The World is Ending Saturday

I don’t usually see messages of Armageddon in our local media, but this one caught my eye: World Will End Saturday, According to the Internet. If my local media is carrying the story, why it must be serious business.

Rather than immediately laugh at this, I thought I’d actually watch the video. I gave it a whole 4 minutes and 21 seconds of my life.

Goofy special effects and acting aside, there are somewhat accurate astrological references in David Meade’s work, but that’s about it. He claims this somehow has to do with Niburu, the on-again-off-again destroyer of worlds that seems to never make a visual appearance.

The constellation Virgo always chases Leo because Leo comes before Virgo. And yes, Leo is a lion, associated with the Sun (or son, depending upon your interpretation), and Virgo is a symbol of virginity and womanhood. I suppose this is the tie-in with Meade’s prediction (the virgin Mary giving birth to a child), but it’s just weak astrological association at best combined with some sketchy religious reasoning.

Of course, like every end of the world prediction, when this one doesn’t come to pass it will be forgotten, and a new date will be trust upon the world for it’s demise. The prognosticators are never called to apologize or atone for their repeated mistakes.

We can glean a positive message from this: living in the now, as though you are on borrowed time, is good.

September Fog and Winter Snow

There’s a saying that there will be a snow in winter for each foggy morning in September. This year I’m finally going to put this to the test.

My wife told me about this folk axiom years ago. We’d remember it when we saw a foggy September morning, then promptly forget it the next day. This cycle repeated itself throughout the month, and come October it had disappeared from our minds.

I’m no meteorologist, but I suspect this has to do with the moisture in fall. The more moisture in early fall, the more available moisture in the winter. Even if this is correct, I’m not sure if it applies only to the southern United States or elsewhere. Regardless, if it has any accuracy, it could prove to be a valuable forecasting tool.

This year, upon seeing our first fog on the third of September, I vowed to keep a record and compare it to the number of snow days this winter. For two mornings in a row it was foggy, so if this proves to be true we’re in for at least two snowfalls.

I’m fully aware that even if this correlation works this year, it may be a coincidence. Testing this would require multiple year experiments in multiple locations. Regardless, the results will be interesting.

At least until spring, when I will have completely forgotten about it.

Judgement (or How to Be Human)

It is our task in this life to judge. It is what we are built to do. To judge, discern, and examine self, and this world we chose to be in, is our most noble task.

One of the greatest misconceptions about the spiritual journey is that we live in judgement. This notion of a great book filled with our wrongs is simply a human misconception. Since we judge, we assume that any higher being would judge. I submit that any higher being would have no need for this trait of humanity.

Spirituality is not about living up to a list of principles carved in stone, rather it is a journey to examine the mystery of why we are certainly more than we appear to be. It is a quest for inner peace, to gain profound knowledge, and to maximize our delivery of the most precious thing we can give to others: love.

The Patterns of Life

The universe has an uncanny and universal pattern of repeated themes at all levels of its existence.

At the largest level the patterns of galaxies resemble living tissue under a microscope:

750214main_CIBER-science-graphic-670.jpg

The roads, cities, rivers, and suburbs have a strikingly similar pattern:

ISS034-E-5935.JPG

From our view of the night sky, the lines between stars (the constellations) draw many distinct and beautifully random patterns.

tumblr_inline_odrs1gBbuY1tzhl5u_1280.jpg

This pattern is again repeated in cells and tissues in plants and mammals:

1280px-Medulla_oblongata_-_posterior_-_cn_xii_-_very_high_mag.jpg

And each level of the universe, both natural and man-made objects exhibit the same pattern. While this is an astonishing thought, consider that this pattern of correspondence covers even time itself.

The day and night cycles of Earth, the light half and the dark half of the day, are mirrored by the light half (spring and summer) and dark half (fall and winter) of the year. The year, like the day, repeats, and following this cycle plants, animals, and all other life on Earth are born, mature, grow old, and die. If you are inclined to believe in reincarnation, this pattern is repeated again just like the days and years on the calendar.

To enjoy this level of consistent coincidence throughout our existence doesn’t require any sort of belief. You can imagine the entire universe is the daydream of some supernatural creator, intelligent design, or even a cosmic accident. The beauty in what we see, and the patterns sprinkled throughout, is undeniable.

 

 

Channeling the Creative Spirit

I consider myself a decent writer. I can usually express myself in a coherent and even sometimes entertaining fashion, and dive deep into analytics when the situation demands. And yet after all of these years of writing and pouring nearly half a million words onto paper in my books, I still cannot tell you precisely how I do it.

I’m sure you have driven to work and not even realized that you actually made the trip until you arrived at your destination. The process was conditioned and automatic. It was simply one of life’s mundane chores. Excluding the help from my editors and the final tweaking during revisions, writing my books and some of my more lengthy pieces has been much the same experience – an automatic process.

Unlike the oblivious car trip, the process was not mundane – rather it was creative. I had general control over the characters, the plot, and the universe, but beyond that I allowed the story to go where it wanted. Sometimes I was eager to write a chapter if for nothing else to find out how the narrative would progress.

When I allowed this channeling of my muse to occur, I eagerly wrote several thousand words in one sitting with the greatest of delight and ease. But not all writing days were like that – sadly there were just as many days where I could barely eek out a few paragraphs. The crushing self doubt that comes from these moments is almost unbearable.

I had always assumed that these creative, flowing moments were something that “just happened” and I should make the most of it when it occurred.  Recently, however, I have come to realize that writing, like any art form, is a channeled art. By removing my analytical mind, I allowed this process to run its course without direct intervention. My writing time during these wildly successful stints became spiritual in nature.

I’m not claiming that the people and events in my fiction works actually existed at some point in history – perhaps in an alternate universe. But I can’t deny that possibility, either. Were they using me to tell their story?

I have come to the conclusion that becoming more spiritually and philosophically aware is an integral part of becoming a better writer. Even if you aren’t of the spiritual persuasion, I would still recommend fitting some mindfulness meditation into your schedule. Clearing the clutter from your mind, at least for a few minutes a day, will help tremendously with this.

I have been very blessed to be able to tell the story of some interesting and brave characters. I will freely admit that sometimes I even entertain the fantasy that they were (or are) possibly real people, perhaps in an alternate universe, and during these creative moments I bring a bit of their life into our universe. Regardless, I know that many more tales that await in the supernatural realm accessed through epic late-night writing marathons and lazy afternoons under my favorite tree with my laptop.

If you have ever had the motivation to write, I would urge to to start. There is no time like the present. You need surprisingly little to get started. If you get stuck, take a step back and allow the ideas to flow instead of forcing them through your analytical mind. Let your muse skip the cultural filters we all have and directly inspire you. Give permission to those characters that you have communed with in your daydreams to share their story through you.

Allow them, and you, to shine.

 

The Canvas of Life

Life is an art project that insists to be drawn. It will happily take no input from the artist. People and circumstances will cheerfully doodle and sketch as they will upon its blank, white surface.

If you have the courage to stand in front of the easel, you have a choice. The first, and easiest, is to watch a completely adequate, and, if you’re lucky, possibly great image be painted in front of your eyes

Alternatively, you can pick up the brush and create your own masterpiece. Create your own pallet and design whatever your heart desires.

The canvas will wait for you.  How soon do you begin to imagine your own portrait of reality?

Cat Stroller 2: Return of the Manliness

In a very artful poke at the trolls, Nomadic Fanatic lets the women of Las Vegas tell us how manly and attractive a man is carrying a cat (and dog) in a stroller. Eric takes his feline companion in a stroller down the strip and catches more female attention than his trolls could ever accumulate in a year. When asked in an informal poll, they all said that it was not a sign of weakness, and in fact, many saw it as a sign of strength and security.

In case you missed the last post on this topic, trolls gave Eric a very difficult time about carrying his cat in a stroller. Of course this is just jealousy, but he handled it like a pro. Since Eric takes a considerable beating in the pond scum of YouTube comments, this vindication must feel incredibly sweet.