Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Path of Mine

Although I feel about myself as an agnostic, the opinions of Michael Apler are a little bit shocking to me and I don't fully agree with the kind of message he conveys. But it's right to be open and pursue for the truth about myself, even if it means stepping on rough-hewn, stoned path.
I was brought up in christian faith, with Jesus teaching us how to live and Almighty God punishing for the wrong deeds. But the moment I started to embrace the life, when I realised the multitude of visions of gods and philosophies it made me think deeper, made me dig into the issues I was so strongly advised to believe in.
Firstly, I started to deny the role of women in christian religion. How it happened that suddenly roman godesses, and women following them, disappeared from political and religious life? The era of men began. Well it could be understood in secular life, but wasn't it time when church had influence on almost every part of human life? All discrimination, religious acts of violence, the Inquisition, killing helpless, self-aware women called witches, were inspired by infallible church. I couldn't also agree with the role of women, that religion teachers tried to put on us. That was appalling. Including all that bla, bla about pre-marriage sex, abortion and the "must" of motherhood. I was fortunate enough that my parents let me choose in high-school whether I wanted to attend those lessons, let me read what I wanted and speak freely about my feelings. So I started looking for some other kind of higher sense, maybe even god, but stripped of lies and hundreds of years of deceit.
I'm still searching..., although I feel peaceful enough, because I know that my attitude towards other people is always correctly judged by my conscience. It's important to me that I act ethically, that noone is hurt by me. If sometimes I fail to behave what I call right, I always have that gut feeling, which doesn't make me forget I was wrong. Above that, I give myself a free will to think what I want, believe in what I want and live my life according to my own rules. I gave myself a right to live the one and only life I have with the full speed, full pleasure and full spirit I own.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Mind is all I need

All we need is our mind.

Lately I have encountered an extremely interesting book by Michael Apler "The 'God' Part of the Brain". Well, honestly speaking I haven't yet chance to read it, but the premise (that You'll find in the link) sounds intriquing. Looking for information about the author I found an interview which will give an idea what's the book about.

Q: What compelled you to write this book ?
A: From the moment I conceived of my own mortality, I was compelled to question the notions of a spiritual reality, a god, a soul, and an afterlife. Was I mortal or immortal? Was I a physical or spiritual being?

Q: What led you to take the approach you did ?
A: Having studied the cognitive sciences, I came to realize that every aspect of my conscious experience could be reduced to neurophysiological processes. Perhaps, I thought, the same might be true for what we refer to as spiritual experiences as well.

Q: What do you mean exactly by a "God" part of the brain ?
A: What I mean by this is that the human species possesses a mechanism, an evolutionary adaptation in our brain--a religious/spiritual function--which compels us to perceive and believe that there exists a transcendental/supernatural quality in the universe.

Q: And why would our species have evolved such a mechanism ?
A: With the advent of self-conscious awareness, humans became the first animal that could conceive of its own mortality, its own inevitable death.

In order to survive the excruciating anxiety that resulted from this awareness, a cognitive mechanism was selected into our species that compelled us to believe in an alternate, spiritual reality, one which allowed us to perceive ourselves as able to transcend physical death and therefore live forever in some type of afterlife.

Q: What evidence is there that we possess such a "spiritual" mechanism in our brain ?
A: Empirically, the fact that every culture from the dawn of our species has believed in some form of a spiritual reality as well as engaged in specific religious practices (building of religious shrines; creation of a mythology and a priestly class; praying; birth, puberty, marriage and death rituals; etc,.) would imply that spirituality and religiosity represent an integral part of our genetic inheritance.
Ethnobotanically, the fact that there exist certain plants and/or chemicals that can trigger a spiritual experience in us demonstrates that there must exist some part of the brain that is receptive to these chemicals.
Moreover, recent neurobiological evidence supports such a hypothesis.

a) Temporal lobe epileptics: people whose seizures trigger intense religious feelings.
b) Religiously-oriented "organic psycho-syndromes" in which people who have suffered a head injury, afterwards, become excessively religious.
c) Michael Persinger's transcranial magnetic stimulator, a device that shoots a concentrated electromagnetic field at a specific portion of the brain. When directed at the temporal lobe, the subject invariably undergoes a religious/spiritual experience.
d) Functional MRIs have revealed that the acts of meditation and prayer activate specific parts of the brain.

Q: Is there a difference between our spiritual and religious impulses ?
A: Yes. Whereas the religious impulse compels us to create a mythology, adhere to church doctrine, and engage in ritualistic behaviors, the spiritual impulse compels us to undergo experiences that make us feel connected to some "higher" force or power. Consequently, we tend to view these experiences as evidence that some higher realm does indeed exist.
Being that these represent two unique impulses, it's very possible that someone can be exceedingly religious, though not particularly spiritual, or, exceedingly spiritual, though not very religious.

Q: What is the extent of the "god module"? Does it explain all manifestations of spirituality or only religion?
A: Though what is referred to as a "God module" is really a nexus of several interactive mechanisms in the brain, religiosity does seem to be focused in the temporal lobe, whereas spiritual experience is derived from a combination of the amygdala, the parietal lobes and the right frontal cortex.

Q: Given that, as you mention, every feature of our experience can be reduced to neurophysiological processes, how would you qualify yourself on the reductionism/anti-reductionism conflict?
A: I am a strict reductionist.

Q: What do you think of reducing everything to genetics? Do you think there is more to life than the development of the effects of the genome in the individual and, by extension, society?
A: In regard to behavior, I look at it as genes representing the foundation of all behavior, whereas experience is the architect which builds upon that foundation. Savant that he was, had Mozart been born to indentured slaves, he would have grown to be the guy who could whistle a mean tune while toiling the fields. We are born with certain genetic potentials. Whether we fulfill these potentials depends on whether they are properly nurtured with experience.

Q: But does not the context of our experience also derive from the genetically-motivated behaviour of other people?
A: Absolutely, all feeding into the reductionist cycle of human experience.

Q: Can research on the "god module" bridge the much-vaunted gap between science and religion? What do you think of scientific pantheism as another possible bridge?
A: As far as I'm concerned, these new findings have sealed the gap between science and religion.

Q: What reactions have you gotten to the "god module" idea from the general public?
A: Everything from praise to contempt.

Q: What do some people find contemptible about the "god module" idea ? Its reductionism ?
A: Given that I am purporting that our spiritual/religious proclivities and beliefs emerged as an evolutionary adaptation--a physiologically-based coping mechanism--this would imply that there is no spiritual reality, no god, no soul, no afterlife, nothing that transcends or supercedes the physical realm whatsoever, in effect, invalidating every brand of spiritual or religious belief that exists. As you could imagine this has pissed off a few people.
In regard to the reductionistic qualities of such a theory, people seem to be further ired--even the non-religious--by the greater implication that all cognition/perception/emotion/sensation is derived from our genetic make-up in conjunction with the environment in which those genetic potentials are nurtured, neither variable of which we have the slightest control or influence therefore suggesting that there is no such thing as free will.
Even many atheists I've come across renounce such a harsh world view.

Q: How can humankind possibly benefit from these ideas?
A: As much as it might help to bond a society, as well as to provide us with mutual values and a sense of eternal hope, the religious impulse generates certain discriminatory behaviors that prompt us to commit all sorts of hateful acts and atrocities.
Perhaps if we we were to accept religiosity as a biologically-based impulse, we might be able to curb its potentially hazardous excesses, such as those that have led our species to engage in repeated acts of hostility, war, and genocide. Perhaps if were to come to terms with the fact that our species has been born into a neurological web of deceit, installed with a genetically inherited "white lie," we might be better able to more effectively focus our energies on the here and now, as opposed to on some dubious hereafter.

Q: You foresee a possible future where mankind learns to overcome its neurological impulses.
But what if we continue on our present course do you think that the divergence between our evolved instincts and today's increasingly complex world will attain a breaking point, or will we simply continue to be more and more dysfunctional beings ? How do you foresee our future as thinking beings?

A: Being that rational behavior and thinking is enacted by such a small percentage of individuals, I personally think that, in time, mankind is going to destroy itself in the end. Not the most optimistic prognosis but it's what I truly believe.

Q: Given that there is a god module, I suppose you agree that it is possible to eliminate spirituality, for example thru genetic engineering. Do you think it is desirable to do so, and why?
A: I would not seek to tamper with our genetic codes to eradicate our religious/spiritual impulses. It is mainly the extremes of this impulse which represent the greatest threat and need to be curbed by social education.

Q: This existential anxiety which must have also gripped our ancestors, the meaninglessness of the universe, those things that the "god module" is designed to supersede, do you think these subjects deserve more attention than they get today because of religion?
A: I think that as a result of our species' inherent religious impulses combined with a general intellectual malaise, most people accept whatever paradigm they were raised with as children and don't seek a much deeper understanding of their own humanity.

Q: Personally, have you come to grips with these subjects? If so, how?
A: I embrace my mortal coil and simply try to live my life with enough passion and integrity to make sure that I accomplish all my goals within this one and only lifetime.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Still crying, still touched...
John Travolta is perfect in "Phenomenon" ... Just a man You want to hold in Your arms and delight. And that truth about people- fearing of what they can't understand, of what they don't want to know ... people who can't grasp the point ... and that makes their lifes pointless ... just a dust in the universe.
We can be what we want- it's a matter of focus, it's a matter of soul. We can reach high and still be truthful inside... We aren't able to know it all, but we must keep are eyes openwide ... so the point of it all doesn't blur, so we keep together as it's all we have. "Everything is connected"... everything is one organism. If we could all just get it, we could have peace and understanding, as the existance is something a living creature can't deny and can't fight. Fighting it is against the "life's" logic and denying its logic means being non-existent.
Just few scrambled thoughts after watching the "Phenomenon"- the tears are still falling down. Why the hell do I always cry during movies?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The End ...

I woke up this morning to hear sad news- none of the miner survived the tragedy.
No miracle happened... .
The reports from the mine are tearing- men crying, women sobbing and fainting, the shadow of death fell upon those poor families.
And miners? They still go to work, always having in mind the threat that waits there beneath. The harsh, wild and fierce nature, which can't be tamed, although in our boldness we often seem to be sure we are masters of.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Miners' fate

Yesterday there was an explosion in one of the biggest polish coal mines. Eight miners are dead, 15 more are trapped beaneath the earth. The concentration of methane was too high. In fact it still is, so the rescue action can't be continued. The rescue team is waiting for the methane to get lower.
The time is ticking ...
Families are waiting ...
Experts elaborate on tachnical details ...
The Prime Minister visits the mine ...
Reporters hunt for info ...
Wifes and children weep ...
Photographers shoot the tears ...
The tragedy goes on...
The hope dies the last ...

Monday, November 20, 2006


You've got to see it- made me laugh till I cried....

My November

Still lost in the fog...
November shows its true face- Stripped, Soaked, Sad, Sadistic, Sly like a ssssnake.
My November:
Litres of coffee and lemon tea
Cherishing the coziness of my home
Humming christmas carols
Fantastic plans for next year holidays
More books, more reading
3 p.m. depression at work
Frantic looking through holiday photos
(to catch a glimpse of the GREEN)
Falling into husband's arms
Do You Dear Readers also have problem with November?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Foggy world

I can't see! The fog is too dense!
It seems the world is still in the deep sleep- as it simply forgot to wake up on time.
Will it open its eyes today? Or will we all be trapped it that foggy dream? Just like in the "Silent Hill" movie- without knowing what is waiting round the corner.
It's amazing how many faces the world has.
Our Eath is full of surpises, stuffed with awesome multitude of diversities in every area of existance. The mere fact that each week scientists discover new species, that there are many places still to explore, makes our world, though so known and globalized, still so mysterious and intriquing.

"All me" Quotations

He who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed.
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Alber Einstein

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Delight

I delight in Saturday mornings.
Woken up by the telephone from one of my clients, I usually get up around 10 o'clock. But that's fine. At least I don't sleep too long and the day seems to last forever.
The smell of the morning coffee, my favourite radio station is on, the time for MYSELF.
I need it. It's my way to relax. It's the time for getting a bit of lonliness- the feeling I don't get much during the week.
Nowhere to rush, slow motion of minutes.
My space finally belongs to me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tha Lack

God damn it!
No inspiration!
My inspiration melted with the snow and flowed into sewage.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Midnight Melancholy (Breathe)

Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don't be afraid to care.
Leave but don't leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down it's time to dig another one.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.
(Waters, Gilmour, Wright)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

First November Snow

It's snowing, snowing, snowing.

Heavily and peacefully.

And it's quietly.

And it really doesn't bother me at all right now.

Contrary- it brings peace to my home.

Each year when I spot the first snow through my window, instantly I get that warm Christmas feeling, good memories come to me. All I need is a warm embrace ...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Novbember Freeze

Location: the seat by the bus window
Time: early evening, heading to the rehersal
Weather: freezing November

First time this year I wear a hat, winter coat and a scarf. The gloves are killing me- it's awkward to hold a pen while going by bus- and sometimes a thought comes to my mind and I NEED to jot it down. Friday evening, when it gets cold, brings peaceful emptiness to the streets. People's breaths blur the air. Looks as if they are breathing in and out their souls.
The bus stops. At the bus stop a young couple tries to embrace each other. There's no way- the stay in a half- cuddle- the coats are too large.
Half- hold, Half- cuddle, Half- life
We're slowing to the rythm of nature.
A short thought comes to my mind.
Nature strips
People preen
Then Nature sleeps
And People freeze

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Hallow Eve

Graveyards are sad ... they belong to the past.
Yesterday I was there with my daddy- we brought new candles and fresh flowers. It was getting dark, it was cold and windy but all graves were warmly glimming with thousands candlelights hidden between tons of colourful chrysanthemums. For two days graveyards become alive- so are our dead relatives- we tend to believe. And it's good that our civilization cares for those who are dead. That's the connection which makes us -people differ from animals.
But when we were walking arm in arm with my daddy, talking quietly about my dead grandparents we had just visited, I gave him a loving cuddle.
And it made me once again realise that
the past is to remember
the present is to cherish.