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People are Blinded to the Truth
The Principle of Universal Symbolism
Is It Safe to Ignore Things That are Not Real?
The Mind is a Wonderful Computer
Birds Spend More Energy in Flying than is Contained in their Food

People are Blinded to the Truth  <top>

Most of us believe that most other people are blinded to the truth. But we cannot bear to seriously give weight to the thought that we, ourselves, are so deceived. This seems like an unstable situation.

The Principle of Universal Symbolism  <top>

Could anything be construed as a symbol of any other thing?

Is It Safe to Ignore Things That are Not Real?  <top>

Sometimes, when you sleep, you dream.  Most dreams seem to be meaningless, non-engaging experiences.   But occasionally you will come across a pleasant dream or an unpleasant dream, such as a nightmare.  When we have a nightmare, we normally awaken in a tense, frightened state – perhaps apprehensively looking around in the dark room, anticipating being attacked by a monster.  A helpful thought at this point is to remind oneself “it was only a dream … it was only a dream … it was only a dream.”  By reminding ourselves of this distinction between fantasy and reality – i.e., fantasy, when rightly seen as such, has no ability to impact the world of reality – we thus regain our sense of security.  It was only a dream – and dreams cannot impact reality (so long as we recognize that they are indeed dreams.)   Fantasy, non-reality, non-existence, cannot bridge the gap into reality.  In fact, if something is not real, then we are completely safe to ignore it.  I think.

But what about mathematics?  Are we safe to ignore that, too?  “2 + 2 = 4” has no physical form (of its own.)  (At least, none that I know of. J)  If mathematics is “not real” then are we completely safe to ignore it?   The thought of safely ignoring mathematics seems ridiculous – but isn't it the thinking man’s way of dealing with imaginary things?

Here is another one: Science.  The relationships between “real” things are usually expressed in terms of physical “laws.”  Do these laws really exist?  Even if they are only properties of the things that obey them, then it is probably safe to say that they exist.  For example, my hair is curly.  Does this property of “curliness” exist?  Can we rightly say that my hair could exist without it’s property of curliness?

The Mind is a Wonderful Computer  <top>

This idea came to me as I was walking out to my car after a tough day at work.  Basically, the human mind is capable of coming to the correct / wise answers about even very difficult questions - but the answers will only come out correctly if the "programming" is done correctly.  I guess that this idea is nothing new - but the perspective seemed new to me.  So what do we mean by the "programming"?   The training, the volitional thought choices, the study - and the things that we choose to dwell on.

Birds Spend More Energy in Flying than is Contained in their Food  <top>

This idea came to me while I was watching birds chowing down at my bird-feeder.  Here is the intuition:

a) How much energy does it take for a 3 oz bird to propel himself from the ground, vertically upward 7 feet?  It wouldn't be that much if he could walk up a ladder - but he doesn't have a ladder - he has to generate a current in the atmosphere strong enough to propel him upward.  Image if you or I had to do that?  It would take incredible strength and energy through-put!

b) The little guy shoots up there, eats one or two mouthfuls of birdseed and then he gets chased away by a bigger bird. 

c) How much energy could there possibly be in 2 mouthfuls of birdseed?

Here's my solution: the birdseed is only a catalyst to a much more powerful reaction - possibly some kind of cellular-level cold fusion - which is the real source of energy.  Whatever the source of the extra energy, it should be fairly simple to demonstrate that there is indeed another source - simply by computing the food energy in a day's supply of seeds and then subtracting from that figure the amount of energy needed to propel the bird in his typical flight routine.  You might object and say "well, the bird is actually eating a lot more (at other stops) than what you have seen at the bird-feeder."  Well, if that is true, then why would the bird consider it worthwhile to shoot up to the feeder to eat at all?   Since he must have at least some sense that the usual experience is one of: a) gobble down a mouth-full or two and then b) get chased away by a bigger bird.