Month: February 2013

The Grand Illusion of Self: You’re Not The Person You Think You Are

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As you rise every morning, one aspect of your self reassembles: the first-person observer of reality, inhabiting a human body. As you move on throughout your day, so does your sense of having a past, a personality and motivations. Your self is complete, as both witness of the world and bearer of your consciousness and identity. You. This intuitive sense of self is an effortless and fundamental human experience. But it is nothing more than an elaborate illusion and how you perceive reality is very unique to you and defines every moment of who you are.

Our concept of ourselves as individuals in control of our destinies underpins much of our existence, from how we live our lives to the laws of the land. The way we treat others, too, hinges largely on the assumption that they have a sense of self similar to our own.

So it is a shock to discover that our deeply felt truths are in fact smoke and mirrors of the highest order. What are we — whatever it is we are — to do?

First of all, keep it in perspective. Much of what we take for granted about our inner lives, from visual perception to memories, is little more than an elaborate construct of the mind. The self is just another part of this illusion.

And it seems to serve us well. In that respect, the self is similar to free will, another fundamental feature of the human experience.

The of illusion of self is so entrenched, and so useful, that it is impossible to shake off. But knowing a different aspect of truth far from your own will help you understand yourself — and those around you — better.

– See more at: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/02/26/the-grand-illusion-of-self-youre-not-the-person-you-think-you-are/#sthash.WPamoFqG.dpuf

Why is Bee Decline Not a National Emergency?

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Next Monday, 25th February 2013, EU member states will vote on whether or not to restrict the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on certain flowering crops throughout Europe. The results of this vote are of ENORMOUS consequence. We’re talking here about nothing short of mass extinction if our already depleted pollinator population is not protected, at the very least, from being poisoned by insecticides. It’s not as if we haven’t already pushed them to the brink by destroying and degrading their habitat.

You’d have thought the unprecedented decline of the creatures responsible for pollinating a third of the world’s food – not to mention over 80% of all the flowering plants on this planet – might prompt concern; that it might justify a mention on the six o’clock news, or an appearance on the front page of the national newspapers.

But no. Incredibly, the majority of the population are still completely oblivious of the fact there even IS a problem. I believe people would be outraged if they were to understand exactly how serious this issue has become – but the fact that it’s not making headline news means they are not party to the information that might make them think twice about using pesticides – and/or prompt them to plant bee attracting flowers in their gardens. One of the most frustrating things about bee decline is that it is something we could all do something about. If only we knew it was happening.

I appreciate that the current horse meat issue is scandalous, but seriously, it’s a picnic in the park compared with the possibility of mass insect extinction. And, make no mistake, if we don’t do everything we can to halt the decline of bees and other pollinators, that is exactly where we’re heading.

As I’ve written in previous posts, pesticides are not the only cause of bee decline. We have lost 98% of our wildflower meadows and grasslands since the end of the second world war and this has already had a very serious impact on bee species and population. Banning, or at least restricting the use of the neonicotinoid group of insecticides that are implicated in bee deaths will not in itself solve the problem; but it will go a long way towards it. It’s too late to bring back most of the the lost habitat, but we KNOW these pesticides are contributing to bee decline and it is within our power to stop using them.

Read more here: http://www.beestrawbridge.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/why-is-bee-decline-not-national.html

Please also take the time to watch this film, which explores another angle on the declining Bee population.

US tested new weapon, no meteor in Chelyabinsk – Russian LibDem leader

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An astonishing claim…but nothing would surprise me anymore about the US governments covert warfare programme.

The firebrand Russian Liberal Democrat leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky claims that no meteor fell in the Urals on Friday, but rather the US was testing a new weapon.

“You’re like some primitive tribe. What meteorite?” he said, arguing that space is a “universe that has its own laws.”

Zhirinovsky, more known for clownish political outrage rather than his actual political platform, added: “When something falls – it’s man-made. People are warmongers and provocateurs.”

Earlier in the week, US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly tried and failed to reach Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by telephone for two consecutive days. The State Department said that Kerry wanted to discuss the recent North Korean nuclear test, as well as the conflict in Syria.

However, Zhirinovsky claimed that the top US diplomat “wanted to warn Lavrov about the plot and that it may affect Russia,” RIA Novosti reported.

Zhirinovsky, the perennial provocateur who is no stranger to controversy, set the Russian blogosphere alight following his latest off the wall accusation.

Keen to challenge Zhirinovsky’s grip on reality, sandro737 commented on Echo Moskvy: “It’s not a joke anymore, it’s a [psychiatric] diagnosis.”

User metalag soon responded: “Let me clarify your diagnosis – [Zhirinovsky] is not a fool, he’s a jester.”

He also drew in his fair share of supporters.

“Those who criticize Zhirinovsky don’t understand simple matters. Everything he says is possible. We know little about the nature of modern military weaponry, and who can guarantee that NATO is not conducting a new trial,” another user on Lenta.ru commented.

On Thursday, Moscow confirmed that on February 12 it had received Washington’s request to organize an urgent phone conversation between Kerry and Lavrov. The Foreign Ministry said, however, that State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was “inaccurate with her statements” regarding their inability to get in touch with Lavrov for two days.

“Unfortunately, the conversation could not be held because of the intensive schedule of the Russian foreign minister and his working tour to African countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashenko said.

“We informed the US about this at once. But no new requests were made either February 13 or another day,” the diplomat added.

Read more here: http://rt.com/politics/zhirinovsky-meteorite-american-weapon-316/

Watch the video below to understand the context of this.