This week’s recommended reading includes: a news report about worldwide beliefs in the imminent End of Everything (to which I’ve added a recent local television news report about a doomsday-type drill that was run at Chicago-area hospitals); multiple articles and essays about Jung, psychology, consciousness, science, and spirituality; information about early psychological warfare studies and Big Pharma’s mission to hook us all on lifetime drugs; our collective transformation into a high-tech dystopia with “sentient cities” and a digital Dark Age; and a man who claims he was part of a secret (and successful) DARPA program that experimented with time travel.
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One in seven thinks the end of the world is coming: poll
Chris Michaud, Reuters, May 1, 2012
Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll…”Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters…Ipsos questioned people in China, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Argentina, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, France, Spain, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Great Britain, Indonesia, Germany.
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NATO Summit : Chicago Hospitals Perform Radioactive Dirty Bomb Attack Drills (May 01, 2012)
[NOTE: Is this an instance of sensible preparedness, hysterical overreaction, standard procedure, the culture manifestation of the apocalypse archetype — or all of the above?]
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Learning from Jung’s Madness
Micah White, Adbusters, February 23, 2011
Teaser: We might not know anymore whether we are sane.
In the time between the wars, eight years before Nazis invaded Poland, Jung wrote an urgent open letter to the American public. Warning that the world was sinking toward “another catastrophe from which we may never recover,” Jung cautioned that the Americans’ conscious refusal to reject the destructive consumer fantasy that happiness lay in “trying to live exactly like one’s successful neighbor” was forcing their unconscious to rebel with dangerous eschatological yearnings “to see our great railroad terminals deserted, the streets deserted, [and] a great peace descend upon us.” Unless we heed the “symbolic warnings of our bodies,” Jung wrote forebodingly, “we may gas our lives out.” Today, the plague of consumer fantasies has spread globally and, once again, we are haunted by prophetic dreams of collapse…Here begins the future of activism, a spiritual insurgency against the polluters of our mental ecology — corporations, advertisers and consumerists alike. Mental environmentalism means knowing that, to halt ecological/psychological catastrophe, we must first disrupt this waking dream.
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Carl Jung: Regaining Religion
The Spirit of Things, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, April 29, 2012
[NOTE: This is a radio show with full downloadable mp3 and transcript provided.]
Carl Jung’s exploration of the psyche took him deep into the world of religion, myth and the occult. The founder of depth psychology, Jung said that his patients suffered from a lack of what religion used to give people, but lost, and that healing would come from a direct experience of the Divine. A mid life crisis in which Jung believed he had lost his soul prompted a profound exploration which resulted in The Red Book, a magnum opus of his visions, internal conversations and paintings. Jung specialist Claire Dunne discusses The Red Book with Rachael, and her own book, Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul (2012). ALSO: The Symbolist Movement in art at the end of the 19th century drew on dreams, myths, and spiritualist ideas which it ‘clothed in sensuous form’… Senior Research Curator at MONA, Jane Clark, talks to Rachael about the themes in the upcoming Australian Symbolism:
Art of Dreams exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
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Creativity and Inspiration: An Interview with Stephen Martin
Gilda Frantz, Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, Vol. 53, Issue 4 (2010)
[NOTE: Martin is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, and is co-founder and President Emeritus of the Philemon Foundation, the famed non-profit foundation dedicated to preparing for publication the Complete Works of C.G. Jung. It funded much of The Red Book‘s editorial preparation and all of its translation.]
Driving away in the cab I knew that it wasn’t a matter of headway, it was a matter of fate. I knew that a foundation, the Philemon Foundation, would come into existence and that my life had changed its course.I didn’t sleep that night, not one bit; I was inspired, seized by a daimon. I knew, or it knew, that once I got home, called a dear friend of mine, a self-taught Jungian layperson who loves Jung as I do, and explained the situation about The Red Book and the trove of unpublished material, the foundation would become a reality because he would help us fund its birth. And, after bursting into tears, so he did and here we are. Within a month after that, the three of us met and the plans for establishing the foundation were formalized.
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Quantum Physics, Depth Psychology, and Beyond
Thomas J. McFarlane, The Center for Integral Science, February 26, 2000
[I]f consciousness becomes sufficiently subtle to see the implicate aspects of both psychic and physical phenomena, their unity in a common source can be directly experienced and not merely inferred indirectly from diverse concrete particulars. This implies the necessity for an expanded epistemology for physics, psychology, and knowledge in general that takes us well beyond the forms of knowing that are limited to only the most explicit orders of reality. For truly integrative knowledge, we must expand and deepen our capacities of consciousness. Otherwise, an integral theory will be nothing more than a pleasing speculative construct based on explicit contents that have emerged from the deeper levels. In short, if we are really to know the unitive depths of Bohm’s ocean of energy, we must allow ourselves to sink down into them, and not merely watch the surface phenomena that merely hint at what is below. The unconscious calls us into its depths.
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Dr. Michael Heiser on Why Christians Are Skeptical of the Supernatural
Skeptiko, Episode 169, May 1, 2012
Teaser: Interview with biblical scholar Dr. Mike Heiser examines how many Christians approach paranormal claims from curiously skeptical perspective.
The Bible’s description of the other worldly conflict raging all around us has been lost to view because of a veil of familiarity we’ve draped around it. Most Christians have not dumped their belief in miracles or the spiritual world and yet something inside us as moderns compels us not to believe in an invisible, animate world or universe. We aren’t as open to the supernatural as we think we are. Many Christians are supernaturalists who think like skeptics.
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Man behind ‘near-death experience’ ponders the afterlife
Piet Levy, The Washington Post, April 12, 2012
Raymond Moody has spent nearly 40 years looking forward, trying to understand what happens when people die. That pursuit led to the publication of “Life After Life” in 1975, a seminal collection that actually coined the term “near-death experience.” But in his new memoir, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife,” the 67-year-old Moody instead looks back, reflecting on his fascination with death, the effect of his life’s work, and trying to figure out what it’s all meant. One key revelation: despite his frustrations with some religious and New Age interpretations of his work, and the fact that he does not practice a religion, the psychologist and philosopher who grew up the son of an agnostic surgeon says he has “woken up to God.”
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Goethe and the search for the spirit of science
Mark Vernon, Guardian, April 28, 2012
Teaser: Perhaps the time is coming for thinkers to be braver, to push for a truer contemplation of nature that knows its aliveness.
[The great German polymath Johann Wolfgang von] Goethe was…convinced that good science embraces a subjective as well as objective dimension. This is because what scientists see in the natural world depends upon what they are prepared to contemplate seeing…[I]magination matters as much as investigation…The paradox that Goethe highlights is that materialism understands itself to be the champion of empiricism, when really it detaches us from the world as we experience it, in the name of objectivity. “All theory, dear friend, is grey,” he wrote. “But the golden tree of actual life springs ever green.” Perhaps then, this is the problem with the contemporary dialogue between science and religion. Theology has felt obliged to secure a place for itself broadly within the materialist worldview, sensing its main task is apologetic. But perhaps the time is coming for thinkers to be braver, to push for a truer contemplation of nature, one that knows its aliveness, its spirit.
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You Are Not Your Brain
Megan Erickson, Big Think, April 29, 2012
“Contemporary research on consciousness in neuroscience rests on unquestioned but highly questionable foundations. Human nature is no less mysterious now than it was a hundred years ago,” writes philosopher Alva Noë…It’s a bold assertion in an age when fMRI has enabled us to see images of the brain functioning in real time, and when many prominent public intellectuals (Stephen Hawking, Eric Kandel) have argued, either implicitly or vociferously, in favor of reductionism…In other words, you — at least, the waking you who gets out of bed in the morning — are your brain…What Noë is advocating is an entirely new approach — what if we were to try expand our conception of consciousness by crossing that boundary out of the skull, to encompass “not just our bodies and our movements over time, but also the dynamic interactions that we have with the larger world around us, including the social world?”
[NOTE: Also see Big Think’s brief (3-minute) video interview with Noë about this subject.]
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Early “Psychological Warfare” Research and the Rockefeller Foundation
Prof. James F. Tracy [professor of media studies at Florida Atlantic University], Global Research, April 29, 2012
The Rockefeller Foundation was the principle source for funding public opinion and psychological warfare research between the late 1930s and the end of World War Two. With limited government and corporate interest or support of propaganda-related studies, most of the money for such research came from this powerful organization that recognized the importance of ascertaining and steering public opinion in the immediate prewar years. Rockefeller philanthropic attention toward public opinion was twofold: 1) to review and establish the psychological environment in the United States for anticipated US involvement in the coming world war and 2) to wage psychological warfare and suppress popular dissent in foreign countries…[T]he elite class to which the Rockefeller family belongs has traditionally failed to distinguish between domestic or foreign subjects as targets for propaganda and behavioral modification. From a perspective that often recognizes national boundaries as obstacles to expanding a certain agenda of political-economic power and control, all are equally subject to similar designs of manipulation and persuasion and the often unwitting acquiescence they cultivate. One need look no further than the legacy of supporting certain philosophical and pedagogical approaches to US public education from the early 1900s that has resulted in a vast reduction of the quality and scope of educational institutions to recognize how the Rockefeller interest in psychological warfare is but a chapter of a much larger saga.
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6 Kinds of Pills Big Pharma Tries to Get You Hooked on for Life
Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet, April 26, 2012
Teaser: Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in the late 1990s, the number of people on prescription drugs for life has ballooned.
There are two ways Pharma hooks the US public on prescriptions for life. First, prescriptions that used to be taken as needed for pain, anxiety, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), asthma, mood problems, migraines and even erectile dysfunction, gout and retroviruses (in some cases) are now full-time medicines. Instead of having a bad day or heartburn, you have a disease like anxiety or GERD which calls for full pharmaceutical artillery. Instead of having body pain to be treated transiently, you are put on an antidepressant like Cymbalta or seizure drug like Lyrica or Neurontin indefinitely. Secondly, many of the top-selling drugs today are to prevent chronic conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and osteoporosis that people are said to be “at risk” for. Needless to say, in both cases, people never know if the drugs are working or whether they would have had symptoms without them. This creates a loyal customer who is afraid to quit a prescription.
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Science fiction no more: The perfect city is under construction
Will Doig, Salon, April 28, 2012
Teaser: Cities as technologically precise as a Formula One race car are being built now. Do we really want to live in them?
Slated for completion in 2015, PlanIT Valley won’t be a mere “smart city” — it will be a sentient city, with 100 million sensors embedded throughout, running on the same technology that’s in the Formula One cars, each sensor sending a stream of data through the city’s trademarked Urban Operating System (UOS), which will run the city with minimal human intervention…[T]his radical re-imagining of city life is a classic example of top-down urbanism, treating the residents as a problem to be solved rather than as part of the solution…Humans will act in ways that even the smartest computer model can fail to anticipate — which is fine, until you put your entire city in its hands. “What’s not being discussed is that cities are stubbornly resistant, highly unpredictable places,” says [architect and author Mark] Shepard. “In the end, the unforeseen implications of this new technology will be the real story.”
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The Economist, April 28, 2012
Teaser: The world is losing its ability to reconstruct history. Better regulation could fix that
[Note that this piece was linked to by Big Think under the more vivid and, I think, spiritually appropriate title, “Is the Internet Deleting Humanity’s Historical Record?”]
Picture yourself as a historian in 2035, trying to make sense of this year’s American election campaign. Many of the websites and blogs now abuzz with news and comment will have long since perished. Data stored electronically decays. Many floppy disks from the early digital age are already unreadable. If you are lucky, copies of campaign material, and of e-mails and other materials (including declassified official documents), will be available in public libraries…The stakes are high. Mistakes 30 years ago mean that much of the early digital age is already a closed book (or no book at all) to historians. Without a wider mandate for libraries, giving them the right to store both digital materials and the tools to open it, historians of the future will be unable to reconstruct our times. They may not even know what they have lost.
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Seattle Attorney Andrew Basiago Claims U.S. Sent Him On Time Travels
David Moye, The Huffington Post, April 28, 2012
Since 2004, Seattle attorney Andrew Basiago has been publicly claiming that from the time he was 7 to when he was 12, he participated in “Project Pegasus,” a secret U.S. government program that he says worked on teleportation and time travel under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. “They trained children along with adults so they could test the mental and physical effects of time travel on kids,” Basiago told The Huffington Post. “Also, children had an advantage over adults in terms of adapting to the strains of moving between past, present and future”…Basiago claimed he can be seen in a photograph of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863, which he said he visited in 1972 via a plasma confinement chamber located in East Hanover, N.J.
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