Medley

Causes of Climate Change

Michiel Haas – the Netherlands

  1. Earth has a changing climate 

Our Earth has always had a changing climate. Warming and cooling have taken place in varying wave movements and are controlled by, among other things, the angle of the earth's axis to the sun. These periodic long-term climate changes have been described by the Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovitch (1879-1958). The last ice age, also known as the Weichselien, ended some 11,700 years ago. This was preceded by a long period in which it was considerably colder than it is now. No trees grew in the Netherlands, a cold polar wind blew, and the oceans were about 6 degrees colder than today. According to Milutin Milankovitch, the next ice age will take place in approximately 55,000 years. Other scientists are less certain about that. But after warming irrevocably comes cooling.

  1. Earth atmosphere or climate 

The Earth has an atmosphere around it, which is bound to the Earth by gravity. This atmosphere is of great importance for life on Earth. The atmosphere tempers the sunlight, maintains the Earth's energy balance and protects against harmful radiation, such as ultraviolet radiation. This atmosphere is like a blanket around the Earth and that is why we also speak of a kind of greenhouse. That is why the temperature on Earth is pleasant. Without the atmosphere, the temperature would be -18 degrees Celsius, with this atmosphere the average temperature is +15 degrees Celsius.

The atmosphere consists of a mixture of different gases. The volume ratios of these gases in the lower layers of the atmosphere, up to about 90 km altitude, are almost constant, except for the share of water vapor.

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The atmosphere is bound to the Earth by gravity and is part of the rotation of the Earth. Without an atmosphere, life on Earth would not be possible. Because of our unbridled burning of fossil fuels we are changing the atmosphere around the Earth with all the consequences that entails. (Photo: nasa-43566 on Unsplash)

  1. Greenhouse gases

The most important greenhouse gases are:

  • Carbon dioxide CO2 - colourless and odourless gas, non-toxic, is absorbed by plants; is released by burning fossil fuels, by composting and decaying and by melting permafrost;
  • Methane CH4 - colourless and odourless gas, flammable, occurs naturally in swamps and peat and is released by melting permafrost, by forest fires and decaying material: human influence strongly through livestock farming, agriculture, landfills and burning fossil fuels;
  • Nitrous oxide N2O - laughing gas, colourless and slightly sweet-smelling gas, is used in anaesthetics, to give engines more power, emissions via agriculture, manure and fertilizer, chemical industry, waste incineration, burning fossil fuels;
  • Water vapor H2O - strongest greenhouse effect due to the large quantity in the atmosphere; increasing water vapor in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect, but due to cloud formation less sunlight will be absorbed, causing cooling again;
  • Chlorofluorocarbon compounds CFC's -in aerosols and in coolants of e.g. refrigerators and air conditioners, is now prohibited because of ozone layer depletion;
  • Sulfur hexafluoride SF6 - is a colourless and odourless gas, the gas is five times denser than air, it is used in electrical engineering and medical engineering;
  • Ozone O3 - a colourless to light blue gas with an unpleasant pungent odor, ozone is naturally formed in the atmosphere under the influence of electrical discharges (such as during thunderstorms) and ultraviolet radiation; the warming effect is still unknown.

Read more: Causes of Climate Change

From Here to There: Women and Their Spiritual Journey

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

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As a young woman, I was fortunate to spend time in the presence of the spiritual teacher, J. Krishnamurti. “Krishnaji,” as he was known to some, spent his whole life studying the Self and the human condition. He is famously known for telling his followers that “Truth is a pathless land,” and constantly asking his audience “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?” While his questions were not unusual for a spiritual leader to ask, his method of addressing those questions was unique, because he did not provide a direct answer. As he spoke, Krishnaji would address how our mind works. He would talk about how we look to others for answers, an authority of some kind to tell us what to do. And he would include himself in this category and say, “Don’t listen to the speaker. Think for yourself.”

Read more: From Here to There: Women and Their Spiritual Journey

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 27

Leo Babauta – USA

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“The field of consciousness is tiny. It accepts only

one problem at a time.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (photo) 

Parents might have the most difficult challenges when it comes to finding focus. Whether you’re working all day and coming home to your kids, or you stay home taking care of all the household needs and very demanding children, there’s almost never a quiet moment, almost never a time when you can relax, find focus, attain inner peace.

I’m a father of six children, so I know. Kids tend to turn up the volume on life, increase the chaos of this already chaotic world by an order of several magnitudes. And while I’ve found that it gets easier as kids get older, it never gets easy — they still need you to drive them around a million places, to help them with a million problems, to meet their basic needs and more.

That’s OK — chaos and work are some of the joys of being a parent. But what if we want to find focus and still be awesome parents? There’s the challenge, and I’d like to offer a short guide to doing just that.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 27

Experiences of 'ultimate reality' or 'God' confer lasting benefits to mental health

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People over the millennia have reported having deeply moving religious experiences either spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, and a portion of those experiences have been encounters with what the person regards as “God” or “ultimate reality.” In a survey of thousands of people who reported having experienced personal encounters with God, Johns Hopkins researchers report that more than two-thirds of self-identified atheists shed that label after their encounter, regardless of whether it was spontaneous or while taking a psychedelic.

Moreover, the researchers say, a majority of respondents attributed lasting positive changes in their psychological health ¾ e.g., life satisfaction, purpose and meaning ¾ even decades after their initial experience.

Read more: Experiences of 'ultimate reality' or 'God' confer lasting benefits to mental health

People with a sense of oneness experience greater life satisfaction

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People who believe in oneness – the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent – appear to have greater life satisfaction than those who don't, regardless of whether they belong to a religion or don't, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“The feeling of being at one with a divine principle, life, the world, other people or even activities has been discussed in various religious traditions but also in a wide variety of scientific research from different disciplines,” said Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, PhD, of the University of Mannheim and author of the study. “The results of this study reveal a significant positive effect of oneness beliefs on life satisfaction, even controlling for religious beliefs.”

Read more: People with a sense of oneness experience greater life satisfaction

A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 5

John White – USA

[A Practical Guide to Death and Dying was originally published by QUEST books in 1980. This particular version was previously published in the Theosophical Digest, y1992 v4 i2-p90.] 

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Growing Old Gracefully 

Growing Old Gracefully: The Phenix Society. 

I’m associated with the Phenix Society. I became part of it fourteen years ago because, after writing about it as a journalist, I sincerely felt it was doing valuable work in helping people to find meaning and direc­tion in life. That includes dealing with the fear of dying. The Phenix Society was born in 1973 when a handful of southern Connecticut residents began to meet regularly in search of a positive approach to aging. They were all older people who’d been through a wide variety of life’s shocks. Hobbies and week­ly bridge games for the senior citizens’ center weren’t enough to satisfy them. They vaguely sensed there was a better way, but it wasn’t until one of them read a passage in Carl Jung’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul that the answer stood out clearly. Jung wrote:

“A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species to which he belongs. We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning.”

Read more: A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 5

Doshas of the Mind: Our Heart Nature

James LeFevour – USA

In a previous article, the idea of ayurvedic doshas being applied to the mind was introduced. In summary there are three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) that come from 2 of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) of the universe, and those 2 elements produce the 3 motions of the universe. When applied to the mind this demonstrates 3 distinct personality types that are prevalent in all people.

To read more visit here.

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In this article, instead of focusing just on the mind it is worthwhile to go further into one’s passions. In terms of chakras, instead of just the ajna chakra, we will see what ajna and the anahata (heart) chakra do in tandem to our personalities.

It is not a new concept to look at the mind and the heart in unison as one unit. The science of meditation has only begun to plumb the depths of how our brains and hearts work together on a cellular level. Now we are applying doshas to it as well to understand the persona.

If one were to understand the nature of dosha, it becomes apparent that all things have a nature, so all things have a dosha. In a table, the legs, screws, and table top all have individual doshas. So too does the table in general have one dosha attributed to it. It is this way with people. Our minds, hearts, and all chakras and organs have dosha qualities. The combination of these doshas when applied to the whole give us our general dosha.

Read more: Doshas of the Mind: Our Heart Nature

Ownership: The Final Absurdity

Tim Wyatt – England

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The author

Like most people in the world I’m relatively poor. I’m one of the official 14 million people living in ‘poverty’ in the UK. But compared to a Yemeni orphan or Indian untouchable I live a millionaire lifestyle. I have as much warmth, food and shelter as I need. And although I’m officially and statistically poor, I’ve got lots of ‘stuff’. In fact, I’m drowning in it.

I ‘own’ a tiny old house, an ageing car, several dozen boxes containing the 20 million plus words from my half century of scribbling, 4,000 books, 2,000 CDs and vinyl LPs, hundreds of pictures, artefacts and objects d’art, dozens of bonsai trees – and a shed.

Read more: Ownership: The Final Absurdity

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