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In(ternet) We Trust!

Friends,
Yesterday a cousin of mine messaged me and asked me my thoughts on God.  This was a difficult question for me to answer with any kind of brevity.  Rather than tell you how long-winded I was in my answer I will just post the transcript (with some edits for clarification) of  my verbosity:

Interesting question. I certainly don’t think there is an anthropomorphic (human-shaped) God in any sense, but at the same time the smug assurance of the atheist movement troubles me too.

I think the answer for me would be consciousness, which is, according to the learning I have done, omnipresent in the universe. Rather than individual generators of consciousness, we (all life) are receivers, kind of like satellite dishes, though not all life is capable of conscious thought obviously.

What I like about this explanation is that it doesn’t run into the quantitative problems of assuming every creature has a separate and distinct immortal soul (i.e. if everyone has a soul where do the souls go at death, if the population is growing is it new souls or reincarnated souls, etc).  Also, if we are all connected to the same thing, it is a beautiful expression of our unity and sameness.

More importantly, it appears to be scientifically defensible (though not without a great deal of conjecture from mainstream science) The problem with our scientific method is that it mandates all experiments must be provable by anyone anywhere at any time provided the apparatus and procedure are the same and all mechanical aspects of the experiment are repeated exactly. However, the disposition of the experimenter is an integral part of experiments that have to do with spirituality/consciousness and our scientific method is inadequate in that it does not allow for that. Things like projection of consciousness and meditation are very personal and have to be experienced by the individual and not a third party observer, but the individual has to go in there with an air of openness and no expectation. This is the real divide between spirituality and science if you ask me.

So to answer your question, if you want to call consciousness “God” in that it is omnipresent and in every living thing, then yes I believe in God.

But then I don’t really “believe” in it because I have thought it through and I try to have less of a devotional acceptance and more of a cognitive or ideally, an ‘experiential’ acceptance.

Furthermore, I don’t think there is any magic or hocus pocus to it. I think that everything to do with spirituality can eventually be understood and explained by science when our science matures and develops.

Does that answer your question? lol

What do you think?

So the answer to Do I believe in God? amounts to little more than, “It’s Complicated.”

images

So why do I bring this up and what does it have to do with the internet which I allude to in the title of this post?  Well after writing this little response I dicked around on my laptop a while longer before being called back to set.  But even as I walked back to set sans a laptop I took some solace in the fact that I had my phone, and thus some internets in my pocket

int

Why did I take solace?  Well, I love the internet.  Love it.  It’s my favourite non-essential renewable resource and although I’ve been all over the world, its still my favourite place.    And while thinking about my phone in my pocket (just minutes after thinking about myself as a receptor for consciousness) I made a connection and started to think of my phone as a metaphor for me and the internet as a metaphor for consciousness.

Then those metaphors became a simile: Iphone 4S is to internet as Andre is to universal consciousness.

Then that simile became a metaphysical conceit, which is just a fancy way of saying a complex, sustained metaphor.  Seriously though, I started to think about how some people, let’s say those who meditate more and think about more transcendental issues than their next drink or paycheck might be considered 2G or 3G, while sadly, most of the unwashed masses would still be languishing with the consciousness equivalent of a 56K modem.  For the sake of comparison, your 4Gs or higher would be your Buddhas, Gandhis and other enlightened types.
Taking this conceit further I started thinking about how the Earth, literally blanketed by electromagnetic signals from satellites with geo-synchronous orbits, could be considered a metaphor for the universe, which is pervaded by the consciousness signal rather than the wi-fi one.  Then I thought how there are still dead zones on the Earth and began to wonder what the equivalent to a dead zone with no reception might be in the universe.  Similarly, we often build structures which block cellular and data signals; what structures (possibly physical, but more likely conceptual or metaphysical) do we build up that block our connection the rest of the universe?

More importantly, what is the ultimate purpose of the internet?  I don’t know!  But if I had to hazard a guess I would say it is to bring people together and close the gaps between us.  In that regard it is very similar to universal consciousness except it only operates at a planetary level and unfortunately, only for those with the means to pay for it.  Similarly, those without the means of survival often are too busy worrying about their day-to-day survival to indulge in the exploration of consciousness and their relation to the rest of the universe.  It seems that in both scenarios you gotta pay to play.
On a related note: is the internet under assault?  Absolutely.  Fear is fomented and channeled into initiatives which seek t block the free passage of information or set up regulations on how it may be used.
Have we seen a similar fear-based backlash against consciousness?  I’m not sure.  But I feel there has been because there are so many important transcendental concepts I was never exposed to until I bothered to look for myself.  There is a way in which we have been miseducated and through nuance and artful shaming have been taught to deny our direct (as in not mediated by a priest or church) connection to something greater.

I suppose I could take this conceit a whole lot further and make it really complex but I think you get my point.  The internet is a great thing, but its not the greatest, and it’s larger value is that it serves as a more tangible model of a larger communication infrastructure which has sadly fallen into disuse.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

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Six Week "Adventure" Recap: Part 2

My Friends,
   When last I left you I was relating the events of an altercation I had at Toys R’ Us prior to Halloween.    Well although I managed to purchase the Batman mask I sought, I left not entirely satisfied with how events went down because I was far too adversarial.  I didn’t realize how bad I felt however until…

I Went to a Meditation Class
 
   Yes, one class.  And I should have done my homework better beforehand because what I thought was going to be a two-hour guided meditation (fun, right?) turned out to be an hour long Buddhist wisdom class, followed by Q&A, followed by a comparatively brief meditation.  Now, to clarify, I have nothing against Buddhism per se, but I am suspicious of any -isms in general.*  However, I have learned that apprehensions and prejudices should not be allowed to detract from the passage of actual knowledge; you must scrutinize all information without reference to the messenger.
   So I listened to the teacher talk and actually asked a question or two, and whether from Buddhist enlightenment or from his years lived on Earth, he showed me some small insight into a problem I face in my own life.  It was actually kind of refreshing to talk with someone who thinks about things as much as I do, or at least the same kinds of things I do as much as I do.
   Also, I found the guided meditation helpful; while I didn’t make very good account of myself on the astral plane due to my earthly, flesh vessel’s inability to get comfortable I did pick up a small breathing technique which I have employed since.  And of course, I mentioned that the session made me ruminate over my encounter with the Toy R’ Us manager the week before.  I actually got very upset about it (read: I cried) when I mulled it over in class.  This guy was a brother of mine and I wilfully set myself in opposition to him because of my arrogance.  In a very real way I had done violence to him and I don’t want to do violence to anyone.**
   I called him up the next day (he remembered me, surprise surprise) and we talked.  I made it clear that my feelings about rules in general notwithstanding, I had been too adversarial and put him in the lamentable position of having to flex nuts (prove his manhood).  He appreciated my call and explained that he hadn’t been trying to profile me.  I listened politely but I wasn’t really interested in talking about the profiling aspect because the real issue was the presumption of guilt implied in a “NO BAGS” rule.  We made peace and said our good-byes but to be honest there was no resolution for next time I go to Toys R’ Us.  I guess it will be up to me to achieve mutually desirable outcome.

So Why the Disdain for Rules?

   Have you ever wondered why a rule applies to you?  I think most have not?  Certainly many have questioned the arbitrary natures of the rules, regulations, statutes, and codes, the creation of which seem to be the sole prerogative of so-called “authorities,” but I think most are of the mindset that such rules, at least from governmental sources, apply to them, justifiable or not.  I have begun to question this mindset and actually study said rules and the flagrant violators of them.  This may be old news to some but there is actually a group called Freemen on the Land in Canada (Sovereigns in the US) who reject the authority of the government and subscribe instead to a do-no-harm mindset.
   While that brief description certainly colours the groups as out there or crazy, they actually speak a lot sanity: they propose actually reading the acts/codified law-books which we all subscribe to without knowing if they apply to us; a large part of the movement is knowledge of self and realizing that we a divine beings whose freedom can not be taken, but must be handed over willingly (we do this everyday if you think about it); and of course a large part of the movement is responsibility, because our criminal codes are meant for those not responsible enough to comport themselves like adults.
   “No” you say?  Our codified laws apply to all?  Well think about it like this, if you don’t work for a corporation, say Pfizer for example, can you be expected to adhere to Pfizer’s employee rules & regulations?  No, you can’t.  If you are not the employee or agent of a corporation its rules do not apply to you.
   So what if I told you that our government is a corporation?
   “Sure” you might say cynically, “Government is just a business. Everyone knows that.”  But there is a way in which people make these observations absently not actually seeing the truth of their words or the implications.  Sure, government is a business but its still a legitimate institution dedicated to the management of the state entity.  Well…

Entering “Stephen Harper” in the search field.

The list of businesses by that name.  Notice the last one.

Should you ever wish to do business with the Government of Canada corporation, you can order its credit report from D&B to make sure they pay their on time.

I pulled that screencap from Dun & Bradstreet which is a credit database for every registered corporation.  It turns out that our legitimate government is provably a business instead of the democratic institution most believe it to be.  So at election time we are simply electing a new CEO.  Going back to the government’s so-called rules or “laws,” if you actually look at the 6,000,000+ legislative acts which have been passed in North America, you will notice that they dictate statutes, sections and regulations as opposed to laws proper although there is a persistent tendency to use the blanket term, “law” to describe the rules outlined in such acts.  Any so-called law which you at one time or another felt was unjustified because violating it didn’t hurt anyone was probably not a law at all, but a codified law or statute, applicable only to persons/corporations.  You on the other hand are a human being.
   However, another aspect of the movement is taking control of your legal person/government given identity and using it as your tool of commerce by acting as the agent or administrator of the identity assigned to you.  Its not YOUR identity after all, its the government’s identity (ever notice how any ID card always says that is the property of the issuing body?), which is why they can charge that identity with legal infractions.  And as long as you ignorantly agree that you are that identity, they hold you culpable.  But if you separate yourself from that identity (and there are ways to do it) and realize that you are not a legal person (and this is where knowledge of self comes in) you begin to realize the presumption of so-called authorities who have the audacity to think they can tell you what to do and that you’re guilty.

“Man is free the moment he decides he is” -Unknown

   There is a lot more to say about the sovereignty/freeman-on-the-land movement but if you are interested in finding out more the most common starting point seems to be the E-Book, “How I Clobbered Every Bureaucratic Cash-Confiscatory Agency Known To Man” by Mary Elizabeth: Croft but I have found that the youtube videos by Robert: Menard very enlightening.  As an added bonus, if you compare his original unedited interview with the CBC to the snippets they used in their heavily biased expose on the freemen movement, you will see that the CBC is not the bastion of credibility and journalistic integrity most Canadians assume it to be.
Note: I have brought this concept up to a cop friend of mine and he responded with insults and denial.  Call it a case of seeing what I want no matter what, but I found this hostility very telling.  
So Why the Meditation?

   So I have been meditating.  Its partly because I want to relax.  Its partly because I want my self to reach a contemplative state where I can ponder things absent my ego.  But mostly it is because UI wan to increase my vibrational frequency to the point where I transcend this dimension.

But srsly though, I am not what you would call a superstitious person and I certainly don’t believe in the supernatural, but I do think we must expand our definition of natural to include things which we may not understand or which mainstream science has yet to deal with.  After all, if it can happen, its natural.  And certain metaphysical ideas which might be popularly viewed as psuedoscience actually have a solid empirical foundation.  Of course, due diligence requires that a critical thinker not take solid foundations and make leaps of faith from them.  But when a plausible causal chain is shown to exist that can be put to test, any critical thinker has a moral imperative to experiment for themselves.  And that’s kind of what I’m doing.  I find the science behind consciousness, meditation and dimensions very interesting and I think it is an aspect of our existence which has been lost in the daily grind.
   I can’t really go into the depth I would like to here because RECAP implies brevity, but if you would like to know more check out Spirit Science, the Heart Math Institute and lectures by Dr. Nassim Haramein.  For those who don;t know Dr. Haramein he is a bit of a polymath, but he is mostly known for his contributions to physics.  His biggest contribution thus far seems to be solving the Grand Unification Equation…

…which was being worked on by this guy before he died.
   Well that’s all for now.  Unfortunately I had to type the last part about meditation again because I deleted it this morning while tired after publishing the post last night.  So if you read it last night and are for some reason reading it again, I hope the rewrite retained the original magic of what was lost.  
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo  
 *To reinforce this point, during the Q&A, another student was asking the teacher about clearing your mind of conceptual thought when attempting to meditate.  The teacher explained that the so-called “emptying” of your mind was not a sought-after goal of meditation and it was instead it was a prevalent misinterpretation of Buddhist goals which arose from a HERESY in the 1200s or 1300s.
Heresy…
I think that there can be no heresy without an overbearing, dogmatic, institutionalized ideology; the one presupposes the other.  Its the universe’s way of keeping balance.  Maybe I am learning something from Buddhism after all.

**There is a certain amount of violence which we all must inflict to survive in this world.  It is often abstracted through monetary exchange and the victims of your violence are often so removed from you that you are unaware you are hurting them.  Furthermore, it is not one person’s vilence which hurts others or you but an accumulation of the others’ violence which hurts everyone else, so in a very real way everyone’s culpability is diffused among everyone else.  “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” is a common defence for such violence and if you think about this defence it implicitly states that we are all chipping off each other in some way.  I acknowledge that I am complicit in structural violence and that can not be helped completely because I also must survive, but to whatever extent possible I would like to reduce my participation in explicit physical and verbal violence.
Seriously though, heresy is a problematic word and I am wary of any group who uses it to ostracize others.

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The Cancer That’s Killing Facebook

My Friends,
   Pardon me for the tongue-in-cheek title of this post, but its a reference to a commonly-used phrase on a website whose name the first two rules of the internet forbid me from mentioning.

Now that you have absolutely no idea what the fuck I am talking about, let me reassure you that facebook is (mostly fine), but I did spot a post from my sister which caught my attention.  It was a CTV report by Lloyd Robertson (evidently from a few years back) which talked about the use of a cheap chemical called DCA which was showing success in curing cancer but whose efficacy was for some reason being denied by the Canadian Medical Association?? Canadian Drug Administration?  Well, whatever the Canadian equivalent of the FDA is anyhow.
   The posting of the video sparked some enmity from two of her friends, one a microbiologist and the other a cancer researcher (its funny how people who post online are always the undisputed experts of whatever topic they are talking about.
   Ian (the cancer researcher) posted first:

Ian: I don’t even have to watch this to know it’s fake. I work in cancer research – anyone claiming to have ‘a cure for cancer’ doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Cancer is hundreds of different diseases, not a single condition that has ‘a cure’. It’s like saying “I have discovered a cure for disease”.

Then:

Ian: Yeah, DCA is an old story. For some reason it keeps popping up despite the fact that it’s been shown to be based on terribly shoddy science over and over again:

http://scienceblogs.com/

insolence/2011/05/

the_dca_zombie_arises_again
.php (I never checked out the link)


I love a good argument, especially with someone who seems to have so flagrant a conflict of interest, so I had to chime in.  But alas I was at work and a calculated response would simply take too long.  So I waited…
   When I got to the computer half an hour ago, the microbiologist, Jas had said his piece:

Jas: Yup, this video is nonsense and dishonest

There was some banter back and forth between Jas and my sister and then I decided to weigh in:

Me: Ian, if cancer is “hundreds of different diseases” why are you even researching it? surely you must see the hypocrisy… 
As well, the venom with which you attack the video (before watching it no less) betrays an interest in not seeing alternative medicines work Cancer research is big business which carries both fortune and prestige for the researchers.

I am unfamiliar with DCA (the video is playing as I write) but I have heard of Dr. Stanislaus Burzynski and his antineoplastins which have had amazing success in Texas but have been brutally suppressed by the FDA and the American Cancer Association (http://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=1qG_ZWs04es). I suppose he is a quack as well?

I will agree with you that in the broader sense cancer has no simple cause or cure: Removing asbestos from a worksite for example does not solve the greater structural problem of an exploitative labour-market system which will negligently subject workers to the next harmful substance with impunity until specific legislation is passed to prevent it.
There is a definite tendency to look at causes and cures too reductively and not consider the socio-economic factors which contribute to the proliferation of diseases.

However, what makes the formal institution of cancer research (the institution I assume you work for) so different? Do you, in your work, address the social factors or look at the more localized (i.e. physiological aspects?) If so, wouldn’t that be no better than someone claiming to have a cure?

You can’t even cry make a cry of “misinformation” at this video, because normal people (me and Tanya for example) are incredibly UN-informed. These alternative medications which presume to threaten the formal institution of cancer research get almost no airplay in mainstream media and that’s no accident.
Unfortunately, people are getting fed up: Years of research and all you guys can offer us is radiation and chemo?
“No” you say? There are other treatments available? Well to the initiated researcher those cures might be known but for the lay-people (again, me and Tanya) you cancer researcher types don’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to protesting alternative cures until you show & prove.

Best of Luck.


I linked this video.  Please watch it and pass it to your friends.

Jas shot back:
Jas: You know what they call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.

Then me:

Me: No. “Medicine” is the name for solutions which can be patented and sold for a profit.

The (dis)qualifier “alternative” denotes a more democratic, less profitable solution.In much the same way, solar, wind and geothermal are all “alternative” sources of energy.


Then Jas again:
Jas: Well, you’re right about wind and solar being less profitable, and wrong about “alternative” meaning the same thing in both cases.

“Medicine” is any substance or therapy that has been proven to improve patient outcome. This is why there is no such thing as proven alternative medicine because at that point it becomes medicine.The first sentence you wrote on this thread is ridiculous btw – nobody sees the hypocrisy but you. Cancer is hundreds of different diseases and we will never find a cure in our lifetime. This is obvious to anyone who’s spent a moment learning about it.


Finally, me: Nobody sees the hypocrisy but me? Story of my life…


What I was implying is that someone who gets paid to research cancer in the economic paradigm in which we live has an interest in not seeing other cures taken seriously. I don’t mean to imply that Ian is knowingly lying to anyone, but I would suggest that by being so immersed and ingratiated in any system, one would be inclined to disregard information which falls outside of the realm of approved knowledge. i.e. Einstein was probably considered crazy at first by scientific minds who had made their careers as champions of the Newtonian physics paradigm

Call it overly suspicious, but why would the heads of international cancer research give up willingly the profitable racket they have eked out for themselves by supporting a cure? Like you said, “we will never find a cure in our lifetime.” Imagine that, a perpetual source of income and access to all the research funds you could want. Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

I’m not sure where you got your definition of Medicine (a textbook or dictionary I will assume) but I mostly agree: medicine at its core should be benevolent. With regard to the appellation “alternative,” it is simply a disagreement on what constitutes alternative and we will have to agree to disagree.

I’m hurt by your last comment which implies I have never spent a moment studying cancer; I read all of your posts in their entirety.Be well


   This is where the conversation rests right now and I am not entirely certain that Jas will respond (I just posted that last bit like literally two minutes ago).  I figure once people start attacking your credentials they are preparing to bow out while maintaining the illusion of superiority.  
   Now I should say that I did relish the chance to get into an argument (I’m kind of a dick sometimes), but its not like these guys didn’t deserve a check.  Science has to be held accountable and a scientist who does not wish to have to explain himself can very easily attack his opponent’s ability to understand the esoteric concepts with which he deals.  But that in itself is an admission of failure, failure to perform his prime social responsibility as a scientist: to demystify complicated concepts and communicate his findings to the masses.  Not simply attack another voice. That shit seems mad suspicious to me.  
   As well, oh wait, more posts—
Jas: I just don’t think you understand science or the scientific method. All research on cancer is available via published articles and all hypothesis are hotly disputed until the best answer becomes the model (until a better model emerges). Ian is doing cancer RESEARCH, which simply means that he is attempting to elucidate the signalling pathway or mechanism for whichever one of hundreds of cancers he is studying and simply gain understanding. He is not directly researching a cure, or at least, not at all directly.


There is no world conspiracy to suppress knowledge of disease – no entity has that kind of reach.


Me: It sounds like you are at least trying to be more reasonable and fair here and the effort is appreciated. Perhaps if Ian had taken the same approach from the outset my spider-sense wouldn’t have tingled. But he didn’t; he flamed a video and divulged his credentials at the same time. This made it look very suspicious considering that however you look at it his livelihood right now depends on DCA not being effective. You at least see that don’t you?

And your use of the “C” word is not appreciated. Implying someone is a conspiracy theorist is like calling someone crazy. Its dismissive and attempts to invalidate their argument without refuting it. You, as a scientist, should be able to do better. I expect better from my scientists because I put all of my faith in them.Without divulging my credentials, which are modest, I will say that without having the specialized knowledge of you and Ian, I do have a knowledge of science and the scientific method, we simply have different vantage points.


I was going to write a last paragraph but I think I think this last bit of banter will suffice.  Besides, I forgot what I was going to say.  Trust, it was going to be good.  If more posts come up I will use my discretion to see if they warrant posting  and either add to this post or start a new one.  In fact I think I will link this post to the thread.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo
   





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