Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Believing is a matter of choice: Biblical Creation or the Big Bang

Up to what point did scientific facts transform your biblical beliefs?

When we do not know our actual choices, we cannot make informed decisions; ergo no real “freedom of choice” exists. Corporate monoliths and institutional officialdom shape our beliefs through propaganda that distorts our perception of our choices. In the United States (and most of the world) the scope of the deception is nearly unfathomable — almost all of our beliefs about us and reality have been programmed by people who never had our best interests at heart.

”The opposite of bravery is not cowardice, but conformity” – Dr Robert Anthony
”What you hear repeatedly, you will eventually believe” – Mike Murdoch

The most disturbing yet apt analogy to the human mind is a blank computer disk. When we are born we have only two choices — receive the necessary programming for the maintenance of life, or die. But it is the great affliction of the human condition that the mind has little or no ability to keep out the “bad” data in preference of the “good.” Just like the Internet surfer who may unwittingly download a virus, the mind has little or no awareness of the false and/or harmful information that penetrates its defenses. And in fact, human consciousness is far more susceptible to corruption than computer files. Because unlike these files, human beings have the innate need both to continuously learn, and to form beliefs.

From the time you roll out of bed in the morning you begin acting on your beliefs. In a matter of moments, you will have made a number of choices that profoundly impact your life in ways you have probably never imagined. And these choices are often based on tacit assumptions that have little or no foundation in reality.

In our purportedly “Christian” nation, many people try to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the historic figure known as
Jesus of Nazareth. But even if one accepts on “faith” that Jesus was the Son of God and all of his teachings were valid, one still faces the arduous, perhaps IMPOSSIBLE task, of discerning what he actually taught. The language and meaning of the Gospels varies dramatically from one interpretation to another. In the King James Version (translated from Greek), Jesus on the cross is quoted as saying, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” But in the Assyrian author George Lamsa’s interpretation of the Bible (translated from the Aramaic Peshitta), Jesus says, “My God for this I was spared.” The sentiment of the two statements could not stand in greater contrast. Yet surprisingly few Christians display any real skepticism toward biblical literalism and “official” interpretations of the Gospels.

What we call “the Bible” has passed through many phases of sectarian modification and censorship. Yet many Christians of every denomination unwaveringly regard it as “the word of God.” In fact, the dogma of most every institutional religion in the world has been shaped by the hands of self-serving interests. Ancient myths are taught as divine truth. Puritanism is promoted to instill fear and control behavior. Spiritual teachings that originally exalted such concepts as unity, equality, peacefulness, and forgiveness, have been corrupted by ideological concepts of racial and nationalistic superiority, vengeance, and warfare.

Spiritual nourishment outside of religion is also not easily attained. Volumes of spiritual and “new age” literature promote ideas that might seem much evolved on the surface, but may actually create greater confusion and distress in spiritual aspirants. A common theme in much of the literature is that both the external world and the perception of oneself as an autonomous individual are illusory. These concepts are heavily derived from Eastern thought systems that promote “non-duality” as the ultimate truth. Many self-styled gurus extol these ideas while offering little or no explanatory foundations — they make statements such as “there is no you,” “the belief in self is false,” “there is only oneness and universal consciousness,” and then leave it to the aspirant to work through the existential quandaries on his or her own. Should the message be that individuality itself is an illusion, or rather that the false self — the worldly personality built upon fear, insecurity, and competitiveness — can be shed for a much larger, more inclusive, invulnerable identity that might be called “spirit”?

Wherever we look for the answers to life’s questions both big and small, it is better to trust one’s own internal compass than to blindly accept the assertions of seemingly impressive “experts.” This is even true in the intellectually intimidating domain of “hard science.” In fact, many scientists believe fervently in things that have little or no support in reality.

The “consensus of leading scientists” tells us that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago with a primordial “Big Bang.” But the underlying reasoning behind the Big Bang — the belief that cosmic redshift is a reliable indicator of distance, thus proving an expanding Universe — has, in the minds of Big Bang critics, been definitively refuted. As far back as the 1960’s, astronomer Halton Arp began documenting instances where two or more galaxies and/or quasars were associated, or even physically connected, in contradiction of the assumption that their different redshifts meant that one should be millions or even billions of light-years farther away than the other. And Big Bang theory was always hampered by the problem of “inhomogenity.” Raw subatomic — or preatomic — material exploding outward at nearly the speed of light would produce an evenly distributed cloud with no force present to generate cosmic structure. But in fact, we observe cosmic structure everywhere we look, and the distribution of matter is profoundly uneven. Astronomers see great “voids” where no galaxies are apparently visible for many millions of light years, and they see great concentrations of matter, both of which falsify the inherent, logical “predictions” of the original theory. Nevertheless, mainstream astronomy and science media almost always refer to the Big Bang as if it were an unassailable FACT, and no real challenges exist. (For background, see Scientists See Nothing - Call it 'Parallel Universe')

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jesus Christ - also known as 'Jesus of Nazareth'

What is happening now to your belief in Jesus?

Much of what is known about Jesus and his life had come from the four Gospels of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are not biographies but framed theologically the accounts of his ministry, death and resurrection. Other New Testament books added some plug-ins and add-ons.

The Gospel of Luke and Mathew contain narratives of his birth and infancy of which disagree in many points but concur in asserting that he was the miraculously conceived son of Mary, the wife of Joseph, and that he was born at Bethlehem in Judaea. All these four Gospels agree in dating his call to public ministry from the time of his baptism at the hands of John "the baptizer," after which he took up the life of an itinerant preacher, teacher, and healer, accompanied by a small band of disciples.

The central theme of Jesus' teaching, often conveyed in the form of a parable, was the near advent of God s Reign or Kingdom, attested not merely by his words but by the wonders or signs that he performed. The chronology of this period in Jesus' life is entirely uncertain; what seems clear is that his activities evoked scepticism and hostility in high quarters, Roman as well as Jewish. After perhaps three years in Galilee, he went to Jerusalem to observe Passover. There he was received enthusiastically by the populace, but was eventually arrested and, with the cooperation of the Jewish authorities, executed under Roman law as a dangerous messianic pretender. The Gospels give relatively detailed and lengthy accounts of his last days, suggesting that the story of Jesus' Passion was a central element in early Christian oral tradition. They close with accounts of his empty tomb, discovered on the third day, and of his later appearances to Mary and Mary Magdalene and to the circle of his disciples as risen from the dead.

The sources of his life and teaching are these four canonical Gospels received by the church. Jesus of Nazareth is the central figure of the Christian religion. Some critics speculate that that the synoptic gospels used an existing Q-Source, and possibly L and M sources along with the Oral tradition. Also important are several apocryphal gospels.

Some writers, citing the lack of external evidence, argue that no such person as Jesus ever existed. Others, however, predominantly E.P. Sanders, Geza Vermes, Paula Fredricksen, John Dominic Crossan and John Meier, maintain that the source documents, on which the four canonical Gospels are based were written within living memory of Jesus’ lifetime. They therefore consider that the accounts of the life of Jesus in those Gospels provide a reasonable basis of evidence for the historical existence of Jesus and the basic facts of his life and death. Even among those who do believe in his existence there are divisions over the extent of historicity of the Gospels' accounts. Some say that the Gospel accounts are neither objective nor accurate, since they were written or compiled by his followers. Those who have a naturalistic view of history believe in neither divine intervention nor miracles without any evidence for them, such as the resurrection of Jesus mentioned by the Gospels.

There are many similarities between stories about Jesus and myths of Pagan Godmen such as Mithras, Apollo, Attis and Osiris Dionysus, leading to conjectures that the pagan myths were adopted by early accounts of Jesus. Devout Christian thinkers, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, believed that such myths were created by ancient pagans with vague and imprecise knowledge of Gospel truth.

Benjamin Urrutia, a modern scholar, contends that Rabbi Yeshua Bar Abba was the historical Jesus of Nazareth and was the leader of the successful non-violent Jewish resistance to Pilate's attempt to place Roman Eagles; symbols of the worship of Jupiter; on Jerusalem's Temple Hill. This episode is found in Josephus, who does not say who the leader of this resistance was, but shortly afterwards, in a passage whose authenticity is heavily disputed, states that Pontius Pilate had Jesus crucified.

It is a common thought that Jesus preached for a period of three years, yet this is never mentioned explicitly in any of the gospels. However, much of the synoptic gospels' interpretations suggest only one year, and to achieve consistency with the Gospel of John, one theory suggests that the last gospel describes a timeline which depicts a ministry time period of approximately one year. This one year theory, Passover to Passover, ministry would coincide with the type and shadow of the Passover lamb being a yearling lamb. This, however, is not commonly taught, and thus is not a widespread theory in general.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Vital points for your relationship, this might be one

Could there be best lovemaking techniques?

The best lovemaking techniques are not what you think they would be. Nope, sorry! It's neither some wild, nor a kinky, nor an unusual method which were drawn and illustrated in every lovemaking manuals and articles published in the web. They are so simple and very basic.

     • Getting to know what pleases your lover.
     • Tuning-in and being responsive to your lover's needs.
     • Meticulously knowing what it is that arouses and pleases you.
     • Enhancing and deepening intimacy.

That's all there is to it. No technique, method, position or tip is inherently best in and of itself. It is the dynamics of the couple involved, their level of awareness and the depth of their intimacy that impacts this determination to the most.

You could read every lovemaking manual in existence and become a master of all lovemaking techniques, but these are irrelevant, unless, if you first know where you are going, with whom you are going, what you want to happen and how to get there.

Yes, you can probably bestow at least some pleasure on your partner and yourself with any old technique, but the goal in lovemaking is to satisfy your lover and yourself as deeply and completely as possible. Of course, both of you want to achieve ultimate fulfillment and enhance the relationship.

There are many different lovemaking techniques to choose from, but if you don't have awareness of you and your lover's intricate preferences, then you're just taking a shot in the dark and settling for mediocre pleasure. What works for one person is not what works for another person. Men and women usually have different preferences.

When you are in a new relationship with a new lover, using the lovemaking techniques which you and your old girlfriend or boyfriend just loved doing so, you could be in for disappointment. Men share a little more similarities in their needs, but women especially have very unique sexual needs. What drives one woman mad with desire, could drive another woman just plain mad.

What positions does your lover enjoy? What part of their body is most erogenous? Are they a silent lover or the verbal type? Where does your lover need to touch? What activities do they enjoy the most? What makes their motor run like speed racer? Which type of sex do they prefer the most? What do they dislike the most? When and how do they like to be touched?

Of course, you don't want to ignore your pleasure or desires either. You'll want to take your answers to those questions into account as well as a few others. What are you in the mood for during this particular love making session? Would you like something tender, loving and romantic or are you feeling wild, kinky and animalistic?

How do you get to know your lover's needs and what makes them aroused?

     1. You should ask.

Many couples have difficulty communicating what it is they enjoy and need sexually. Encourage your partner to share their needs and preferences with you. Let them know it's important to you to pleasure them. Ask them straight out: Does this feel good? What do you need? Do you like this? Where do you need touch and to be touched? Share your needs and preferences with them as well.

     2. You should pay attention while making love.

How do they breathe? How do they respond to each touch and act? What are they saying? What noises are they making? You can learn a great deal about your lover by simply paying attention to these details. Read their cues and adjust accordingly.

When you engage in the two practices above, intimacy naturally ensues. Once you know what it is that you and your lover need for the deepest pleasure then you will discover a variety of best lovemaking techniques. What is best for one couple may not be the case for another. It depends on the unique needs of each couple.

When you and your partner have deep awareness of what it is that you both need and desire, then any technique you use can become the best lovemaking technique. You'll have the benefit of more pleasurable lovemaking, a much satisfying and rewarding relationship, deeper intimacy and you'll be viewed as an affectionate great lover.

Is this the way to seduce your partner?

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