Miscellany 2

 

© 2004 Joseph George Caldwell.  All rights reserved.  Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org .  May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution.  (23 May 2004)

 

Some observations on the past week’s reading.

 

Contents

 

Preserving Biodiversity: The Only Game in Town. 1

The Real Cause of 9/11. 2

Witchcraft in Africa: Gaining Recognition. 3

Democracy vs. Self-Determination. 4

Winning the War in Iraq – Making Progress! 5

Fighting the Last War: Why the War on Terrorism Is Irrelevant 5

The Game of Life on Earth: Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls. 6

Take a Stand – Be Judgmental! 8

Retirement: The Choice of Culture vs. Materialism.. 9

Some Comments on Neale Donald Walsch’s Tomorrow’s God. 9

Oxymorons That Just Won’t Go Away: Sustainable Growth, Sustainable Development 13

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) 14

Professor Albert A. Bartlett 15

 

 

Preserving Biodiversity: The Only Game in Town

 

(20 May 2004) It is a shocking commentary on the human species – supposedly intelligent – that it is in the process of destroying the very biosphere on which is it totally dependent for its existence.  Fermenting yeast in a vat of beer do a similar thing – reproduce to the limit, until they suffocate in their own waste.  Humankind is in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass species extinction.  Large human numbers and industrial activity are the direct cause of the extinction of 30,000 – 150,000 species every year, out of the total of just a few million on the planet.  The normal rate of extinction, prior to the modern era, was a few species per century.

 

Incredibly, not a single world leader is calling for a reduction in industrial activity.  All national leaders and world organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations, are calling for even more industrial activity.  The US was willing to go to war in Iraq over oil, which will all be gone (planet-wide) by 2050, but it did not even consider going to war against Brazil, which causes the destruction of about 10,000 square miles of Amazon rain forest, and the extinction of thousands of species, every year.

 

It is amazing to listen to the candidates in the US presidential race, and to hear what they are discussing, while the biosphere dies.  None of the issues that they are discussing will matter a whit if the biosphere is destroyed, or if the human species becomes extinct.  After each statement that a candidate makes, ask yourself, “Yes, but how does that affect the species extinction?”  Or, “Yes, but how does that affect global warming.”  Or, “Yes, but will this matter after six billion people die when global oil reserves exhaust?”  You will soon find out that what they are discussing is, in the face of our imminent demise, totally irrelevant.

 

Saving the planet is the only thing that matters.  If the biosphere is destroyed, all of the issues about unemployment, poverty, race or sex discrimination, abortion and terrorism will be irrelevant.  Preserving biodiversity is the only game in town.

 

The Real Cause of 9/11

 

(20 May 2004) Hearings are in progress this week in New York City on the performance of the City in response to the attack of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center towers.  These hearings are really dumb!  The participants are arguing about insignificant items such as whether the Fire Department and Police Department communicated effectively, and whether a few hundred lives might have been saved had their coordination been better.

 

The hearings remind me a little bit of the HIV/AIDS epidemic here in Zambia, where I am presently working.  According to the official records (death certificates), no one in this country has ever died of HIV or AIDS.  They die from malaria, they die from tuberculosis, and they die from pneumonia, but never from HIV or AIDS.  The focus of attention is the ultimate cause of death.  If you ask the relative of a person dying of AIDS what is wrong, they will tell you that the person has TB or something else, and is being treated for it.  When the person dies, you will be told that they died of TB or whatever – never from HIV.  Similarly, in New York, all of the focus of attention is on what transpired on September 11, or in the weeks or months before September 11.  There is never any discussion of what really caused 9/11.  The focus is solely on the course of operations during the attack, or of the few weeks or months preceding it, and never on the real cause.

 

What caused 9/11 was, essentially, mass immigration and trade.  Prior to 1965, the US had control of its borders, and restricted immigration to a few thousand Europeans per year.  In 1965, due mainly to the efforts of Senator Ted Kennedy and the desire of the late President John Kennedy, the US passed the Immigration Act of 1965, opening up the floodgates of immigration to people from all over the world.  This began a massive trend to destabilize US culture.  Prior to 1965, it was my experience that all baggage was searched by Customs Officials, as you entered the US by air.  As foreign trade and tourism exploded, it soon became impractical to inspect every bag, and they were inspected randomly.  Eventually, most bags were not searched at all.  The same thing happened with shipments of freight and visitors.  Before long, America had lost control of its borders.

 

Since 1950, American population has almost doubled, with large numbers of immigrants from all kinds of cultures, some of them inimical to our way of life.  Vast numbers of tourists and imports crossed the borders every year.  It became impossible to defend our borders, and the proportion of aliens in the population became so great that they no longer stood out.  The cohesiveness and security of the country fell so low that it was an easy matter for a dozen Saudis to sign up for airplane flying lessons and board commercial airliners without suspicion, and fly the airplanes into the Twin Towers.

 

America sowed the seeds of its destruction several decades ago.  The major direct causes were the move toward massive, unimpeded (“free,” economically efficient) world trade, and mass immigration.  As I have written before, the major players promoting and implementing mass immigration were the Kennedy Brothers, and their efforts to destabilize US Protestant-dominated politics and culture.  The movement toward free trade and globalization was promoted and implemented by many players, including the wealthy, the World Bank, and the United Nations.  It is ironic and symbolic that a major causative factor in the attack on the World Trade Center was the massive movement to world trade.  That process truly sowed the seeds of its own destruction.  Thesis and antithesis.  America cast its pearls before swine.  It gave technology and weapons and economic development and freedom to the rest of the world, and the world used those gifts to forge the terrorism that is now attacking and diminishing the American way of life.

 

The current hearings on 9/11 are nothing more than a “red herring,” a diversion to distract attention from the real cause.  The cause of 9/11 was mass immigration, cultural disintegration, massive international trade, and porous borders.  It had nothing to do with the extent to which the New York City Fire and Police Departments coordinated their activities.

 

Time and effort would be better spent analyzing the major causes of the 9/11 attack, rather than flaws in the response after it happened.  Issues to address are those such as: Should immigration be disallowed?  Should all immigrants admitted to the US since passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 be repatriated?  Should international trade be halted?  Should all non-English-speaking residents be repatriated?  The attackers were Saudi / Moslem / Arab.  Should all Saudis / Moslems / Arabs be repatriated?  Should America build an effective antimissile system?  Should America use preemptive strikes to remove perceived threats to its security?  Should American civil rights (individual rights) be fundamentally redefined?

 

Witchcraft in Africa: Gaining Recognition

 

(20 May 2004)  The following is an interesting article that appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail on 14 May 2004.  The article was titled, “Female Teachers Shun Solwezi Schools – Chief,” and the author was Angela Chishimba.

 

Chief Mulonga of Solwezi district yesterday told the House of Chiefs that all female teachers left schools in his area because they claim that wizards sleep with them at night.

The Chief said this in his contribution to the amendment of the Witchcraft Act, which passed committee stage yesterday.

Some Chiefs yesterday became emotional over the debate on whether witchcraft existed or not.

Chief Mulonga and Chief Ndungu of Zambizi district still insisted that witchcraft was there while on the opposing side was, among other chiefs, Chieftaness Chiawa.

Chief Ndungu said there was no need for Chiefs to lie that witchcraft did not exist.

This statement annoyed Chieftaness Chiawa who rose on a point of order seeking guidance from the acting chairperson, Chief Mumena of Solwezi district on the use of the term “lie” in the House.

The acting chairperson however directed Chief Ndungu to withdraw the word as it was not acceptable in the House.

Chief Ndungu said he believes that witchcraft exists because he was in possession of a letter from the Ministry of Education in Zambezi of a report of witchcraft practices and truancy at Kashona Middle Basic School of teachers being victimized through witchcraft.

The acting chairperson Chief Mumena advised Chief Ndungu to avail that letter to Zambezi Police.

But Chief Munymbwe of Gwembe District, who said he had also received a similar letter, said the only safe thing to do was call upon witch finders to resolve the issue at the school.

He said he also received similar letters from schools in his area and that as a result teachers were leaving the area.

Chief Munyumbwe said he called upon witch finders who were instructed to protect the schools and that peace returned to the affected schools.

“Let us, as Chiefs, tell the nation that we believe in witchcraft because it is real,” he said.

But Chieftaness Chiawa of Kafue said innocent people had died because they had been accused of practicing witchcraft.

She said when some people grew old and their faces became contorted with age, witch finders accused them of practicing witchcraft.

The Chieftaness said this country could change this notion that witchcraft existed by encouraging Christianity.

But Chief Mubanga of Chinsali District cautioned members of the house that if they based their debate on Christian principles, they would not come up with a good paper.

He said the current Witchcraft Act protects wrong doers and therefore should be amended to allow Chiefs preside over witchcraft issues without interference.

Chief Mubanga said Chiefs must be empowered to be able to impose death penalties on people convicted of witchcraft.  (End of article.)

 

When the British took charge of Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), they outlawed witchcraft and wizardry.  Despite the attempt to stamp it out, they never succeeded.  Most Africans today recognize the spirit world as real.  Witchcraft and wizardry are alive and well in Africa today.  More and more frequently, Zambians are calling for a constitutional amendment to recognize witchcraft and wizardry.

 

It is interesting to observe that the New Age movement embraces concepts of spirituality and spiritualism very similar to those of traditional African culture.  Large numbers of the modern world are now returning to a view of nature that includes spirits, and recognizes the role that they play in the physical world.  Africans must find it a little frustrating to see the Western world turning to spirituality and spiritualism (e.g., spirits, souls, witches, shamans), after declaring these illegal for Africans.

 

Democracy vs. Self-Determination

 

(21 May 2004) Democracy works well for a group of people that are relatively homogeneous with respect to language, race, religion, culture, and geographically proximate.  It does not work well otherwise.  At the present time, the US is attempting to impose democracy on Iraq, which is comprised of quite disparate groups (Sunnis, Shias, Kurds).  These people do not have a tradition of democracy, and they are inimical to each other, and this effort will fail.  The peoples who comprise present-day Iraq are much more interested in self-determination than in democracy.

 

As a rule, self-determination is a much stronger force than democracy.  A nation – a group of people who are relatively homogeneous with respect to language, race, religion, culture and geography – can accomplish tremendous things, through its unity and commonness of values and purpose.  Libya’s Col. Qadaffi has proposed, as a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem, that a single nation be founded, including both Israelis and Palestinians.  This could work, as long as the Palestinians are a small minority (e.g., less than five percent).  Otherwise, it is doomed to failure.  The major problem in Iraq at the present time is that three different peoples comprise the country – three different peoples with quite different religions and cultural backgrounds.  Democracy is not a workable option in this context.

 

Winning the War in Iraq – Making Progress!

 

On November 5, 2003, in my article, It’s the Oil, Stupid!, I proposed splitting Iraq into three subparts – Sunnistan, Shiastan, and Kurdistan – as a better strategy for the US to win the war there.  On May 8 of this year, I sent a letter to President Bush, to bring this proposal – and its rationale – to his attention.  In this week’s Time magazine (24 May 2004), Joe Klein, in his column “In the Arena,” discusses the Iraqi war.  The title of his article is “Iraq Is Not Just Bush’s Problem.”  He writes: “The first priority of the new government could be to build legitimacy with the Iraqi people by separating itself from the U.S.  The most logical way to do that would be to extend the Fallujah principle to the entire country: ask the American military to stand down and turn security over to local militias – Baathists in the Sunni triangle, the Kurdish Peshmerga in the north, the Shi’ite Badr Brigade in the south.  This would be dreadful long-term policy, and open invitation to civil war.  But would the Bush Administration oppose it?  Possibly not, on recent evidence, especially if it produced the appearance of calm by November’s Election Day (as it already has in Fallujah).  Several Kerry aides said that they thought it was possible that some American troops would be coming home before the election.”

 

As the American position in Iraq becomes less and less tenable, and more and more costly (both in terms of monetary terms and lives lost), the US will gradually realize the wisdom of splitting Iraq into three relatively homogeneous parts, each separately supported by the US.  When I wrote my November 5 piece, no one was considering balkanizing Iraq as a solution.  Now, this concept is being discussed in the national media.  Progess is being made!

 

Fighting the Last War: Why the War on Terrorism Is Irrelevant

 

(21 May 2004) It has been observed that, in the period of peace following a major war, a country’s military often spend their efforts preparing to fight a war similar to the last one.  Military technology changes over time, however, and this approach often fails to produce the best results.

 

At the present time, the US is engaged on a “War against Terrorism.”  In that war, much of the country’s military resources are being allocated to fighting a traditional war in Iraq.  A major problem with this approach – and this has been recognized by the American military – is that the game is very “asymmetrical” – it is easy for terrorists to cause us a great deal of harm with very little resources, and it is necessary for us to expend massive amounts of resources to attempt to stop them.

 

The US brought about the defeat of the Soviet Union because we outspent them.  They could not possibly keep up with the industrial and technological capacity of the US, and they eventually capitulated.  This same strategy is now being used against the US by the forces of terrorism.

 

America’s “War on Terrorism” is not accomplishing very much, and it is costing a tremendous amount of money.  At some point, the US will recognize that it cannot win this type of war simply by using the tools of large-scale national-level combat.  It is time to develop a better strategy.  It is time to recognize that terrorism has been spawned by the same system that it is attacking.  It will end when that system is replaced.

 

The Game of Life on Earth: Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls

 

(21 May 2004) I read an interesting book recently – Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life between Lives, by Michael Newton.  Newton makes a number of interesting observations about life on Earth.  I will briefly summarize his theory about souls, and then note some of his comments.

 

Newton’s book is quite popular.  The first edition appeared in 1994, and the fifth revised edition and fifteenth printing (2003) has on the cover, “over 200,000 copies sold.”  Newton is a hypnotherapist who uses hypnotic regression to treat psychological problems and psychosomatic illness.  Unlike many regression hypnotherapists, Newton spends much of his subject’s trance time in the period between past lives, when the soul is engaged in analysis of the experiences of past lives, and deciding on the choice for the next one.  His book is the product of his experiences with many cases, of which 29 cases are highlighted.

 

In short, the soul is a part of the Source that is given the illusion of separateness (i.e., it is “individuated”).  The quest of the soul is to develop by means of experiences in the physical universe (on any planet in this universe or in others, not just on Earth).  The cycle of development ends when the soul has learned as much as it can from its physical incarnations, and merges back with the Source.  This concept is the same as the Eastern traditional view of life (i.e., a sequence of many reincarnations, until the process is complete and the soul merges back into the Source).

 

On each planet, life evolves in many forms, over a long period of time.  When life forms reach a phase of development in which they possess a degree of intelligence, they are possessed by similarly advanced souls.  The possession is a mutual relationship, in which the soul is essentially “along for the ride.”  It adds a moral dimension, which the intelligent creature does not possess.  It serves as a conscience and guide, suggesting avenues of experience, but not controlling the creature.  It experiences and learns from this symbiotic relationship.  Absent an occupying soul, the creature would experience physical senses and emotions, but little else.  Upon death, the mortal creature dies (completely, as a separate biological life form, without an intelligent, self-aware, distinct soul), and the (immortal) possessing soul (the intelligent, self-aware, distinct soul) returns to the state of consciousness between lives (the Bardo).  Self-aware souls started inhabiting the human species as far back as the Stone Age.

 

Here, without elaboration, are some quotations from Newton’s book.

 

There is no set path of self-discovery designed for all souls.   As one subject told me, “souls are assigned to Earth for the duration of the war.”

 

I think of the healing station as a field hospital, or MASH unit, for damaged souls coming off Earth’s battlefields.

 

Both positive and negative emotions are mixed between soul and host for their mutual benefit.  If a soul only knew love and peace, it would gain no insight and never truly appreciate the value of these positive feelings.  The test of reincarnation for a soul coming to Earth is the conquering of fear in a human body.  A soul grows by trying to overcome all negative emotions connected to fear through perseverance in many lifetimes, often returning to the spirit world bruised or hurt.

 

Dr. N: But you did agree to come into the body of Shabez?  S: I didn’t know Earth would be such an awful place full of terror.

 

Look, Earth is one big stage play – we all know that.

 

Areas of spiritual activity: The World without Ego, the World of All Knowing, the World of Creation and Non-creation, and the World of Altered Time.

 

Planets don’t last forever.

 

Dr. N: Were you given other choices?  S: Yes, but it’s not very clear at the moment.  They usually start you on an easy world or two, without much to do.  Then I was offered service on this severe planet.  Dr. N: Earth is considered severe?  S: Yes.  On some worlds you must overcome physical discomforts – even suffering.  Others lean toward mental contests.  Earth has both.  We get kudos for doing well on the hard worlds.  We are called the adventurous ones by those who don’t travel much.

 

Humans are egocentric but vulnerable.  They can make their character mean and yet have great capacity for kindness.  There is weak and courageous behavior on Earth.

 

On the World of Creation and Non-creation:  There are no people… it’s so peaceful… we roam among the forests, the deserts, and over oceans with no responsibilities…. …small animals, without much intelligence… all living things have souls, but they have very simple fragments of mind energy… younger worlds, with simpler organisms… to learn to create without any intelligent life around… students are encouraged to create miniature planetary microhabitants for a given set of organisms which can adapt to certain environmental conditions.

 

The Earth school is insecure, still, It is filled with resentment of many people over being led and antagonism of the leaders toward each other.  There is so much fear to overcome here.  It is a world in conflict because there is too much diversity among too many people.  Other worlds have low populations with more harmony.  Earth’s population has outpaced its mental development.

 

…for all Earth’s quarreling and cruelty, there is passion and bravery here.  I like working in crisis situations.  To bring order out of disorder.  We all know Earth is a difficult school….  There are easier life forms…who are less in conflict with themselves…. After the world could no longer support life, they had come to Earth to continue working together…. …like Earth, family alliances were important, representing expressions of loyalty and devotion.

 

…Souls are sent to any world with suitable intelligent life forms.  Out of all the stars which are known to us, only four percent are like our sun.  Apparently this means nothing to souls.  Their planetary incarnations are not linked to Earth-type worlds or with intelligent bipeds who walk on land.  Souls who have been to other worlds tell me they have a fondness for certain ones and return to them (like Earth) periodically for a succession of lives.

 

Older souls incarnate less, regardless of the population demands of their assigned planets.  When a world dies, those entities with unfinished business move on to another world which has a suitable life form for the kind of work they have been doing.

 

When I ask clients about the inventory of available souls [for a planet such as Earth, which has an exploding human population], they tell me I should worry more about our planet dying from over-population than exhausting the reserve of souls.  There is the conviction that new souls are always available to fill any expanding population requirements.

 

Dr. N:  And do you think that you will still be going to Earth when you near the end of your incarnations?  S: No, there is another world besides Earth…but with Earth people… Earth will have fewer people… less crowded.

 

…some have told me Earth’s population will be greatly reduced by the end of the twenty-second century, partially due to adverse soil and atmospheric changes.

 

A human body would be pretty vacant without us…we treat Earth bodies with respect, though.  Dr. N: What do you think human beings would be like without souls?  S: Oh, dominated by senses and emotions.  (End of extracts.)

 

An interesting thing to note is the observation that planets do die.  Earth is in the process of dying right now.  If the industrial age continues for just a few years more, the biosphere that mankind has known for millions of years will be dead.  I will address this issue a little later, when I discuss Neale Donald Walsh’s new book, Tomorrow’s God.

 

Since the Source can create new worlds at will, the death of planet Earth is of no concern in the large scheme of things.  What is represented by the imminent demise of Earth, as I have noted before, is the exceptional opportunity to save (preserve) the biosphere.  Given the strength of the forces committed to destroying it (human greed, materialism, economic development, industrialization, current politics and current religions), this is a battle that will almost surely be lost.  And that is what makes it such an incredible challenge!  An opportunity to save a biosphere from death at the hands of global industrialization occurs only once every few billion years.  This is an exceptional opportunity, of epic proportions!

 

Take a Stand – Be Judgmental!

 

(21 May 2004) New Age philosophies of personal development often stress that it is important to be “nonjudgmental” with respect to other people’s views.  Live and let live.  Love and let love.  Tolerate diversity.  Respect diversity.  Love diversity.  This point of view fails to recognize that virtually all “progress” over the past ten thousand years has been brought about by people and organizations and movements that did not respect diversity at all.  All great civilizations and religions were founded on intolerance and lack of respect for opposing views.

 

Even Jesus, when he found the moneychangers in the Temple, was completely judgmental and intolerant.

 

If you are to define yourself as a human being, and if you live a significant life, you will eventually have to take a stand concerning the principles that you consider important.  With respect to those principles, you must be very judgmental.

 

Unless some people of today are very judgmental, and do take a stand, the planet will die.

 

Retirement: The Choice of Culture vs. Materialism

 

(21 May 2004) The Economist magazine contained an article last week (issue of 15 May 2004), entitled, “German Demography: Old Dogs, New Tricks?”  It points out that Germany’s population is aging, and it refers to the burden that supporting an aging population will place on the still-working segment.  It refers to the debate over immigration.

 

Some countries are attempting to address the problem of supporting an aging population by increasing immigration.  The problem with this approach is that you give your culture away.  Immigration is the great culture destroyer.

 

When US Senator Ted Kennedy was pressing for support of the Immigration Act of 1965, which flooded the US with non-European immigrants, Senator Sam Irvin of North Carolina warned that we would dramatically alter the cultural identity of the nation.  He was, of course, quite correct.  The American culture of today is vastly different from the American culture of 1965.

 

At some point, in some countries, the point will be reached where it will no longer be possible for the working segment of the population to support the retired segment, and provide them the same level of material comfort that they were used to.  At that point, a choice will have to be made.  Does the country wish to sell its cultural identity down the river by allowing more immigrants into its country, or does it wish to cut back on the level of living of its older citizens.

 

This choice does not have to be an agonizing one.  The older generation is the one that charged full steam ahead in destroying the planet’s biological diversity.  It engaged quite willingly in the globalization and industrialization that are destroying the biosphere.  By its extreme materialism, it destroyed massive amounts of the planet’s wildlife habitat, and caused the extinction of hundreds of thousands of species.

 

Some Comments on Neale Donald Walsch’s Tomorrow’s God

 

(21 May 2004) Some time ago, I wrote an article summarizing Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God book series.  Walsch has recently written a new book, entitled, Tomorrow’s God.  It is similar to the previous books in the series, and will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoyed them.  The book deals with consideration of the nature of God and our position and role in the Universe.

 

Those of you who read my previous review will recall that I criticized Walsch for implying that the current “crisis” facing the planet is widespread violence, war and oppression, and that is being caused by a decline in spirituality.  In his earlier works, he totally ignored the issue that the planet, in a wink of an evolutionary eye, is dying – the biosphere is being destroyed by large human numbers and industrial activity, and we are in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass species extinction, caused solely by human action.  (From my earlier work: “The major difference is our views of what constitutes the current world crisis.  His view is that the crisis is the widespread violence, war, and oppression, and that this crisis has been caused by a decline in spirituality.  My view is that the crisis is the global destruction of the environment and mass species extinction, and that is being caused by mankind’s tapping of fossil fuels.  I believe, as does Walsch, that the resolution of the problem will be determined by what people come to believe, and that the solution will be spiritual / religious in nature.”)

 

With respect to relating to the current destruction of the biosphere, this book isn’t much better (perhaps “relevant” is the better word).  There are, however, a few observations worth noting.  Since I have written previously at length about Walsch’s views, comparing and contrasting them to my own, I will be brief.  My comments will relate to the current environmental problem facing the Earth (large human numbers and industrialization, which are causing the destruction of the biosphere, the Sixth Extinction, global warming, climate change, and the extinction of mankind).

 

Walsch seems contradictory at times.  He argues that God is indifferent to human behavior, and he asserts that “nothing matters.”  But then why does he go to such lengths to describe a better society, that will accomplish “peace, harmony and happiness.”  Much of his discussion in the latter part of the book addresses attributes of good governmental systems.  I take no exception to those in the abstract (they all hold true for the Minimal-Regret population that I have proposed).  The main trouble is that they are of little operational utility.  They are similar to what is known in mathematics as an “existence” proof, not a “constructive” proof.  An “existence” proof simply proves that something exists, without showing how to make it; a “constructive” proof constructs it.

 

Peace, harmony and happiness are not the primary goals.  (At one point, Walsch elaborates on these… If what you truly desire is to live together in peace and harmony and happiness, in good health and with long lives, in an environment that is a paradise among planets, with conditions ideally suited to the joyful survival of your species, and with beauty and natural wonders such as would take your breath away….).  It is the pursuit of those goals (“life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”) that has gotten us into so much trouble in the first place.  The only goal of any importance is a long-term-sustainable planet – one in which the biodiversity of the planet is preserved, and mankind remains extant.  Without that, it is impossible to achieve any other goals, such as peace, harmony, and happiness.   With that, humanity may continue to play the challenging game of pursuing those sub-goals. All other goals are discretionary.  Without a playing board, there will be no game.  Without a great playing board, there cannot be a great game.  Walsch’s goals are irrelevant.  The next generation of humankind could achieve his goals, yet lose the planet for all future generations, and for all future interesting games.

 

My Minimal-Regret population is a specific example of a long-term-sustainable population, in which Walsch may work to achieve his sub-goals.  His book provides little insight on how to achieve a long-term-sustainable population.

 

As a final note, I might add that Walsch holds conflict in disdain – he views it as something to be eschewed or eliminated, if at all possible.  War is to be conducted only as a last resort.  But conflict is the essential reason for Earth and for Life on Earth.  It is the principal reason why souls return to Earth over and over and over again.  Earth is one of the ultimate, exquisite battlegrounds for souls to play out their fantasies in the physical universe.  Conflict (from the simple acts of making a living or getting your way or winning a game or mastering a physical challenge, all the way to life-and-death struggle of individuals, nations and civilizations) is the whole point to physical existence.  Without conflict, there is no point to life on Earth, or anywhere else.  And if we destroy the Earth’s biodiversity, we destroy one of the finest playing-boards of all time.

 

(Start of extracts.) When you believe in Life, you do believe in God, whether you say it in so many words or not.  You can be an atheist or an agnostic or anything in between, and it will not matter to Tomorrow’s God.

 

It does not matter today, but tomorrow all of you will know this.   Tomorrow, every human will understand.  And that understanding will be good, because it will eliminate much of the conflict that has resulted from each of you believing in your particular God in your particular way.

 

That this New Spirituality, widely adopted, would change the world, there is no doubt.  It could save the world from self-destruction.

 

…Life is ruled by three basic principles: functionality, adaptability and sustainability.  It functions, or having atrophied to the point of near dysfunctionality, it adapts, and having adapted, it sustains itself.

 

Life is eternal.  All things in Life support Life.

 

Then we have nothing to worry about on this planet?

 

Ah, but that is the second of the Three Basic Principles of Life that you must watch carefully.  For, you see, Life is eternally adaptable.  That is, it will change Itself, it will alter the form in which it is expressed, in order to ensure that it is sustained.

 

What does that mean to me?  What does that mean to humans?

 

It means that your planet could become a living hell.

 

…When I use the words “save the world,” I use them to mean “keep the world in place as you know it.”  I have explained that you “save” the world when you preserve it.  …It is a great opportunity.  You might say, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  You have an opportunity to pre-serve your world and the life you have created by pre-serving Life itself.  Everything you do you must do with the purpose of pre-serving Life.  That is, your first thought – nay, the thought before your first thought – must be of Life Itself, and how to preserve it.

 

…Right now, you are violating you own instincts.  Your instincts are telling you that what you are doing to your world and to your very Self is destructive, yet you continue to do these things anyway.

 

And so you are Life, ignoring the message of Life Itself.  But you will not be allowed to ignore that message for very long.  As I have said, Life will change its form (that is, adapt itself to become more sustainable) before it will allow any Part of Life to render Life Itself dysfunctional.  And so you will see individuals who ignore the most important and functional messages of Life changing their form.  To put this in your own terms, they will die.

 

Some of them will die very young.  Most of them will die before they would have died had they not ignored the simple messages about what makes their present life more sustainable.

 

…Their activities often require Life Itself to make an adjustment, to adapt, in order to continue remaining sustainable.  Individuals, families, nations, cultures, and societies all do this.  Their “adjustments” are often called “war.”

 

…Because the problem here is spiritual.  It is not economic, and it is not political.  And it certainly is not military.

 

…You think you are being terrorized by other people, but in truth you are being terrorized by your beliefs.

 

These are what you must change if you are ever to realize your dream of a world living in peace, harmony and happiness.

 

…I am saying what I have always said.  God has no preference and makes no judgment with regard to human behavior.

 

…God destroys nothing.  God rejects nothing, and God punishes nothing.

 

…You can change your world in two ways.  One way saves it, the other way destroys it.  Your species is deciding which way it wants to change the world right now.

 

…You are all beings from another realm, pretending to be human.

 

…So now, if you wish to know more about the New Spirituality, it is time to go within.  Meditate.  Cogitate.  Ruminate.  Review what you have received here, and ponder these things in your heart.

 

…Think of life as a game, but not as a competition.

 

…The New Spirituality will never condemn traditional religion, but seek always to include it in the process by which divine truth continues to be revealed.

 

…God does not need to be “worshipped.”

 

…In the days of the New Spirituality the idea that politics and spirituality do not mix will be abandoned forever. …In the days of the New Spirituality the idea of using politics to define yourselves as you have defined God will be widely accepted. …In the days of the New Spirituality humanity will begin at last to hold more basic beliefs in common, creating a more uniform standard for all political expression around the world. …The unity of all things – including the unity of God and humanity – is a foundational principle of the New Spirituality.  This idea, overlaid on your political systems on a global basis, will have enormous implications.  Political systems that do not reflect this new belief, or which fail to adapt themselves to it, will simply not survive.

 

…Members of enlightened societies don’t get directions, they set directions.

 

…In the days of the New Spirituality wealth will be defined not as possessions and power, but as access and happiness.  …In the days of the New Spirituality the economy will be localized.  …In the days of the New Spirituality there will be no disproportionate holding of wealth and resources, and abject poverty will no longer be allowed to exist.  …In the days of the New Spirituality it will be recognized that every human being has a right to the basics of Life and the ability to survive.

 

…Education is the single most important tool that can be used in the transformation of humanity.

 

…In the days of the New Spirituality the function of education will be to draw a Circle of Relevance around the raw data and systems that support Life.

 

…The best way to learn something is to teach it.

 

…Nothing matters.

 

Oxymorons That Just Won’t Go Away: Sustainable Growth, Sustainable Development

 

(21 May 2004) I keep seeing them… the terms sustainable growth, and sustainable development.  In the 15 May 2004 issue of The Economist, in the article, “China’s Economy: The Great Fall of China?”  “The challenge facing them [the Chinese authorities] would be difficult for policymakers anywhere: to slow the economy enough to ensure sustainable growth, but not so much as to cause a damaging crash, the much-feared hard landing.”

 

There is no such thing as “sustainable growth.”  Growth simply cannot be sustained.  Even the term “sustainable development,” where, as is customary, it refers to continued operation of a system that does not consume its own waste, and destroys its habitat, is absurd.

 

I had thought that the publication of Herman Daly’s books, Steady-State Economics and Beyond Growth would have at least spelled the doom for “sustainable growth,” but no.   In the April 26, 2004, issue of Time magazine (Special Issue: The Time 100: The A-list of the world’s most influential people), Charles Alexander discusses “Jeffrey Sachs: Economentalist.”  “What’s an ambitious economist to do if he has already counseled countries from Bolivia to Poland through rough financial times, advised the Pope on globalization and helped launch a global fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria?  For Jeffrey Sachs, 49, the logical next act is to help save the entire planet from what he warns could be an “environmental catastrophe” caused by climate change and the destruction of wildlife.  In 2002, Sachs abruptly ended a 22-year Harvard career to head Columbia University’s Earth Institute, which has 19 research divisions.  He has also become a top adviser to the United Nations on how to ease global poverty without putting extra pressure on an overburdened environment, a goal known as sustainable development.”

 

“Sachs wants to demolish the notion that economic progress and environmental protection are incompatible.  The Earth Institute’s approach is to bring together scientists, economists and policy makers to find the best development paths.  For example, Institute researchers will work on techniques that industries can use to slow down climate change by storing underground the carbon released from fossil fuels rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

 

“We don’t have to close down our society to respond to climate change,” Sachs insists.  “We just have to learn to do something we’ve never thought about doing before, and that’s to manage carbon.”  That could give us a chance to have our economic growth – ad a nice atmosphere too.”

 

Sachs is a committed economist.  Late in his career, he now realizes that economic development has destroyed much of the biosphere, is the sole cause of the Sixth Extinction, and is causing the global warming and climate change that may well “finish the job.”  He is searching for a solution.  He is unable to face the fact, however, that these biosphere-destroying processes will continue as long as large human numbers and industrial activity continue.  His religion is economics.  He is not about to become an apostate.  He will not abandon the faith.  The only solutions that are acceptable to him are ones that exist within the framework of continued economic development – “sustainable development.”  It does not matter that the biosphere will be destroyed if economic development continues.   He will continue to search for a solution only within the framework of his religion – economics.  He probably sincerely believes that it is possible to have economic growth and an intact biosphere.  Having Sachs as head of the Earth Institute is a beautiful example of putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop!  But he will probably be very successful in this role, from a materialistic and career point of view.  He is saying what everyone wants to hear.  He is saying what the heads of all nations want to hear.  He is saying what the United Nations and the World Bank want to hear.  More economic development.  “Sustainable” development.

 

The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.  Everyone believes that modern medicine is good, and economic development is good, but it is in fact modern medicine and economic development that have caused the explosion of human numbers; global industrialization that has destroyed the environment and natural habitat and has led to the Sixth Extinction; and gross intermingling that has led to the AIDS pandemic.  Everyone says that peace is good and war is bad, but it is continued peace and economic development that have polluted the environment, destroyed much of the biosphere, and are causing climate change.  It is economic development that has caused the planet’s problem.  As Albert Einstein once remarked, we will not solve this problem with the kind of thinking that created it.  Yet, just as the drug addict and the alcoholic call for just “one more fix,” the nations’ leaders and economists call for more economic development.

 

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

 

(23 May 2004) In the 26 April 2004 edition of Time (Special Issue: The Time 100) Jeffrey Kluger writes about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), in his article, “Jill Tarter: Waiting for ET’s Call.”

 

It is perhaps unfortunate that so much effort is being spent in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the physical universe, when there are so many indications that the contacts are made / will be made by extrasensory means.

 

I am reminded of the paragraph in Edwin Bernbaum’s book, The Way to Shambhala.

 

“An old Tibetan story tells of a young man who set off on the quest for Shambhala.  After crossing many mountains, he came to the cave of an old hermit, who asked him, “Where are you going across these wastes of snow?”

“To find Shambhala,” the youth replied.

“Ah, well then, you need not travel far,” the hermit said.  “The kingdom of Shambhala is in your own heart.” (End of quote.)

 

Professor Albert A. Bartlett

 

(21 May 2004) Professor Albert A. Bartlett, professor emeritus (physics) at the University of Colorado at Boulder was one of the early voices to speak out that the petroleum age could not last much longer.  The following is a link to his 1978 paper, “Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis (1978)”:

 

http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/ert/symposium/bartlett/bartlett2.html .