Category Archives: BLOG & INTERESTS

PHILOSOPHY AND PHYSICS OF A SPIRITED UNIVERSE

Premise(to my upcoming book – looking for feedback)

Where do we come from? Who are we? What’s next? Before I ever started reading (let alone understanding) natural philosophy, astrophysics and history of spirituality, I spontaneously started developing ideas of my own, on the Universe and the All, based on sheer intuition. Such intuition seemed to rise from within me, with no apparent link to empirical experience, knowledge or understanding. Only later would I discover that many philosophers, scientists and fellow human beings before me, conceived and realised the value and indisputability of this mysterious intuition. Pure intuition. Inspiring me with notions of Order, Unity, and Infinity.

Now confronted with the study of quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, philosophy, history of religions and esoteric studies, notions of Order, Unity and Infinity seem to bloom at all times in all places, actually demonstrating that pure intuition not only exists but is an intrinsic shared characteristic of humankind throughout its history, as if all accessing a unique and universal consciousness.

Indeed, since its dawn, humankind has repeatedly asked itself the same questions: “Where do we come from?”, “Who are we?” and “What’s next?” Although answers may differ between a civilisation and another, they astonishingly (seemingly “hazardly”) also have a lot in common. Assuming, as we do, that ancient populations [e.g., Prevedic India, ancient Egypt and Maya civilisation] had no contact between each other, thus no possibility of confrontation or exchange of information, such common points seem to be a product of somewhat of a “shared intuition”. The first shared intuition of all is undeniably the perception of our own existence, through that of our consciousness.

Inherently, even our consciousness is merely a perception of itself: we cannot see it or touch it, nor can we place it in a distinct sphere of our brain or body. Yet, we have an undeniable perception of its existence for the sheer fact that we have a perception in the first place. We hence recognise consciousness as our true essence and proof of our existence, often (most probably erroneously) believing that it sets us apart from the rest. “Cogito ergo sum[1]. We are certain of our existence because we conceive it. The way Descartes put it is that if we doubt our own existence, the simple fact that we doubt proves that we think, and there would be no thought if a thinking entity did not exist. Accepting this logical process it is legitimate to conclude that we exist through our consciousness.

But what is Consciousness? Is it, as some would say, the Universe starting to get aware of itself? The spontaneous result of billions of years of evolution? The consequence of a certain random, yet meticulously precise, combination of atoms? Or is it as many have perceived it throughout the years, centuries and millennia, the product of something greater, larger, superior, transcendent? Something Omniscient [all knowing], Omnipotent [all-powerful], Omnificent [all creative] and Omnipresent [always present]? Something such as a unifying ancient panpsychistic[2] universal mind or even a religious God, present all around us and within ourselves?

“the better consciousness within me lifts me up into a world where neither personality nor causality, nor subject nor object, exist any more (…) My hope and belief is that this better (super-sensible and extra-temporal) consciousness will become my only one (…) an operation of the understanding, an immediate intuition (…) a flash of insight” Arthur Schopenhauer[3]

Personally, the feeling that such intuition is closely linked to the comprehension of truth, inspiring ideas of universal consciousness, and my surrender to it, seems to free me from the mental limitation imposed by the artificial boundaries of what is actually a false individuality of self.Whatever one may call it, it is undeniable that the second shared intuition is the existence of something greater, something infinite in time and space: a genius universal mind, an extraordinary architect, a divine creator, orchestrating according to its volition and through elegant laws the existence of the Universe. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the shared intuition of the existence of something greater is solely the increasing awareness of the marvellously ordered bewildering immensity (or infinity) of the Universe itself.

Furthermore, it is in this intuition that I find a true bond with all that exists, a sense of natural belonging, a spontaneous harmony, a peaceful surrender, to a magic-like flow, perceiving each and every single particle composing me and everything around me, inevitably grasping the beguiling unity of All: one immense sea of particles harmoniously flowing in space. It is impossible to experience Unity without recognising the absurdity of individuality.

Withstanding the above, there is a third undeniable shared intuition I would only dare to define through the distinct feature that truly seems to set humankind apart from the rest of living beings and things: curiosity. Its quest to understand, its perception that it can and its ability to do so, indeed reveal the third shared intuition as being the possibility of understanding.

This is our starting point. Our three basic shared intuitions inevitably lead us to question and investigate the essence of the Universe and Humankind. This project intends to combine philosophical and spiritual query with astrophysical and cosmological investigation. 7000 years of shared intuitions and scientific discoveries. Where do we come from? Who are we? What’s next?

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.” Henri Poincare

Enjoy the journey!

[1] René Descartes (1596 – 1650) French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Quote source: “I think, therefore I am” René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, 1644.Enjoy the journey!

[2] One of the most ancient theories of Mind being everywhere and in everything, at all time. Panpsychism was supported by philosophers such as Thales, Plato, Spinoza, Leibniz and others.

[3] Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 –1860) German philosopher. Quote source: David E. Cartwright, Schopenhauer: A Biography, 2010.

aurora kastanias 2017, all rights reserved.

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Future Energy: Will buses be run on coffee?

“New sources of renewable or recyclable energy never stop surprising me. I have finally found a good reason to continue drinking coffee!”

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter – 15 June 2017

Green entrepreneur Arthur Kay wants the red buses that have become a landmark of London to run on fuel generated by coffee waste.

He runs Biobean, a start-up which is gathering waste from coffee chains such as Costa and converting it into liquid fuel.

The firm is due to unveil a coffee-run bus in the capital in a few weeks.

In London, the need to get cleaner air is vital – the dense road network coupled with high buildings make it one of the most polluted places in the UK.

Continue reading BBC article

Lost Jackson Pollock

“Stories that put a smile on our faces!”

By Nancy Coleman, CNN – Updated 1010 GMT (1810 HKT) June 13, 2017

A Jackson Pollock painting found in an Arizona garage could sell is expected to sell for up to $15 million at auction.

Story highlights

  • The Pollock painting is expected to fetch $10 to $15 million at auction
  • Auction house owner: “I was like,‘God, that looks like a Jackson Pollock’”

(CNN) The story sounds like something out of a film noir brought to life.

It has every element of a good mystery: a socialite who spent her days mingling with New York’s best and brightest, a lost painting found years later in an unexpected place, and — perhaps most notably — a potential $15 million price tag.

So when a rare Jackson Pollock painting was found in an Arizona garage, figuring out its origins wasn’t just about analyzing brush strokes. Like any good mystery, uncovering the painting’s history took tracking down the people behind it.

‘God, that looks like a Jackson Pollock’

The mystery began with a signed L.A. Lakers poster.

When a Scottsdale, Arizona, man was headed to a retirement home, a neighbor helping with the move found the collectible in the garage and suggested contacting an auctioneer to appraise it.

Josh Levine, owner of the auction house who was called to look at the poster, estimated the signed Lakers memorabilia would be worth about $300. But when they went to the man’s garage, what they found could be 50,000 times more valuable.

Continue reading CNN article

Ant Colony Structure

Ants are understood to form the second most complex societies on Earth after our own. Can we truly reduce such engineering to basic animal instincts or is there something more to it?

I was writing a poem metaphorically calling human beings ‘biped ants’ [see Social Animal] as they would appear from a far distance if someone were to look upon us from above, and as I searched for a visual to complement my words I stumbled upon this 2012 discovery.

anthill1
Ant Colony Structure retrieved by pouring molten metal into its tunnels

We have always been attracted by ants’ endless work and seemingly effortless labour; do they not know fatigue? We have also proceeded to pour liquid metal in their lairs in order to analyse the structure of their complex abodes, discovering fantastic structures so beautiful as to become bioart, as viewed in the picture above.

Yet this time, scientists in Brazil, led by Professor Luis Forgi, have uncovered a 46 square metre ant megalopolis, the biggest yet known to us, keen to be the equivalent for them of the Great Wall of China for us. A city with subterranean highways, paths and gardens, where each member has a role, from construction to fungus farming to waste disposal.

Check it out and bewilder in marvel for these extraordinary creatures, so small yet so mighty, which made to my surprise and satisfaction, my poetical metaphor all the more accurate.

Continue reading Ant Colony Structure

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

There are many things we think we know and take for granted until we are asked what they truly are. This has recently happened to me while engaging in conversations about human rights: rights that are ours for the sheer fact that we are human beings. There are 30 of them, (as I shamefully just found out), but I only could mention a few. So here is the condensed information I gathered through my humble research. [n.b.: none of the below is written by me]

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

THE STORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

THE DOCUMENT

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Continue reading Universal Declaration of Human Rights

GONE MISSING: Mr. Perspective – WANTED for crime: Mr. Media

Lives prematurely taken away by wars and related attacks are always a devastatingly sad and shameful event. As a human being, I for one am ashamed. Nonetheless I refuse to mourn European lives more than that of any other human being on the planet and I disagree with Mr. Media who wants me to. I call for equality and ask Mr. Media to proceed with his 24-hour special breaking-news high-rating edition on European victims of a “terrorist” attack on European soil. But I also ask him to increase his coverage of armed conflicts worldwide even at the cost of a lower share. To increase his coverage of what has become a manufacturing business with an average daily production of 146 “casualties” in its Syrian facility alone and 468, worldwide.

I want Mr. Media to be honest and unbiased, to carry out his duty and tell the truth. But that’s probably too naïf! He works for the private sector after all! Stakeholders and shareholders.

Honesty and perspective are needed. We cannot continue to act surprised and appalled if we do not even attempt to end armed conflicts globally and support a one trillion dollar a year, moneymaking weapon industry worldwide. In case Mr. Media had not told you yet, it is your money governments spend to arm themselves against “the enemy”. And it is those same weapons bought by governments that reach the hands of just about anybody, i.e., the highest bidder.

Continue reading GONE MISSING: Mr. Perspective – WANTED for crime: Mr. Media

Silent Applause

Premise: This is not an attack to the EU or other international institutions, rather a statement of consciousness and a critique of who we are and what we do, or ignore: A humble evaluation of our priorities.

To all those insisting to highlight the fact that ever since the European Union there have been no more wars between the members of the Union, hence defending the European Union as a political union rather than as originally intended (or claimed as intended) trade union, with the pretext that “Union” is better than “Division”, no matter what the Union actually is or does…

Registered death toll from wars since 1945, globally and not accounting for consequent famine, illnesses and, recently, “drowning” casualties:

12.741.458 human lives lost in 161 wars.

And just who do you think orchestrates and finances these wars? Who actually benefits from them? Whom do you think sells weapons all around the globe, left, right and centre?

Continue reading Silent Applause