Crossroads – The proof of the pudding is…?

night_crossroads_RVLBy
Tim

Christianity, generally speaking, has approximately 2.04 billion followers, Islam, in general, 1.226 billion followers, Catholicism has around 1.142 billion followers and Hinduism, generally, is accepted to have some 828 million followers. There are some thousands, or maybe even tens of thousands, across the world who believe, just as deeply as any of the orthodox religions, that they are modern human living vampyres.

There are a huge number of skeptics who focus on these faiths and beliefs with a conviction no less strong and do you know what ALL of these folks have in common?

They can’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, empirically, that what they believe is true.
A skeptic, according to dictionary.com, is defined thus;
noun
1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
3. a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.
4. (initial capital letter) Philosophy.
– a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.
– any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.

Img. source: the salesblog.com

Img. source: the salesblog.com

Recently, in a discussion at the RVL Social Group, the attention became focused on the exchanges between members of human living vampyre society and, as it turned out, a confirmed skeptic who, by their own admission, consumed blood during sexual encounters to heighten the sensation or pleasure of the experience – the term used to self-describe was a, “casual sang”.

During the course of the discussion our friendly neighbourhood “skeptic” repeatedly challenged the beliefs and convictions of those of the vampyre sub-culture and when posed a number of questions in reply insisted on claiming that the logic employed, by the vampyre contingent, was not sane, and was irrational, merely the product of an attempt to justify the belief of the vampyric state. The sarcastic comments, the veiled (sometimes) insults and the disrespect shown toward the vampyre members of the group escalated to the point where we were forced to eject the “skeptic”.

The $64,000 question still lingers however, in a sub-culture that values equal respect and acceptance between its denizens, why would anyone come before another and say, “You are wrong in your belief” and when asked to prove it simply respond with the intimation of, “you prove you are”.

NEWS FLASH… THERE IS NO LAW THAT SAYS ANYBODY HAS TO PROVE WHAT THEY ARE TO THE SATISFACTION OF ANOTHER unless it is part of a legal proceeding. Demanding proof when it is well known, and freely admitted, that there is none is foolish, and an exercise in futility.

Img. source: evidenceexplained.com

Img. source: evidenceexplained.com

Proof Positive

At this time there is NO proof that human living vampyres exist in the manner in which they claim. The very best that can be offered is anecdotal accounts based on personal history and experiences.

The modern, human living vampyre is well aware of who and what they are and they do not need to prove it to anyone. It is not necessary because, in this writer’s opinion and the opinion of many of his counterparts, they have no need to. It is no business of anybody else, just as the “skeptic” whom we talked of has no need to justify themselves to anyone for their belief and conviction.

The problem with certain “skeptics” is that they carry the skepticism just a little too far and that is when they can become what American journalist and author Michael Specter calls “denialists”. As Specter observes, “Denialists replace the open-minded skepticism of science with the inflexible certainty of ideological commitment.

A “denialist” is most usually described as a person who refuses to accept reality, verifiable facts or empirical evidence in support of a hypothesis. I would argue it can also be extended to encompass those things which science can’t, or chooses not to, see. It is vitally, and equally as, important that a “skeptic” has the proper grounding in the subject they are criticizing, has a pre-requisite amount of knowledge in that field, or, has some “scientific evidence” to support their claim that something can’t possibly be, in point of fact the very same things they demand of others.

WARNINGSkepticism can blind you to the truth

NEWSFLASH – TUNNEL VIEWING AND BLINKERED SKEPTICS, WE ARE NOT HERE FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT.

Img. source: worddreams.wordpress.com

Img. source: worddreams.wordpress.com

Exerts from the “Science” Track Record

The Flat Earth model is an archaic belief that the Earth’s shape is a plane or disk. Many ancient cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD) and China until the 17th century. It was also typically held in the aboriginal cultures of the Americas, and a flat Earth domed by the firmament in the shape of an inverted bowl is common in pre-scientific societies.” [1]

In astronomy, the Geocentric Model (also known as geocentrism, or the Ptolemaic system) is a description of the cosmos where Earth is at the orbital center of all celestial bodies. This model served as the predominant cosmological system in many ancient civilizations such as ancient Greece including the noteworthy systems of Aristotle (see Aristotelian physics) and Ptolemy. As such, they assumed that the Sun, Moon, stars, and naked eye planets circled Earth.” [2]

Vulcan was a planet that nineteenth century scientists believed to exist somewhere between Mercury and the Sun. The mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier first proposed its existence after he and many other scientists were unable to explain certain peculiarities about Mercury’s orbit. Scientists like Le Verrier argued that this had to be caused by some object, like a small planet or moon, acting as a gravitational force. La Verrier called his hypothetical planet Vulcan, after the Roman god of fire. Soon, amateur astronomers around Europe, eager to be a part of a scientific discovery, contacted Le Verrier and claimed to have witnessed the mysterious planet making its transit around the Sun.” [3]

Our modern understanding of the interior and behaviors of the Earth is strongly based around plate tectonics and the concept of subduction. But before this idea was widely accepted in the late 20th century, a good number of scientists subscribed to the much more fantastical theory that the Earth was forever increasing in volume. The expanding Earth hypothesis stated that phenomena like underwater mountain ranges and continental drift could be explained by the fact that the planet was gradually growing larger. As the globe’s size grew, proponents argued, the distances between continents would increase, as would the Earth’s crust, which would have explained the creation of new mountains. The theory has a long and storied past, beginning with Darwin, who briefly tinkered with it before casting it aside, and Nikola Tesla, who compared the process to that of the expansion of a dying star.” [3]

The Martian canals were a network of gullies and ravines that 19th century scientist mistakenly believed to exist on the red planet. The canals were first “discovered” in 1877 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. After other stargazers corroborated his claim, the canals became something of a phenomenon. Scientists drew detailed maps tracing their paths, and soon wild speculation began on their possible origins and use. Perhaps the most absurd theory came from Percival Lowell, a mathematician and astronomer who jumped to the bizarre conclusion that the canals were a sophisticated irrigation system developed by an unknown intelligent species.” [3]

One of the oldest and most controversial theories in psychology and philosophy is the theory of the blank slate, or tabula rasa, which argues that people are born with no built-in personality traits or proclivities. Proponents of the theory, which began with the work of Aristotle and was expressed by everyone from St. Thomas Aquinas to the empiricist philosopher John Locke, insisted that all mental content was the result of experience and education. For these thinkers, nothing was instinct or the result of nature. The idea found its most famous expression in psychology in the ideas of Sigmund Freud, whose theories of the unconscious stressed that the elemental aspects of an individual’s personality were constructed by their earliest childhood experiences.” [3]
Prior to scientists embracing the notion that the universe was created as the result of the Big Bang, it was commonly believed that the size of the universe was an unchanging constant—it had always been the size it was, and always would be. The idea stated that that the total volume of the universe was effectively fixed, and that the whole construct operated as a closed system. The theory found its biggest adherent in Albert Einstein—the Static Universe is often known as “Einstein’s Universe”—who argued in favor of it and even calculated it into his theory of general relativity.” [3]

The pursuit of nuclear energy for electricity generation began soon after the discovery in the early 20th century that radioactive elements, such as radium, released immense amounts of energy, according to the principle of mass–energy equivalence. However, means of harnessing such energy was impractical, because intensely radioactive elements were, by their very nature, short-lived (high energy release is correlated with short half-lives). However, the dream of harnessing “atomic energy” was quite strong, even though it was dismissed by such fathers of nuclear physics like Ernest Rutherford as “moonshine.” [4] This situation, however, changed in the late 1930s, with the discovery of nuclear fission.” [5]
~ In August 1945 the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombings, killing at least 129,000 people, have been the only two uses of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.
~ “There is not the slightest indication that energy will ever be obtainable from the atom,” – Albert Einstein

Hubble Space Telescope: Nasa scientists launched the Hubble telescope to create a lens 10 to 20 times more powerful than those based on earth. A gross design error in the main mirror was discovered immediately after launch in April 1990. Hundreds of millions of pounds were needed for the astronaut repair of the mirror.” [6]

Piltdown man: In 1913 an ape’s jaw with a canine tooth worn down like a human’s was uncovered at a site near Piltdown. British paleoanthropologists came to accept the idea that the fossil remains belonged to a single creature who had a human cranium and an ape’s jaw – offering the missing link between apes and humans in the evolutionary chain.” [6]

Alchemy: – Sir Isaac Newton – the scientist who single-handedly created the foundations of modern day physics had a little known obsession with alchemy, and was convinced for much of his life that he would be able to change base metals into gold.” [6]

skeptic_face

Blind faith required…?

To deify “reason”, “rationalism” and “science” is fraught with danger since, as can be clearly seen from above, science can be wrong. Basing a belief, any belief, on something that is inconstant and is as susceptible to mistakes as anything else is easily equal to basing a belief on something that has not yet been witnessed, observed or measured. Ask a modern vampyre to “prove” they are what they say they are, or ask a devout Christian to “prove” the existence of God, you’ll get the same answer – “I know the truth of the matter, I don’t need to prove anything.

As the character of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) observed in the movie ‘Prometheus’ when asked how she KNEW of the existence of the “Engineers” ~ “I don’t but it’s what I choose to believe.

Christians have the right to believe in God, Skeptics have the right to believe in skepticism, Chicago Bears fans have the right to believe their team can win the Superbowl next year and modern human living vampyres have the right to believe what they know to be true about themselves and for a “denialist” to aggressively confront anyone about their belief is, at best, disrespectful, at worst, bullying.

In the future one or the other of us will end up with egg on our faces, that goes without saying and if one of the “Team Skeptic” crew come to me and say I want you to take this controlled test that will prove, absolutely beyond any reasonable doubt, whether there is any physiological benefit in what you do or not, then I will be among the first to step up and take the test. Until that day comes I believe that the “skeptic” and the “vampyre” should keep well apart and the skeptics will just have to accept the one, undeniable, irrefutable fact that the “proof” that the skeptics keep clamouring for simply does not exist – yet, so demanding them is a futile (and annoying) exercise.

Copyright: RVL & TB 2015

1. Lucien Levy-Bruhl, Primitive Mentality (repr. Boston: Beacon, 1966) 353;
H. B. Alexander, The Mythology of All Races 10: North American (repr. New York: Cooper Square, 1964) 249.

2. Lawson, Russell M. (2004). Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 29–30. ISBN 1851095349.
3. TopTenz http://www.toptenz.net/

4. “Moonshine”. Atomicarchive.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22.

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

6. http://www.theguardian.com

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced, or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life and our guest/s.
For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

RVL meets reality – Mindfulness, Crisis prevention and tossing away old baggage Part 1.

DISCLAIMER – PLEASE READ

Ladies and gentlemen, readers, I write this as a presentation to make suggestions for people who need to get a little self-wellness into their sphere. I need to make it absolutely clear that I am NOT a medical professional, I am NOT a Psychiatric professional or a Crisis Counselor.

I AM a survivor and this material is material I have found that works for me. Doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you but then again, it just might.

The information I contain in here is NOT something I just made up on the spur of the moment, it is carefully sourced from relevant and reliable sources and it is material employed in health care centres in post hospital programs, HOWEVER, it is NOT meant, nor intended, to replace or discount proper care and attention from qualified medical/psychological/psychiatric professionals. If you are in trouble PLEASE SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY, DON”T WAIT. Contact your nearest Crisis Line, Doctor or Healthcare Centre. DON’T TRY AND GO IT ALONE…

That being said, I offer the following for your consideration.

Mindfulness, Crisis prevention and tossing away old baggage

Written and Presented by
Tim

Introduction

People around us, everyday, in many ways, love to push buttons. Some people push buttons for a job, like operating a lathe or a drill, others push buttons to move money and information around but the buttons we need to be most aware of are our buttons. The ones that people push just because they can, just because they take a perverse pleasure in seeing/ experiencing a reaction.

Those people feed off us, they get amusement from seeing the negative reactions that their antics cause and each time we rise to the bait, so to speak, each time we react in a negative way you can bet your ass that somewhere, some individual is laughing their ass off. So, why do we give them the satisfaction?

We give them this power when we are weary, weakened by some physical event; such as illness or trouble in our lives. Why shouldn’t we give this away? Because then we become responsible for feeding leeches, we become responsible for the wellbeing and happiness of others, well, for parasites anyway.

So, what do we do to stop feeding the leeches and parasites? We train ourselves NOT to react. They might be in the same sandpit as us but if you exercise your mastery and take away their bucket and spade, well, they’re screwed and then we can sit back and laugh at them as they flail about in a vain attempt to satisfy their silly craving for negativity.

In a recent post I addressed the concept, briefly, of Mushin;

Mushin (無心; Japanese mushin; English translation “no mind”) is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat.[1] They also practice this mental state during everyday activities. The term is shortened from mushin no shin (無心の心), a Zen expression meaning the mind without mind and is also referred to as the state of “no-mindness”. That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything.

Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction or what is felt intuitively. It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intention, plan or direction.

Some masters believe that mushin is the state where a person finally understands the uselessness of techniques and becomes truly free to move. In fact, that person will no longer even consider themselves as “fighters” but merely living beings moving through space.
Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushin

Img. source - themonastryofnothingness.blogspot.com

Img. source – themonastryofnothingness.blogspot.com

 

Along with this concept are the seemingly less esoteric tenets of Mindfulness, Stress reduction, Cognitive thinking and Emotion regulation.

Each tool that we gain the use of in these arenas will invariably help us to achieve a more balanced perspective in our lives, and greater resistance to both leeches and parasites, both on and off line.

Part 1

Mindfulness, at its core, is itself derived from ancient Eastern practices and is a very simple and stand-alone concept.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” [2]
Mindfulness is not competitive with any belief set or religion, it simply a particular way of looking at things and the tools are just as simple, however, because Mindfulness is fundamentally so much different to the way our minds are generally taught, and experienced, to behave in this day and age it does take some practice to master it.

In essence it is a method of learned control of our focus of attention.

A great deal of the time we operate, cognitively, on ‘auto-pilot’, brushing our teeth, driving a car, data entry at work. We are not fully focused on what we are doing and because of that we can make mistakes, sometimes with grave consequences. Becoming more aware of our thoughts and feelings in a particular moment gives us greater focus and thus we are capable of achieving more than if we were ‘on autopilot’.

So, what’s a good way to find this ‘mindfulness thing’? In short there are many ways but probably the one that is most familiar to the majority is to do with controlled breathing. One good method is a breathing meditation developed by Kabat-Zinn in 1991. The exercise itself takes about fifteen minutes and is recommended, by the author, to be done once a day.

Process:
Assume a comfortable posture, whether it be sitting or lying down. If you are sitting let the shoulders drop but keep the spine straight. (Closing your eyes is optional)
Focus your attention on your belly, feel it rise, or expand, gently on the in-breath and fall on the out-breath. Keep your focus on the breathing, feeling the rise and fall, being ‘with’ on each full duration in breath and each full duration out breath. A variant on this method is to breathe in for the count of four and out on the count of four, then in for the count of six and out for the count of six, then for the count of eight and so forth. The expelled breath carries away the things that pollute your thinking. Imagine this during the process and gradually slow your breathing until each one is steady, deep and even.

If your mind wanders away from focus on the breathing, bring it right on back. I use this as both an aid to sleep and as a relaxation technique when embroiled in something taxing or demanding. Heck, you can even do it standing in a bus shelter… waiting for that late bus.

meditation4

You can use Mindfulness to cope with negative emotions/experiences in the moment.

Practicing the mindfulness on a daily basis, as with anything else, makes you good at it. So good that you can call it up at a moment’s notice, in any given situation.

 

Img. source - adamseo25.wordpress.com

Img. source – adamseo25.wordpress.com

Let’s take a classic example and one we can, i think, all relate to. Someone pushes in line in front of you at a supermarket or somewhere like that, what’s the best course of action? Get angry? What do you do then? Speak sharply to them? Mutter about how some people shouldn’t be allowed out in public alone under your breath? Reach up and bitch-slap them back behind you (hence winding up with an assault arrest)…? What to do, what to do?

Me, I breathe… in for the count of four, out for the count of four, in for the count of six, out for the count of six… and so forth. I remind myself that life is too short to get all riled up by them, I feel sorry that they feel they need to be rude and aggressive. Learn to become an Observer rather than a pawn of the game.

If you read a message posted in an online forum that really irritates or annoys you, same thing applies. Breathe. Get relaxed then look at the words with fresh eyes. Is the person really attacking you or are they just trying to get a rise out of somebody to satisfy some weird craving they have for pushing buttons? Do the words materially alter your existence by being there? Do the words make sense even? (That’s a big thing online)

In the words of Kabat-Zinn;
“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.”

Mindfulness is about being “in the moment”, here and now, present and accounted for and learning to view events and circumstances as fleeting situations. If you can look at things without old feelings, baggage, angers, hates, fears and what not then you really will find that such “events” do not control you, rather YOU CONTROL them. In this way you can take ownership of your thoughts and feelings and you can keep anyone from having access to your “buttons”.

Mindfulness and Mushin, they come from the same places, the same train of thinking and they can be powerful allies to you in times of stress. They can help you overcome worries and cares, they can help you with inner balance and harmony and they can help you keep the assholes from running your life, true story… I achieved it and I’m no Rhodes Scholar.

To be Continued…

Copyright Tim & RVL 2015

1) A Dictionary of the Martial Arts. Louis Frederic (author), Paul H Crompton (editor). 2006. Dover Publications Inc.. ISBN 978-0486444024
2) Vivyan, Carol; 2009 www.getselfhelp.co.uk/

Other references:
Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. Linehan, Marsha. 1993, The Guilford Press.

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced, or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life.

For further details and TOU, please see our Website Disclaimer