more attention to the gift and erasing lingering stigma around it, I decided to begin asking people if they thought there was more to it than just crossed neurons or lack of inhibition between them, the two dominant theories. What people said may surprise many of my hard news peers and brought me into the forefront of the new frontier of consciousness studies – which I was surprised to learn is not so different from studying Psi phenomena and spiritual experiences.

One of the first people I knew I wanted to talk with was the Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies in Tucson, Arizona. Many of you may know Dr. Stuart Hameroff from his appearance in the wondrous film, “What the Bleep Do We Know?!” He was so generous and receptive to this layperson’s request. Could synesthesia be a form of quantum consciousness, I wanted to know?

"Synesthesia is a deeper form of regular consciousness,” says Dr. Hameroff. “Synesthetes have a lower threshold to quantum consciousness." He believes the phenomena associated with synesthesia (colored music, for example) happens at the quantum or subatomic level, perhaps in the microtubules (small inner pathways) of the neurons and deeper. "Synesthesia might be the tool to get at the hard problem of consciousness, actually (which is why do we have experience?) “These crossovers may be happening at a deeper level.’’

He says people with synesthesia have their threshold altered so they tend to be more in quantum consciousness. He sees consciousness as a sort of edge between the quantum and classical realms. Dreams, for example, are more quantum-like, he explains, because they have deep inter-connections, multiple code systems and possibilities, timelessness, sometimes. He thinks the qualia that make up the senses are also in the quantum world. So it could be that synesthetes are more in what you might call an altered state or a dream state or a quantum state according to the doctor.

Dr. Hameroff points out that altered states of other kinds, from meditation to hypnosis to drug use also feature synesthesia. “And so when you shift that boundary more so that what we’re aware of includes more of the quantum, which is only unconscious, pre-conscious – that’s when you have things like synesthesia, altered states, maybe even psychic phenomenon. I think that those are definitely quantum entanglements.”

I’m blown away by Dr. Hameroff’s assessment. If there is a new spirituality it is certainly the mysterious quantum realm. Could synesthetes be hard-wired to experience this brave frontier? Perhaps we are quantum avatars of a sort – it’s thrilling to consider.

I continue to search for cutting edge theorists like Dr. Hameroff to guide me through toward the future of research into synesthesia and its connection to something greater.

Quantum physicist Dr. Amit Goswami, the distinguished retired professor from the University of Oregon believes the future answers may be drawn from ancient belief sytems. He thinks synesthetes may actually be more sensitive to vital energy, also known as Prana or Chi in ancient teachings.

Dr. Goswami feels it is an extra sensitivity to vital energy. Moreover, people who look at our feelings and chakras sometimes experience colors, he explains. “Auras have to do with our vital energy connected with the electromagnetic body, which is physical. These vital feelings are often connected with the electromagnetic body and if we are sensitive to it, we feel as well as see. That probably is what happens in synesthesia.” Indeed, synesthetes who see auras are turning up in the literature according to researcher Dr. Jamie Ward of the University of Sussex in England. Typically, they see color around people they know well. I can see auras in the right light with a white background – it’s not a New Age myth, in my opinion.

To Dr. Goswami, there is no other explanation for synesthesia but a quantum one. “These correlated experiences could not occur without a quantum basis for it because only quantum physics has this capacity of non-locality; a non-local relationship between two different types of experiences. Only quantum physics can give an explanation of that.”

In classical Newtonian physics, he explains, if you talk about cross-sensory pairings without a stimulus of color to see color, it would not be possible. “The very fact that you bring significance to these experiences would thwart the materialists almost completely. So only quantum physics can even imagine to venture an explanation.”

Quantum physics? There’s that invisibility issue again – isn’t synesthesia also invisible except to the person experiencing it or the most sophisticated of brain imaging machines? But it’s a striking parallel. I think of the wind and how though invisible, it has caressed my skin or mussed my hair, or made great ships sail in search of New Worlds. And I understand that disconnect people still have with things they can’t see.

As I talk with people who don’t know what synesthesia is, I still sometimes experience their disbelief or judgment, but more often than not these days, their wonder.

Maureen Seaberg has lectured on synesthesia and spirituality at the Towards a Science of Consciousness Conference at the University of Arizona–Tucson. She herself has higher and lower synesthesia—both concepts and forms appear to her in color (her k's are teal and her 8's are aubergine). A journalist for 20 years, Maureen has had articles featured in the New York Times, the Daily News, Irish America, ESPN the Magazine, and other publications. She has also covered breaking news for MSNBC and appeared on NBC, CNN, and PBS.

Maureen has a BA in journalism with a minor in Spanish from Penn State University, and a certificate of superior-level Spanish from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Keys to Personal Vibrations

An Excerpt from The Secret Science of Numerology

by Shirley Blackwell Lawrence

Chapter 25

We are all here to learn certain lessons. Those lessons are found in our personal names. Every letter, every number contains divine attributes of our Creator, talents, and qualities that are given to us at birth. They are our incoming vibration along with the birth date, and we act and react according to its vibrational content. It is our Higher Self that is responsible for and has decided upon our personal numbers, and tunes into the vibration of the birth name and date in order to fulfill it.

Pythagoras taught that everything in nature consists of three parts. Man himself has three planes of life, each governed by its own principles: Soul found in the vowels, Body found in the consonants, and Spirit in vowels and consonants combined. All three planes must be in harmony if man is to achieve success, happiness, and good health.

Once we understand the meanings of the letters and numbers we can apply them to our names for this deeper awareness.

To find your name numbers, write your complete birth name, for that is the vibration you came in on, which tells your inborn character and talents.

Chart 3. Letters and Numbers

Full Numbers Root Numbers

1-A 10-J 19-S = 1 A, J, S

2-B 11-K 20-T = 2 B, K, T

3-C 12-L 21-U = 3 C, L, U

4-D 13-M 22-V = 4 D, M, V

5-E 14-N 23-W = 5 E, N, W

6-F 15-O 24-X = 6 F, O, X

7-G 16-P 25-Y = 7 G, P, Y

8-H 17-Q 26-Z = 8 H, Q, Z

9-I 18-R = 9 I, R

Using Chart 3, put the root number of each vowel above its letter and the root number for each consonant below it, for example:

6 1 5 = 12/3

J o a n n e

1 5 5 = 11

The letters W and Y are considered to be vowels by some people, and consonants by others. I prefer to consider them vowels, but also to chart them as consonants to see the difference this makes. Perhaps there will seem to be a double soul urge.

To the right of the name, write in a vertical column a V for the Vowel total; beneath that, a C for the consonant total, and beneath that a T for the total of vowels and consonants combined, that is:

V — 12/3

C — 11

T — 23/5

Reduce all but the master numbers (11, 22, etc.) to their root number, 1-9. Add a B.P. under the T for your Birth Path number, which is your birth month, day, and year reduced to one number, for example,

January 23, 1967 = 1 + (23)5 + (23)5 = 47/11.

This is the way to find your four major numbers.

Vowels tell you the basis of your motivation, which is your animating spirit. This is called your Soul’s Urge or desire. You desire all that number has in its vibration.

Consonants are active in you by their individual letters. The consonants’ number total is the “real you” as you perceive yourself in your dreams. This affects the way you act, react, and dress, and becomes the you that others see. It is your personality. It has been called mind, quiescent self, and the secret self.

Vowels and consonants combined tell you your expression, what your natural abilities and talents are. This is called the total expression or destiny.

The Birth Path is found in your birth date: month, day, and year added and reduced to its root number, except for the master numbers 11, 22, 33, and so forth. These, however, often also work in their own root number: 11/2, 22/4, 33/6, 44/8. (This is also true for master numbers in the name.) The Birth Path shows what you are here to do. Other important factors are:

* The First Vowel and First Consonant, separately, are the keys to reveal your natural approach and initial reactions to life’s experiences.

* Your first name tells a lot about you personally.

* Your last name gives your inherited tendencies. These, too, are analyzed three ways: vowels, consonants, and total expression.

* The number of letters in your birth name tells what your individual traits, habits, and idiosyncrasies are.

* The birth day, exclusive of the month and year, is the “real you” at maturity.

There is also much more in your birth date and name, such as your challenges and opportunities in life, karmic lessons (missing numbers in your name), and the planes of your expression: the mental, physical, emotional, and intuitive areas. This is a most revealing character study, and is covered in Chapter 16 of my book, Numerology & the English Cabalah,as well as such books as: Your Days Are Numbered (Chapter 6) by Florence Campbell; Helping Yourself with Numerology (Chapter 13) by Helyn Hitchcock; The Romance in Your Name (Chapters 8, 9) by Dr. Juno Jordan; and The Complete Guide to Numerology (Vols. 1, 2) by Matthew Goodwin.

The roots of numerology go back to antiquity and the principles of numbers and letters have been kept alive in Freemasonry and other secret orders. But it was not adapted for our personal names until the beginning of the 20th century when it was “rediscovered” by a Mrs. L. Dow Balliet of Atlantic City.

Mrs. Balliet was a music teacher who specialized in musical composition. She found in her study of harmony that the letter name of a musical note and its sound had the same vibration. This correspondence between the letter number and rate of vibration led her to the ancient study of numbers. Before Balliet, Isadore Kozminsky of Australia used old systems of numerology, tying in English letters with the Hebrew letter values, and also using the Chaldean alphabet, which some still use with success today (Numbers, Their Meaning and Magic, 94).

But it was Mrs. Balliet who set numbers to the English alphabet. It was her feeling that the alphabet of each language expressed the culture’s thought-world. She proceeded to write several books on the subject, which she called “number vibration,” around 1903.

Among her students were Florence Campbell, who later wrote Your Days are Numbered, which has remained one of the main handbooks on the subject, and a woman dentist, Dr. Julia Seton, along with her daughter Juno.

It was Julia Seton who gave the science the new name, numerology, and through her worldwide lectures it became well-known. Dr. Seton’s dentist daughter, Dr. Juno Jordan, carried on the work by writing several books of her own, lecturing, and founding the California Institute of Numerical Research.

One of the best known numerologists was Matthew Oliver Goodwin, whose remarkable two-volume book, Numerology the Complete Guide, was first published in 1981. His testimony on the accuracy of numerology for character analysis has appeared in newspapers all over the country and a great number of people have had their charts done by him. His wonderful two-volume set adapts each number to each category, so it is not necessary to repeat here what has been done so masterfully. The focus of this book is primarily on the spiritual and scientific laws that work in conjunction with these symbols.

Shirley Blackwell Lawrence, Msc., maintains a life-long interest and study of world philosophies. Ms. Lawrence found in her searchings that the study of numbers offered answers she could find no where else to her many questions about unusual phenomena and hidden meanings in the Bible. She earned her doctorate from the University of Metaphysics and was a member of Dr. Paul Leon Master’s staff until her retirement at the end of June 2001. She is a popular lecturer and author of many books including Exploring Numerology.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Positive News of the Week

4 Year Old Tunnels Through Snow to Help Family

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Mysterious return of high school ring - 51 years later

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Members of Remote Equadorian tribe Immune to Cancer & Diabetes

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Learning to Honor the Dead by Galina Krasskova

One cannot honor the dead too much. So much of what we have and who we are comes from them. Their strength, sacrifices, wisdom, failures, victories, faults, and graces form the generational tapestry of which our threads are an ongoing part. The connection we have to them is one of heart, blood, bone, and spirit. It is right and proper to honor them on an ongoing basis. (How one does this will vary, based on the ancestors themselves, and the individual’s religion). Our ancestral dead watch over us and can become a wall of strength and protection at our backs. Memory is a powerful thing, and remembrance a powerful gift. While our ability to give elaborate offerings might be limited, we can all give the gift of time and memory to our dead.

So what does all of this have to do with Hlin? Hlin is one of the Norse Goddesses, often associated with the Goddess Frigga, the Lady of Asgard. The surviving source material on Norse cosmology points to Hlin as being part of Frigga’s retinue. Hlin is commonly associated with protection, warriorship, and processing and healing from grief. I run a “Deity of the Month” series on my personal blog and every month a different Norse or Germanic Deity is selected and folks contribute articles and some discussion. This past summer, we looked at Hlin.

As I’ve already noted, Hlin is a Goddess often associated with grieving. Part of Her core competencies, if you will, is aiding people in coming to terms with the pain of losing a loved one. Renewing those connections through the gift of ancestor work can be a powerful part of healing and processing grief. (I know it certainly was for me). In many ways Hlin stands in the place between this world and the world of the dead, facilitating communication. She handles both as a warrior and as a comrade, all those things that connect these two spheres of being. Because of that, by extension She may be called upon to help facilitate clear communication across that divine, particularly with one’s ancestors. Hlin can teach you how to do it right. Furthermore, by engaging in these practices, one can honor not only one’s ancestors, but this Goddess as well. Every warrior Deity that I have ever encountered has been about what needs to be done; They are about the work at hand. I suspect, based on my own limited experience, that Hlin is like this as well. By doing what needs to be done to honor one’s dead, something that frankly should be part of any healthy spiritual practice, we are doing something that can be pleasing to Her too.

The most basic thing you can do, to begin honoring your dead, is to make space for them and for these practices in your home. Having a dedicated space given over to honoring the dead is important, if only as a psychological cue that calls to mind the connection we have to them. By setting up an ancestor table, (or shelf if you have a small apartment) you’re acknowledging the ongoing bond that you have to your own ancestors. You’re making a statement about your desired intention of honoring that connection too. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you do so long as you do something consistently. If you are on an exceptionally tight budget, simply setting out a glass of tap water and spending ten minutes in the morning talking to your ancestors will suffice. But this is a relationship and like any relationship human or other, it takes attention and work. Our dead want to be remembered and honored. They haven’t forgotten us and by turning our attention toward them in a consistent manner, we’re empowering them to watch over us and work on our behalf. That is no small matter!

So the first step that I would suggest for someone interested in honoring the ancestors is to set up a space on one’s home. It can be a shelf, or a table, a nightstand, or dresser top. I have found that my own ancestors specifically wanted to be in the kitchen and dining room so that is where my own altar resides, with a secondary altar dedicated to my adopted mother in my living room. Pick a space and clean it up. Put out pictures of your honored dead, and also of any people who were important to you spiritually. Sometimes the deepest bonds are created from the heart and spirit rather than blood and that is ok too. Those people count as a special class of ancestors. Never, ever put a picture of someone living on the ancestor altar as it is disrespectful to death (and in some traditions considered really, really bad luck). I have found that if one has tastefully framed photos of family and departed friends displayed, it rarely raises comment. It is a natural thing to honor the dead. We may not have learned to do it in a sacred context, but remembering those who have come before us, whose passage through this world shaped and honed us is a deeply ingrained and very natural thing. I have only ever received questions when I had visible offerings of food and drink also sitting out, and those questions were always respectful – curious but respectful. In many cases answering those questions led to the one asking developing a greater awareness of their own dead too, even if they didn’t rush home to put up an altar! It never hurts to make space for respect and recognition even if just in little ways, like the raising of a glass of wine in toast “to the ancestors.” This too, is veneration.

Once you have a table or space determined, and your pictures arranged (if you don’t have photos, put out things that remind you of your ancestors, or that come from the regions of the world from which they themselves came), add a candle and perhaps a couple glasses of water or beer, maybe flowers if you want to get particularly fancy, and there you have it: your very first ancestral altar. Of course it doesn’t stop here. Once you have your altar set up, the next step is to work with it: talk to your ancestors. Tell them about your hopes, your dreams. Bring them into your daily life in all its minutiae. Set out offerings of water, wine, beer, coffee—whatever you get the feeling they might like. Set out offerings of food and sweets, or maybe tobacco too. Most of all, give them the gift of your time. That’s where it really begins, with making the conscious determination to put yourself in right relationship with the generations of ancestors whose struggles put you here.

Galina Krasskova is a free-range tribalist Heathen who has been a priest of Odin for more than a decade. Her primary interest is Heathen devotional work, and she has both written and lectured extensively on the subject. Galina is a Northern Tradition shaman currently residing in New York, where she is pursuing her masters in religious studies. She is the author of several books, including Runes: Theory & Practice, Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Multitude of Multiverses by Dr. Steven Manly

Outside of Hollywood and Hogwarts, the idea of a multiple universe reality seems rather ludicrous if you think about it. After all, the universe includes the totality of space and time and energy and physical constants and dogs and, yes, even teenagers. It’s such an all-inclusive definition that it’s hard to imagine that there’s more to things. How, then, can there be multiple universes?

Let’s forget the idea of multiple universes for a moment and ponder the concept of a single, simple, solitary, stand-alone universe. To me, “the universe” is a term used to denote everything that exists physically. But, what does it mean to say something exists physically? The implication is that we can experience it somehow - we can smell it or taste it or ferret out a signal implying its existence using a sensitive scientific experiment. Is it possible to imagine realms that might exist without a physical or causal connection to our known universe? You bet. It is possible to imagine such realms and that’s where the multiverse comes in.

It’s not just the multiverse, however, for there isn’t a single such concept. Rather there are many different multiverse concepts, some inferred from modern science while others are more a matter of faith. The exact number of multiverse schemes floating around is difficult to pin down since it depends a bit on who you ask and how they define a multiverse. In a recent survey of subject I ran across eleven distinct multiverse concepts.

Though the thought of being part of more than one multiverse is delightfully perverse, the plurality of multiple universe concepts makes the situation very confusing. It is helpful to classify the multiverse schemes in terms of how the universes are separated: by space and/or time, along dimensions other than space and time, or by faith.

Faith-based multiverse concepts are nothing new. They are, as you might expect from the name, a matter of faith and not inferred from current scientific theories. For example, many people believe deeply in separate planes of existence. Consider the Christian concept of Heaven. A common theme is that Heaven is a separate plane of existence where a soul enjoys eternal life and pleasure in God’s presence and in the presence of other elect souls. There’s nothing in this that a physicist would consider as a scientific, causal connection between Heaven and our universe. Consquently, this “Heaven-plus-here” idea is a form of a multiverse – a faith-based multiverse. Similar faith-based multiverses are advocated by the adherents of most other religions. Though these visions may be different in detail, I categorize them all as a single multiverse concept.

Multiverse concepts inferred from mainstream scientific theories are quite new, having been driven by ideas in quantum mechanics and cosmology in the last hundred years. Perhaps the most recognized multiverse concept of this was developed in the mid-1950s by young physicist named Hugh Everett. It lies at the core of quantum mechanics and involves parallel universes separated by dimensions other than space and time. Quantum mechanics is quite unlike other areas of physics. Generally, physical theories lead to a particular outcome for a particular situation. If you throw a rock at this angle and that speed, a physicist can calculate exactly where it will land. In quantum mechanics, however, the outcome of physical processes cannot be predicted exactly. Instead, what is calculated is a probability distribution of what can happen. In Everett’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, known as the many worlds interpretation, in each quantum mechanical process all possibilities that could happen actually do happen and evolve as separate emergent realities in the overall description of the universe. The mathematical space used in the quantum mechanics calculations includes not only the three dimensions of space and the dimension of time, but also other quantities relevant for the calculation – the momentum or the orientation of a particle that is part of the calculation, for example. Those other quantities are treated in the calculation as if they are additional dimensions in the problem. The different threads of reality emerging from a quantum process occupy different places in the overall mathematical space used in the quantum mechanical calculation – in much the same way things can be separated by distance along spatial dimensions in normal space. These emergent threads of reality are causally disconnected once separated and effectively become parallel universes in a multiverse which I call the many worlds multiverse.

Most of the newer multiverse concepts arise from cosmology. Generally, these cosmology-inspired multiverses tend to have universes separated in space and/or time. The leading scientific theory of the evolution of our universe is called the inflationary, hot big bang model. In this theory, what became our universe started out very tiny – perhaps as a quantum fluctuation. Then, in the briefest of instants, it became vastly larger than the observable universe at that time through a process called inflation. After this moment of inflationary expansion, the expansion of the space slowed dramatically and the energy driving the expansion was dumped into the radiation and subatomic soup of particles of the early universe. As the universe continued to expand and cool, the particles and forces evolved into what is observed today and gravitation caused the material in the higher density regions to collapse into the stars and galaxies that surround us.

Two distinct multiverse concepts are spawned naturally in the inflationary, hot big bang picture. During the period of inflation in the early universe, the tiny region including what became our universe was blown up to be vastly larger than our observable universe. This means there are regions of the greater reality which are similar to what we see in our universe in terms of basic physical laws and yet are so far removed from us (and each other) that they are now, and will always be, out of causal contact with us. These regions collectively constitute a multiverse, which I call the beyond-the-horizon multiverse. Within this multiverse, causally disconnected regions share the same physical laws but differ in terms of their initial matter density distributions. The initial matter distribution in the universe ultimately determines the structure in that universe like stars and galaxies and dogs. Physicists have calculated the number of such causally-disconnect regions in the beyond-the-horizon multiverse to be larger than the number of possible variations in the initial conditions – meaning that all possibilities for the initial conditions must be present in the multiverse. Anything that could happen does happen within the greater multiverse.

The second multiverse springing from the hot big bang model arises because inflation, once started, may not stop except at random points where quantum fluctuations in the characteristics of the space cause inflation to stop. This effectively leads to a greater reality consisting of an eternally inflating matrix of space in which bubble or pocket universes are formed in the random and causally disconnected spots where inflation stops. This is known as the bubble multiverse. Each bubble universe within this multiverse might have a different dimensionality and a different set of physical constants. In other words, our universe is part of just one bubble in the great bubble multiverse and the physical laws and forces and particles present in the other bubbles are different from what we see, with all possibilities being represented in the multiverse.

The examples above illustrate one of the most intriguing aspects of this business. The bubble multiverse, if it exists, contains regions within it that are, potentially, beyond-the-horizon multiverses. In addition, the many worlds picture of quantum mechanics might underlie the physical processes taking place throughout the bubble multiverse. Three multiverses in one! Yikes!

The great reality in which we live may consist of multiple multiverses. The question is not “do we live in a multiverse?” Rather it is “do we live in multiple types of multiverses and, if so, which ones?”

Dr. Steven Manly is the author of the February release Visions of the Multiverse. He grew up as a free-range college brat in North Carolina. He received an undergraduate degree from Pfeiffer College and Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University in New York City. After moving up the faculty ranks at Yale University, he moved to the University of Rochester where he now resides and terrorizes students in the introductory physics course sequences. Professor Manly works at high energy accelerators around the world where his research probes the structure of matter and the forces of nature. He frequently lectures on his research at the international scientific conferences and has published over 150 articles in scientific journals.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weird News of the Week

McDonalds serves up Weddings in Hong Kong

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Japanese Robots to Run in Full-Length Marathon

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Putting a Price on Absolution - $1.99? iConfession

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Are the Separate Planes of Existence?

A Popular Physicist Explains Multiverse Theory

In his newest title, Visions of the Multiverse, Dr. Steven Manly takes the reader on a tour of different multiple universe realities, explaining in a very accessible and enjoyable way why it is that many physicists are convinced that we are in the midst of a new Copernican revolution.

People have speculated for centuries about separate planes of existence associated with religion and the afterlife. The news is that cutting-edge ideas in cosmology, string theory and quantum mechanics have motivated the development of serious multiple universe concepts.

In fact, to many physicists, the idea of the multiverse is no longer speculative, it is inescapable. It is no longer a question of whether or not we live in a multiverse, but rather how many different types of multiverses exist.

A popular speaker, teacher and author, whose lively personal style makes his presentations enjoyable and easily understood, Manly provides the non-technical background for the non-expert reader. He makes liberal use of analogies and examples of everyday experiences, while filtering out some of the irrelevant detail and layers of scientific lingo. Just like his audiences, his readers love Manly’s non-intimidating, conversational tone.

Dr. Manly discusses a variety of fascinating concepts, from relativity and the fundamental particles and forces of nature to dark matter, dark energy, and quantum mechanics. Visions of the Multiverse explores such questions as:

§ What are the different concepts of the multiverse and how are they related?

§ How do we determine if we live in a multiverse or in multiple multiverses?

§ How do religious concepts of the afterlife and popular ideas based on the Law of Attraction relate to the scientific visions of the multiverse?

§ Does the “big bang” idea of inflationary cosmology contribute to the theory of multiverse?

§ How are universes separated in time?

As a popular speaker, Manly talks about particle physics, cosmology and relativity at conferences, alumni symposia and to high school and middle school students. He has published over 150 articles in scientific journals.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Take Some Time to Identify Your Desires

An excerpt from
The Relationship Code: Engage and Empower People with Purpose and Passion
by Margaret McCraw, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C

The Process of Identifying Relationship Desires

Getting clear about what we want in our relationships often requires us to work through various barriers to knowing our true desires. By learning about what is standing in our way, we can cut through the barriers and create clear goals. We can use visualization processes to help us know what we want and be able to write processes to clarify the wording of our goals to attract positive outcomes for everyone involved. The process of identifying and defining goals aligns us with a proactive, rather than reactive orientation that is always better for attracting the results we want.

Using Imagery to Clarify Your Goals

Visual imagination is a powerful tool for developing positive relationship goals. Place your hand on your heart and press firmly to connect your head and your heart. Take several deep and soothing breaths before you begin your visualization session.

Picture the person you are relating to, either someone you know or someone new that you hope to attract into your life. See that person relating to you in the positive ways you desire. Visualize that person as smiling and happy as she interacts with you. You can create an inner movie of your desired relationship and feel the pleasure it brings to both of you.

If negative images arise, turn down the lighting and the sound and let that image fade away, getting smaller and dimmer as it goes. Fill the visual space with happy images in bright and pleasing colors. Picture yourself with your friends, your teammates, or your boss in a beautiful setting. For example, imagine you could take your whole work team to a lovely restaurant beside a lake. Picture the sunset shining on the water as everyone is gathering for a meal on the deck overlooking the harbor. Visualize harmony and laughter around the table and see everyone smiling at you. You might add an award ceremony to commemorate a project successfully completed. You could see your boss there, thanking you for leading the team so well.

Notice the specific details of your visualizations that give you the best feelings. Search out images on the Internet or in magazine illustrations that capture those images. Begin a collection of images for your vision board. This is a private representation of the visual images that best represent the relationship goals you visualize. You can put these images on a bulletin board in a place where only you can see it; for example, in a private study, covered by a cloth, or in a secure folder on your personal computer. It is important to keep these images private because they create an internal conversation that you have with your subconscious. You do not want anyone else’s comments or opinions, even positive ones, becoming part of your inner dialogue.

Each time you visualize or look at your vision board, think of ways to make the images more pleasing to you. This is another element of your inner dialogue with your mind, and there are no limits to how beautiful you can make your images. Palaces, gardens, rainbows, boats—add any image that makes you feel good, happy, and successful. Your imagination is free to create any image. Creating these images will take you closer to your desires and help you become better able to write down what you want on your wish lists.

Writing Relationship Desires

Get into the habit of regularly writing down and refining your relationship desires. This will help you get clearer about exactly what you want. Here are some tips for writing your list:

· Write your desires as clearly and precisely as you can.

· Make your list as specific as possible. Start with the general idea and add details until it feel right to you—it needs to truly state what you want.

· Focus on what you do want, not on what you don’t want. Change all negative statements and feelings into positive ones. Every negative has many opposite positives.

· Don’t focus on what you think is “realistic” in this step. Here you are finding out what you desire. It doesn’t matter whether you believe that the goal is achievable or not, just whether it is exactly what you want.

· When your desire is clear, every part of you will be in agreement. “That is 100 percent what I want. I have no reservations or resistance. If it came true right now, I would be completely happy with it.”

Intending the Highest Good for All Concerned

Every relationship desire involves other people. By setting your intentions for the highest good of all concerned, you allow your subconscious mind to attract even better relationships than you can imagine. By keeping our intentions focused on the highest good for all, we maximize the positive energy and minimize resistance to our desires. If you ignore the well-being of others and focus only on your own desires, you unconsciously stir up resistance to achieving what you want. By intending the highest good, both for yourself and for everyone else, you send out signals that attract a positive outcome supported by all.

Begin and end every wish list and every visualization exercise with a strong intention, which you say to yourself and write down, that these wishes be fulfilled.

Margaret McCraw, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C, is a licensed psychotherapist, nationally recognized business consultant, and an educator with 25 years of experience addressing relationship issues. Dr. McCraw is founder and president of Behavioral Healthcare Consulting, a nationally accredited training institute that attracts an array of professionals who desire certification as life coaches and holistic health practitioners. A motivational speaker and trainer who has keynoted national conferences, Dr. McCraw travels nationwide, sharing her insights on personal empowerment, relationship building, and business development. She resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

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