The Anathema of Judgement

Lady-Justice-Marilyn-Monroe-Lanoo11It is the desire of the mind to structure the world around it.

It’s not a bad thing. Labouring under the presumption that the entirety of existence is capable of being pigeon-holed has brought us many great scientific realisations. But there is a danger in applying analytical mental associations within a moral or ethical context.

I am, in fact, talking about the perils of standing in judgement of one’s self or one’s environment.

Now, before I continue, let me just define what I mean by ‘judgement’. It may seem a matter of semantics, but I place a distinction between ‘judgement’ and ‘discernment’. To me, judgement is the act of placing a moral, ethical or analytical imperative for one ideal over another, i.e., that doctor is better than that car thief. Whereas I see discernment as the act of consciously perceiving a difference between two ideals, i.e., that doctor is different from that car thief. Though this distinction might seem subjective and differs depending on an individual’s understanding of the terms, I think that it’s an important one to make.

For those of you who don’t know, I used to work as an alternative health practitioner. The alternative therapy I practiced was a form of energetic healing which relied heavily on elements of counselling in order to get people to release their baggage of their own accord. And do you know what my years of energetic healing taught me?

People can be really hard on themselves.

Like, really hard on themselves. The more energetic work I practiced, the clearer it became that many people hold themselves just as accountable, if not more so, than anyone else in their environment. The harsher their judgement of their environment, the harsher their judgement of themselves, and this wasn’t just limited to moral and ethical judgement either. Many people would look at someone with a bigger slice of cake and think ‘that slice of cake is logically better than mine’. As a result, their subconscious would reach the analytical conclusion that it was therefore good to have a big slice of cake and bad to have a small slice of cake. By applying moral and ethical absolutes like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to the analytical spectrum, it became easier to make sense of an oft chaotic world.

So, what’s the problem?

Logically, if you think it’s bad to have a small slice of cake, you’ll endeavour to get a bigger slice of cake. The act of observing the flaws inherent in your situation will only drive you to improve said situation… right?

Actually, no. Not always. A lot of the people that I met through my energetic healing who perceived themselves as ‘badended up vilifying themselves because, from a logical perspective, if their situation was bad then they, by association, were bad also. And if they were bad, how could they possibly fix themselves…?

Has it ever occurred to you that most people who pursue a life crime tend to come from troubled homes? Now, certainly it’s an easy argument to make that they’re the product of their environments. But bearing what I’ve said in mind, isn’t it easy to see how they might largely be the product of their own judgements and the way in which they’ve been taught to judge the world? i.e., if my situation is bad, therefore I am bad by association…

Judgement is an anathema, a poison that is deeply rooted in our society. Judging something to be ‘good’ is symptomatic of the same wound as judging something to be ‘bad’. They are two sides of the same coin; you can’t have one without the other.

I believe that it’s important to avoid judging the merit of everything from a position of analytical or moral imperative. We are just ants, scurrying about our tunnels, hungering after sugar and sunlight. How can we hope to see the full panorama of our existence when we only use our eyes?

Don’t choose to pass judgement, whether on yourselves or on each other. Instead, know discernment. Know that some things are different from other things. Know what you want, and be prepared to work towards it. But also know that no one thing is truly better or worse than any other.

Of course, if nothing is better than anything else, why bother aspiring towards anything? Without the carrot and the stick, how do we now function? No longer donkeys, but something more…

Still, that might be a discussion for another day. 😉

The End of the World

I turned 30 on Monday.Apocalypse

Some small part of me still expects something magical to happen on obvious milestones like birthdays, New Years, etc, but experience has taught me differently. Not that I had a bad birthday – far from it. I just started doing freelance work for a coffee-shop magazine and had a local paper contact me for a journalist position, so that’s great. Not to mention that season 4 of Arrested Development dropped ON MY BIRTHDAY (review to follow), so that’s swell too.

But the point I’m trying to make is that my 30th birthday was much like my 29th, and probably will very closely resemble my 31st. We get attached to the idea that 30 is an important age and attribute significance to it. We program ourselves to get excited for New Years because the old year is behind us and a new one is beginning. But the truth is that life isn’t as simple as that. We are the sum of what has come before us and what is going to be. We are also nothing more than that which we are right now. We will wake, and eat breakfast, and go about our lives every single day, and no milestone will ever change that. There are no act breaks in real life. There is stasis and there is catharsis, moving in perpetual ebb and flow with each other. 2012 is not the end of the world – it is simply another year where the world might end.

And I say this next part for the writers out there – don’t think that you’ll finish writing a book and your life will change. You will wake up the day after it’s finished just the same as any other day. You will find just as much joy in your milky, apple-laden porridge as you did the day before, and will the day after. Writing a book is a long game, but life is a longer one still.

Take the time to enjoy the journey, less than the destination.

Nihil sanctum est?

The Death and Resurrection of Albert Einstein: Super Jesus

It’s pretty common fair to misquote Albert Einstein.

albert-einstein

Ever since a slew of internet memes attributed a string of misplaced sayings to the famous physicist, there’s been a general air of distrust about anything philosophical that has the name ‘Einstein’ attached to it. The misquotes were largely connected with themes of new age spirituality and broad existential philosophy. And ever since these misquotes have been made public, I’ve seen a lot of people say things like ‘what does Albert Einstein have to do with spirituality anyway’?

Good question. 🙂

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

                – Albert Einstein

Einstein actually had a great deal to say on the subject of theosophy. The reason these spiritually inclined misquotes occurred in the first place was because a great many confirmed quotes were in a similar vein. Albert came from a non-practicing Jewish family and went to a private Catholic school. In his later life, he would make friends with a number of empirically-informed philosophers, basing their spiritual assumptions of the world on rational understanding. Though it is not confirmed whether Albert Einstein actually believed in a god, a number of his quoted attributions do indeed hypothesize on the subject.

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

                – Albert Einstein

But it goes deeper still. Though Einstein was himself primarily a man of science and empiricism, his deeper understanding of the universe would go on to forever change the face of modern spirituality. Let us put aside Einstein’s theory of relativity for a moment, which hypothesised the interconnectedness of existential building-blocks such as space and time. Let us simply look at the mass to energy equivalency equation – or E=MC2. As we all know, this equation would go on to revolutionise the physical sciences, not to mention the world at large. It would allow for the invention of the atomic bomb and open the scientific community up to the idea of black holes. It showed the world that nothing was wasted and revealed the innately mutable nature of worldly existence. For what was energy if not the abstract excitation of sub-atomic particles? What was a wave if not the echo of something beyond the particulate spectrum? And what was the metaphysical if not that which had no physical equivalency… until E=MC2?

“…the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science. If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.

                – Albert Einstein

As Einstein’s discoveries became culturally ingrained in modern society, new age spiritualists would pick up the cry. ‘Energy’ is a term now synonymous in spiritual circles with ‘chi’ or ‘prana’, and ‘energy body’ has begun to replace what was once called ‘aura’ or ‘chakras’. Albert Einstein might be considered the father of new age spirituality, if only due to the derivative etymology that formed from his work, let alone his admirable balance of rational empiricism and open-minded philosophy.

I understand that there’s a natural urge to assume hard-nosed scepticism is the path of the truly scientific mind, but I simply don’t believe that. Let us not remember Albert Einstein for the times that he was misquoted or used as a branding device. Let us remember him as he was – a brilliant mind, made all the more brilliant for his open-minded rationality towards the spirituality of existence.

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

                – Albert Einstein

eyE[am]Hannah – Time Dilation

Very excited today to hand y’all over to a close friend of mine; one Miss Hannah Leigh Yarbrough. Hannah is an exceptionally talented musician, writer, poet, astronomer,  historian and philosopher (among many other things) who continues to impress me with her broad and intimate knowledge of causal reality and all its mysteries. She has graciously agreed to share her musings with you guys in true eyE[before]E style, following on from my ‘Welcome to Atlantis‘ post last week. I, for one, hope this post isn’t her last.

It is my pleasure to give you the quixotic mind of the querulous Hannah Leigh Yarbrough.


Time Dilation: Ancient Crystalised Thoughthannah

By Hannah Leigh Yarbrough

In reading Ryan’s eloquent posts of late, delving curiously into the lovemaking of science and the metaphysical, my own thoughts swim with potential underwater causality. Come, let us splash for a moment inside the flaming gaze of the Vitruvian Eye.

There’s a Hindu tale of ancients from 700 BCE of King Kakudmi of Kusasthali (an underwater kingdom) and his daughter Revati. King Kakudmi, a mystic, took his daughter dimension travelling to see the Creator, Lord Brahma. After visiting with Lord Brahma regarding a suitor for his beloved Revati, the Creator laughed and explained that time worked differently between planes of existence. The suitors King Kakudmi asked of were now dead. 

In the mere moments they’d been in Brahma-loka, many years already passed upon Earth and under the Sea. This is the first recorded tale of time travel that we know of.

In another Japanese legend from around 720 CE, Urashima Tarō speaks of a fisherman, who travels to an undersea Dragon Palace. He stays 3 days and finds his village 300 years into the future when he returns.

Let me, if you will, enter my metaphysical-making-love-to-science thoughts. Neutrinos and tachyonic particles – both travel faster than the speed of light. What, if inside us, traces of such cosmic particles exist?

In Puerto Rico today, there are three Bioluminescent Bays, which glow indigo blue, filled with prehistoric one-cell organisms, half-plant and half-animal. What if all of us were also bioluminescent when stimulated by particular photonics crystals (which are three dimensional)? Do such key crystals lie beneath the seas, waiting to fuel our travel between dimensions? I must wonder, if our bodies aren’t part-cosmic, part earth, part-water, part-past, part-future?

Time, the starkest illusion.

Atlantis, where art thou?

king-kakudmi

(Image credit to Matho Mathis)


Hannah can be looked up on Twitter. I highly recommend dropping her a line, if only to listen to her e’er enchanting thought processes and her eloquent command of forgotten tongues.

Gratias, Hannah. 😉

The Poet Speaks

For those of you that don’t know me on Twitter, my user name on there (and indeed, on most platforms that require a user name) is The Poet Pyronius. I have been using the internet handle Pyronius in one form or another since I was 14, and even gave the name to a character in my first novel. The poet part has been less true of late, since most of my spare time is spent either writing non-fiction or focusing on my novel. Still, there was a bygone era when I would read poetry at the local pub to a score of bawdy bogans, and I’d like to share some of that poetry with you now. Though perhaps not my most provocative, it’s still my favourite. It’s called ‘Mantra‘ –


Om was the sound of creation’s first blast,

Om was the first of Omega, the last,

Um is the sound that lives in between,

Reminiscent, in doubt, of forgotten Om’s mean,

Giving pause to expansion always heard, never seen.

Err was the tainting of Om’s noble grace,

A mistake often uttered in lieu of Om’s face,

As existence expanded, adaptation demanded,

That Ah and Oh need not be reprimanded,

To arrive at the end Om in steady formed pace.

But the truth of the Om is that which we crave,

As Om is a sound, and sound is a wave,

A wave which can shake matter’s sea to the core,

While a matter of energy divides divine shore,

No one man can drive Om, it will take many more.


Mantra‘ is now available to purchase in tote bag and t-shirt form from the eyE[before]Store page.

mantra-tote-bag-image

I’ve also added a couple more t-shirt designs available for purchase, including a Tim-Burton-inspired ‘Nightmare Before Diwali’ Om design;

nightmare-before-diwali-tshirt-image

As well as a t-shirt print of one of one the favourites from my art gallery, ‘Ariel‘.

ariel-tshirt-imageLarger images can be viewed through the store.

Om Namah Shivaya.

A Logical Conversion

left-brain-right-brain-minimalism-wallpaper-2560x16001

For anyone who missed my ‘How Many Parsecs in a Samadhi?’ post a few weeks back, let it be known that I enjoy blending the disciplines of science and spirituality. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am dubious as to whether science and spirituality will ever truly find a satisfying common ground, though my hope springs eternal. Today I want to talk about something in a similar vein.

I want to take a look at the role of logic within modern spirituality.

For most people, the suggestion of reconciling spirituality with logic is a strange one. These two abstract ideas are generally perceived to be opposing concepts; spirituality being largely concerned with the illogical constant of ‘faith’, while for many people it is ‘illogical’ to believe in something one cannot prove through quantification. Personally, I do not hold my understanding of either logic or spirituality in alignment with conventional paradigms.

Let us first consider the true nature of logic. It is generally agreed that logic is defined as the application of reason. For example, if I climb the apple tree I can more easily pick an apple, and therefore it is logical to do it.

Let us then consider whether or not it is truly illogical to believe in the metaphysical. It is my understanding that engendering a positive mental outlook has demonstrated beneficial effects on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. Furthermore, it is illogical to presume something does not exist simply because it hasn’t been proven. Therefore, if believing that something exists beyond the physical regardless of scientific verification gives an individual an increasingly positive mental outlook, is it not logical to do so?

In the interest of being fair, let’s look at the other side of the coin. What are the disadvantages, from a logical perspective, in believing in the metaphysical? It has been suggested that spiritualists have historically proven to be innately illogical, particularly those stemming from religious sects. Obviously though, if we choose to believe in the metaphysical to satiate the perceived logic of doing so it is unlikely to compromise our ability to perceive logic, so that is a moot point. One might suggest that believing in the metaphysical gives a person cause for bias and that it is logical to remain impartial, particularly when impartiality is so important to the scientific model of analysis. However, I dispute this. Not believing in something and being impartial are two different characteristics. Deciding to not believe in the metaphysical does not make a person any more impartial than one who does believe in the metaphysical, for the simple reason that bias is the act of becoming attached to a concept. Whether you choose to believe in the metaphysical or not, it is equally possible to become attached to the abstract constant that you have invested yourself in and equally possible to lose impartiality. Therefore, I believe this to be a moot point also.

As far as I can tell, there is one key flaw we must accept when we choose to believe in something that hasn’t been scientifically proven and may never be; we might be wrong. The greatest loss to those that choose a spiritually-inclined outlook is that, in all honesty, our beliefs could potentially be disproven someday by some guy in a labcoat that works adjacent to the CERN supercollider.

I guess my question is – would that really be the worst thing in the world?

It can be easy to become attached to ideas and concepts in the information age. I believe that the most sensible outlook is to hope for the best and plan for the worst, as the saying goes.

And that is why it is logical to be spiritual.

On a side note, eyE[before]E just mounted 1,000 hits after only a month and half!

You can’t take the sky from me. 😉

(Image credit to Quirky)