This

Science is confounded by consciousness because it cannot be objectively observed.

The fundamental belief of this scientific materialism is that the whole of reality consists only of space-time and matter-energy, and their emergent properties. This implies that the only true causation is physical causation, that there are no nonphysical influences in the universe. When applied to human existence, this worldview implies that subjective experience is either physical—despite all evidence to the contrary—or doesn’t exist at all, which is simply insulting to our intelligence.”
—B. Alan Wallace

And this, from the same source:

Earlier materialists argued that there aren’t any such things as separate mental phenomena, because mental phenomena are identical with brain states. More recent materialists argue that there aren’t any such things as separate mental phenomena because they are not identical with brain states. I find this pattern very revealing, and what it reveals is an urge to get rid of mental phenomena at any cost.”
—John R. Searle

Mind itself is certainly not easy to observe, even subjectively, due to its tendency at the conscious end to hyper-actively glom on to absolutely everything. I think this is why a formal introduction to effortless meditation by someone who is an expert is almost always required. It is simply non-intuitive. But subjective observation makes scientists very nervous due to a rather dogmatic belief that the scientific method, as it is understood and practiced today, is the one and only true scientific method and is ironically immune to the process of evolution which is misunderstood to be a strictly biological process.

Here’s to common ground among all who seek to understand themselves, each other, and the universe. Onward, into the fog.

Adolph Meth-head

It is my conjecture that only two groups of people are interested in the scholarship of Nazi Germany: Those who wish to understand it better in order to avoid its happening ever again, and those who wish to understand it better in order to re-implement it and get it right this time.

Well, and now there’s me. My morbid curiosity is hereby piqued. The idea of the German high command being a bunch of crazed, hallucinating, meth-heads certainly would help to satisfy that whole WTF!? vibe associated with the unimaginable atrocities of the Third Reich.

Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich
by Norman Ohler

The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories.

An interview with the author appears in the Guardian. Fascinating stuff, and it will have to do until the book comes out.

U.S. release is May, 2017.

Things That Go Trump In The Night

Hillary Clinton has spent years in the trenches doing the hard work needed to prepare herself to lead our nation. In this race, at this time, she deserves your vote.

The Dallas Morning News has announced that it is endorsing a Democrat for president for the first time in 75 years. The editorial spends plenty of time on the lady’s warts and missteps throughout her long political career, but none the less. She’s the only choice, they say. That horrid thing that goes bump in this long night of the political soul, has moved mountains in a sense, and exposed for all to see an active decay in that portion of the electorate that rallies around a tough talking, openly hateful, self obsessed ignoramus. “Finally! Someone in main stream public life is fronting our hatred of dark skinned others, government in general, and the Clintons in particular!”

Thank you, Dallas Morning News, for the push-back. Now lets go out there and elect the living f*ck out of Hillary Rodham Clinton so we can return to the good old days of wringing our hands about gridlock and corruption in Washington. It ain’t much, but it beats a full on fascist dictatorship led by a deranged narcissist with a horrifying penchant for speaking casually about the use of nuclear weapons.

Confessional

“Why do we need to purify? Because our mind is full of rubbish. Have you noticed that your mind is full of all sorts of illogical thoughts, disturbing emotions, and obsessions? These afflictions are not the nature of the mind. They are like clouds covering the clear sky. They are temporary and can be removed. It is to our advantage to remove them. Why? We want to be happy and peaceful and to be free from suffering, and we want others to be so as well.”
—Ven. Thubten Chodron

Catholics and Buddhists both see the value and import of confession practice. What ever purification ritual you may adopt, consider carefully what you are doing and what you intend to accomplish.

Expose

Purification practice begins with recognizing our own past unskilled (un-virtuous) actions. We cannot confess what we have failed to recognize. Expose the faults first.

Confess

Once exposed, our faults must be owned. Don’t be casual or lazy and think going to confession once in a while will clean up your bad acts and reset the meter. Care must be taken if you think you can continue to thrash around without concern for consequences. Buddhist practice doubles down on the confessional very seriously and many times over. It is practiced daily, better yet hourly. Better make it by the minute, in fact.

Regret

A sense of regret seals the act of confession. We have not gotten away with anything.

Commit

Then we seal the seal with a commitment to avoiding non-virtuous acts in the future, and all with a sense that through the interdependent nature of all beings we do so to benefit everyone.