Michael Sternbach

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Everything posted by Michael Sternbach

  1. Haiku Chain

    Being bursting forth Shattering the shells of time Young phoenix hatches
  2. simplify

  3. Cosmic Oddities

    Meanwhile, there is some cool news about our good old Moon... https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/anomoly-five-times-size-island-hawaii-buried-near-moons-south-pole-180972401/
  4. Cosmic Oddities

    Have you ever heard of a planet with the shape of a doughnut? Or a moon that comes with a moon of its own? http://top10platform.com/2018/11/17/10-weird-things-that-could-exist-in-space/ At least some of these peculiar objects will most likely one day be confirmed to actually exist somewhere out there in the vastness of space. Enjoy! And feel free to discuss any of these thought-provoking possibilities. Hey, Marbles... This topic is for you!
  5. simplify

    Doodle What??!! I mean this kind of thing!
  6. @lightbody09 I think from the answers received, it is obvious that Daoism and its goals can mean different things to different people. The crucial question then becomes, what is it for you? What are you hoping to get out of it? Why are you attracted to it in the first place? Clearly defining your needs and goals should help you determine if and how they might be satisfied within a Daoist context. Philosophical systems are there for the people. It is not the other way around. And hey... Arguably, this is Daoism for you.
  7. simplify

    Tomato squishing
  8. simplify

  9. When does one "become" a taoist?

    Hi Raindancer In reply to your question, I would say that you could even be a Daoist without being aware of it. Just to illustrate, a pronouncedly Daoist forum member (who is sadly no longer with us) had a strong perception of me as a Daoist as well, while others prefer to see me as a Hermetist - and to myself, I simply am what I am. And I definitely don't agree that not having any wishes is a requirement for calling yourself a Daoist. Wishes are natural - as a matter of fact, a being that wouldn't desire anything also wouldn't survive very long. And the central tenet of Daoism (at least the way I understand it) is being in accordance with nature in general, and with your own in particular.
  10. Cosmic Oddities

    New NASA research suggests that extraterrestrial life might be based on something other than DNA as we know it. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/nasa-dna-discovery-alien-life-proof-hachimoji-detection-a8792636.html Of course, we should have known that already...
  11. Hi fellow Bums As a few of you may already know, I spent the last one year or so researching the history of some ancient cultures (such as the ones in Egypt, the Americas, Britain, the Pyrenees, amongst others), leading all the way back to the legendary civilization of Atlantis which I believe to be a historical fact. - Based on so many pieces of evidence. This topic is linked to a larger book project I have been pursuing for a couple of decades by now. In regards to its historical section, I am intending to share some of my source material as well as original work in a series of threads, in the hope of finding some resonance and, if possible, a fruitful discussion. Also, be free to ask any questions that may come to mind - I will answer them to the best of my ability. A good place to start our journey into the deep past seems to be the temporal demarcation line drawn by the end of the Last Glacial Period. However, before we depart, it seems to be a good idea to take a look at the topic of the ice ages in more general terms. Since very early geological times, our planet has been going through a series of ice ages, alternating with long warm periods in which our globe was entirely free of ice. The first ice age (called the Huronian) started about 2.4 billion years ago and lasted for 300 million years. It was later followed by the Cryogenian Ice Age lasting 165 million years from 800-635 mya, which was possibly the most severe of them all and might have produced a “Snowball Earth”, in which the Earth iced over completely. A minor series of glaciations then occurred from 450-420 mya, which was followed by more extensive glaciations again for 100 million years from 350-250 mya. More recently, an increase in glaciation on Earth started when ice began to build up over Antarctica about 36 mya during the so-called Eocene Epoch. It was probably related to the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, with a drift of the Antarctic continent toward the South Pole and the development of ocean passages around the Antarctica. Globally, temperatures markedly decreased then during the Middle Miocene (about 15 mya), probably as a result of the increased ice growth on Antarctica. The oceans cooled partly due to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current when ocean currents circled the Antarctic continent without reaching warmer latitudes. At the opposite pole, the Greenland ice cap began to develop in the Middle Pliocene, about 3 mya. Before then, Arctic areas were comparatively warm, with trees and bushes growing far north of the present treeline. The Quaternary Ice Age is the most recent ice age. Ice sheets began to spread over North America and Eurasia around 2.5 mya. This initial glaciation was followed by a series of warmer interglacials (each lasting 10,000-30,000 years) and renewed glaciations (each lasting 70,000-90,000 years) in alternation. Within the Quaternary Ice Age, the most recent phase of glaciation is called the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glacial Epoch. During its peak, ice sheets covered extensive areas above 40-50º North in both Eurasia and North America. It reached its maximum around 18,000 BC, whereafter the glaciers slowly started melting. That glaciation phase ended for good - and indeed rather abruptly - around 9,600 BC. Due to the slowly melting ice sheets, the global sea-level rose about 60 meters between 18.000 to 9,600 BC, and an additional 50-60 metres until 6000 BC, when it finally reached the level it has today. During those times of rising sea-levels, many islands were covered by water and sediments, and at the same time, much of what once used to be coastal land is now underwater and tens of kilometers out to sea. This explains why man-made structures have been found submerged in various locations off the coasts, with many more supposedly yet to be found. Stories of a deluge in numerous cultures all around the globe may well represent 'collective memories' of those prehistoric changes. For instance, the Bahama Archipelago (identified by the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce as the location of the lost civilization of Atlantis) used to be a coherent dry land mass off the coast of Florida. The part remaining above sea-level today is just a small fraction of its prehistoric extent. Other locations for Atlantis suggested by various researchers include the Greater and Lesser Antilles (also located in the Carribean) as well as the Azores. If interest warrants it, we will be looking into those various theories in more detail later. So while there remain many questions yet to be answered, it strikes me as rather remarkable that a date around 9,600 BC (i.e., around the end of the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glaciation) was indicated for the destruction of the island of Atlantis in the very source of the story, Plato's late dialogues Timiaios and Critias. Plato's information seems to have come down to him via the Greek statesman Solon, "the wisest of the seven sage", who in turn had received it from Egyptian priests while visiting the very ancient city Sais in the western Nile delta. Again, we should have an opportunity to talk about that in far more depth later. I wish to conclude this introductory post on the note that the Quaternary Ice Age isn't over yet - it continues to the present day. Although the Earth is at present luckily in an interglacial called the Holocene Era, the Quaternary Ice Age might continue for possibly millions of years into the future, as have several past ice ages. If previous glacial-interglacial cycles are any indication of future cycles, it is likely that the present warm interglacial period will end sometime between tomorrow and 20,000 years from now. Then, massive glaciers will advance from the north again, covering much of North America and Eurasia. That being said, we do not need to fret over that possibility right now, as glaciers and ice sheets have been melting and the global sea-level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year since 1961, and 3.1 mm per year since 1993. If this trend continues and the ice caps should fully melt, it is estimated that the Antarctica Ice Sheet would contribute more than 60 metres of sea-level rise, and Greenland would contribute more than 7 metres. Go figure! However, it is not unusual for relatively short, somewhat warmer periods to occur both during glacial and interglacial phases. As for the current rise in temperature, its exact causes remain controversial (not least on this board) - however, that is not the theme of this thread! Please reserve THAT debate for one of the thread especially dedicated to it, such as this one: Here, I intend to be looking at the Atlantis legend as shared by Plato in connection with the end of the last Ice Age (to put it more simply) and then to move on to explore other aspects of that lost civilizations and the inheritance that may have been received from it by subsequent cultures that we have more factual knowledge about. An important source for what has been presented here was P.P. Flambas' book Plato's Carribean Atlantis - A Scientific Analysis, which I warmly recommend to anybody with a serious interest in the topic. Material from various other sources has been added, of course. Please try to stay more on less on topic as outlined and try to post comments of a more general nature in our previous TDB Atlantis thread. Thanks! And feel free to discuss.
  12. Story of Atlantis Part 1 - Ice Age and Deluge

    A fast subsidence of the sea floor (unbeknownst to official geology) has been suggested not only for the Carribean but also (at least by one Atlantis theorist) for the area of the Azores. There seems to be scant evidence for the latter, however. Yet Plato wrote about one extreme portion of Atlantis being in front of the Strait of Gibraltar, which would be fair enough a statement in regards to the Azores only. But he also mentioned that the Atlanteans were ruling over numerous islands, spread all over their ocean. So I figure he may have referred to the Azores as an Atlantean outpost, whereas the mainland could indeed have been located further West and in front of the American continent. That said, I am not done yet with the part of Zhirov's book that defends the Azores-as-Atlantis theory. Thus, I may have more to say about this topic later.
  13. Story of Atlantis Part 1 - Ice Age and Deluge

    Let's talk some more about possible locations for Plato's Atlantis... So far, we have looked at the area of the Antilles (including the Bahama archipelago) as possibly the best candidate. In regards to this, I just came across a really weird story reported by Reuters New Agency on May 14 2001. A company called Advanced Digital Communications (ADC), run by Polish-Canadian ocean engineer Pauline Zelitsky and her husband businessman Paul Weinzweg, was given a job by the Cuban government to search for ship wrecks possibly containing treasures.This was a joint venture with the National Geographic Society and the Centre for Marine Archaeology and Anthropology at the Cuban Academy of Sciences. ADC has been characterised as "a heavyweight" when it comes to maritime survey and salvage operations; just testing their equipment in Havana Bay, they made it into the news locating the long-missing wreck of the USS Maine that had sunk in 1898 after a mysterious explosion on board. But what they found off Cuba's western shore buffled even these veterans. For their high-resolution sonar images showed them nothing less than a veritable city, complete with roads and buildings - most notably pyramids! - submerged at an incredible depth of 700 metres. Incredible because sea levels rose no more than 120 metres since the last glacial maximum some 20.000 years ago. Which obviously implies that - for those apparently man-built structures to end up so deeply submerged - the sea floor must have substantially lowered itself. Which brings us back to abovementioned theory advocated by P. P. Flambas in his book, stating that a huge isotonic effect (yet unrecognised by academic science) led to the submergence of a considerable landmass in the Carribean at the end of the last ice age. According to what the couple running ADC said in an interview, later it was possible to videotape some of the very large stones, smoothely cut and fit on one another, and carrying mysterious symbols resembling e.g. Mesoamerican hieroglyphs. What this reconstructed sonar image presents is in fact reminiscent of the pyramid city Teotihuacan in Yucatan. Read more: http://atlantipedia.ie/samples/tag/paul-weinzweig/ https://www.timeenoughforlove.org/saved/EARTHFILESUpdateUnderwaterMegalithicStructuresWesternCuba.htm
  14. That means that, in order to understand the classical alchemical texts, you have got to study the multi-layered and multi-dimensional language of the Hermetic philosophers first. It's as though you wished to read scholarly books on advanced quantum physics. Without having a firm base in math, you just won't get very far.
  15. There are, and they left yet another book of seven seals... Having the key is key!
  16. Today's Biggest Threat: the Polarized Mind

    This essentially reflects the philosophy that underlies Bach Flower therapy, a method I have been using as a certified practitioner for a number of years with the patients of a psychotherapeutic practice. It seems to be rather popular also in the US these days (to my delight, I happened to find the complete set of remedies in a Californian health food store right after my arrival), but few know that Dr. Edward Bach was not just a great herbalist, but also a profound metaphysician. According to Dr. Bach, negative attitudes and emotions - beyond causing psychological and physical distress - separate us from our true divine nature. While he was quite clear about that, he was nonetheless NOT teaching a dualistic approach of dismissing any parts of one's inner experience. So while there are indeed Bach Flower remedies for dealing better with arrogance, judgement, envy, jealousy etc., there are others for things like lack of self-acceptance, guilt, and exaggerated ambition for spiritual attainment. All of those act as obstacles to true unity from Dr. Bach's perspective, be it with others or with oneself. Unity is the real aim of this method, and the remedies are actually no more than catalysts in the process of reestablishing it, where it has been lost. There to initiate and facilitate internal alchemical transformation, as it were.
  17. There are loads of practical instructions in the classical alchemical literature, however, much of it is presented in a symbolical language and with some omissions and/or - in some cases - purposeful deceptions. Sometimes the author may have been describing what was still a work in progress and substituted some speculations for the part he didn't know yet from practical experience. While this may not sound too encouraging, oddly enough, while you are trying to find (or to chop) your way through the alchemical jungle, every once in a while, you will find some nuggets of real gold rewarding you for all your efforts. In a fashion, the way is the goal, and few will be in a position to follow it to its ultimate destination, but what would you expect, if that destination is supposed to be immortality. Having studied alchemy for some twenty years, I still enjoy the process of unravelling this noble art, and myself along with it... Then again, I for one am at my best when I can mess with ambiguous mysterious stuff that allows for a good deal of creativity. Which is definitely not going to appeal to everybody, though.
  18. simplify

  19. In time immemorial, it was common for people to live a thousand years or so. Later, all throughout history, some Alchemists in various cultures have found the secret of relative physical immortality. This is tantamount to the manufacture of the Philosopher's Stone or of an elixir of life. There is no lack of suggestions how to go about this freely available online, however, the problem will be to discern the viable ones. In any case, a thorough understanding of Hermetic philosophy (if you follow the Western tradition) as well as of basic laboratory techniques will be a prerequisite. As to the underlying philosophy, bear in mind that the spirit is immortal anyway (at least on its inner level), so the art is to transfer the characteristics of the spirit to the physical body. This could be advantageous especially if you have a mission to accomplish that requires more than just a normal life span. Alternatively, it may be possible to pursue a task over several life-times, but this necessitates starting all over from scratch every time as well ad various imponderables. It's likely that immortality can be achieved by way of internal methods of (e.g. Chinese) Alchemy alone (as hinted at by voidisyinyang), however, I am not very familiar with that. About Hermetic Alchemy we can talk more if you have any specific questions, though. This website will provide you with stuff to contemplate for numerous years. And all for free, to be sure...
  20. simplify

    Tibetan Ice
  21. Cosmic Oddities

    Dear ladies and gentlemen, May I introduce to you Orion's Dragon.
  22. simplify

    Fire and Ice
  23. simplify

    Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal
  24. simplify

    All the President's Men
  25. Story of Atlantis Part 1 - Ice Age and Deluge

    This is awesome! Good job, mate. One critical comment, though... Amy Smith advocates a hypothesis that a sudden shift of the tilt of the Earth axis relocated the glacial ice sheet of North America into a more temperate zone and thus led to its sudden melting. Well, there is no mention of when Smith's article was published, but in 2007 Firestone et al published their groundbreaking paper (no pun intended!) on the supposed impact of a comet on the arctic sheet around 10.900 BC: https://www.pnas.org/content/104/41/16016.full A hypothesis that found strong support by last year's discovery of a 19 miles wide impact crater beneath Greenland's ice layer: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/14/impact-crater-19-miles-wide-found-beneath-greenland-glacier According to Firestone (as quoted in my February 17 post), the impact (actually, more likely a series of impacts over several days by the comet's fragments) led to a dramatic glacier meltdown with consequences right of the kind Smith describes so vividly in her article. While this to be more plausible explanation than a shifting of the Earth axis as suggested by Smith, testimonies of the latter may indeed have come down to us via certain myths talking about "the stars suddenly changing their position" etc. Also, says Smith, that event drew Russian Sibera right up into the frigid zone - and yes, the shock-frozen Mammoths found there (with Summer flowers in their stomachs) require an explanation! There are even people going as far as stating that the comet's impact may have been directly linked to a supposed axis tilt. Some good links on all that can be found in Smith's article. However, we may want to come back to this particular topic when we are going to look at Hyperborea in another thread I am intending to start in the near future. Whatever may have triggered it, glacier melting and consequent dramatic flooding of the kind discussed in Smith's article is well evidenced anyway. With her own words: Didn't Plato say that the sea became hard to navigate where Atlantis had vanished because of all the mud there? Smith adds: If Smith is correct, it may be difficult to get an exact idea of the extent of the land mass that once comprised Atlantis, because so much land was swept away by the onrushing water. At any rate, Smith's hypothesis seems right in line with Proclus' Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus, which we may read as stating that the Greater Antilles being remnants of Atlantis (see my second February 24 post). That being said, the now largely submerged Bahama Archipelago is another good candidate. The following is a picture of the Bahamas from NASA on Wikimedia Commons. The light blue shallow water zone is congruent with the carbonate shelf that was exposed during the Last Glacial Maximum! That paper talks about megafloods in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Pliocene though, while Smith is looking at the later Pleistocene-Holocene transition. That said, the paper may be relevant insofar similar occurrences must have come to pass at both of those times.