" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

December 11, 2017

Sam Harris and 'Is Life Actually Worth Living?'

The name Sam Harris has been hitting me from every angle in the past week to the point that I thought I had better look into just who Sam Harris is and what his current views on life are, so I added his podcasts to my iPad list of shows to listen to and the current one was -
Is Life Actually Worth Living?
"In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Benatar about his philosophy of “anti-natalism.”
They discuss the asymmetry between the good and bad things in life, the ethics of existential risk, the moral landscape, the limits and paradoxes of introspection, the “experience machine” thought experiment, population ethics, and other topics.
David Benatar is Professor of Philosophy at University of Cape Town, South Africa.
He is the author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence and The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions."
I found this latest podcast quite fascinating and there are great arguments all round depending on what you think life and eternity actually is, or means to you.
My own viewpoint on life from my personal experience in living this current life is pretty close to the Buddhist/Taoist philosophy.
I've had experiences in life (one in particular) which convinces me that we are not our bodies and will survive death.   
When we talk about mind-boggling concepts like eternity we have to realize that from where we are NOW we are more or less at the half-way point, because if you look at eternity going on forever, then when you look back before you were born it took forever for you to come to this point NOW.
Since forever must go back as far as it goes forward, right?
Infinity Dragon by kuronekogrrl
Ironically Sam's podcast is #107 (1+7=8).
The scenario of bringing children into the world as David Benatar talks about in the podcast was something I really thought a lot about before having my own children and this was after a failed suicide attempt when I was around 20 years old (so I know how dark and shitty the world can be for someone going through life and I know it can get much darker and shittier than it was for me)
and then got my life together on more of an even keel. 
The more I thought about whether I should bring children into this potential hellish world the more a quote I heard from Wayne Dyer (above) loop through my head.
He was right I knew on a gut level.
Those souls would come into the world some other way to learn what life had to teach them and to think that I could prevent whatever suffering that would entail was pretty naive on my part, because I can't see "the big picture" from "down here".
Oddly enough, I would later win a double pass at astronomical odds (there was only one pass to win) from a the local newspaper to see Wayne Dyer speak live in Brisbane along with other speakers Deepak Chopra, Louise L Hay and Doreen Virtue.
All of those speakers except Wayne Dyer (because he was dead) made the 2016 'Mind Body Spirit' top 100 list which I wrote about in this post linked below -
Do You Ever Wonder What Eckhart Tolle is Doing Now?
Sam Harris was #25 on that list, too.
But I do agree with David Benatar that when it comes to some of life's more dyer (pardon the pun:-) situations I for one would like to think that I have the option to opt out -
Life: "...It Requires Heart to Jump into the Game and Play"?
Hopefully life will never force me or anyone else to play that card, but I like to think I have it up my sleeve if I should ever end up in a irreversible brain dead coma.
Not just for my sake, but for the sake of my family. 
I guess we all have some choice in this gamble we call life and we have to play our cards as we see fit.
I'll be writing more about those Sam Harris angles that have been hitting me in various ways this week in future posts...hopefully;-)
Sam claims that he is an atheist, so I guess if we had to label ourselves I would have to call myself an agnostic -
"Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, of the divine or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable."
Because I know there is something there beyond ordinary life, but I know not what, so I would have to say that I'm agnostic, rather than religious, because there is no religion on this planet that I can really agree with 100%, or anywhere close to 100% and I don't like the word atheist, because that word is usually used by people who think that once you die that's it.
And I certainly don't believe that once you die that's it.
I do like a lot of what Sam Harris says and writes about though.

December 10, 2017

SIA: Sorry In Advance?

I saw this news article above where some journalist was slamming Sia for putting the spotlight on 15 year old dancer Maddie Ziegler, while Sia herself hides in the shadows.
Sia is an Australian-born singer/songwriter whose 2014 hit 'Chandelier' topped the charts.
Sia is also known for the artist who no longer shows their face during talk shows, interviews, performances etc.
I just wonder if this journalist has just seen the movie
'Good-bye Christopher Robin' and young Maddie came to mind?
That movie shows what fame can do to a young child at the unintentional(?) urging of adults to place them in the limelight before they know what has hit them.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is a 2017 British historical drama film about the lives of Winnie-the-Pooh creator A. A. Milne and his family, especially his son Christopher Robin.
There are a few films out at the moment about famous authors and their battles to be famous and create art and one about Charles Dickens even features a chandelier that crashes to the ground when a crow flies up onto it, oddly enough.
Sia is a suffix used mostly by Singaporeans and Malaysians at the end of sentences or exclamations to add emphasis or gravity, according to Urban Dictionary.
Mostly used to highlight something and proclaim shock, respect or to garner agreement.
Informal, and used mostly by gangsters, youngsters or the less educated.
"7-Eleven is selling Tiger Beer at 50% discount exclusively for the World Cup season! Faster go buy, so cheap sia!"
"Did you see Jack's new girlfriend? Damn hot sia!"
"Check out his track record! That's not even humanely possible sia!"

Singapore International Airlines.
The premium airline in Asia.
"Hey! Im flying to Canada on SIA!"

"A synonym for "cya" mostly used by Sia's fans. It was made popular because of how close the pronunciation of both terms sound."
I think that news story is just humbug, but when it comes to being in the spotlight and fame I say, "Sia, I wouldn't want to be ya";-)
Childhood fame looks pretty scary to me, though.

December 9, 2017

Answers from Heaven?

Answers From Heaven – Paranormal Podcast 512
I just listened to half of the above podcast (I wasn't interested in UFOs and The Bible) and found it interesting.
I had never heard of the author Theresa Cheung and the medium Claire Broad before listening to the podcast and have no idea how effective Claire Broad is as a medium, but I did resonate with a lot of what Claire said in the podcast and in the You Tube above, which looks like it was filmed in 
Watkins Bookstore in London, which I wrote about in this post -
Do You Ever Wonder What Eckhart Tolle is Doing Now?
Actually the video above confirms my hunch about the talk being in Watkins Bookstore, the publishers of
'Mind Body Spirit' magazine.
A Red Capped Robin on my bird calendar 
The thing was that I had no intention of writing a post about this podcast until I heard Jim talk about being near the claw machine (about the 21st minute of the podcast) and hearing a lady yelling out the name John, which was the name of Jim's late uncle who he was thinking about at the time.
He asked the ladies if this was a sign and I think it was Claire who said yes, it's like seeing robins.
The thing about robins and the name John is that I have a bird calendar hanging to the right-hand side of my computer and I only bought it because there was a rainbow lorikeet on the front and that was the bird for October, the month my ex-father-in-law John passed away (October 30th to be exact) and that was his favourite bird and boy did we get some weird
rainbow lorikeet synchronicities the day he passed away.
Is 2017 Gonna be a Year for the Birds?
The bird for December on my calendar is a robin and I was wondering yesterday when I was going to have a mind-blowing robin synch.
Well it was this morning on the 9th of December while listening to this podcast and hearing the word John.
My blog is named after John Lennon's song 'Watching the Wheels Go Round' and it was the anniversary of John Lennon's death yesterday also.
I wasn't going to replace the calendar at my desk next year, because I want to be able to see my dream-catcher which hangs behind it, to remind me to work on my dreams.
Today is the 9th of December, 2017 and John Lennon also wrote the song '#9 Dream' about hearing his name John called out in the street and wondering if it was a dream.
I have written about the bird calendar in other posts like this one in the link below -
Schrödinger's Parrot and the "Nature" of "Reality"?
So I'll have to agree with Claire when she says that there aren't really any accidents and that everything is connected in the ways we need it to be for the life we were meant to live life and learn from it.
'#9 Dream' was off the 'Walls and Bridges' album and my last post was about Bridges, too;-)
Burning Bridges in the Year of the Fire Rooster?

UPDATE: 10th December, 2017
I saw the above news story at the BBC website this morning about a French rocker I had never heard of before named Johnny Hallyday and the headline read 'You had to be there for Johnny'.
Plus I also saw the movie 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' at the cinema yesterday.
That robin synch nearly flew over my head until I was re-reading this post again this morning:-)
It was a good movie, too.

Burning Bridges in the Year of the Fire Rooster?

On Friday the 1st of December I went and saw the movie
'Only the Brave' at the cinema.
It starred Jeff Bridges as Duane Steinbrink and Josh Brolin as Eric Marsh.
The last movie Bridges and Brolin starred together was in
'True Grit', where Bridges played Rooster Cogburn.
Jeff Bridges also played another character named Duane near the start of Jeff's movie career in a movie called 'The Last Picture Show'.
Jeff Bridges as Duane Jackson
"The Yarnell Hill Fire was a wildfire near YarnellArizona,
ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013.
On June 30, it overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
It was the third deadliest U.S. wildfire since the
1991 East Bay Hills fire, which killed 25 people; and the 2017 Northern California wildfires, which killed over 40, the deadliest wildland fire for U.S. firefighters since the
1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29; and the deadliest incident of any kind for U.S. firefighters since the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed 343.
It is the sixth-deadliest American firefighter disaster overall and the deadliest wildfire ever in Arizona."
The release date for 'Only the Brave' in the USA was 20 October 2017 and until that month The Yarnell Hill Fire was the second deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire, which killed 25 people, until the 2017 Northern California wildfires killed 44 people.
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in
Los Angeles, California, USA and on December 4th the current fires burning now in California started.
The apparition from the movie 'Only the Brave'. Smokey the bear
The Yarnell Hill Fire was ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013
The release date for
'Only the Brave' in Australia was November 30th, 2017.
The movie starts off pretty much with AC/DC's
'It's a Long Way to the Top', which was written by Malcolm Young (as Malcolm Mitchell Young), Angus Young (as Angus McKinnon Young) and Bon Scott (as Ronald Belford Scott) and performed by AC/DC.
Malcolm Young would pass away before the film was released in Australian cinemas, so it wasn't lost on me when seeing the movie on December 1st that here was not only a film dedicated to the lives of the brave firefighters who lost their lives in 2013, but in a strange twist of fate paid homage to Malcolm who would loose his battle with Alzheimer's disease in 2017.
"Malcolm Young died on 18 November 2017 at the age of 64, at Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay.
His funeral was held at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney on 28 November.
Young's elder brother George Young died a few weeks before him, on 22 October 2017.
But what really got to me on a personal note about the film's soundtrack was Steve Earle's 'Copperhead Road' being on it.
While AC/DC's 'It's a Long Way to the Top' is like an alternative national anthem in Australia and most Aussies like the song and the band, including me, I have never actually owned any AC/DC music or seen them play live, but I have seen Steve Earle play
'Copperhead Road'  live three times in my life now.
And on the subject of "ghost riders in the sky" as Jeff Bridges sings about in 'Only the Brave'I listened to a podcast featuring the AC/DC song ''It's a Long Way to the Top' during the week which was hosted by Richard Fidler who is also the author of a brilliant book titled 'Ghost Empire'.
I even met Steve Earle and talked to him in 2016 when he was signing a CD of his for me -
Steve Earle signing CDs at Bluesfest 2016
'Only the Brave' is a great tribute film to more than just the firefighters who lost their lives in the fire it turns out and makes you grateful for the people who put their lives on the line to save others in the line of nature's fury.
And if old rockers never die, then who really does?