Monday, December 31, 2012

Brothers of the shadow

Brothers of the shadow: ‘A term given in occultism ... to individuals, whether men or women, who follow ... the path of matter or of the shadows.  

They are the so-called black magicians of the Occident.

And stand in sharp and notable contrast with the white magicians or the sons of light who follow the pathway of self-renunciation, self-sacrifice, self-conquest, perfect self-control, and ... service for all that lives.

The existence and aims of the brothers of the shadow are essentially selfish. 

Multitudes of human beings are unconsciously treading the path of the shadows and, in comparison with these multitudes, it is relatively only a few who self-consciously lead and guide with subtle and steadfast intelligence this army of unsuspecting victims of maya. 

The brothers of the shadow are often highly intellectual men and women, frequently individuals with apparent great personal charm .

They work by temptation.
By mental pictures.
By suggestion.

By quoting scripture.
By appealing to their victims’ vanity as if their plea were made to the high virtues.
By playing upon their egoism.
And by arousing ignoble passions.

And yes they are real and are among us today.
They have also been here throughout human history.
Believe it or not the seriously evil ones are yet to come although we are getting closer as society becomes ever more greedy and accepting of such behaviour.
Today we might not see evil in these terms or is it that we just choose to ignore it?
In many societies anyone with money is accepted because money is the hall mark of a person's position in that society.
Where money is the only criteria then corrupt behaviour is inevitable
And where this is so then everything else becomes corrupt.
Breakdown of society is then not far behind.
We can today observe this in many societies.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rise and rise of machines

"The customer is King"

A new fad in business management?

Actually businesses have been saying this for decades.

Some companies have also achieved some success in this area.

Many, many however have not.

We can all hope that now it is the latest fad that they can actually do better than many are doing at the moment.

Unfortunately there are powerful forces tugging in the other direction. 
Customers like low prices.

Customers also like good service.

And many of the things companies can do to cut costs make the “customer experience” painful. 
Supermarkets make you check out your own groceries reducing the number of human check out points by the month, installing ever more self check out points.. 

When your washing machine or internet connection breaks down, the only help you can get is from someone in Hyderabad who speaks little or no English. 
Bosses like to think that big data will help them understand their customers better. 
But often they use new technology to build barriers between themselves and the paying public.
It is, for example, almost impossible to call a company and talk to a human being. 
First you spend half an hour finding the carefully concealed telephone number. 
When you dial it, an android answers. 
Frustrated grumblers have set up websites with tips on how to get past the robo-gatekeepers. 
You’d think companies would take the hint. 
Instead, they have made it even harder to reach a human and set the machines to work on more complicated tasks, such as selling tickets. Wow.

These infernal devices do at least perform one useful function: they let customers measure the value of this new management fad. 
Phone a firm that has appointed a chief customer officer and see if you can reach a human being. 
If not, that CCO might as well be tossed from an executive-floor window, no doubt clutching his collection of “journey maps” and “customer archetypes”.
Imagine the present generation are growing up thinking that this is normal.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Crop circle sense

It is perhaps little known that the beautiful county of Wiltshire, famed for Stonehenge and the white horses carved into its hills, is the most active area for crop circles in the world, with nearly 70 appearing in its fields in 2009.

It is unsurprising then, that the appearance of a phenomenally complex 300ft design carved into an expanse of rape seed on a Wiltshire hillside has caused excitement. 

But it's not just the eye-pleasing shape which has drawn attention to it. 

The intersected concentric pattern has been decoded by experts as a “tantalising approximation” of a mathematical formula called Euler’s Identity (e ^ ( i * Pi ) + 1 = 0), widely thought be the most beautiful and profound mathematical equation in the world.

The design (pictured above) appeared beside Wilton Windmill late on Friday night. 

Lucy Pringle, a founder of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies, was one of the first on the scene. 

She says: “What has happened in this particular crop circle is that there are 12 segments and within each segment there are 8 partly concentric rings. 

Each of these segments indicates a binary code based on 0 and 1. 

If you use an Ascii Table [computer calculation system], the pattern transposes itself into a tantalising approximation of Euler’s equation.”

The average person finds such complex mathematical talk utterly confounding, so The Independent Online asked Dr John Talbot, a maths research fellow at University College London, for his take on the matter. 

He said: “Looking at the crop circle, the link with Euler’s most famous identity seems to make perfect sense. 

However, the way the formula has been executed is partially incorrect. 

One of the discrepancies is that one part of the formula translates as ‘hi’ rather than ‘i’, which could be somebody’s idea of a joke.”

The Wilton Windmill circle is not the first to have provoked mathematical exposition. 

In July 2008 a photograph of a crop circle near Barbary Castle (also in Wiltshire) caught the attention of retired American astrophysicist Mike Reed when he saw it in a national newspaper. 

He was struck by its shape and eventually concluded that it was a coded image representing the first ten digits of Pi (3.141592654), a conclusion declared to be a “seminal event” by Pringle at the time.

Sceptics dismiss crop circles as utter rubbish, but despite decades of research nobody knows conclusively how they’re made. 

As Francine Blake of the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group, explains: “The difficulty is that we don’t know the answer. 

It’s something that needs to be treated with great respect, but is too often talked about flippantly in the media which, I think, closes the subject rather than opens it.”

There has been extensive scientific exploration into the affect the circles have on nearby wildlife. 

Flowers and soils inside crop circles are dramatically altered, Blake explains. 

Pringle observed in a 2003 experiment that seed samples taken from inside a crop circle had 40 per cent higher protein levels than those taken from outside it.

Another interesting element is the nature of the soil on which the circles appear. 

Pringle says that 93.8 per cent of crop circles are made on chalk, "a worldwide phenomenon" recorded in 54 different countries. 

She says the significance may be connected to underground springs called aquifers commonly found in chalk: 

"It is thought that the originating force probably originates in the ionosphere (an area of atmospheric electricity). 

The force then spirals to earth in the form of a vortical plasma and hits the ground with some 100 of 1000's of volts per metre for just a nano second only, else the crop would be burnt. 

Occasionally we do see evidence of scorched flattened crop inside certain circles. 

The electromagnetic fields of both the underground springs and the descending force work in harmony or conjunction with each other."

Blake also remarks on the significance of the chalk, which she says the ancients often built their monuments on - an observation which the existence of Neolithic sites like Stonehenge and Avebury attest. 

She says the ancients also built their temples on “energy lines” and has observed that “crop circles always appear on or near these lines.” 

Blake was impressed with the Barbary Castle circle and its derivations because the shape itself was “like a Labyrinth,” which “gives it a spiritual as well as a mathematical tradition.”

Nobody knows for sure how crop circles are made. 

Reports of strange mists creating the complicated patterns in a matter of minutes, their connotations with little green men and Midwich Cuckoos and elaborate hoaxes have fostered a widespread unwillingness to take the idea seriously. 

This approach both feeds the mystery around the concept and prevents further exploration of it, as it is an area of research that is unlikely to be awarded large research grants or space on university courses. 

But, as Blake remarks: There’s neither rhyme nor reason, they just keep coming. 

If you want to see for yourself Wiltshire is your best bet.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Monsanto's toxic past

Monsanto's character and yes different corporations do have different characters.. 
A verdict in a law suit made Monsanto's character explicit. 
On February 22, 2002, Monsanto was found guilty for poisoning the town of Anniston, Alabama with their PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl compounds) factory and covering it up for decades. 
They were convicted of negligence, wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass, and outrage.
According to Alabama law, to be guilty of outrage typically requires conduct:
"so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society."
The $700 million fine imposed on Monsanto was on behalf of the Anniston residents, whose blood levels of Monsanto's toxic PCBs were hundreds or thousands of times the average. 
This disease-producing chemical, used as coolants and lubricants for over 50 years, are now virtually omnipresent in the blood and tissues of humans and wildlife around the globe. 
Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group says that based on Monsanto documents made public during a trial, the company knew the truth from the very beginning. 
They lied about it. 
They hid the truth from their neighbours 
One Monsanto memo explains their justification: 
We can't afford to lose one dollar of business.
Welcome to the world of Monsanto.
Natural News
And has that culture changed?
Take a look at the seed business globally and Monsanto's role in that.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Now, he says, if people like a certain time period, say the 1950s or 60s, "they can have that look, or if they like the hookers in the Victorian era, that whole bordello look, they can have that. 

They live vicariously through their nails, marbling, particularly in colours that make nails resemble vintage Pucci fabrics. 

There is a new trend for felt nails, and designs made from lace. UV-cured polishes – dried under a lamp, and exceptionally hardwearing – have also transformed the industry, says Watson.
Ornate, painted, long, embellished nails nonetheless still seem one of the least practical fashion trends of all time. 

PRofessor Aileen Ribeiro, author of Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art, says long nails have been popular for centuries, partly because they denote wealth and leisure. "

People in the Ming dynasty had incredibly long fingernails," she says, "and obviously this implied they really couldn't do very much work at all. 

So it's about status, really. 

Leisurely status. 

And long nails give out a lot of different signals. 

They elongate the fingers, and for hundreds of years, long, slim fingers have been very much admired. 

People [displayed] their hands much more in the past than we do today. 

There was far more in the way of hand deportment, so a man would put his hands within the buttons of his waistcoat to show off their elegance, and a woman would use a fan."
Yet the vogue for nail polish is surprisingly recent. 

Angus Trumble, senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Yale Centre for British Art, and author of  The Finger: A Handbook, says that in the 19th century, in European cultures, there were all sorts of nostrums and powders, products that were designed to make nails look shiny, pink or fresh, youthful and smooth, but they were generally used rather like shoe polish. 

So you put it on, and polished it off, and it would leave a tint or a tinge. 

When women polished their nails back then, says Ribeiro, they buffed them with chamois leather, or they put lightly coloured beeswax on their nails to give them a shine. 

It was a very natural look. 

So in the 1920s, when paints developed for cars and aircraft began being applied to nails, many found them startling.
The question critics asked, says Ribeiro, is why women with all these relative new freedoms, having won the vote, and able to stride out, no longer hobbled by skirts, tight whalebone corsets, and so on – why would they need to wear makeup and polish their nails so much? 

I think what the complaint is, from critics – and they're nearly always male critics – is that women are illogical. 

Long nails, particularly when polished, give out the look of a kind of harpie, a woman who is ferocious, and is almost prepared to be bloodthirsty in her quest for a man. 

There's been quite a lot of discussion as to why red is so popular, because it is the colour of blood, it is the colour of danger, it is the colour of subversion. 

But of course it is just an enhanced and artificial way of replicating the colour of one's lips. 

Early on in nail polish's evolution, brands began selling matching lipstick and nail colour.
In the early days, too, some were so suspicious of the trend they suggested it was a form of self-harm. 

Trumble writes about lauded psychiatrist, Dr Karl A Menninger, who in 1934 presented his case to the American Psychiatric Association that 'bobbed hair and tinted nails' were a form of self-mutilation no less harmful than the abnormal cutting off of an arm, or starving oneself to death. 

There were also suggestions that nail polish must be a means of covering up sin or dirt. 

Ribeiro says the trend might have been associated with an element of sluttishness, that if you paint your nails, you hide dirt under the fingernails. 

Given the notion of health and hygiene, which was so big in the early 20th century, this again would seem to be going a step backwards. 

So I think there were a lot of quite complex feelings that people had, which they may not have fully understood.

Nail polish was taken up by Hollywood stars, with actors including Rita Hayworth popularising red nails in the 40s and 50s. 

In the 70s, artificial nails were invented, and in that decade women in the African American community, and the African Caribbean community in the UK, began pioneering brilliant new styles and ideas. 

Dr Shirley Tate, author of Black Skins, Black Masks, says manicured nails were always a way of showing class distinctions. 

Certainly, in the Caribbean, the people who used to have nails that were long and manicured were women who didn't have to do housework. 

So having long nails that were manicured was a way of showing class. 

If a woman couldn't afford a salon manicure, you did your own manicure every Sunday, because that was about middle-class femininity, the aspiration for professional and middle-class life.
What's interesting, says Tate, is how the meaning of different looks changes. 

Now we have dancehall artists with fake nails and loads of art on them, and that shows a different version of femininity, maybe, than that middle-class one. 

Mainstream culture has appropriated nail art in the same way as it has other black beauty practices, including hair extensions, she says.
A model's nails, 2012 NailympicsNailympics. Photograph: Sarah Lee 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Temper tantrums

The anger came out 
Spewed out in fact
Temper got the better of you.
A violent release using every nasty word phrase and hurt you could think of.
Lasted a while too
Felt quite drained afterwards.
You made up later.
Still the violence of your anger shocked you.
Where did that come from?
In simple language your dark or black side.
We have talked about this many times and explained that unless you learn to understand where the origin of the violence is then it will keep on occurring.
A fear not dealt with does not go away.
And violence is at root fear.
What can be done if you cannot or do not tackle this is to observe how you feel about your behaviour some time later after the event and when your anger has subsided.
Do you feel righteous?
That you were "right"?
That your behaviour was justified?
If any of these are your reaction then believe me you have some issues to deal with.
And if you are not prepared to deal with these then the next best is to understand your options.
You can of course allow yourself to become angry every time someone pushes your buttons.
Not a good idea as over time you will do damage to yourself and others.
Next best is to determine to avoid conflict whenever you can. 

Decide to walk away from arguments.
Listen to the other party and say " you are right", you will be surprised at the reactions!
While none of these are very good solutions they do at least move you along from being stuck in violence.
Violence that can only get worse over time if the causes are not identified and dealt with.
Oh and when we say try telling the other person they are right we mean doing this even when you might still think that you are right.
It is to start the process of you learning that being right is not helpful because it allows you to avoid your own issues
Avoiding your own issues merely insures that they will keep coming back.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More lies

'Frankenstein food' a good thing? It's all great GM lies

There is no doubt that it was a declaration of the Government’s colours on genetically modified farming when Environment Secretary Owen Paterson rounded on critics of GM technology as ‘humbugs’ last week, and insisted GM food should be grown and sold widely in Britain.

During the course of his ringing endorsement, he managed to spark outrage and alarm by claiming ‘there isn’t a single piece of meat being served [in a typical London restaurant] where a bullock hasn’t eaten some GM feed’.

His belligerent intent was quite clear.

The message he wanted to get across was that GM crops are already here and in the food chain, there’s nothing to fear — and nothing we can do about it.

Outspoken: Environment Secretary Owen Paterson rounded on critics of GM technology as 'humbugs' last week, proving his stance on the issue

Outspoken: Environment Secretary Owen Paterson rounded on critics of GM technology as 'humbugs' last week, proving his stance on the issue

This is exactly the sort of ill-informed complacency the biotech corporations pushing GM crops seem to encourage. 

But the truth is that Mr Paterson is wrong — and worse still, being misleading.

For a start, he is displaying a remarkable ignorance of how livestock farming works in this country. 

Most premium beef in Britain comes from cattle raised on grass, animals that would not be fed any feed-mix that could potentially contain imported GM material.

The same goes for organically farmed beef: the feeding of GM material is expressly banned under strict organic certification rules. 

So there are plenty of succulent steaks in London restaurants and in butchers’ shops across the land that come from cattle that have never seen a single grain of GM feed. 

And the same goes for lamb, as most sheep are grass-fed.

As Environment Secretary, Mr Paterson should know this, or at least have a small army of civil servants who can tell him.

And yet he still rode into attack, desperately trying to convince everyone that GM crops are here, that they’re being fed to British farm animals without causing any harm, and that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

Is it coincidence, I wonder, that he did so after ministers and senior civil servants met in the summer with some of the giants of the biotech and agro-chemical world to discuss how best to advance the cause of GM crops in this country? 
Holes in knowledge: The Environment Secretary's ignorance of how livestock farming works in the UK is shocking
Holes in knowledge: The Environment Secretary's ignorance of how livestock farming works in the UK is shocking

The biotech giants are trying everything they can to get GM crops growing in Britain.

And if our regulators swallow uncritically the pro-GM line, they could make this breakthrough.

More than ten years after the only large-scale GM crop trials conducted in this country were generally accepted to have been a failure, having caused significant and measurable harm to wild plants, insects and birds, the Coalition Government now seems to have been convinced that GM crops — many of which could end up in animal feed — are the agricultural way forward.

Mr Paterson says he is now sure they are ‘a good thing’ and have ‘real environmental benefits’. 

It is only the wise caution of other European countries such as France and Germany that is delaying the arrival of GM crops in this country.

But if they are such a good thing, why is the Government allowing them to enter our food chain by the back door? 

EU rules require foods containing GM material for human consumption to be clearly labelled, so why won’t the Government introduce a labelling scheme for  products from animals reared on GM feed, too?

After all, the latest NOP poll conducted in 2010 found that  89 per cent of British people want food from GM-fed animals to be labelled. 

Ministers, however, know what the big biotech companies responsible for the development of GM crops discovered some years ago: that if they are labelled as GM, the public won’t buy them.

Advocates of GM crops say this is simply a knee-jerk, semi-hysterical response to all the adverse publicity that surrounds GM and the alarmist talk of so-called ‘Frankenstein foods’. 

They’re particularly fond of pointing out that GM food is just food and that digestive systems — be they of farm animals or humans — won’t be able to distinguish it, or the nutrients it contains, from non-GM food.

But there’s a growing body of scientific evidence that shows this isn’t true. 

Most worrying are the findings of Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team at the University of Caen in France, who found that rats fed for an extended period on GM maize were several times more likely to develop tumours of the digestive tract and suffer severe kidney and liver damage.

Controversial: Advocates of GM products claim that the human and animal digestive systems will not be able to detect it - an idea that is rapidly being proved wrong by science

Controversial: Advocates of GM products claim that the human and animal digestive systems will not be able to detect it - an idea that is rapidly being proved wrong by science

The GM maize they were being fed was one of the most common, a variety that had been genetically modified to give the plant resistance to the weedkiller glyphosate, better known under its brand name, Roundup. 

Such resistance, in theory, allows the farmer to suppress weed growth with glyphosate and allows the remaining maize to thrive, free of all competition from weeds.

Except it hasn’t worked out like that, as farmers in the U.S. and Canada, the two countries where GM crops were most enthusiastically adopted, have discovered to their cost.

Yields have been disappointing and new ‘super-weeds’ have emerged that are every bit as resistant to glyphosate as the GM maize is. 

As a result, U.S. farmers have to use ever-larger amounts of herbicides and pesticides (herbicide use rose by more than 30 per cent in 2007-8 alone) causing untold devastation to the natural environment and sparking a disastrous decline in honeybee numbers.

And then, to top it all, along comes research, including that done by Professor Seralini, that indicates the result may not even be safe to eat.

More research needs to be done to identify just what it is that is causing the laboratory animals to develop fatal diseases. 

But already it is becoming clear that, contrary to everything the cheerleaders for GM are telling us, some of the modified genetic material can indeed survive digestion, and can pass into the bloodstream of an animal in the form of an intact protein. 

But it’s also possible that the powerfully toxic agro-chemicals used alongside GM crops, such as glyphosate or certain insecticides, are being absorbed directly into the plant where, in due course, they poison the animal that eats it.

That might explain some anecdotal evidence I came across recently concerning a Danish farmer whose pig herd had mysteriously fallen ill. 

Without telling his staff, he secretly swapped the feed he had been using, which contained GM material, for a feed-mix that did not and, lo and behold, his pigs recovered.

Professor Seralini’s findings are certainly no one-off. 

Another research programme found that rats fed on genetically modified tomatoes developed stomach lesions, while research from New Zealand has shown a GM variety of wheat having the potential to produce liver damage.

Benefit? Farmers in the U.S. and Canada, the two countries where GM crops were most enthusiastically adopted, have discovered the cost with the rise of 'super-weeds'


Farmers in the U.S. and Canada, the two countries where GM crops were most enthusiastically adopted, have discovered the cost with the rise of 'super-weeds'

In fact, as the deeply concerning evidence on the health risk of GM crops stacks up, opposition to them looks like a wise precaution.

It seems that, if they are given the choice, consumers are absolutely right to reject GM foods. 

In 2010, a poll conducted by the European Commission found 95 per cent of people rating GM foods as potentially unsafe and lacking in any real benefits. 

But the problem is that we are not being given the choice.

In America, where the big agro-conglomerates wield tremendous influence, foodstuffs do not need to be labelled as containing  GM ingredients. 

So when the likes of Monsanto and DuPont, two of the giants driving the development of this risky and unpopular technology, point out that Americans have been eating GM foods for years, they are quite right. 

But this is only because, in the absence of labelling, U.S. consumers simply can’t tell whether what they are eating contains GM ingredients or not.

Last month, a referendum in California calling for GM foodstuffs to be labelled as such was defeated by a narrow margin, but only after the big biotech and food-processing companies spent almost $50 million on a television advertising campaign that deliberately stoked alarm about higher food prices if labelling went ahead.

What’s particularly worrying is that those same international corporations are determined for Britain to follow the American line, at least when it comes to products from animals reared on GM feed.

Though they are frustrated that EU rules dictate that foods for human consumption containing GM ingredients must be labelled, at least they know that when their crops go in animal feed, consumers will be none the wiser.

But here the bungling Environment Secretary might actually have done opponents of GM crops a favour. 

Until he made his extraordinary remarks last week, few people will have realised that in Britain there is no requirement for animal feed that contains GM material to be labelled as such. 

Now, thanks to the Environment Secretary, they do.

Statistics: In 2010, a poll conducted by the European Commission found 95 per cent of people rating GM foods as potentially unsafe and lacking in any real benefits.

Statistics: In 2010, a poll conducted by the European Commission found 95 per cent of people rating GM foods as potentially unsafe and lacking in any real benefits.

Mr Paterson is correct on one point — GM soya and maize is incorporated in livestock feed-mixes in this country and is being fed to pigs, poultry and some dairy cows. 

So it’s perfectly possible that the pork, chicken, eggs and milk in your Christmas shopping trolley could contain residues of GM material.

And yet the Government insists — no doubt to the delight of the chemical companies — that it has no plans to introduce a GM labelling scheme so that consumers can boycott goods from GM-fed livestock if they choose.

Now the Soil Association, the body that campaigns on behalf of organic farming, has called on the Government to introduce a comprehensive system of GM food labelling without delay, a call I heartily endorse.

At the moment, the only GM material entering the British food chain is almost all in the form of livestock feed. 

But, given the pressure the chemical companies are exerting on gullible ministers and the Government’s apparent willingness to go along with everything they suggest, it cannot stay like that for long.

So far, there is only one brand of catering cooking oil that comes from a GM crop being sold in Britain, together with the very occasional product imported from the U.S. that contains GM soya, but this is bound to change.
Listen: The Government should take into account the strong feeling of consumers across the county
Listen: The Government should take into account the strong feeling of consumers across the county

The Government should take into account the strong feeling of consumers who don’t want this change to happen — a British Science Association survey showed public support for GM crops declining from 46 per cent in 2002 to just 27 per cent now.

Even more important, however, are the growing signs that the much-trumpeted GM revolution that was supposed to end world hunger for ever simply isn’t happening. 

Indeed, when GM crops are planted, it is commonly found that yields do not increase beyond those achieved by traditional breeding methods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has conceded that ‘GM crops do not increase yield potential’, while in India bankrupt farmers have been committing suicide. 

GM crops have proved a dismal failure, and MPs there have been visiting Monsanto’s ‘model villages’ to investigate the issue.

When commercial gene manipulation first became possible in the Nineties, it seemed as though GM crops would be the answer to the world’s food needs. 

But with yields failing to increase, input costs rocketing, new super-weeds and super-bugs emerging and the damage to delicate but vital ecosystems becoming more and more apparent, it is clear they are not.

What’s more, conventional plant-improving methods are producing better results, without the attendant risks. 

For instance, it is a small plant breeding company in Wales that has come up with a blight-resistant potato that can be grown without pesticides, not the GM giants.

The biotech  companies, such as Monsanto and Bayer, have invested huge sums in developing GM crops and, not surprisingly, they want to see a return on that investment, and the profits they were so confidently expecting.

But the potential cost, both to our health and to our environment, is too high — and the Government cannot and should not pretend otherwise.

A labelling scheme would allow British consumers to vote with their wallets. 

But how much better — and safer — it would be if GM crops never arrived in Britain at all.

Joanna Blythman

Holiday time

Whether you are a Christian or not at all religiously inclined the so called "Christmas Festival" has long ago lost most of it's original meaning.

In point of fact I wonder how many Christians know that the 25th of December was a Pagan holiday long before Christianity came along?

In any event today it is about a holiday, going to visit family, skiing perhaps or lying on a faraway beach 

Then of course there is shopping and more shopping.

Shopping being the most remorseless event over this period, pursuing us wherever we go asking us to buy buy buy.

Whatever you do try to do it on your terms and not be bullied into spending or buying when you do not want to.

So however you decide to spend this holiday period enjoy yourself and spare a thought for what you are doing with your life.

The end of the year is not a bad time to ponder on a few things.

Like is your life as you want it to be?

Are you doing what you want to do?

Are you growing in your consciousness?

And several other questions that you can surely think of.

We are today in what is known as Kali Yuga or black period.

This will last all our lives and beyond.

In practical terms it means an acceleration in our experience of time

Time will seem to go faster and faster

Events will move quicker and quicker

Countries, companies, and individuals will be forced to change.

We all will.

Change, global, local, personal is a feature of these times.

So when you look at your life do so in the context of a restless planet.

Because nature is not going to calm down again.

Natural disasters are a more normal condition for nature during Kali Yuga than the relatively quiet period we have enjoyed since the second world war.

And to come through all this with your life balanced and in harmony with yourself in such turbulent times?

How to do this?

Well actually by following the stuff we go on about.

In simple steps.

One day after another

Living in the present moment

Being the best you can every day with whatever comes your way.

Being generous of yourself and to others.

Getting your fears out, and yes you have some

A fear dragged into the open losses it's power over you.

There are many other things we could say however the most important is that we are all making this journey of life and that our individual contributions do matter.

So live your life with respect for yourself.

And of course for others.