Monday, January 15, 2018

3 Signs You Could Be Using Spirituality To Avoid Reality & How To Check Back In

[Elite Daily] I make a living writing articles about astrology, spirituality, crystal healing, meditation, affirmations, and tarot cards, so I'll be the first to admit that I came to learn about these healing techniques during the most difficult time periods of my life. I love new age spirituality, and I think it's great, as long as it isn't being used as a tool to bypass your emotional life. There are signs you could be using spirituality to avoid reality, and when that happens, spirituality becomes a facade. After all, one way to suppress the emotions that are an integral part of the human experience is to pretend to be too "enlightened" to feel them.
Here's a personal example from my own life. A few years ago I was completely out of money, and I spent 30 bucks on credit to buy a crystal that promised to attract more money in my life. The second I bought it, I was 30 dollars poorer. I mean there was absolutely nothing logically sound about that purchase. I was a modern Jack and the Beanstalk; I was not OK. It wasn't until after I bought that crystal that I realized I didn't even have enough money for a Metrocard to get home. This is the kind of subtle power that new age spirituality has over a ton of people, and unfortunately, often the people who fall prey to this kind of magical thinking are really going through a tough time. Here are some signs that you could be using spirituality as a way to escape your real life, and some pointers on how to avoid it.
A long time ago a book came out called The Secret, which caused an absolute frenzy of interest along the lines of new age spirituality in America. The book essentially spoke about how the secret to anything you want being right in your fingertips. From a parking space to a brand new Mustang convertible.
It was basically a watered down version of quantum physics, and the idea behind it was that all you had to do was ask the universe for something, and like Santa, it would just create it for you. You didn't even have to lift a finger! This is pure delusion. I mean millions of adults around America were essentially believing in Santa again, and calling it "The Universe." No.
Spiritual experience is actually inextricably linked to our human experience, because they're the same thing. Spiritual wisdom is not the same thing as the mind and body rush you experience from time to time in a meditation. "Enlightenment," as it's often described in our capitalist society's obsession with Eastern religion, is not what we think it is, or what we've been taught it is.
I like to compare it to the difference between love in the movies and love in real life. Love in the movies is a constant high, lasting for the rest of our lives; in truth, loving someone else is harder work than any other task I've ever been called to do. It involves remaining patient to the best of our ability, a willingness to be honest and open without hiding in fear or foisting hurtful truths onto another person, not to mention dealing with their inability to do the f*cking dishes. The same goes for spiritual wisdom. It's more grounded and, based in real life, and real work, than anything we are taught. One time, I fainted in yoga and I thought I'd "caught The Lord." Turns out I just have low blood sugar and stood up too quickly. Read More

The asteroids most likely to hit Earth

[Salon] Like earthquakes and volcanoes, the most frightening thing about asteroid strikes is their inevitability. Our solar system formed from a planetary nebula of dust and gas that slowly coalesced into rocks, planets, moons, and the Sun. And there are plenty of rocks still floating around. Astronomers estimate that between 37,000 and 78,000 tons of solar system debris hit Earth every year, though luckily these usually rain down in tiny pieces that burn up in the atmosphere — rather than large chunks that explode on the ground. (Although those hit us too.)As a result, our planet is littered with little geologic memento mori that foreshadow what is to come. The Chesapeake Bay looks the way it does because of a massive impact of a three- to five-kilometer-wide asteroid that hit about 35 million years ago; even today, the region’s freshwater aquifer is at risk of being contaminated by an adjacent salty underground reservoir that was created in the wake of the impact. Oil drillers and water management agencies in the region must mitigate for a 35-million-year-old natural disaster.
Unsurprisingly given how often we get hit with space debris, meteors rank high on the list of existential horrors; some of our civilization’s most popular books and films are about the fear of a meteor impact–related disaster. Likewise, scientists periodically sound the alarm bells over the lack of resources being devoted to hazardous asteroid detection and — perhaps someday — diversion. Luckily, NASA, the California Institute of Technology and other agencies have done a fair bit of sky-scouring to track and monitor nearby hazardous space rocks of varying sizes.
Unsurprisingly given how often we get hit with space debris, meteors rank high on the list of existential horrors; some of our civilization’s most popular books and films are about the fear of a meteor impact–related disaster. Likewise, scientists periodically sound the alarm bells over the lack of resources being devoted to hazardous asteroid detection and — perhaps someday — diversion. Luckily, NASA, the California Institute of Technology and other agencies have done a fair bit of sky-scouring to track and monitor nearby hazardous space rocks of varying sizes. Read More

Homestead 1839: Putting down roots for community

[QCOnline] For years, Tobin and Mollie Krell dreamed of building an organization centered around food, restoration and giving back to the community. Their vision became a reality in 2016 when they incorporated Homestead 1839 in West Burlington, Iowa, on land Mollie’s family homesteaded in 1839.
Homestead 1839’s mission: Growing community capacity through service learning and food security for sustainable, equitable outcomes.
Tobin and Mollie, both 37, grew up in Iowa, and moved to Portland, Ore., together to attend college. They had been living in Portland for 10 years when Mollie’s grandmother, the matriarch of the family, fell ill. The couple, who have a 13-year-old son, decided to move back to Iowa to help support their family. They moved into the family’s 100-year-old, foursquare farmhouse, bringing together four generations under one roof.
Farming the 28-acre land is the main component of Homestead 1839. The Krells work 19 acres that had conventionally been farmed for a number of years. They are transitioning 5 acres to organic production, and converting 14 acres to a pollinator habitat. A portion of the food they raise goes back to the community through food banks, referral and distribution at the farm. They sell the rest on-site, to local restaurants and a local hospital. They also collect the hospital’s food waste for compost, helping to further reduce the food system’s carbon footprint.
Service learning is another main component of Homestead 1839. The Krells work with a variety of organizations, including vocational and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, to provide opportunities for adults and youth to build job skills and give back to the community by helping on the farm.
Homestead 1839 also provides a space for community to gather and grow stronger. “We have folks who often come by to get away from hustle and youth who come for relief from the family and peer pressure,” Mollie says.
Youth and volunteers come out to start seeds, transplant, compost, plant and harvest. They do a variety of other tasks, too, such as painting and generally stepping up to help wherever they are needed, the Krells say.
“We have had youth who come out (to the farm) who say, ‘I don’t get dirty’ or ‘I don’t eat vegetables,’ and by the time they leave, they are dirty and popping cherry tomatoes in their mouth straight off the vine,” Tobin says.
“These experiences are crucial to their connection with the natural world as they grow and as they become more engaged in their community.”
No one goes home hungry after working at the farm, the Krells say. “The group we had out yesterday, many youth were eating raw okra off the stalk, and some wanted to take some of the fruits of their labor home,” Mollie says. “This is the least we could do for their service. We love to feed people.” Read More

Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Strikes Peru

[Gizmodo] A “strong magnitude 7.1 earthquake” struck the southern coast of Peru on Sunday morning, leaving at least one dead, several missing, and dozens injured, CNBC reported.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck roughly 22.4 miles (36 kilometers) offshore centered about 25 miles (40 km) into the Pacific Ocean from the town of Acari.
CNBC reported that local officials said one man was killed by a rock in Yauca. Beyond that, there were some indications that the damage may not be as grim as originally reported. Per the BBC, Health Minister Abel Salinas disputed reports that 17 miners had gone missing inside a collapsed shaft. Reports of another death in Bella Union were also disputed by local officials.
Per CNN, the National Civil Defense Institute reported at least 65 additional injuries “in the cities of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho.” The casualty count is likely to rise as emergency personnel continue to look through rubble. Though the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that a wall of water could come crashing onto the shoreline, fortunately no such tsunami actually occurred and the center later advised that the threat had passed.
Earthquakes of magnitude 7 and higher are considered major events with the possibility of serious damage or casualties; only an estimated 20 or so occur each year. A magnitude 8.0 quake in 2007 off the central coast of Peru was estimated to have killed well over 500 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Read More