Michael Sternbach

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Everything posted by Michael Sternbach

  1. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Greetings bums, This topic is intended as a platform for providing alternative outlooks on the current pandemic wrecking havoc in various ways - but first and foremost in people's minds. Comprehensible as their concern for their well-being may be, little is it understood that the very focus on apocalyptic scenarios - powerfully reinforced by the messages governments and media are constantly giving out - can only contribute to their eventual manifestation. It goes without saying that lots of people's hopes rest once again on conventional medicine coming up with a vaccine and/or cure for covid-19, when as a matter of fact methods that could treat it effectively have been known for a long time, but are woefully neglected by mainstream physicians and the general public. We may well go into those methods in due course, but let's start this discussion by reviewing the words of Dr. Edward Bach concerning the nature of infectious diseases. Known today mostly as the founder of a widely popular method of treatment using flower remedies, it should be noted that Dr. Bach started his career as a successful bacteriologist and vaccinologist and was gradually lead to a metaphysical understanding of illness and health. Due to his background, we can assume that the man was talking from personal experience and observation when he wrote: From: Edward Bach: Heal Thyself, ch. 7 I feel these words remain just as true today as when they were written down back in 1936...
  2. Hey Bums, In part one we we started looking at the legendary lost island of Atlantis - based especially on Plato's classical description. We talked about its possible location, the environment it supposedly existed in, its development, achievements, and eventual demise. Surely there would still be infinitely more to say about all that, and - no doubt - I as well as others will come back to that topic as we see fit. However, at this time, I would like to take a closer look at the influence that Atlantis - as the most advanced civilization of its time it is portrayed as - may have exerted on other places and cultures. For according to so many sources, some groups of Atlanteans left the island before or at the time of its destruction, settled in various locations and passed on their knowledge to the local natives. The most prominent variation of this theory concerns ancient Egypt, a rather loaded topic that invariably leads to endless debates. Unfortunately, we will have to come back to it nevertheless - in due time! However, on the opposite side of the Atlantic, we still find the monumental buildings, the mythology and indeed the living descendants of an ancient civilization noted for "the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas - as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system" (Wikipedia): The Maya of Central America. Not only had they reached a similar level of cultural development like the ancient Egyptians, they also shared so many particular traits with them that it does not seem far-fetched to assume that both had the same mother civilization standing at their cradle. Again, "America's greatest psychic" Edgar Cayce made some intriguing statements for us to consider. According to the sleeping prophet, around the time of the final destruction of Atlantis (which he set at about 10.500 BC, not far removed from the date of the cataclysmic comet impact that we now know ended the Ice Age), an Atlantean called Iltar entered the Mexican Yucatan with a group of some ten people and erected some temples, one of which actually contained "a hall of records of Atlantis". However, these first temples "were destroyed at the period of change physically in the contours of the land." Alright, let's stop for a moment to think... Is this at all plausible? Well, we know that at the end of the Ice Age, when the glaciers melted, a considerable land mass was submerged in the Yucatan area (much as what happened in the Bahamas archipelago as we have seen already in my previous Atlantis thread). So yes, that alone could explain why we are not likely to find any buildings extant from those early times, unless (perhaps) we go diving in the right places. What else has academic science to tell us? For instance this: González et al: The Arrival of Humans on the Yucatan Peninsula: Evidence from Submerged Caves in the State of Quintana Roo https://www.researchgate.net/publication/310750546_The_arrival_of_humans_on_the_Yucatan_Peninsula_Evidence_from_submerged_caves_in_the_state_of_Quintana_Roo_Mexico There you have it. Once again, it can be said that Cayce was nothing short of being... prophetic! Dear Atlantis aficionados and critics alike - I am looking forward to whatever you may have to contribute to this thread! Just one request: Let's try to stay on topic please. Which is evidence and hypotheses regarding a supposed Atlantean influence on the prehistoric Americas. So anything pertaining to Atlantis per se (as long as more or less in line with Plato) would better placed in part 1 of my little project: Whereas for conceptions about Atlantean influence on Egypt, the Celts and so forth, I propose to open up especially dedicated threads in the future. Alright. Let's have some fun with this now... Michael
  3. What is spirituality

  4. Why not? Truths are always bipolar, so to speak. Your example actually only serves to illustrate, what I have been thinking all along: The Gospel of Thomas represents Jesus' more esoteric teachings, meant for initiates, as opposed to what he was telling the crowd. We can suppose that the apostles were advanced 'cultivators', well familiar with the benefits of fasting, prayer and charity. Yet there may be times when such practices become self-serving and it's best to ease off on them - in order to simply be than to constantly try to become. This is reminiscent of the zen story of a master watching a practitioner meditating in order to become a Buddha. He then started polishing a brick and, when asked by the meditating man what he was doing that for, replied that he was trying to turn the brick into a diamond! Much of what Jesus shared - especially in the Gospel of Thomas! - was that kind of 'zen teaching', seemingly paradoxical and easily misunderstood by his general audience. While either suggestion may seem like sensible advice for certain situations , first off, I don't think Jesus was recommending to literally hate anybody. It could be a poor translation, or a purposeful exaggeration used by Jesus to make sure he gets the message across (alas, the texts tell us nothing about the kind of voice, facial expression and gestures that accompanied his words). Furthermore, the two statements are not contradicting each other, they only differ in pithiness. Either way, the message can be read as: "As long as you follow the ways of those around you [primarily], you will not be fit to follow your divine self [the inner Christ]." Whereas I believe that Gnosticism, in some of its many forms, was in fact the most faithful expression of Jesus' philosophy. In fact, it was at the very root of the latter. Nor was I suggesting that. I only brought this up to underline that we have so little hard evidence for what actually happened back then that there is no reason to reject the Gospel of Thomas on "historical" grounds.
  5. That's no more than one of over a dozen attempts to reconstruct "Q" from commonalities found in Luke and Matthew. For all we know, the actual "Q" was lost to posterity a very long time ago. The history of academic research into the origin of the canonical Gospels is rather involved. The most widely accepted theory today seems to be the so-called Two-Source Hypothesis, stating that Luke and Matthew are based on Mark as their "narrative source" and on that ever elusive "Q" as their "sayings source". But there are proposals that suppose four and more sources as well. Since the Gospel of Thomas was found, the assumption that it constitutes at least one of the source texts also gained lots of support. Moreover, it revived interest in the question of the derivation of the Gospels in general. Personally, I do see many parallels between its contents and Jesus' teachings according to the New Testament. That said, I make no particular claims as to the exact role it may have played in the derivation of other Gospels. Does that mean that, for you, the value of a metaphysical text stands and falls with its apparent "authenticity"? To me, such considerations are of academic interest, at best. What really matters is their intrinsic value for the cultivator today, regardless of their authorship. Well, when it comes to Buddhism, only the Pali canon can seem relevant to you then! And even here you will be confronted with the fact that various schools have different takes on what texts are to be included, not to mention extant variant readings of particular passages. Gnosticism is an umbrella term. In my metaphysical search, I draw on many sources, some of which are indeed expressions of various kinds of Gnosticism. Please note that in my previous post, I referred to the Gospel of Thomas as "Jesus' words of wisdom" to differentiate it from a supposed source of information focussed on his life. Little can be said in the latter regard from a rigorous academic perspective, though. As you probably know, even the very existence of Jesus is sometimes being disputed today. Telling from the content of the Gospel of Thomas without a doubt these are the words of a Sage - timelessly true and relevant in my view. And I see no reason why we should not identify their author with the historical Jesus.
  6. And this would include the four Gospels that made it into the Bible! For that matter, the Gospel of Thomas is supposed to be identical with the elusive source text that the four "official" ones are based on by some researchers - or at least originated close to it. Personally, I doubt the former (i.e. more extreme) position, as the Gospel of Thomas does not offer any of the details about the life of Jesus and the people around him which the Biblical Gospels are so articulate on. Rather, it focusses on Jesus' words of wisdom and is on par with other foundational texts of that kind in my view, e.g., with the Dao De Jing and the Bhagavadgitta - regardless of who wrote it. Yes, the modern Western mind is very discerning in this regard. It goes without saying that it's often exceedingly difficult to tell what is historically true from what is not, and in some rather profound respects, it doesn't really matter anyway. Man needs myths and legends that resonate on an archetypical level. For a modern example, there are many who draw inspiration from the Star Wars saga, knowing full well that it's all imaginary to begin with. Since alot of people contributed to the narrative over the decades, certain inconsistencies occurred, so a cannon of films and books etc was officially acknowledged eventually... That's how far the parallels to religions go in this case! The blending of myth and reality is characteristic of metaphysical systems in general and would best be taken for granted by their representatives. It is really only the Fundamentalists that are losing sleep over the question in which part of the whale Jonah could most likely have survived as long as he did...
  7. I am aware of that, note that I wrote "if". However, academic views are constantly changing and tend to represent "the most recent state of error", so I generally take them with a grain of salt.
  8. If this Church's lineage and the authorship of the Gospel of Thomas are correct, then it's too bad that they didn't retain the book.
  9. Sure, that's how I got Dwai... Thomas the Apostle whom the Gospel of Thomas is attributed to.
  10. Is there actually a Church though that considers St. Thomas to be its founder?
  11. simplify

    Shameless
  12. simplify

    Pillow sham
  13. Buddhism as a science...

    I think it depends on your definition of what qualifies as 'science'. It is true that the term generally refers to a positivist approach to things ever since the so-called scientific revolution. On another forum, I once pissed off a university professor by telling her that I don't accept this modern definition. That being said, it applies rigorously only to natural science anyway. Humanities are quite a different animal.
  14. Buddhism as a science...

    Yes, but what are the differences between the Buddhist perspective and the Shamanistic perspective in your opinion?
  15. Buddhism as a science...

    Care to elaborate on this?
  16. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Interesting! What are the sources of your information regarding the experts' response during previous pandemics? Would you happen to have some links to share?
  17. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Moreover... Where did all the flu cases go anyway in the more recent past? Source: https://www.who.int/influenza/gisrs_laboratory/updates/summaryreport/en/
  18. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Excellent question! How many influenza cases have been diagnosed as such in the past? As compared to covid-19 cases at present? How many of the flu infected even consulted a doctor AND were given the correct diagnosis? Very interesting! Thanks.
  19. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Well, cats are said to have nine lives, so I am not overly concerned about your parents, Apech.
  20. Pandemic Panic - Transcending the Fear

    Please note that I was specifically referring to DNA vaccines (not to mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine), several of which are currently in the clinical testing phase for use as a prophylactic against covid-19. In the case of DNA vaccines, it indeed cannot be ruled out that the foreign DNA locally alters the genome, as numerous researchers wrote in peer reviewed journals in recent years. This could, for instance, lead to the activation of oncogenes or deactivation of anticarcinogenic sequences, causing cancer tumors to develop years later. Such local alterations are extremely hard to identify and will most likely show themselves only by the outbreak of the disease they triggered. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S222116911530366X?via%3Dihub https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17058502/ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/hv.28077 Very similar concerns have been raised regarding viral vector vaccines (especially DNA viruses). The Oxford-AstraSeneca vaccine belongs into that latter category, as it's based on a genetically modified chimpanzee adenovirus. That kind of vaccine comes with similar long-term risks like aforementioned DNA vaccines due to its integration into the cell nucleus before the body would start producing the desired antigens. See Patric U. B. Vogel: COVID-19 - Suche nach einem Impfstoff, Springer Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Wiesbaden, p. 24. Note that no less than 2.4 billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been preordered worldwide already by october 2020 (when it was still in the testing phase) and that its clinical application began about a week ago in the UK.
  21. Money

    First, you will have to find an affirmation that expresses your goal to have more money in your life. Use the present tense and phrase it using the three personal pronouns, as in: I, dmattwads, blah blah blah You, dmattwads, ... He, dmattwads, ... I could suggest one, but I prefer you create one that works for you yourself.
  22. Money

    Would you like to try an exercise involving writing that might help you identify the beliefs that keep you from getting money?
  23. Money

    Hmm... It could also be that you depreciate money because you harbour a negative belief that you can never get much of it anyway. Sour grapes, you know.
  24. Money

    Well, figuring out what you don't like about money would be an important step towards changing your attitude regarding it - hence towards attracting it more easily! Here are a few possibilities: Do you believe that wealth inevitably corrupts one's character? Do you feel that material gain would make you a less spiritual person? Or simply that it would make your life more complicated?
  25. Money

    Then it's time to take a deeper look into the various ways having money would benefit you and those you care for, I'd say.