The Entire Cosmos is a Single, Continuous Entity

“For a growing number of physicists, the fine-tuning problem can be solved only by accepting that the entire cosmos is a single, continuous entity, working in seamless harmony like the human body. Everyone accepts that individual cells in the heart, liver, brain and so on are linked to the activity of the entire body. If you look at a cell in isolation, its relationship to the whole is lost. All you see are chemical reactions swirling in, out, and through the cell. What you cannot see is that these reactions do two things simultaneously: at the local level they keep the individual cell alive, while a t the holistic level they keep the entire body alive.”

Deepak Chopra – You are the Universe

Quotes on Consciousness as the Infinite as God

I recently heard Deepak Chopra and Anoop Kumar both speak their opinion that “God” is the same as the infinite, which is the same as consciousness.

I found this idea interesting – here are some quotes:

…What we call Life, really doesnt have an opposite. The opposite of birth is death, and the opposite of death is birth. But Life doesnt have an opposite.– Anoop Kumar

Consciousness is primary, and what we call ‘matter’ is an experience in our consciousness. Now if consciousness is primary, it’s also infinite….Not only is consciousness infinite, but the infinite has always been the ultimate description of what we call God. The more common notions, the more familiar notions, they are aspects of God. So there is infinite, but then we talk about infinite wisdom, infinite compassion, infinite mercy, infinite understanding, these are aspects of infinite. And this infinite shows up, not only in religion, but it shows up in mathematics, and philosophy, as different aspects, different approaches. Each of these is a unique perspective, and therefore each has unique data, to contribute about something that’s beyond all concepts. The more we evolve, the more we see the infinite underlying nature of all things. Call it religious, call it spiritual, call it secular, or simply the practical experience of knowing ourselves and eachother more deeply.– Anoop Kumar

 

Consciousness, or God, is all-knows, all modes of knowing, and all experiences known. Consciousness is invisible. Why? Because it has no form. But without consciousness there is no experience of that which we call visible. Consciousness is beyond perception. Why again? Because it’s formless, it’s boundless. You cannot imagine consciousness, you cant imagine God because if you imagine God it’s not God. The infinite cannot be imagined. But without consciousness there is no imagination.– Deepak Chopra

 

The quotes above are from this debate on NPR.

 

A Talk on Having Both Happiness and Meaning

I ran into this very nice talk, and included some great quotes below:

“…for a life to be meaningful, you cant keep looking at the life. You have to see how that life is placed in larger, broader context.”

“…a life that is rich in happiness and rich in meaning….theologian Frederick Buechner I think would label that: finding your calling.”

“Your calling, Buechner says, is that place where your deep gladness, and the world’s deep hunger, meets. Your deep gladness is about you, about what makes you engaged and alive.”

“Finding your calling is discovering what it is that makes you feel alive. And then taking those gifts and skills and moving them out into the world to feed the world’s hunger.”

“…the tension we feel between what we want and what the world needs, is in fact something we don’t want to eliminate, but instead we want to encourage and cultivate.”

“When the world pushes and presses and prods and occasionally pummels you, it is in those moments that you can begin to imagine something different. You need the world and all its adversity, just as desperately as the world needs you.”

“To lead a happy and meaningful life, is to understand the tension that exists between what we want and what the world needs, and to recognize that tension as the gift that it is.”

-Mark Hébert

“Here’s the thing, if we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets…We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them.”

–Kathryn Schulz

Viktor Frankl and Aiming for the True Higher Potential


After uploading the most recent podcast, I ran into this short video of Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning:

Also found online here:
https://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning

He speaks about aiming for your greater potential to reach one’s true possibilities. Enjoy 🙂

I saw the following quote in an article about how meaning, value, and fulfillment can be lived/derived/experienced from “normal” kinds of lives:

“Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Beast and Alcohol

I was chatting recently with a friend who realizes they have a problem with alcohol, and has decided to stop drinking. In my chat and later I came up with a few points that I want to share about how I personally look at alcoholism.

For me, I see that when I drink, I truly become a different man. It is a different person, and all it takes is a single first sip. After 5 years without alcohol (Thank God) I have come to tell myself the following fundamentals about my drinking persona:

  • He is not you
  • You do not know him
  • You cannot control him

The man I become when I drink is someone completely different from my non-drinking self. So different that I dont even see it as “me when I’m drinking.” No, it is not me anymore. What that person is capable of doing is very different than what I would allow myself to do. I dont know what he will think, say, or do, at any given moment. And no one has control over him, especially not he himself.

He is someone completely different, yet he is in my body, with direct access to my family, friends, and my entire life situation.

But I do not judge him, because he is a beast, and it is his nature. It is like judging a wolf for devouring the young of another animal. It is its nature. I introduce alcohol into the brain and bloodstream, and therefore have become a beast. Literally, and with no exaggeration. Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde. No exaggeration. Truly it is the same thing. I sip alcohol, and it is an elixir which transforms me into an unpredictable beast, until the elixir has left my body.

Therefore, I must exert discipline to never, ever, become that beast, ever again. I can never ever take the first sip, ever again.

For me, alcohol is more dangerous than any good that can come from it.

I cannot let myself reminisce about “the good times.”

I am a different man when I drink. I do not trust that man.

But I am glad I have saved my life. And I have saved the life of others as well by me not drinking. Therefore I am a hero everyday I dont drink.

Further note to myself:

Don’t judge the drinking man, it is a beast, that is his nature. Just make sure you do not become him. All it takes, is one sip.

The sober man exerts discipline, and knows that he will transform when he takes the first sip. NEVER take the first sip. Ever. Never, ever, again.

“This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. this moment is life.”

-Jeff Foster

…if there’s one thing that I’ve come to realize, if there’s one thing that I see as the biggest problem,

it’s not in building a world where we eliminate the ignorance of others.

It’s in building a world where we teach the acceptance of ourselves,

where we’re okay with who we are, because when we get honest, we see that we all struggle and we all suffer.

Kevin Breel – Confessions of a depressed comic TED talk

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet

Accept Thyself

“In the journey toward the goal of ideal self-expression, we must use negative feedback data to correct course, as in any other goal-striving situation.

This requires admitting to ourselves–and accepting the fact–that our personality, our expressed self, or what some psychologists call our ‘actual self,’ is always imperfect and short of the mark.

No one ever succeeds during a lifetime in fully expressing or bringing into the actuality all the potentialities of the real self. In our actual, expressed self, we never exhaust all the possibilities and powers of the real self. We can always learn more, perform better, behave better. The actual self is necessarily imperfect. Throughout life it is always moving toward an ideal goal, but never arriving. The actual self is not a static but a dynamic thing. It is never completed and final, but always in a state of growth.

It is important that we learn to accept this actual self, with all its imperfections, because it is the only vehicle we have.”

-Maxwell Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics

Musings of Gratitude

I was at my cousin’s 30th birthday celebration last night, and when I asked him if there was something specific he asked for, he answered me with something like “nothing except health; health for me and my family, my friends and their family.” Then he started talking beautifully about how grateful he was, in general. He spoke for quite a bit of time, maybe 10minutes or more, about how he feels so much gratitude on a daily basis.

His waxing was beautiful and seemed to help me. I want to offer a small summary from my memory here:

“My girlfriend bought me this new watch, but it was at the bottom of this box of new sweats. When I opened the box I saw the sweats and thought that was my birthday gift from her, and I was so happy for them. After she led me to find the new watch, she said ‘how could you be happy with just sweats for a gift?’ I told her ‘I was so grateful that you got me something to keep me warm.’

I dont need an expensive meal, I’m happy if we go to Wendys.

All these people here at this celebration. They could be anywhere. They could be anywhere but they chose to be here. Some came from Jersey and other far parts of NY. And they’re here with me. I’m so grateful.

People are so busy. They have their own priorities and have very little time. Any time they give is a gift. Any time at all they choose to give me is a gift.

I used to feel I had to be in control of things. I thought by the age of 25 I would be married with 2 kids already. I used to be so upset that I didnt have this great job like my brother. But everyone has their own time. For some people it could be 25, for some it could be 30, for some it could be 35….

I have so much acceptance now. I had to learn to relax. To let things go. I dont have to be in control. Things will work out.”

I mentioned that it sounded like he had built a muscle of gratitude, and that he works out this muscle and it gets stronger; something like developing gratitude as a skill. He completely agreed.

“Whatever You Can Get, You Can Unget”

I’m very happy that when the speaker of this talk asked “What do you need to get to be happy?”, I said “nothing.”

The word “get” triggered that this would be a dependency, and, I dont believe I need a dependency for happiness.

There may be situations that help, but no matter what, happiness is accessible, I think.

Easy for me to say in my apartment, secure, safe, warm, healthy, loved, ambitious, alive, and vibrant.

But, Thank God, it is easy for me to say.