Reincarnation, Consciousness, Nature of Reality

The first question I would ask is, “why would anyone want to come back?”

I have read many arguments with respect to the Biblical basis pro and con, and I can draw two conclusions, the Bible supports reincarnation, the Bible flatly denies the possibility.

Some of the arguments on both sides fail to recognize that God exists outside of time.  For example, one person, opposed to the concept of reincarnation, asks, if the purpose of reincarnation is our perfection, then why after so many years of humanity existing on the planet, so we continue to hate and kill and maim and otherwise be nasty to each other?

Then another, who favors the view of reincarnation points out the following passage:

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Both of these fail to recognize that God is outside of time and thus can know someone at anytime.  If, when we are not in corporeal form, we are also outside of time, or at least not forced to progress one way forward through time, then people who reincarnate, if anyone does, don’t necessarily do so at a later point in time.  They might even reincarnate and live lives in parallel.

At times I’ve even entertained the idea that we might all be incarnations of the same spirit.  We might all be Adam, and Eve.

More than that, I’ve entertained the idea that every fundamental particle in the universe is really the same particle being reflected back and forth in time (in one direction it’s ordinary matter, in the other it’s anti-matter).

I believe in God, I believe he doesn’t want to send anyone to hell but he also doesn’t force us to be with him, we can be apart if we choose, and that is living without love, and that really I think is what hell is all about.

I’m not going to try to limit what God can or does or does not do based upon mans’ interpretation of his word, not even mine.  I don’t know if reincarnation exists or doesn’t or exists for some like Elijah and John the Baptist and not others.

We don’t even know what spirit is.  I do know that neurobiologists who believe they can explain consciousness by the patterned firing of neurons are missing a critical part of the picture, that of the subjective experience.  They can explain how a particular firing of a neuron or group of neurons in the visual cortex can result in the perception of the color red, but they can’t explain why we experience red as we do, why a firing of this neuron results in the subjective experience of red, and that neuron as a 1khz audio tone.

Personally, I do not believe the brain is the seat of consciousness but rather an interface between this physical world and a non-physical spirit.

My beliefs are somewhat biased by a number of personal experiences.  When I was younger, I used to have out-of-body experiences fairly frequently.  I wanted to determine whether there was any reality to it or it was just imagined or something akin to a dream state.  So during one experience I decided to go some place I had not been to but I could drive to easily, and so I made a mental note of my surroundings, wrote what I had seen down on a tablet, and then drove there and verified the accuracy of what I had seen.

That still doesn’t prove that consciousness is not an phenomena generated in the brain, but the ability to travel outside of one’s body and sense something remotely accurately suggests there is some non-physical component.  Oddly, the out of body experiences pretty much stopped in my mid 20’s, around the time my first child was born.  It was also the time I stopped smoking marijuana, but I wouldn’t go back to it even if it meant having out of body experiences again because it caused asthma for me and a lack of motivation and I eat too much without the munchies.

Of course someone who has messed up their live to the degree that I have could certainly wish for a re-run.  If I could I’d go back and change my past, but that doesn’t seem to be an option.  But then, if the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics is correct, there are an infinite number of me that have lived their lives in an infinite number of different ways, and presumably some of them haven’t made such a royal mess of things.

These days instead of focusing on what might happen after I die (or not happen as the case may be), I’m trying to focus more on what is happening while I’m alive and how I can make it better for those around me.

I’m frustrated by the lemming phenomena though.  Collectively the way we treat each other, the way we treat the planet we depend upon, and the way we allow others to treat us is just abysmal.  I wonder if the popularity of apocalyptic fiction, movies and books, isn’t a collective desire for God to come and hit the cosmic reset button.

This is kind of rambling but then this is my most personal blog.  The thoughts here aren’t even half baked, they’re still ingredients being stirred.  Every once in a while I dip my finger in and taste.

I put them out here because I think maybe they’re ingredients others can use for some good purpose, or perhaps others will add ingredients I can use.

The Federal Reserve Monetary Policy

Janet Yellen, has stated that she will continue Ben Bernanke’s current monetary policy of reducing the money supply if either inflation rises above 1.5% annually or unemployment falls below 6%.  What is the problem with this?  There are many.

Holding the line on inflation is necessary but 1.5% is too low.  Some inflation is necessary for the economy to function.  Too little and deflation will cause an economic collapse.  In addition, keeping the money supply low enough to keep the inflation rate below 1.5% guarantees stagnation.  3% to provided the Swiss with the worlds most stable economy for many decades.

By keeping the unemployment rate above 6%, the Federal Reserve system (which isn’t federal at all, it’s a group of mega-greedy banks) is keeping the supply of labor higher than demand, which keeps wages low while keeping corporate profits high.  These are big corporate interests running the show, and not elected representatives, it’s not surprising that policies of the Federal Reserve Board are geared towards their own self-interests and not the well-being of our nation.  Even if it were elected representatives running the show and not the Federal Reserve Board, you’ve still got the problem that the majority of elected representatives in this country are for all practical purposes owned by large corporate interests.

Every US President who has spoken out for the need of a national currency controlled by elected representatives and the abolishment of the Federal Reserve has been shot and killed, with the exception of Ronald Reagan who was shot, but not killed. Iceland recently threw out their entire government and re-wrote their constitution to deal with this problem, and that might be practical when you have a population of 300,000 but not so much with a nation the size of the US.

What can we do?  Well for starters, stop voting for the name you hear the most and start making an effort to know your representative, how they vote, and what they’ve done in the past.  Right now there is an almost absolute correlation between who gets the most campaign contributions, and thus who gets their name out in front of us the most, and who gets elected.  We have to break that.

To the degree that we can trade, barter, volunteer, use alternate currencies like BitCoin, it gives the Fed just that much less control over the economy, and by extension, power.  To the degree we have to have to use the dollar, use as much of it with real people running real businesses and as little as possible with mega-corporations that do not have our best interests at heart.

I think we also ought to demand honesty.  Since the Federal Reserve is not a government entity, they shouldn’t have a website under .gov but rather .com since they are a private entity geared towards making money (and world domination).

Elbee Elgee

I’ve changed themes (again).  I find Elbee Elgee to be neater, tighter, easier to read, plus it supports Buddy Press, and is highly tweakable and extensible.  Most of all the content seems easier to read and stands out better.  The BBpress forums provide a means to have side conversations, Mingle provides some social interactivity.


Ecclesiastes 5:13-20

New International Version (NIV)

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,

14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.

15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.

16 This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?

17 All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.

20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Global Consciousness Project

I added a link to the Worthwhile Endeavors section for Global Consciousness Project because, although it’s somewhat nebulous and non-material and not a project that immediately provides for peoples material needs, I never the less feel it’s an extremely worthwhile and important project because it aims to understand the interaction between our consciousnesses and the physical world.

I have been aware since my early teens that the interaction between the world and my conscious self was not a one-way relationship.  It’s not just the world affecting me, and to the degree my consciousness affects the material world, it’s not completely limited to physical acts or even subtle interactions with other human beings.

There is a theory sometimes referred to as “Post Quantum” which basically states that not only is there an explicit and implicate order to things, but there is something underlying the implicate and that is the realm of consciousness.

On that level, I don’t think space and time are the barriers that they are on the explicit level, and many things that we consider mystical would be totally explainable if we only fully understood the super-implicate as it has been called.

The Global Consciousness Project is one such project that is collecting data that may help us understand the relationship between our collective consciousness and the physical world, and, if we were able to gain a more solid understanding of this, I think it would have huge implications for mankind.  I won’t explain all the details of the Global Consciousness Project here since they are explained on their site.  If you are interested in the nature of everything, and especially the mystery of consciousness, then this is a good site to explore.

For those of you who believe we already understand it, it’s explainable as an epiphenomena of neural activity, then I would suggest that you either haven’t paid sufficient attention to your own subjective experience or you are not conscious. The neural explanation can explain how the brain takes data from the external world and interprets it.  It can explain why this neuron fires when the color red is present, and that one when the color blue.

What it does not explain is why red is experienced the way we experience red and blue as we experience blue.  I am aware that even that experience may be vastly different from individual to individual.  For example, some women have not three but four different wavelengths their cone cells in their retina are sensitive to and for them color has to be a much deeper experience than for the rest of us.  Never the less, I think for the majority there is a commonality in the experience though I can’t really justify this belief empirically.  That is just a very minute sample of what I mean by the subjective experience.

There are people that argue there is no inner core or interpreter of all the neural activity but I would suggest otherwise, because without that we can’t “experience” things subjectively as we do.  I am aware that as I type this, there may be those who truly do not have that inner core, do not have that subjective experience, and to those of you for whom that is the case then perhaps what I am trying to express makes no sense at all.

I hope that perhaps this touches people who do have that subjective experience and that you will find this project interesting.  I am also aware that there are people who are far more conscious than myself, who have realized their capacity for self-awareness to a much greater degree than I and I’m always interested in conversing with such people because it is an area I am interesting in exploring and expanding on myself.


Just when I was feeling the world had turned into one giant pile of crap, I was directed to this:


More on Costs

When Nikita Khrushchev came into power in the Soviet Union, he inherited a country where creative thinking was in short supply. It seems that under Joseph Stalin’s rule, fear, which kept people inline, also suppressed the kind of creative thinking that is necessary for a nation to thrive.

By anyone’s measure, the US prospered most during eras when it promoted free thinking and minimized oppression.  The 60’s may have been plagued in some ways but it was also the era when we went all the way to the moon and we haven’t been outside of low Earth orbit since.

For people to create a better reality for themselves, they first have to dream it, then they can move forward to build and realize it.  But in a country where your every move is watched, people are afraid to even dream.  And in a country where the future is so uncertain, even those with dreams are afraid to invest themselves in building.

We have become a country where people go to work, drudge through the day without even a hint of what that drudgery is for, save for their own short-term existence here, then come home and turn on the television to numb their brains until they pass out.

This is not the kind of country I want to live in or the existence I want.  I want to live in a country where people achieve great things for the common good, not a country where people slave for the ruling elite.


The Cost of Surveillance

One of the downsides is the cost of surveillance.

Broadband Internet would be ubiquitous and cheap if it weren’t for one thing, the government severely limits competition.  In any given area there is generally only one telephone company with physical plant, one cable company with physical plant, and two wireless carriers with physical plant.  And these companies are invariably giant multinational corporations.  Everyone else resells the physical facilities these companies own and operate.

The reason this is so is the government has legislated monopolies for these companies.  Why?  Well, for one thing their lobbyists have contributed heavily to the legislators and misrepresentatives election campaigns, but another reason has to do with the NSA rooms where they intercept all internet and telephone traffic.  They generally do this at locations where carriers exchange traffic and so to be able to do this efficiently they have to limit the number of these locations and the number of carriers.

The reason Internet, Telephone, and Cable service is expensive beyond the natural cost of providing the service is government mandated monopolies, or duopolies in the case of wireless carriers, aimed at making the surveillance and filtering of your telephone conversations, Internet access, and television programming, cost effective for the government to carry out.

It is the filtering aspect of this that troubles me even more than the surveillance aspects but really both are troubling.  This makes a free society impossible because anyone who opposes the status quo can’t effectively organize political opposition because the parties in power both can monitor and disrupt their activities and prevent their ideas from gaining political exposure.  Yes, we play the game where they make it look like there is a wide range of political diversity between the Republicans and Democrats, we shut down the government supposedly even, really we only shut down the few humanitarian services the government offers, the war machine marches on, but it’s really just a game.

Both parties really do the same thing, take all the resources from the common people and put them in the hands of the ruling elite which uses them to further consolidate power and feed the military-industrial complex war machine.

Positive Side of a Surveillance State

I am not in favor of a surveillance state like Big Brother in the movie 1984, but I do see a plus side to it where crime and punishment are concerned.  For example, the FCC can levy up to $40,000 and two years in prison for the act of transmitting without a license.  Now that’s draconian for transmitting without a license.

Right now we have draconian punishments because we know the majority of crimes will go undetected and so rely on these punishments to serve as a deterrent.  Scientifically it doesn’t work but legislators don’t pass laws that work, they pass laws that appeal to peoples emotional sensitivities which unfortunately have little to do with reality.

This new surveillance society will bring about a state of affairs where the certainty of being caught will approach 100%.  Then if we throw everyone who is caught in prison we’ll have 99% of our population locked up.  That won’t work because the remaining 1% can’t sustain the 99% locked up and so we will have to look at more sensible alternatives which will include not making it illegal to breath and making punishments more reasonable.

And for society that will be a good thing because what has been proven scientifically, is that a less severe punishment with a 100% probability of being caught is a much more effective deterrent than a severe punishment with a small percentage being caught.

It will also level the playing field a bit because when everything is recorded, it will be more difficult for the rich and powerful to exempt themselves.

If you go to WikiLeaks and look at some of the atrocities that took place in Iraq, the intentional killing of civilians and the complete lack of respect for life.  The video of those things becoming available is resulting in people being held accountable.  It is also the reason the banks did everything they could to try to cut off funding, because the people behind these wars, profiting from these wars, don’t want to be held accountable.

Well, that’s a big plus in my book. So in as much as I don’t like the evolving surveillance state, I do see some positive aspects of it.

People, I need your input…

I started Eskimo North as a single line BBS in 1982.  By 1985, it was taking as many as 300 calls on a single line.  If I unplugged the modem at 4AM and plugged it back in it immediately took a call.

In 1985, I went multi-line.  We decided to go with a Xenix platform, Xenix was a Microsoft port of Unix.  It was basically the least expensive Unix platform I could get my hands on.  Initially I set it up with four lines but that grew to eleven even though the machine was not designed to handle more than eight.

In 1991, I upgraded to a Sun 3/180 with 16 lines.  In 1992, started offering Internet services.

In 1995 I incorporated and also left Qwest, the telephone company I had worked for the previous 17 years.

Eskimo North presently has about 1/6th the customers it had at it’s peak.  In the last 1-1/2 years, I’ve totally reworked the infrastructure and eliminated the reliability issues, greatly enhanced some of the services such as e-mail and the shell server.

Mail is now reliable, fast, capable of handling multiple devices simultaneously, and very configurable allowing the end user a great deal of control over how they handle their e-mail and filter spam.

The shell server now has a graphical interface, several actually, allowing users far more access than the old text-only interface provided, though the old interface is and will remain available to those who prefer it or who must access over a low bandwidth connection.

This has greatly reduced the rate people leave, but it hasn’t greatly increased the rate that new customers come to us.  And this is a problem, because while Eskimo is bringing in sufficient income to pay it’s expenses, it is not generating enough for me to sustain my family or retire some of the debts I have.

So if I can’t find a way to increase the user base, I’m going to have to take a job and make this a part time thing like it was in the beginning.

Part of the issue seems to be that I just can’t find a way to make it relevant to more people today.  I’ve really put a great deal of effort into making this a secure reliable platform, but it seems few people even care if they’re being spied upon these days.

So folks, instead of my having to guess, I would very much appreciate it if you would tell me what is important to you today.  What do you need to make this service useful and relevant to you?  What would you need to make it something you would want to tell your friends about?