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 Death and Resurrection of Albert Einstein: Super Jesus

It’s pretty common fair to misquote Albert Einstein.

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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[before]Andrea

moi pxlThis week I got to interview the highly talented, self-aware Andrea Berry. Andrea is a graphic artist based out of Reno, and is also the first artist I’ve actually had the opportunity to interview on eyE[before]E. Honestly, I feel like Andrea’s exceptional talent speaks for itself, both in her awesome design work and through her thoughtful words.

I give y’all the effervescent Andrea Berry.


What first made you want to become an artist?

Every child has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. At five years old my number one choice was to be an artist. I would spend my days ripping off sheets of paper from the butcher-block reel that my father had given (to) my sisters and I, encouraging our imaginations to run wild.

Like most kids, I went to school because I had to. Yet, I absolutely loved the art classes! Go figure. If I knew one thing about myself it was the fact that I could never get bored creating. All that I wanted to do was to have fun.

I graduated high school in 1997, moved out of my parents’ house, found an apartment and attended Arizona State University. It was time to grow up and start thinking seriously about my career, although I had no idea what to get my degree in. In my heart I wanted to pursue a degree in the field of fine arts but I had always heard that you can’t make money off of it and that’s where the ‘starving artist’ phrase was coined. So, what to do?

After I completed my first year of college I moved into a condo with a good friend of mine. Who would have thought that this move was in divine timing to meeting my mentorsI got to know my neighbors who lived a couple of condos down from me. There were four guys living there at the time, three of them were incredibly talented artists. I became friends with them, as they were my inspiration. Almost everyday, I would swing by to catch up and see the new projects they created.  They opened up my mind to the different paths an artist can take in life, including graphic design. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to learn more.

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What are your inspirations in your design work? What motivates you?

My passion for design is what motivates me. I love challenges and I absolutely enjoy taking a set of requirements, putting it together and ‘wow-ing’ my customers. Since art and any kind of creative media are based on perspective, the message that I create isn’t always perceived as I intended – yet… I hope will resonate with some.

At times I will randomly come across a creative design whether it’s on the internet or seen in passing… (and) I will challenge myself to create it. Since I believe that everything happens for a reason and that there are no mistakes, I look at inspirations as something divine, as life presents it to me for a reason.

As a professional graphic artist, how do you reconcile doing something you love as a day to day job? Do you find it difficult to find the distinction?

As I previously stated, I love a challenge. Every project I take on is different, thus fueling my creativity and keeping me engaged. Getting lost in projects is a true form of meditation for me. The fact that I can create and get paid blurs the line between job and passion. Of 860552_421003137992419_813148736_ocourse there are times when it does seem more like a job when I take on projects that require little to no creativity. However, those projects are few and far between. As a designer, the possibilities truly are endless when it comes to my job. In fact, I believe that everyone should pursue his or her passion and make a career out of it.  Not only does it make life more enjoyable but also makes life a heck of a lot easier.  In my experience, I truly feel that this is my path and it’s what I’m here to do.

How important a role do you believe social media and online networking, plays for the modern professional, or semi-professional, artist?

starfriend 3Social media has its role as it allows an artist to get their work out in cyber space for people to see. If people don’t know who you are (it’s) not going to help your business, no matter how amazing your art is. (Social media) is also great for critiquing and obtaining new ideas.  When it comes to acquiring more business, I wouldn’t say that social networking is the best solution. I typically acquire business through people I physically know, word of mouth and advertising. Many people on social networking sites just enjoy looking at art with no motive behind it to pursue a quote, different reasons for different people. I look at social networking sites as what it is, social networking.  I have met many wonderful people through online networking, which have created much inspiration for my work and myself. Social media/networking does however help your web presence and drive more traffic to your site, which is a plus for your reputation as a designer.

What is the greatest form of artistic expression that has never been invented?

Wow this is quite the question! To even define the word ‘art’ is subject to interpretation, however I will give it my best shot! First off there is a scientist by the name of Dr. Masaru Emoto. He has proven that water has consciousness and changes according to surrounding moods, thoughts, and vibration. With kind and loving thoughts the water molecules form beautiful snowflake-like patterns; with lower vibrational thoughts like sadness and anger, the water molecules turn chaotic without symmetry or appeal. I think it would be cool if people could easily and effortlessly take photos of water molecules according to one’s emotions. They could post it on Facebook, frame it, send it to friends and family, add quotes, etc. It would allow people to realize how powerful their thoughts really are. And by seeing this as an art form I believe it would bring a larger sense of creative realization through humanity and one’s own being-ness.  This artistic form of expression would be inspired through Dr. Emoto’s work yet taken to the next level of mass awareness through creativity.

catbird


Andrea’s professional site can be found here – Dre’s Graphics

Her WordPress blog can be found here – DresGraphics WordPress

And her Facebook page is located here – Dre’s Graphics Facebook

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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. 😉

Welcome to Atlantis

Future_city_04

Let’s talk about crystals.

Crystalline mineral structures are one of my favourite subjects to talk about. They are singularly weird and enigmatic natural constructs that have fascinated man-kind for thousands upon thousands of years. Crystals have historically been reserved for the elite few who could afford to splurge on their shiny-ness, adorning the crowns and ornaments of rulers long past. When accessible, they have been used for scrying and fortune-telling. In the Old Testament, the High Priest Aaron adorned his breastplate with twelve different jewels, including Urim and Thummim; the heavenly-sanctioned stones of divination. As a species, we have marvelled over these gleaming protrusions spied in the dirt for a long time, and it turns out that it wasn’t without good reason.

Has it ever occurred to you guys that nearly all the technology of the modern era only works because of crystals? You see, crystalline mineral structures have some unique physical properties concerning their energy conversion, piezoelectric charges and electron valences. As a result, certain crystals make excellent semiconductors.

So, we started building radio transistors out of them. These transistors would then be used in clocks, televisions, computer chips, and so on. In the modern age, chances are that when you buy something electronic it has a micro processor in it, and that micro processor is in turn made out of a crystalline silicon compound. Crystals have given us telephones, television, and the internet, inventions which would have been decried as witchcraft not 200 years earlier.

I’ll leave you all with this fascinating video on Quantum Trapping, my favourite experimental application of crystal technology. If you have never seen or heard of Quantum Trapping, watch this video now. It’ll blow your mind.

Welcome to Atlantis, my friends. 🙂

Also, I did a guest post on Tammy Salyer’s blog this week, about the innate spirituality of story-telling – The Importance of Spell Check. Check it out. #punintended

(Image credit to stomaster)

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.

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

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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

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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)