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Feb 17, 2008
 Every now and then most of us spend time with friends and family at their residences.  Just as tribes of old used to gather around great bonfires during late night conversations, many people in our society now light the room with electronic images of dramas and commercials when guests come over to visit.  The center piece of our ceremonial distraction now-a-days is the television set.

T
he TV seems to convey an atmosphere of community, belonging, but strangely invites everyone in the room to turn off and tune in.  From a scientific point of view, the television works much like a drug.  Just as THC in marijuana mimics euphoric causing endorphins in the brain, the TV locks the mind in an Alpha wave state between 7-12 hertz which usually occurs only when a person daydreams, or meditates during self-introspection.  Watching TV basicly halts the higher functions of the nervous system, altering an individual psychologically, and physiologically.  Just as moderation is advisable in most other things, moderate to low use of the TV is also advisable.  Long term use might lead to changes in both your body, and mind, which would be undesirable.

Just over a year ago I made a decision to stop watching TV.  I kept my television though, since I invested in many DVD movies, and thought that periodic one to two hour viewing of movies is much better than several hours of watching network cable TV.  In addition, I do enjoy watching movies, but despise commercials for their obvious manipulating motives.

When we enter Alpha brain wave states while watching TV, commercials pop in and out in between movies we watch leaving impressions that stay with us.  This leads us to a discussion of subconscious theories which are hard to prove or disprove, but not knowing the effects these commercials have, make viewing them a risky business which corporations seem to think are worth the risk of billions of dollars every year on marketing.  I have noticed that when I shop for items in the store now, name brands do not lure me as much.  I instead focus on the list of ingredients on the back of the label, or look for where the item was manufactured.  Some items like soaps and other common household products I now manufacture myself using herbs and other raw ingredients.  I feel like returning to a lifestyle that is somewhat antiquated, but much more healthier for our mind, body, and spirit.

So, I invite whoever has had the curiosity to read this far into this blog to try the same thing.  Unplug your cable or satellite box for a week and instead watch DVD movies, or go outside.  If you enjoy the transition, or feel different in a good way, cancel the account with the cable or satellite company and save some money.  Eventually, you may even decide to tell a friend or two, and hopefully spread the lifestyle of being awake and aware, instead of turned off, and tuned in.
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Posted: Feb 17, 2008 6:09pm
Feb 26, 2006
The word of the week is philosophy, and this word was created by slightly altering the Greek word philosophia which means "Love of knowledge."  Philo- "loving" and sophia "Knowledge, Wisdom" are the roots of the word.  Another definition I have heard for the word philosophy is it means the love of wisdom.  The love of wisdom as opposed to the love of knowledge is a very important distinction for our times.  I believe that in the years prior to the industrial revolution, knowledge was akin to wisdom and the two concepts were rarely thought of separately.  Even in these times I can imagine that the natural cause and effect relationship theoretically could exist; that if you learn and become very knowledgeable wisdom will naturally occur within your mind.  The difference I see though is that now we have awesome powers at our disposal, and we can use these abilities to cause great joy, or cause immense pain.  I speak of the powers to heal, to feed, to travel and meet other cultures, and to learn.  I also referred to the destructive abilities to bomb, to kill, to irradiate, to use biological knowledge to manipulate the food we eat and to make biological weapons, to raze nature, and to deceive.  Never before has the human race been at such a fork in the road.  Intelligence can lead to the opposite of wisdom, namely arrogance.  Wisdom will guide us if we nurture it and develop a sense of ethics within.  If we embrace peace by not supporting war, and by ending even the preparation for war in all countries in the world, the love of wisdom will be wide spread due to the human race finally understanding the meaning of life, to love.  There are many resources for philosophy such as the works of Plato, the dialogues of Socrates, Aristotle, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc., but I believe one should read these past masters words to only cultivate the ability within one's own intellect to speak for one's own self, and to be patient and understanding of others when they speak.  Only then can philosophy help us to grow as individuals, as well as societies.
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Posted: Feb 26, 2006 10:54am
Feb 3, 2006
I am back now.  Please go to my personal page: http://my.care2.com/alchemist777 if you can't see the above link to the photo album to see pictures I took while in India.  This trip took three and a half weeks to complete.  I especially enjoyed India, and the people who live within her.  In a nutshell, the people are truely at peace with themselves and with others.  They do not have many material posessions, but are very content.  I went with a tour group so we had a tour guide that showed us and taught us a lot of things. 

The temples are amazing and the rituals I participated in were impressive.  India has 80% Hindus, so most of the temples I saw were Hindu temples.  The temperature was around 75 degrees in the northern parts of India, and 90 degrees in the south.

New York and D.C. were also nice to see.  For the entire trip, I took about ten flights, a train ride, and rode hundreds of miles in a tour bus.
 
Album: NY, India, and D.C. Trip 1-2006


by 194 totalDan Pyle (8)
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Posted: Feb 3, 2006 10:51pm
Jan 4, 2006
Your host for this group will be gone for most of February.  I am flying to India to tour the mystical temples with a tour group.  I will also tour New York and Washington D.C. while connecting through there.  I'm bringing my camera so I promise to bring back stories and photos.  Thanks for behaving yourselves while I am gone!

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Posted: Jan 4, 2006 9:03pm
Dec 8, 2005
The word of the week is concentration, from the two Latin words: com meaning "together" and centrum meaning "center."  The Latin meaning of the words which make up the word concentration sound as if the word concentration means to gather to a center, or as we commonly use the word today, to focus the intellect by bringing together many aspects of thought to form a central understanding of something. 

Concentration is important to us for it allows us to control our appetites and habits.  Concepts like concentration can also be understood by noticing what it is not.  The lack of concentration leads us into folly, mistakes, pain, and misery.  For example, if you are driving a car and do not concentrate on what you are doing you may crash your car and injure yourself or others.  If you speak with someone and are careless with your words, you may offend them and loose their respect. 

Manly P Hall, an occult scholar, wrote a chapter on concentration in his book titled The Phoenix.  I will reference a couple of sections of this chapter to illustrate how concentration is defined according to Mr. Hall, and also how concentration should properly be used.  "Concentration is simply the pointing of mental effort, the focusing of the mind so that the object of the attention shall be an undivided interest.  Concentration involves the co-ordination of the intellectual parts under the domination of the will, the function of the will being to contribute intensity and continuity to mental effort.  The average person has poor continuity.  He cannot carry a train of thought to it's logical destination.  In other words, he cannot think things trough.  Impulses foreign to the subject intrude themselves and the sequences are lost.  The untrained man is also superficial as to the degree of his mental effort.  His thoughts are not sharply delineated nor given proper values, but are so blurred or slurred that they produce little, if any, effect upon his code of action.  The purpose of concentration is to begin the organization of mental powers so that the mind actually becomes that which it was designed to be-an instrument for the discernment of relative values and realities...The ancients established the desirability of performing concentration in the early morning hours, preferably upon awakening and before rising.  The advantages of this time are, first that the superphysical entity which is out of the body during sleep has but just returned thereto and its functioning is least impaired, as the activities of the body have not yet obscured the subtle impulses of the soul.  Then, again, there is less tension in the body at this hour, for the objective mind has scarcely reassumed the burden of daily cares and distractions.  Finally, the vitality which has been stored up during sleep bestows additional strength to the enterprise.  In every respect, therefore, the individual is at his best in his efforts at self-improvement.  Regularity is also a vital factor.  As far as possible, concentration should be practiced at the same time and under similar conditions each day.  This establishes a rhythm and the changes wrought by occult exercises upon the superphysical nature of man are nearly all achieved from continuous repetition over a long period of time...Pythagoras suggested to his disciples that their concentration should be upon some natural fact, such as the flight of a bird, the growth of a tree or the wonder of the human soul."

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Posted: Dec 8, 2005 12:39am
Nov 29, 2005
The word of the week is "imagination", from the Latin word imaginari, describing the function of a persons mind to form mental images without relying on the five senses.  Your imagination can allow you to form ideas of your own, instead of relying on other people's imagination to do that for you.  Your imagination, if developed, can be a great source of inspiration and creativity. 

Of course, an imagination which is out of control can lead a person to day dream too often, or become distracted from necessary daily activities.  However, an imagination that is trained can allow you to realize new ways of accomplishing your goals in life, or how to better deal with problems you face on a regular basis. 

The important aspect of the imagination is it can be practical.  Ideas are useless if they remain in your head and never become a reality.  If they remain in your head, then they might as well have never existed.  Painters don't just see their paintings in their mind; they mix paints and brush them on canvas.  Engineers draw out their ideas and then have others build their designs.  Imagination needs to be used to create real things which others can relate to.

To develop your imagination try staring at clouds on a sunny day, or in any room where there is a regular texture in sight such as the carpet, or the ceiling, or a roughly plastered wall.  Relax and stare at the pattern allowing yourself to loose focus.  Do not try to see anything, wait for your gaze to start revealing patterns and shapes.  The trick is to blank your mind as much as possible and to allow your mind to go into a non-state where nothing is being thought of.  You will find that many things will surface to your awareness from your imagination while performing this exercise.  Over time you will be better at it, and be able to see things quicker.  This will activate your imagination and allow your intellect to arrive at creative sollutions to daily problems easier, and inspire you to create more often. 

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Posted: Nov 29, 2005 10:49pm
Nov 22, 2005
The word of the week is "ego" which in Latin means "I".  First used as a term in metaphysics in 1714 and first used in a psychoanalytic sense in 1910, the word ego is commonly used to refer to a person's selfish behavior or attitude. 

Sri Aurobindo, founder of the Sri Aurobindo Society, warns against letting the ego get in the way of doing work for divine purposes:

"Self-dedication does not depend on the particular work you do, but on the spirit in which all work, of whatever kind it may be, is done. Any work done well and carefully as a sacrifice to the divine, without desire or egoism, with equality of mind and calm tranquility in good or bad fortune, for the sake of the divine and not for the sake of any personal gain, reward or result, with the consciousness that it is the Divine Power to which all work belongs, is a means of self-dedication through Karma".

The above excerpt is from: http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in/onsas.htm


Freud's scientific explanation of the ego is based on two other concepts called the "Id" and the "Superego":

The below excerpt is from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego

The Id

The Id (Latin, "it" in English, "Es" in the original German) represented primary process thinking — our most primitive, need-gratification impulses. It is organized around the primitive instinctual drives of sexuality and aggression. In the id, these drives require instant gratification or release. Freud borrowed the term Id from the "Book of the Id" by Georg Groddeck, a pathfinder of psychosomatic medicine.


The Ego

In Freud's view the Ego mediates between the Id, the Superego, and the external world to balance our primitive drives, our moral ideals and taboos, and the limitations of reality ("Ego" means "I" in Latin—the original German word Freud applied was "Ich".) Although in his early writings Freud equated the ego with our sense of self, he later began to portray it more as a set of psychic functions such as reality-testing, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, memory, and the like.


The Superego

The Superego stands in opposition to the desires of the Id. The Superego is based upon the internalization of the world view, norms and mores a child absorbs from parents and the surrounding environment at a young age. As the conscience, it includes our sense of right and wrong, maintaining taboos specific to a child's internalization of parental culture.


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Posted: Nov 22, 2005 11:12pm
Nov 14, 2005
The word "enlightenment" is generally used to refer to the state of a person who has become far more aware of aspects in reality that the common person ignores.  In religion, when a person experiences enlightenment, that person has attained oneness with a deity and one's inner self.  In many mystical traditions, enlightenment is one of the main goals to be achieved.  This is accomplished by constant reflection in meditation on profound teachings and experiences, correct action in applying such teachings, great attention to ethics and virtue, and compassion for all living beings. 

Personally, I enjoyed Immanuel Kant's opinion on this word in the intro to his 1784 essay What Is Enlightenment?, where he said, "Enlightenment is when a person leaves behind a state of immaturity and dependence for which they themselves were responsible. Immaturity and dependence are the inability to use one’s own intellect without the direction of another. One is responsible for this immaturity and dependence, if its cause is not a lack of intelligence or education, but a lack of determination and courage to think without the direction of another. Sapere Aude! Dare to know! is therefore the slogan of the Enlightenment."
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 10:01pm
Nov 11, 2005
This poll is designed to discover how many people have noticed they have psychic abilities, or what is also called ESP.  Most people likely do not believe they have psychic abilities.  I believe everyone has psychic abilities, but is simply unaware of them, or have not developed these abilities enough for them to be impressive or obvious. 

Each poll question is based on common psychic experiences which are usually passed off as coincidence or random chance.  The poll is anonymous, and once you complete it you will see the results from others who have also taken this poll.
( responses)
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Posted: Nov 11, 2005 2:32pm
Nov 7, 2005
The word "parapsychology" "is the study of the evidence involving phenomena where a person seems to affect or to gain information about something through a means not currently explainable within the framework of mainstream, conventional science. Proponents of the existence of these phenomena usually consider them to be a product of unexplained mental abilities." - www.wikipedia.com ,2005
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Posted: Nov 7, 2005 11:31pm

 

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Dan Pyle
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