From knowledge, truth, from truth, understanding

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Seek first to understand, then to be understood

– Stephen R Covey

On this blog site I generally post pieces that reflect my values and beliefs. Should readers be interested I also have another blog site on which I post pieces more concerned with my personal experiences in life:

https://mybitesizecredo.wordpress.com/

 

Posts – links by topic

Aboriginal Australians

Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony

Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis

Ancient cultures and traditions

Ancient Origins of the Zodiac

Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?

The Lion Man and the Age of Leo

Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom

Seeing the NAZCA through new eyes

Footprint of Comet Encke?

Uncovering the Truth Behind Matriarchal Societies in the Ancient World

Animals

Animal Insights into Risky Play

Are Animals Spiritual?

Cats in our community

Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity

Earth and environment

Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?

Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need

Pumice Raft or Life Raft?

We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?

A Note on “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”

Society

On being a househusband

Spiritual

Mediums in Popular Culture & Science: A Personal Encounter

On Clairvoyance and Other “Gifts”

Thinking Telepathy

 

Awakening our Spiritual Power: A Cosmic Seeing Eye Glass 

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

Featured image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

As the search for the origins of the viral pandemic continues, one theory that resonates strongly with us is that put forward by Professor Chandra Wickramsignhe who (in a recent joint publication) concluded that it “was probably linked to the arrival of a pure culture of the virus contained in cometary debris”; interestingly an event that he had foreshadowed in 2019. This is a reflection of his broader thesis that life is distributed through the Universe by cosmic visitors such as comets and meteorites (‘Panspermia’). In New Dawn last year he commented that “[t]he evidence is stunningly clear that the first life on Earth in the form of bacteria came with impacting comets”. As Wickramsignhe and his colleagues noted last year, nor is this potential impact limited merely to the initial origins of life on Earth, but embraces equally its ongoing evolution.

Tunguska impact event

Tunguska

By ru:Евгений Леонидович Кринов, member of the expedition to the Tunguska event in 1929. – [1] (original, black and white version of photo) / Vokrug Sveta, 1931 (current, color version of photo), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=200531

The 1908 Tunguska impact event may provide evidence supportive of this evolutionary impact. Jacques Van Impe has recently suggested that genetic mutations resulting from the 1908 event provide the most likely explanation for the subsequent extinction of a particular species of goose. Van Impe’s theory draws upon the work of Zurab Silagadze who drew attention to genetic anomalies that had been reported in plants, insects – and people – in the Tunguska region after the event. Silgadze also noted that an increased rate of biological mutation was found not only within the epicentre of the impact event, but also along the trajectory of the cosmic body responsible. Even in its flight it appears to have been accompanied by “some unknown agent” capable not only of inducing remote ecological change but perhaps even genetic changes. Silgadze postulates that agent may be electromagnetic radiation – powerful ELF/VLF electromagnetic radiation from the cosmic body and ionizing radiation due to lightning accompanying the explosion. Certainly, this may well be part of the explanation, but is there perhaps some even wider agency also at work?

Continue reading “Awakening our Spiritual Power: A Cosmic Seeing Eye Glass “

Footprint of Comet Encke?

Featured image: Detail of Astrology Manuscript, ink on silk, BCE 2th century, Han, unearthed from Mawangdui tomb 3rd, Chansha, Hunan Province, China. Hunan Province Museum by Unknown author – China Arts, Volume 1st, Wen Wu Publishing, Beijing, China, 1979-10, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19264187 

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

In the last weeks of 2020 the Sydney Dance Company performed Indian-Australian Raghav Handa’s Cult of the Titans, a work exploring the Nazi appropriation of the swastika from Hindu culture. The Company was so concerned at the depth of animosity in the community towards the symbol that it provided a content warning that the work contained swastika images and invited concerned audience members to leave if they wished. In a video introduction, Handa explained his piece as an attempt to reclaim from its horrific association with Nazism the Swastika’s ancient symbolism in Hinduism of light and peace.

While this positive symbolism in Hinduism is indeed millenia old, the origins of the swastika are actually far more ancient and its original meaning still the subject of much speculation. While long found in Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, its use is also found in many ancient cultures around the world, in some cases dating from the Neolithic and even late Paleolithic Periods. The earliest known example, excavated at an Ice Age site at Mezin in the Ukraine and dating from at least 12,000 years ago (in some accounts 15,000 years old and possibly even older), is a bird figurine carved from mammoth ivory tusk, its torso displaying what Mukti Jain Campion has elegantly described as “an intricate meander pattern of joined-up swastikas”. Photos of the figurine can be seen in her article at https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591.

So what might this swastika imagery have been intended to represent in antiquity? Continue reading “Footprint of Comet Encke?”

Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

As the world continues to endure the ravages of a global viral pandemic, we can easily lose our focus on the urgent need to address our growing climate crisis. Last month brought yet another record breaking climate extreme. It was globally the hottest September in the 141 year dataset record. In the image below, September 2020 global temperature differences world wide from the average are highlighted.  Those areas shaded in blue show locations up to 6°C cooler than average, while the far more dominant areas shaded in red show locations that were up to 6°C warmer.

September, temperature anomaly, global, 2020

Climate.gov image from Data Snapshots, based on maps processed by NOAA EVL from NCEI data (available at https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/Temperature–Monthly–Difference-from-average–Global–2020-09-00–large.png and sourced from https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/september-2020-another-record-setting-month-global-heat)

Unfortunately, there are still some amongst us who consider humanity a privileged community amongst the species of our planet, immune through our technology, intellect and acknowledged adaptability from the impacts of climate change. Our lived experience should be enough to invalidate this false belief but, if more were needed, recent research continues to undermine the thesis.

Continue reading “Our Climate Crisis and Humanity’s Extinction: Just a Question of Time?”

Cats in our community

In my role as a volunteer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Queensland, Australia, I had occasion recently to co-author a paper considering aspects of cat desexing in Queensland.

Paterson, M.B.A.; O’Donoghue, M.; Jamieson, P.; Morton, J.M. The Cat Desexing Policies and Activities of Private Veterinary Practices in Queensland. Animals 202010, 841.

The full text of the paper is available at https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/10/5/841#cite

Pumice Raft or Life Raft?

Featured image: Pumice raft, 13 August 2019. Detail from NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey , available at https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145490/a-raft-of-rock

Philip Jamieson and Mariannne Schmidt 

On an early August 2020 walk along Newport Beach in northern Sydney, Marianne recently found littered on the sand numerous fragments of pumice. Pumice is a very porous, lightweight, frothy-looking volcanic glass which can drift gently with the currents, floating for years on the ocean surface before becoming waterlogged. It is not a common visitor to the sands of Newport Beach.

Pumice Marianne

Photo by Marianne of pumice pieces that were abundant on Newport Beach

By ‘coincidence’, at the time of her pumice find, Marianne was preparing to deliver a range of children’s activities for Science Week. Its synchronistic theme – Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans – with pumice featuring in several activities.

In a further synchronicity, shortly after, Philip visited Caloundra in Queensland, where the northern end of the 35km long channel named Pumicestone Passage opens to the ocean. The Passage was so named (though then thought a river) by Matthew Flinders at the end of the 18th century after he found abundant pieces of pumice on its shores. Walking along Kings Beach during his visit, Philip similarly found an abundance of small fragments of pumice lining the shore.

Philip pumice

Photo by Philip showing some of the numerous small pieces of pumice abundant on Kings Beach

To our minds, these were fairly clear examples of Jung’s ‘meaningful coincidences’. So what was it about pumice that it had so evidently been brought to our attention? Continue reading “Pumice Raft or Life Raft?”

A Note on “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”

Our post, We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?,  by Marianne Schmidt and myself has been published in New Dawn magazine: July-August 2020 issue (volume 181: 25-30).

New Dawn is an excellent magazine first published back in 1991. It publishes material exploring ancient wisdom and new thinking. It has an online presence at https://www.newdawnmagazine.com/

Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need

Featured image at https://pixabay.com/photos/world-earth-space-hands-globe-3268457/ by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

The world is in the middle of a viral pandemic. Hundreds of thousands have died, many millions have been infected. There is a need for healing. There is a need for change.

Global meditations

Earlier this year organisations such as Unify and Global Peace Meditation sent out a call for action. They proposed a worldwide mass meditation.[1] It was planned to take place for some 20 minutes on the evening of 4 April, from 10.45pm EST that evening (timed to coincide with the energies of a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction). More than a million people participated.

One of the stated aims of this global meditation was to help address the pandemic. And indeed the daily number of known new coronavirus cases worldwide which had been consistently growing in the days before, was noticeably lower over the next several days.[2] Clearly, there appears to have been a temporal relationship. But was it causative? Such variation has hardly been unique to these specific dates. The number of daily new coronavirus infections around the world has been consistently fluctuating. Equally, while there is no necessarily causative relationship, this correlation in time does invite consideration of whether there is other evidence that in conjunction could support such a causative relationship. Continue reading “Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need”

Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis

Featured image is of the Butterfly Nebula by NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team – http://www.hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/25/image/f/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7777740

Marianne Schmidt and Philip Jamieson

Earlier this year, we attended the Cosmic Conciousness Conference at Uluru. There we had the opportunity on 12 January to experience at this sacred site a rare Saturn/Pluto conjunct and, indeed, the more rare for the fact that their conjunction was in Capricorn, something that had not occurred in more than 500 years.

Pluto and Saturn are two of the most feared planets in astrology. Pluto is a force of transformation and Saturn a force of responsibility, restriction and limitation, representing authority and structures like government and rules. So when they meet up in Capricorn, which rules governments, corporations and the economy, we can expect a tumultuous shakeup of antiquated global structures and institutions. When in 1518, Pluto and Saturn last met in Capricorn we saw the burgeoning of both the African slave trade (actions taken by Charles 1 of Spain in August 1518 resulted in a nearly 10 fold increase in the numbers of transatlantic slaves) and the Reformation movement (Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses spread swiftly after their translation from Latin into German in January 1518). Now again, 500 years later, during the period of this astrologically significant conjunction, half of global humanity sits in various stages of lockdown around the world as we experience a viral pandemic, wreaking transformation across all aspects of our global institutions, economic structures and indeed our very way of life – we find ourselves restricted, largely confined to our homes, and with our economic and social lives in disarray.

Continue reading “Central Australian Dreaming Sparks a Glimmer of Hope at a Time of Global Crisis”

Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?

Featured image is of Denisova Cave by Демин Алексей Барнаул – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48890364

In New Dawn magazine last year,[1] I explored the work of two British academics (Dr Martin Sweatman and Alistair Coombs) pushing back the origins of the Western zodiac to a time more than 40,000 years or more in the past.[2] As I noted in that article, they have apparently identified an ancient zodiac code that continues to inform the one we use today. In fact, it appears that we still use exactly the same zodiacal constellations. The authors allow though that there are some differences in the symbolism we now use to represent the constellations. Not only would the symbolism in this ancient zodiac likely have been subject to many local variations, some constellations that were apparently previously represented by animals are no longer in our modern zodiac and a few other constellations are now represented by different animals.

Key to finding that this zodiac code dates back at least 40,000 years is the analysis by Sweatman and Coombs of its application to the ancient Lion Man figurine from Stadel Cave in Hohlenstein, Germany, although they have concluded that the lion is actually one of the animal symbols that has been switched. In our modern Western Zodiac, the lion is of course the symbol for Leo. However, they conclude that in this ancient code Leo is likely to have been represented by horse symbolism while the feline symbol appears to have represented Cancer. For them, the Lion Man figurine represents Cancer on the Winter solstice around 40,000 years ago.[3]

These symbolic associations have been questioned as part of a broader criticism of their theory.[4] While I find many of their conclusions persuasive, in my earlier paper I also queried their view that the lion was not associated with Leo in this ancient code. I believe there are reasonable grounds for suggesting that the lion was then, as it remains to this day, the symbolic representation for this zodiac constellation. And since my earlier article was published I believe that those grounds may have been strengthened by recent findings at the Denisova Cave in Siberia. These findings may even support the view that the ancient zodiac code identified by Sweatman and Coombs is an inheritance from the Denisosovans. Continue reading “Denisovan Origins of the Zodiac?”

We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?

Marianne Schmidt and Philip Jamieson

Featured image is of a meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower, showing the meteor, afterglow, and wake as distinct components. Image and description by Navicore – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8736621

“[A] fiery devil ran down from the sun and made his home in the earth” Aboriginal elder in 1932 describing the Henbury meteorite crater field

Earlier this year, after attending the Cosmic Conciousness Conference in Uluru in Australia’s Central Desert Region, we had the opportunity to visit two very special sites in the area: the Henbury meteorite crater field and Gosses Bluff. Both are significant in the dreaming of the local Arrernte Aboriginal people. And to our mind in those dreaming stories is understanding and insight relevant as much for modern humanity as for the Arrernte peoples themselves. Continue reading “We are NOT Alone: Thoughts on Comets and Meteorites – Where Life Began?”

Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

Featured image: aerial view of Alice Springs by Stephen Codrington, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=221254

Alice Springs, lying as it does almost at the geographic heart of the Australian continent, inspires in many Australians a nostalgic sense of their national identity – a tough and hardy community of people forging a living in the harsh Australian desert, enduring baking summers and freezing winter nights, and meeting each challenge with laconic indifference. It is an image of hardiness and mateship that we can draw upon at times of challenge. As half of global humanity now sits in lockdown, it is an image that helps inspire the fortitude we need as a nation to survive the adversity we are facing.

Alice Springs/Mparntwe’s antiquity

We also suggest that reflection upon the significance of Alice Springs to our national psyche provides opportunity as well as inspiration, an opportunity to recognise the antiquity of our human connection with the landscape of Alice Springs.

Continue reading “Central Australia’s Caterpillar Dreaming: Gleaning an insight into Indigenous ritual and ceremony”

Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom

Featured image by Idontfindaoriginalname – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77784213

A piece on the topic, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ Tower of Wisdom, that I co-authored with my writing colleague, Marianne Schmidt, was published on Ancient Origins on 23 December 20l9. The following link is to a preview of the piece:

https://www.ancient-origins.net/history/mary-magdalene-0013047

The full text of the piece is available with Premium membership on the magazine’s main site.

Ancient Origins is a thoroughly engaging ancient history website that aims to inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education and knowledge.

Ancient Origins of the Zodiac


A piece I prepared on this topic was published in 176 (September – October 2019) New Dawn 61-64.

This is an updated, broader and more well developed revision of an earlier piece I wrote on The Lion Man and the Age of Leo.

New Dawn is an excellent magazine first published back in 1991. It publishes material exploring ancient wisdom and new thinking.

New Dawn has an online presence at https://www.newdawnmagazine.com/

Uncovering the Truth Behind Matriarchal Societies in the Ancient World

A piece I prepared on this topic was published on Ancient Origins on 7 March 2019. The link appears below:

https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-ancient-traditions/ancient-cultures-matriarchal-society-0011588

Ancient Origins is a thoroughly engaging ancient history website that aims to inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education and knowledge.

Animal Insights into Risky Play

Play it seems is ubiquitous across both cultures and time. The archaeological record supports play amongst our ancestors from at least the Paleolithic era. Much of that record is to be found in physical artefacts like balls, dice, gaming boards and other toys, but some “astonishingly beautiful” children’s footprints preserved beneath the Namibian Sands some 1500 years ago delightfully show a small group of children skipping, hopping and jumping as they shepherded the family flock (Bennett and Reynolds).

And children amongst our ancestors were not accorded the constancy of care so characteristic in today’s society. Footprints found in Southern Ethiopia and probably made by the extinct species Homo heidelbergensis (600,000 to 200,000 years ago) “may have been made by children as young as one or two, standing in the mud while their parents and older siblings got on with their activities” – “[t]his was their school room, and the curriculum was the acquisition of survival skills” (Bennett and Reynolds). The apparently “overwhelming parenting lesson from the distant past … [in which] children had more responsibilities, less adult supervision and certainly no indulgence from their parents” presents “a picture of a childhood very different from our own, at least from the privileged perspective of life in Western society” (Bennett and Reynolds).

It is in the realm of “risky play” that the protectiveness of our modern society is most clearly evident. That area of “thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, … [but] provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk” (Carrig). Continue reading “Animal Insights into Risky Play”

The Lion Man and the Age of Leo

The lion man from the Stadel Cave in Hohlenstein, Lonetal
Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons, License: CC BY-SA 3.0

In a paper recently accepted for publication in the Athens Journal of History, two British academics (Martin Sweatman and Alistair Coombs ) have greatly expanded “our understanding of the astronomical knowledge of ancient people” from a study of Palaeolithic cave art sites in Germany, France and Spain, and Neolithic sites in Turkey. They conclude that “[t]his knowledge, it seems, enabled [the ancients] to record dates, using animal symbols to represent star constellations, in terms of precession of the equinoxes”. They present these conclusions as “at odds with the conventional view that astronomy began in Mesopotamia a few millennia BC and that precession of the equinoxes was discovered by Hipparchus in the 2nd Century BC” which they consider must now be seen as “unsafe”.

Outside the cautious understated expression common in the scientific world, the authors more closely reflect the true impact of their conclusions in observing that “we have undoubtedly cracked [an] ancient zodiacal code”: “This code was likely used for many tens of thousands of years, from at least the time Homo sapiens migrated into Western Europe, around 40,000 years ago, until comparatively recently”.

Continue reading “The Lion Man and the Age of Leo”

Are Animals Spiritual?

On 21 August this year a woman died in a road accident in China. Tragically, more than 700 such deaths are likely to have occurred in China on that single day. However, in the months since, her passing has become a matter of international public interest as her canine companion has continued to stand steadfastly by the guard rail near the spot where she was killed. Allusions have been made to Hachiko, the Akita dog that for almost 10 years from 1925 waited at the end of each day for its dead owner outside a train station in Tokyo (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-13/loyal-dog-waits-for-almost-three-months-for-dead-owner-to-return/10491620), although there are many examples upon which one could draw of such canine “loyalty”.

I wonder though if the commonly used term “loyalty” properly captures the sentiment behind these actions. I consider them more properly understood as “faith”, a steadfast and unwavering belief that their human companion will rejoin them. Is “faith” spiritual? Are the actions of these dogs evidence to a human mind of a spiritual ethos? And the deeper question: Are animals spiritual? Continue reading “Are Animals Spiritual?”

Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity

Ota Benga was born more than a century ago. He was a Mbuti, a short statured indigenous peoples of the Congo. As a four foot 11 inch pygmy with teeth filed to sharp points, he found himself in 1904 headed to the United States to be part of an anthropology exhibition. By 1906, he was working in a role helping maintain the animal habitats at the Bronx Zoo before the interest the public took in the young Ota saw his gradual but ultimate degradation into one of the very exhibits he had been helping maintain. In a sad poststcript, in 1916, aged 32, Ota took his own life.

Ota’s treatment evokes a feeling of revulsion by the standards of our day. Yet Ota shared his cage in the Monkey House with an orangutan named Dohong. Dohong’s circumstances were no less desperate yet even today there is little public interest in his story or the degradation he experienced. Continue reading “Of Great Apes and Lessons for Humanity”