the sages of old, they could fly !

Sage-in-contemplation-ol
 Sage-in-contemplation-ol

Bronze :Sage in contemplation by M J Jaquemart

In days gone by the power to fly seemed to rest with a special few.

These old sages made their destiny their own in knowing what to do.

They flew because they understood and were aware of the world around them.

Like the birds in the sky or the fish in the sea or grass growing on the hill.

In past days only the rare, gifted and lonely spirits broke the mould.

This mould that held lesser mortals gripped, condemned to walk the byways.

Seen as dangerous, the gifted few were often burnt as witches were of old.

xxxx

In the Axial Age there came the Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster,

Heraclitus, Plato, Socrates and the rest, also Testament Prophets of Old.

Whether they met and talked is now beside the point. Probably not:

They did not need to. There was a spirit moving across the world, awakening

Slumbering minds to the interlinked nature of all things: like Indra’s net.

The ancient sages understood, using just their minds, more than we know now.

Such ones appear but rarely, if ever. For sometimes the lifespan of a universe

Can pass without such a one appearing. The rest condemned to live in ignorance.

xxx

Some sages taught to those who listened, but they did not hear or understand.

Today’s scholars know more of what there is. What we see and feel is coloured

By our senses and by our past. Of that there can be no doubt, no doubt at all.

A question is how modern sages compare with those of the past? Was William Blake

A sage? Or Emanuel Swedenborg or Krishnamurti? and what about the current ones.

One can hardly hear at all, rather like a modern Tower of Babel! The Dali Lama?

And what about Maitreya who placed the foundation stones of the lives we live now?

We know nothing, though our history is in the rocks around us if we could but read.

xxx

How can one learn to see this world around us for what it really is?

That was not what made the ancients understand, for what they

Saw was not of this world but another, less distinct, beyond, like shamans

Beyond the bounds of normal human understanding and description.

More people are alive now than ever lived in all our ancestral lineage.

Can thoughts add up together? If so the intensity of thought is greater now than ever.

Many have struggled and died in past years to allow us to be free.

Do we dare? Do we measure up to what we have been bequeathed?

Often the chains that bind our thoughts exist nowhere but in our minds.

Sadly it takes more to unlock these hidden shackles of the brain

Than to rescue scarred and damaged bodies ground down by lives of toil and torment.

xxx

Often we value the things we CAN see higher than those we cannot.

What price the freedom to roam and soar in the sky like a bird?

What price to have those things we take for granted? Warm in winter,

Cool in summer, clean air and water and enough food for all to eat.

It ain’t going to be so for ever. Who will go to the wall?

“They” will try and own these necessities and make the others pay.

All use what mother earth provides as if its free, and will be there for ever.

Blinded to the fact that mankind is fast destroying the hand that feeds.

xxx

Its the wear and tear of those lives so unlived by so many

That destroys the insides and brings tears to the eyes from grief.

A lived life grows and brings such sweet ties that bind with others.

There is someone there, someone inside living a life, and looking out

To welcome those passing by along on the road of time.

So there is someone to care for those who need help. Does anyone not?

“They” can never command those who fly free with the winds in the sky

And sail over the sea to the end of the world and beyond in their thoughts.

flying machines!

albatross-wandering1Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane attends his first flight over Payerne

Solar Impulse is a plane that uses the power from the sun to power its flight. It has flown round the world, in stages. It’s design is very similar to the albatross, above which can fly for weeks  over the oceans without landing.  Modern solar panels do not allow the capture of enough energy for a manned plane to stay aloft continuously- maybe in the future technology will allow this.  However it is already possible for unmanned planes to fly continuously and rumour has it that the military are already using these silent planes with infinite range as drones for permanent observation of for example suspected terrorists.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SolarImpulseChannel

Near disaster for NZ 14 09 2013
Near disaster for NZ 14 09 2013

 

Another area where modern design has transformed what can be achieved is sailing.  Modern catamaran airfoil boats can reach speeds of over 50 mph and are an impressive sight as they race in the America’s Cup in San Francisco this summer.  Very different from the boats used even 20 years ago.  The photograph is of Defender in 1992  America’s Cup (Wikipedia).

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a49jy9ba4FQ

http://tvnz.co.nz/americas-cup

voyager reaches deep space: a milestone for humanity

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For forty years Voyagers 1 and 2 have been traveling the solar system, visiting the giant gaseous planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as originally planned. By using the force of gravity to accelerate the craft they  made the Grand Tour of the outer planets and eventually reached a speed allowing escape from the solar system which had not originally been planned.  Powered by its plutonium reactor,  which will continue to provide power for perhaps another 10 years,  Voyager 1 is now 12 billion miles from the earth travelling at 100 000 miles per hour and at this distance radio signals take 34 hours to make the round trip.  Since their launching these spacecraft have been battered by the solar wind;  a stream of charged particles emanating from the sun. These particles dominate space near to the sun, travelling along the lines of magnetic force. Up until now there has been no information on what happens away from the sun in the interstellar space of our galaxy. An important question which was posed at the beginning of modern astronomy and over which there has been much speculation.  Now for the very first time there are  data.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/09/11/science.1241681.abstract

It is the interstellar environment which makes up the vast majority of our galaxy whether measured by volume or mass.  Instrument readings from the craft now show that the environment around Voyager 1 is no longer dominated by the sun.  It has passed the heliopause, as this boundary is termed by astronomers, and is travelling in the relatively calm environment of interstellar space, orbiting the centre of our galaxy as if it were a star.  So for the very first time mankind can examine directly the environment which makes up the majority of our galaxy.  Such measurements  have a direct bearing on basic questions such as the origins of galaxies and the universe.  These observations will help to explain the discrepancies in what galaxies look like and how they move which has been construed by some as evidence for Dark Energy and Dark Matter.

In a step equivalent, for its time, to landing on the moon, man has begun the saga of interstellar travel.

_66509267_r2620085-voyager_spacecraft-splhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24026153

_69806156_2a196dfb-fba1-4851-8c8d-22945bd1e250
http://www.universetoday.com/36534/deep-space/

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/archives.php?year=2013

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/

the arms trade: $10 is spent per person in the world each year on conventional arms. links to resources

Money that would be better used helping refugees

alwayasearching

The BBC news has stated that $70 billion is spent on the conventional arms trade each year. This was true in 2010 and the budgets have increased since then. Basically it is the rich countriesmanufacturing and selling most of these arms.

If the global population is 7 billion, that makes it $10 per person in the world, and rising each year that is spent on conventional arms.

Given that over half the world’s population earns less than $1 a day and that we have finite resources on the planet, does this make sense? The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is meeting this week to try to broker a treaty to reduce this spending. It is getting little publicity because there are so many other news stories running.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/factsheet/cab/ATT_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Here are some facts and figures:

Amnesty International have published a beginner’s guide:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/global-arms-trade-treaty-a-beginners-guide

Which 5 countries buy the most…

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ancient egypt meditation music: giving time for reflection

Egypt is a country with an ancient civilization and religions. In the current turmoil in the middle east there is need for relaxation, meditation and reflection.  Below Luxor Temple (ancient Thebes), Amenhoptep’s Collonade from the peristyle court. (thanks Wikimedia Commons)
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Entering the eternal now.

800px-Avenue_towards_Karnak

Hundreds of sphinxes. Each with its own riddles?

looking towards Syria, dawn 21 august 2013

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Blood red towards the east was the sky that morning

But here was no blood, just desperate writhing bodies

Foaming at the mouth and gasping, struggling there.

Looking towards Syria that fateful morning.

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But there was no blood, so why the red?

Perhaps it’s Gaia‘s blush of shame.

An attack at night on sleeping children.

Looking towards Syria.  She tries to understand.

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In future years the old soldier talking with yet unborn children….

Oh yes!  He said, I was part of the brigade that did the gas attacks.

For there were many!  He talked,eyes shining, standing straight.

“I saved my country then and I am proud to tell you that.”

Looking towards Syria and trying to understand.

Text and photographs geoff clements

reestablishment of polio in somalia- MSF withdraws because staff being killed. Who will control this outbreak now?

MSF pull out from Somalia
MSF pull out from Somalia

The attention of the world is at present on Syria and the use (or not) of nerve gas against a population indiscriminately.   However there is a threat that is perhaps even more insidious emerging in Somalia.  Declared Polio free  by the World Health Organization in 2009, Somalia is experiencing an explosive outbreak of Polio with at least 105 cases this year, over half the cases that occurred in the world in 2012.  Polio is considered endemic in only 3 countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, but now the virus has returned to Somalia.

This is an enormous reverse for the Polio eradication programme, with the virus reestablishing itself in an area considered free of Polio.  Remember that for every symptomatic case of Polio there will have been 100 asymptomatic cases, implying widespread dissemination,of the virus.

The outbreak is largely occurring in the area controlled by the Islamist group Shabab

Medicine sans Frontières, which has worked in Somalia for 22 years, has withdrawn all it’s staff because of the extreme danger, sixteen staff members having been killed.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/14/medecins-sans-frontieres-pull-out-somalia