Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Pulling Force of Evolution

Posted by David

I broke the tip of my finger this week, which has limited my ability to type and has given me a new respect and compassion for those who are disabled in profound ways. My injury has also brought back the memory of a deer leg bone that I once found in a pinyon forest in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.

Little flesh remained on this deer leg, but the joints were still intact. It had all the normal number of bones, except the upper leg bone had an ‘extra joint’ which was a bit larger than a baseball. This was a mass of bone growth, hinging a bit, which had developed from a full fracture.

What was truly amazing was how both sides of the fracture had sent calcareous projections toward the other side, like two hands full of fingers grasping at each other. Since the deer had spent much time walking on the injury, the growth never made a full connection, so the mass of bone kept getting bigger and bigger.  How did it die? I can only guess that a mountain lion got it, since I couldn’t find the rest of the skeleton anywhere.

Bodies are truly given an amazing gift of healing, aren’t they?

This idea of growth mechanics being directional and having two sides is important. I think of evolution in particular (the mechanic of gravity also provides an example of another important misconception). In classic and neo-Darwinism, the driving force of evolution mechanics come from the bottom-up, i.e. random mutations and the ‘desire’ for survival in the individual. But not only does the mechanics, the force of evolution, come from a pressure from the bottom part of the equation, but it also comes from a pulling force from the top.  Evolution has both bottom-up and top-down force mechanics. Once side pushes, the other side pull. Traditional evolution seems to be only concerned with the bottom up pressure and disregards the pulling force from the top.

As the deer bone healed, there was growth from one end of the bone to the other. But there was also a pulling force that said in effect, “here I am, your mate, the other end of this bone onto which you must adhere.” The same is the case for the process and driving forces behind evolution.

There is a pulling force from the ‘top’ which says for the jaguar, for example, “Time to become a great forest cat.” Or in the case of a temperate montane forest, the pulling force says, “Time to become a forest of pointed, snow-shedding trees.” Then the genetics, creatures and communities of organisms below respond and evolve into those species characterized by those morphological traits. This is the greatly overlooked aspect of evolution. Evolution is a pulling force rather than a pushing force from below. There is a pushing force from below, but that’s not what drives species directionally into their particular morphology. The pushing force is simply what we call life.

Tragically, this component is overlooked in our high school textbooks. We overlook the Great Pulling Force in science, because that pulling force is the love of God. Modern science won’t accept that kind of force. On the other hand, oddly enough, it will accept ‘randomness’ as a force or ‘chaos’. This is because man does not wish to go toward that great pulling force. All other forms of life grow naturally toward that pulling force, but in the human’s ability to choose, a.k.a. our will, we responds by not growing into that great pulling force, but choose to grow into our own particular egocentric bubble. We grow inward rather than outward toward the pulling force. Jesus came to change our direction of growth.

I’m hoping for a speedy recovery in my finger, that those little filaments of bone are starting their journey across the great gap!

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

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The Wave Begins

Posted by David

I am still overjoyed about what’s happening in the Middle East and North Africa as difficult as it is for those involved. What is giving me joy is that a curtain of fear is falling which is allowing people to do things they once thought impossible.

In the commentaries on Egypt, some are saying that what is happening is a plan spearheaded by Muslim extremists. Others suggest that the CIA and Mossad is behind this democratic revolution in hopes to ‘guide’ democratization of the Middle East. I could really care less who is behind it. All I see is hundreds and thousands of people who aren’t oppressed by fear, saying “No” to brutal regimes and using generally peaceful means, at least so far.

It is okay to say “No” to a bully. It is okay to tell him the truth of who they are. In fact, it’s our responsibility to do so if we are in relationship with him or her, as painful as the outcome may be. We must do so in love and in the hope of transformation, but only after we check our own heart to make sure we aren’t actually the bully at hand. 

However, the primary tactic of the bully is to pull you to his side by getting you to use his methods. He wants a fight from you. Then he can say to you and himself, “See you’re really no different from me, are you? Ha, I win.” The bully eggs you until you either submit in fear or your fight him, which is a win-win for the bully.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the reason why when you fight the bully, no matter how hard you fight or how big your weapons, you always enter a perpetually unwinnable situation. You may think you have won, but that was only Round 1 or 2, etc. Or as was the case in WWII, we beat the Nazi bully, only to become something equally horrendous.

But when you are fearless of the bully, he has lost immediately, whether or not he crushes your mind, body or soul. There is only one other option: enslavement. If you fear him and submit to him, you are absorbed into him as his slave. If you fear him and fight him, then you become him through his means. You become slave to his methods, which is the same as being enslaved to him.

Now being fearless of the bully does not mean that you are required to not submit to him. This is one of the  most misunderstood principles: we can submit to someone and be free from his clutches. In fact, fearless submission is hated by the bully most of all. He despises it, because to him, fear is the power he lusts. The last thing he really wants to be near is you, because fearless submission is only possible through God’s love. Fearless submission is Jesus on the cross.

If he does not get that fear from you, he will move on to another victim or attempt to destroy you so you will not corrupt his next batch of prey. But because of Jesus and what he did at Calvary, I can’t be destroyed. This is the promise of the resurrection. So, fearless submission is the most powerful weapon we have. We must wield it for all the bullies that cross our path: family, friend and foe; government, principalities and authorities of all sorts. Not only is it transforming to us, but also potentially to the bully.

As simple as it sounds, yet when faced with a truly wretched, stunning, charming power which seeks to enslave us, as weak as we humans truly are, how can we be fearless under these conditions? There’s only one way: to know that there is One power higher and more awesome than all of the Universe; one truly to fear. Then all other powers and principalities become pathetic.

This is the wave that we see beginning in the Middle East. As food prices increase, as more people lose their jobs, and as the United States’ military might and WMD are seen to be the sham they truly are, this wave will ever increase across the globe. The giants will then topple one by one. Out of necessity they will consume each other, and one will be left whose destiny is the pit, but we must not fear even him while distancing ourselves from his charm.

Jesus will collect his sheep: the weak, the humble, the pathetic in the eyes of the bully and I pray that you and I both be listed as one of them. Let the wave begin!

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19-20

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Glenn Beck: The Influencer

Posted by Mike

I don’t like to use the term evil, because it’s more of an emotional classification than reflecting objective reality, but I’ll use it in reference to Glenn Beck and the false and socially disruptive vitriol that he sends out over the airwaves. I always avoid listening to and watching him as well as the other radical news commentators, but decided that I would attempt to sift through some of his TV and radio clips and do a critique. Prior to that decision I watched several minutes of his show on different days this past week. In just those few minutes he was significantly distorting in his usual prim schoolmasterly manner the consequences of the current spontaneous opposition to President Mubarek of Egypt. On the first clip Beck was predicting that if Mubarek of Egypt were successfully ousted there would be a domino effect of radical Islamic revolutions all across North Africa, throughout the Asian subcontinent and on to Indonesia. On the next day he was focusing only on the Middle East, again predicting disastrous outcomes throughout the entire region should the current uprising in Egypt be successful. Towards the end of the week he showed several film clips of Mohamed ElBaradei speaking to the media in Cairo regarding the uprising. Beck focused on ElBaradei’s use of the term “social justice,” insinuating that the term masked a hidden Islamic imperialist intention and thus implying that this man who is a Nobel prize winner had concealed, nefarious motives for his courageous actions last week in Cairo.

Glenn Beck talks to his listeners as if they are completely ignorant and dependent upon him, the expert, coming across as a not very good eighth grade civics teacher instructing his students. His use of insinuation is especially disturbing. In the example above, he does not come right out and say that Mohamed ElBaradei is a radical Islamist, but he strongly implies it, and his audience is clearly expected to “get” his implications. Socialists and communists are very bad guys in Beck’s eyes, and he is currently mixing them in with the Muslim Brotherhood “radical Islamists,” who Beck says have as a goal the establishment of an Islamic “Caliphate” throughout the world. On one of his broadcasts last week he actually tried to tie the “communist” Weatherman Underground movement of the 1960’s to the current upheavals in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

On January 31st, on his television broadcast, Beck said, “This is about world domination,” and predicted that in the future the Eastern hemisphere would consist of three powers: a Muslim Caliphate, China (which would have incorporated much of Southeast Asia, including Australia), and Russia (which would have taken over much of northeastern Europe). During his radio broadcast of February 3rd, Beck said “We’re talking about the end of the Western way of life, if we don’t pay attention.” He went on the elucidate three principal ideas that are guiding his current focus:  1. “Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both a common enemy of Israel and the Jew”; 2. Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are the common enemy of Capitalism and the Western way of life”; 3. Groups from the hard core socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both ostracized from power and the mainstream in most of the world.” All of these assertions are complete nonsense, assertions that would not be supported by any expert in international affairs.

I assume the notions Glenn Beck puts out on the radio and television airwaves are influencing a great many people in the United States. He distorts facts. He makes insinuations that are clearly not supported by facts, which should be questioned by anyone who has even a modest command of history and who follows the news in the print media. He supports divisiveness within the nation, based upon false information. He creates fear in his listeners, fear of the other person who might be different in physical make-up, language and speech, in dress, in customs, in religion. He is a fearmonger, who encourages a fearful, xenophobic, isolationist and embattled world view in his listeners, an affront to the American flag.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.              –    Abraham Lincoln


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In My Eyes

Posted by Linda

Many people spend a lot of time searching how to be good parents, spouses, neighbors, friends.  The underlying issue seems to me to be “How to Love.”  There must be a thousand books on the subject: extensive religious texts, philosophical treatises, and psychological dissertations have delved the meaning of love.  Almost all great fiction has explored in some way the enigma and complexity of love.

We also have the potato chips of love advice: self-help books.  Loving For Dummies hasn’t come out yet, but may.   Some such are really “helpful.”

Lots of the counsel on how to love requires study, complex acts, lots of time, and even money.  “Isn’t love worth it?”  “Of course it is.”  A lifetime learning to love deeply is well spent–I’d say perfectly spent.  But sometimes loving someone in ways that work feels as frustrating and beyond reach as touching a star with your fingertips.   Other times it happens in the blink of an eye.

I mean that literally.

Years ago I read from the writings of developmental psychologist Rene Piaget.  One of his ideas that impacted me was the importance of eye contact between parents and their babies.  (In my words) he said we drink in who we are through our parents’ eyes.  He was referring to infancy; but I think it is also true for children of any age and moreover for our mates and friends, for strangers, and even for our “enemies.”

When we make eye contact with someone, our eyes send a feeling and message.  That person reads the message and takes it in. It may be a dozen things: “She likes me,”  “He loves me,” “He is afraid of me, or “She is not interested in me.”  The translation becomes a message about who I am.  I am likable, lovable, powerful, worthless.   Very wounded people may block or misread the message.  Very aware people may recognize and evaluate the message.  Most eye contact language is below the radar and builds the concept of “who I am” subterraneanly.   Eye contact is power.  That makes it a responsibility.  That makes it a choice.  And that makes it an opportunity to love: a simple way, always at hand, time-friendly, free.

I like Piaget’s concept because it shows us we can impart love just  by being aware that our eyes will reflect who we think the other is. What if we don’t feel love for the other, but feel indifferent or repelled, or afraid. Regrettably, there are people so disturbed that they may read even eye contact as a challenge.  Healing takes time and patience and presence.  Such exceptions do not describe most encounters.

More at risk are our daily encounters with family and friends.  It becomes awfully easy not to look at each other often, except as almost “business” meetings.  In Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, the character Emily has died and is allowed to return to one day in her life to observe.  She chooses her 16th birthday and finds herself in the kitchen watching herself have breakfast as her mother bustles about doing chores and cautioning her to eat slowly.  Though no one can hear or see her, she cries out, “Oh, Mama, look at me one minute as though you really saw me.”

It’s probably the most quoted line in the play, because we all can relate to it.  We know Piaget is right.  The eyes have it.

How good it is to enjoy the riches of meeting and resting in each other’s eyes.  We can practice every day looking for the beauty in each other and reflecting it back as often as humanly possible. Laughing at a good joke together almost always involves happy glances into each other’s eyes. So does love.  And there, love quickens to beauty, and vulnerability, and tenderness.  Love could become our almost permanent message if we focus, just for a bit, on each other.

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Filed under Love, philosophy, Psychology, Uncategorized, values

Game Over

Posted by David
Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness, Karel Dujardin (1626–1678)

Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness, Karel Dujardin (1626–1678)

It’s about time for a rant from me. This blog entry is for all those Christians out there, of which I am one. If you happen to watch Fox News or any news for that matter. Turn off your TV and throw it away. It is probably one of the worst additions out there. Fox is news in sheep’s clothing for millions of American Christians out there.

What we are witnessing through the media of all sorts is a last-ditch attempt to hold on to an old world order, one where the elite of our world control the happenings of the world. But cracks seem to be forming in the ugly structure. They are the rich and the powerful, but they are losing the grip. And the last thing you want to do is to fall into the pit with them.

I continually find it amazing how Christians can support the Zionist state in Israel through the structural lies that come not only through the media, but also through circulating Christian literature. They argue that Israelis are our brothers and Muslims are not. We must support one and not the other. This is absurd logic. Our King is Jesus. He is our only King. Not Bush, not Obama, not Osama, you get the point. Noone but Jesus. Our brothers and sisters are our relations in Christ only. We follow him to death.

How does hating Muslims (or Zionists for that matter) help us fulfill what Jesus commanded us to do: Love our enemies?

There will always be until the final day be enmity between Israel and Arabs. This is an ancient rivalry between brothers that has occurred for thousands of years. It is the archetype of Cain and Able. It’s the story of Ishmael and Isaac. It’s the story of Esau and Jacob. This is not a Christian’s battle. The Christian’s battle is in his or her own heart. It is a struggle between Satan and your soul. Christ already won the battle for all of humanity. All we need to do is follow him as one of his flock and preach the news to everyone we meet and we journey toward the Kingdom of Heaven.

Zionism is a political structure. It has nothing to do with the Great I Am. When the Muslim yells, “God, Is Great.” He is talking about the same God to whom a religious Jew prays. The only difference for a Christian is that the Christian prays to God, whom we know as Jesus. The religious Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. The Muslim believes Jesus was the last of the great prophet and will return. Zionism prays to nothing except itself as a political state.

Zionism wants the land and the power. Zionism has the organizational structure and bombs of United States which have kept it alive. The only reason our country really cares about Israel is because of the nearby oil. We must have that oil for not only our people, but mostly to keep our military in business.

So, what we have in Tunisia and Egypt is only the beginning. The people of my generation in the Middle East aren’t that much different from me. They will be overtakeing over the structures of power. They are smart and capable. They use the media and the Internet. And they will do what they can to take back their land from the world elites, who lead the Zionists and our government.

With 70 years of economic structures unravelling and oil running out, the game is over for the elite of this world. We can only hope for a peaceful outcome.

The question is whose side are you on? Zionists, United States, Elitists, Peaceniks, Muslims, or on the side of Jesus? Take your pick. The first three are fascist. The second two are misguided, and Jesus is the only true King this world has ever known.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Li7As2R84k&feature=player_embedded

A Statement from the protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir square to the Egyptian people

The President’s promises and the bloody events of Wednesday February 2

We the protesters who are currently on sit-in at Tahrir (liberation) square in Cairo since January 25, 2011 strongly condemn the brutal attack carried out by the governing National Democratic Party’s (NDP) mercenaries at our location on Wednesday February 2, under the guise of “rally” in support of President Mubarak. This attack continues on Thursday February 3. We regret that some young people have joined these thugs and criminals, whom the NDP is accustomed to hire during elections, to march them off after spreading several falsehoods circulated by the regime media about us and our goals. These goals that aim at changing the political system to a one that guarantees freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens are also the goals of the youth. Therefore we want to clarify the following.

Firstly, we are a group of young Muslim and Christian Egyptians; the overwhelming majority of us does not belong to political parties and have no previous political activism. Our movement involves elderly and children, peasants, workers, professionals, students and pensioners. Our movement cannot be classified as “paid for” or “directed by” a limited few because it attracted millions who responded to its emblem of removing the regime. People joined us last Tuesday in Cairo and other governorates in a scene that witnessed no one case of violence, property assault or harassment to anyone.

Secondly, our movement is accused of being funded from abroad, supported by the United States, as being instigated by Hamas, as under the leadership of the president of the National Assembly for change (Mohamed El-Baradie) and last but not least, as directed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many accusations like these prove to be false. Protesters are all Egyptians who have clear and specific national objectives. Protesters have no weapons or foreign equipment as claimed by instigators. The broad positive response by the people to our movement’s goals reveals that these are the goals of the Egyptian masses in general, not any internal or external faction or entity.

Thirdly, the regime and its paid media falsely blame us, young demonstrators, for the tension and instability in the streets of Egypt in recent days and therefore for damaging our nation’s interests and security. Our answer to them is: It is not the peaceful protesters who released the criminal offenders from prison to the unguarded streets to practice looting and plundering. It is not the peaceful protesters who have imposed a curfew starting at 3 o’clock PM. It is not the peaceful protesters who have stopped the work in banks, bakeries and gas stations. When protesters organized its one-million demonstration it came up in the most magnificent and organized form and ended peacefully. It is not the protestors who killed 300 people some with live ammunition, and wounding more than 2,000 people in the last few days.

Fourthly, President Mubarak came out on Tuesday to announce that he will not be nominated in the upcoming presidential election and that he will modify two articles in the Constitution, and engage in dialogue with the opposition. However the State media has attacked us when we refused his “concession” and decided to go on with our movement. Our demand that Mubark steps down immediately is not a personal matter, but we have clear reasons for it which include:

* His promise of not to run again is not new. He has promised when he came to power in 1981 that he will not run for more than two periods but he continued for more than 30 years.
* His speech did not put any collateral for not nominating his son “Gamal”, who remains until the moment a member of the ruling party, and can stand for election that will not be under judicial supervision since he ignored any referring to the amendment of article 88 of the Constitution.
* He also considered our movement a “plot directed by a force” that works against the interests of the nation as if responding to the demands of the public is a “shame” or “humiliation”.
* As regards to his promise of conducting a dialogue with the opposition, we know how many times over the past years the regime claimed this and ended up with enforcing the narrow interests of the Mubarak State and the few people who control it.

And the events of Wednesday proved our stand is vindicated. While the President was giving his promises, the leaders of his regime were organizing (along with paid thugs and wanted criminals equipped with swords, knives and Molotov bombs) a brutal attack plot against us in Tahrir square. Those thugs and criminals were accompanied by the NDP members who fired machine guns on unarmed protesters who were trapped on the square ground, killing at least 7 and wounding hundreds of us critically. This was done in order to end our peaceful national popular movement and preserve the status quo.

Our movement is Egyptian – Our movement is legitimate- Our movement is continuing

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