Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Open your eyes to the hidden light.

This is a scientific cinderella story. A guy called Nick Risinger leaves boring job to follow his heart, one year later he has photographed the whole sky, travelling the world with his retired father. His site has had one million visitors. His images shows the beauty that embraces our solar system, a beauty which is hidden from most uf us by light, either the sun or urban lights.

Astronomers call this light polution and countries are starting to take action against it.
In march 2001 there was a major power break in California, frighten people called the authorites wondering about all the light spots in the sky. That is how foreign some of us have become to something that was very present in the lifes of our grandparents and the ancestral line of humans. The stars had a major part in mythology, religion, travelling and agriculture-by helping humans to keep in track with the seasons.

Light pollution on our planet

There are now ongoing discussions on creating "dark parks" on earth. Nature need to be preserved under goverment protection, the night sky might need it too.

One of Nick's amazing pictures

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Planets, you either have them or you don't

The latest news in astronomy is that, not only misery likes company, so does planets.
Data shows that stars that have a planet in circulation probably has others. This came as a suprise to the scientists, not only that so many stars have more than one planet, but that they could be meassured, as not all planets in our solarsystem move along the same plane.
The telescope is called Keppler and has identified 116 stars with planets since its launch two years ago. The data shows 45 stars with three planets , eight stars with four planets, one star with five planets, and one star with six planets.
The telescopes scans the light from several stars at the same time. When a body passes between the star and the telescope, the light from the star is weaker. This dip correlate to the size of the object that has passed and the time is eqvivalent to the passing of the object. Thus researchers can calculate the size of the planet.

Also planets come in all sizes, Jupiters, Saturns and earths.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Science as a spiritual technique and the other way around

"Stupidity is repetition, repeating others. It is cheap, cheap because you need not learn. Learning is arduous. It needs guts to learn. Learning means one has to be humble. Learning means one has to be ready to drop the old, one has to be constantly ready to accept the new."  Osho

Sometimes it is war between science, spirituality and philosophy. There are several causes. One reason is that people today misunderstand the scientific method, which I will come back too. Another reason is the the power and money that is associated with scientific research that have created a power structure that some people consider to be unhealthy. In Sweden postmodernism mayham have started to take over academia as a way to redirect power, as I mentioned, their work is based in a total misunderstanding in the scientific method itself and I will not (at least not now) get into that discussion.

I am more interested in exploring similarities between spirituality and science.
Why do we have spirituality? It gives an explanation of our place in cosmos and it teaches us how to relate to the world. in a way that brings us happiness. Most techniques are focused on getting the brain to stop thinking and become conscious of the fact that it is alive. The present is a place/time/state that can be defined but not really described. When an old brain encounters an experience or a problem,  it goes back and recall every experience that was similar to this one, and then act from those experiences. What worked, what did not work? It is a bit like choosing a computer program, which should I run in this situation, what would help me, who should I be. A young brain has not started this but instead interacts with the experience, if it is a problem it will attack every angle of it until it has solved. It is blank of prejudice, it has no made up ideas of what the interaction has created. This is the state that so many people lock themselves up in ashrams to achieve, the young state. The nonjudgemental nonimprinted brain.

This innocent stage perceives everything as it was the first time, which it is. If you have seen my previous postings, you will know that the body is in constant change, thus every experience that you have in this body is for the first time. You don’t think that you are experiencing it, you are experiencing it, it is a big difference and it is the purpose of spiritual teachers and gurus to make you see this difference.
I am convinced that  a person who are going through life with a spiritual purpose and a strong longing will find treasures along the way. I have done this myself and I do encourage everybody to explore what it means to have a consciousness and being human. But often a shift takes place in the spiritual journey. The spiritual interpretation slowly become a new imprinting, a new judgement through which they interact with the world. New myths are incorporated, the indivudal continue to live from a brain that has an idea of what life should be like, although the old myths have been exchanged by new. This is how dogmas are created, suddenly the new myths are more important than anything else, it is what defines the person. It might have brought a sense of relief, happiness and peace. But everything changes, nothing ever remains the same. In order for peace to remain, the brain has to keep its innocent state. When dogma enters it will be we and them, should and would. Then the brain has gone back to creating something from thoughts and preconceptions instead of being in the present. You wanted to run away from your life’s story and ended up creating a new prison for yourself.

Now let turn our gaze towards science.
Why do we have science? We want to understand what it means to be alive. If we can use that to improve our lives we will be even happier.
The scientific method is based on a self-correcting interaction with nature and constant international dialogue of sharing observations. When I show my data I have to describe every step that I took, every chemical I used. It is exactly like sharing a recipe, and people all over the world will try to recreate my data/cake by following notes. Usually one does several experiments to answer the same question, in order to verify the result with various techniques. At those occasions where they get diverging results one has to question the data and the circumstances. Science is constantly rebuilding its truth. It is a constant dialogue where we are open as Osho said; “Learning means one has to be ready to drop the old, one has to be constantly ready to accept the new.” We are constantly learning about life. The truth will last as long as the data makes sense in the context that interprets the data from. If the data start showing something else the context might have to be revised. This can be referred to as scientific revolutions.

There is also a judgmental side to science. Some scientists don’t understand the fragility of their data. Dogmatic scientists are blind to the contextualition that they live in. We have created a world together that makes sense so to us. Questions that we ask on patient level might be influenced by prejudice ideas on women and men. Some scientists are blind to how their own ideas affect their experimental designs. Yet once you show your data to the world they will be open for debate. Interestingly, it is usually the judgemental people that are at each other’s throats. The one that believes in the process knows that truth will reveal itself and change as it always has.
I know that it can be hard to introduce a new truth into the field, or have made experiments that nobody else have succeeded with. Nobody will believe your data, it will take several years to get them published. But if they are true, you will in the end succeed.
We are living in a time where science is under fire and the scientific method is presumed flawed. It is not science that is the villain. Mr Specters speaks of the dangers of science denial in his Ted talks.

“We're now in an epidemic of fear like one that I've never seen and hope never to see again. Unfortunately, this fear is motivating people to replace science with a belief in magic, from seemingly harmless magic such as Ginkgo biloba, echinacia, and açaí, to tragic magic such as using coffee enemas to cure cancer, or even insisting that beet root can cure HIV. People fight genetically engineered food, and think it's wrong to patent life and crop seeds -- and they blame science for these problems. But these issues are about law, morality and corporate greed, not science. Science is not a company, it's not a country, it's not even an idea. It's a process….The idea that we should not allow science to do its job because we're afraid is really very deadening, and it's preventing millions of people from prospering."

Mr Specter is right. Science is a process. A scientific interaction with life is thus what the spiritual seeker is looking for, it is an innocent and curious interaction. It is an interaction without fear that explores life, nobody knows will emerge from the dialogue today. The scientist and the spiritual seeker both want to dive deeper into the mystery of being here.

So there is a common thread here, science and spirituality both have the possibility to be dogmatic, oppressive and religious, it also has the capacity to be nonjudgmental. Dalai Lama is one of few religious leaders that have been positive to science. He knows that it is two sides of the same thing, an interaction with life that is always changing, while the processes to study life/explore conciousness remain the same.

This is an image of an exploding star, taken by the hubble telescope.
I wanted to add it for its beauty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rouge planets are roaming the galaxy, hey hollywood, new blockbuster idea!

Out of 500 exoplanets that  recently have been identified, scientist has realized that at least ten of them lack a solar system. Recent images shows planets on the loose in our own galaxy, roaming the galaxy as a rouge planets. Their masses and compositions are thought to be equivalent to Jupiter and Saturn.
This indicates that close graviational encounters with other planets can flung planets out of their orbits into interstellar space. Here is an inspiration for yet another 'great' hollywood blockbuster?

while waiting for the next x-men film....

I have had two piercings and have two tatoos. I just learnt that one can get much more cool stuff, but I am to old and to fainthearted. Brave/crazy men and women can today become like Magneto in X-men. Magnetic implants are inserted in their fingertips and then they can move metal by moving their hands. The force is very weak but still recognizable.
The first film include the insertion of the magnetic chips. Seriously the pain the pain...

Jedi/magneto powers are on!

Why is death considered to be evil?

Google Ngram over the words religion, death and sex.
This is a posting refering more to religion and how its contextualisation still affects us and the way we conduct science and live everyday lives even if we are "nonreligious".
It regards the discussions of Stephen B Hawking and his take of death and religion. Why do people need an assurance of life after death to the point that it is considered to be evil when Stephen speaks his mind?
 I did a google Ngram over the words death, religion and sex. Religion and death correlate and sex is reversed to these two. Why are religious people are afraid of death? Why is Stephen mean to them my simply stating that there is none.
 I can relate to the nonreligious peoples uncertainty, as I am not a religous person myself.  I can see that nonreligious people in my country project their fears of death and loss onto other beings hence there has been a huge increase in vegetarianism (I am one myself, and it is good for the planet as well so go green! But the idea of that another beings death to sustain my own life as evil, where does that come from?) and relatives (we are keeping our elder alive for longer period but we visit them less). Some of my old relatives told me, prior to their deaths, that they welcomed it. They were tired and content with their lives. They had lived and loved enought and death was a friend whos visit was anticipated with calm.

In reality, if it was not for death, we should not be alive. Life would not exist. This is a biological truth. Death deserves religious devotion, and in many cases that is what the ancient religions were about; Worshipping life and death cause they are interdependent. Living with life is living with death and the cycle between them, it is living in constant change. Death is the promis of change, it is the promis of evolution.

Death became alienated, an outcast, judged to be evil. Religion became the tool to prevent it, to control it rather then living with it. And by conveying death, religion started conveying life, it started to suppress what makes us human, alive and happy. Joyfull activites were forbidden because now they were evil. The body became something akward and shamefull. This is still affecting us in our everyday life.

I think a scientific view on life is part of the change, but not while the context that interpets the data is one that is afraid of death, thus afraid of life and afraid of change.

Do you believe in life after death, in life before death, or in both at the same time?

I believe in both at the same time. Stephen B Hawking, famous physicist and even more famous patient has  made it public (in the guardian) that he does not believe in life after death. The most remarkable about this is that his belief reaches the news all over the world.
According to Stephen, afterlife and heaven are fairy stories for people who are afraid of the dark. Logically if this was true, should religious people not be afraid of death then, cause they do believe in heaven? The only religious people I see happy to die are terrorist nutcases.  They are a minority (lucky enough). The rest of them suffers, despite of the promise of heaven. They not only suffer their own future death, they really suffer the coming of death of their loved ones. Not only because they might suffered retribution, if they are a part of that type of religious movement that has scared them into obedience.  Never have so many people gathered in Europe to mourn as when the previous pope died. Hey peeps, gods number one person on the planet has left the building, is that not a reason to party? Why mourn the loss when you could celebrate the fact that you got to live at the same time as that great (well perhaps not my opinion about him) man.

We can be certain of a few truths. We are here, although the definition of here is under debate. We were at one point of time not here, and we will at one point of time not be here again. These facts  depend on the idea that time is linear, an idea that is the base of the three big relgions Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Also that I am present here in the flesh.
There is another truth which is biologically significant, Buddha’s word on change; everything changes, nothing ever remains the same.
If we take this truth to the biological level of ourselves, we can see that this is true. The person that started to read this text is not the same biological being that is reading it now. Cells have died and been replaced, new cells have come into being and chemicals have moved around. Your body is never the same, this change is constant. I have written an earlier posting about this (with that headline).

This image shows my favorite tantric goddess
Vajrayogini in an embrace or yabyum with
her lover/boyfriend Chakrasamvara. These
images are filled with symbolism, they are
meditation tools for us to help us understand
life, death, conciousness and enlightenment.
Tantric deities are often shown in lovemaking, usually with jewels made of skulls or heads. This is a mirror of what it means to be present. It is mirroring change, it is constant death and rebirth (the images have other meanings as well). It is one symbolic description of what it mean to be alive and have a body. It is showing the extacy connected with this experience.
 Thus there is nothing to be afraid of. There is only change and thus there is only now. This is heaven, this is the afterlife, cause the person you were five seconds ago has died and been reborn into something else. It is an ongoing cycle. If you take this interpretation, Stephen is wrong. There is a heaven, which comes in the breach of life and death and rebirth (the last depending on religious belief of course) and it is taking place within us right now. There is no fright of darkness, only of our projected fears.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Con-cern-ed about the AMS launch and the Cern experiments?

NASA's Endeavour shuttle took off today on its final mission carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). One of my FB friends was con-cern-ed that there was so much work going into this project when they could be saving the world. Well I am convinced that these dedicated scientists would not do this work unless they thought that it included saving the world. Increased knowledge has always brought the evolution forward, but it is hard to know exactly how before it has happened.

Remember the old stories of mirror worlds? In my country the witches used to party with Satan in a place where everything was the reversed compared to our world. The world of the witches was thus a mirror world. Similar themes have been adopted by science fiction, but then the authors have not only been inspired by ancient myths but also by science.

Antimatter is a form of matter composed of antiparticles, such as antihydrogen, consisting of antiprotons and positrons. Intellectually you could wonder if antiparticles exist, does antiplanets, antihumans and antiuniverse exists? Well, we can be sure that the AMS will not shed light on wether there is a Anti-me out there.

AMS is looking for anti-carbon, anti-hydrogen and anti-helium, things that can’t be formed by coalitions, but in stars. At this time, it seems like there is one for example anti-helium existing per ten million helium particles. Why does nature have a preference for matter rather than antimatter? The theory is that in the beginning, equal numbers of matter and antimatter were created, the question is where the antimatter went. With the help of the AMS antimatter will be studied, to answer these questions.

The AMS will also look for dark matter. Dark matter sounds like something out of Harry potter or like the name of a gothic rock band.

Visible mass is very low percent of the existing universe; floating on a sea of unknown substance. All we see, stars systems, galaxies and so forth are just like stars on a dark night heaven, we know that the stars are there, but we do not know what is in between them.

Where does the theory of dark matter come from? Galaxies rotate much quicker than breaking. All objects are observable by the radiation they give off, such as radio, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, x-ray, or gamma-ray radiation, and all can be observed using various kinds of telescopes. We have no idea what it is because it does not omit any radiation. The scientists think that DM is very heavy particles, so heavy that we cannot observe them. They do not give off any radiation. Matter that emits little or no detectable radiation of its own, postulated to account for gravitational forces observed on astronomical objects and to be part of the missing mass.