The More Things Change….

Today’s Google Doodle (2/19/13) is a model of our solar system, celebrating what would have been Copernicus‘ 540th birthday. He did a lot in his day, but perhaps what he’s best known for is leading the scientific charge to prove that the earth revolved around the sun, and not the other way around.

Copernicus was a devoted Christian–there technically were no scientists back then, but he did study math, the stars, economics, medicine, and more. In those days, everyone ascribed to geocentrism-the belief that the sun, moon, planets, and other stars all revolve around the earth. 

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Makes sense on the surface if you’ve ever looked up at the sun or night sky. Plus, the Bible backs the idea up:

“The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” I Chronicles 16:30

“The Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Psalm 104:5

“The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.” Ecclesiastes 1:5

The Bible, conventional wisdom, and plain old common sense taught people one “right” way of thinking about the issue for thousands of years.

But Copernicus (who was a devoted Christian) and many others weren’t satisfied with traditional explanations. What about the fact that Venus and Mars appear to revolve around the sun? If we assume the sun is at the center, all our other calculations make sense. Just for the sun to provide heat and light to the planet from a great distance, it has to be many times larger than the earth, and that would make it likely that the earth is subject to the sun, not the other way around–call it heliocentrism.

Maybe, just maybe, God made the earth revolve around the sun.

Whoa, that’s crazy talk in the 15th century! People were kicked out of the church, put on house arrest, and even killed for pressing this theory forward. “The Bible makes it plain, so why don’t you just leave it alone, Copernicus?”

He couldn’t leave it alone because the facts told a different story. It wasn’t good enough to accept what he had been taught by other people. He was on a quest to discover what revelations if any God had for the current time.

It must be pointed out that even though he went against what the majority of Bible believing folks believed, and even though he was more right than they were, he didn’t have it completely correct either. The most notable hole in his theory is the concept that the entire universe revolves around our sun. Astronomers building on his work later discovered that our sun is one star out of billions in our galaxy, and our galaxy is one of billions of known galaxies in the universe.

Copernicus’ work didn’t set out to “prove the Bible wrong,” nor could it. The people who wrote the Bible were inspired. Copernicus was also inspired, and he had the benefit of more knowledge. The Bible says “the earth can’t be moved,” but in fact it’s moving around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour and spinning on its axis at 1000 miles per hour. Whether those facts go against your biblical interpretation or not–you’re along for the ride.

 

Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra

I’ve always been a fan of the type of books that Deepak Chopra writes. He’s on my list of favorite authors by default. If you know about Hay House and Shambhala publishing companies, you speak my language.

Even though Chopra’s message of well-being and wholeness is right up my alley, for whatever reason, a lot of his words sail over my head. Back in 2006 when I was newly married and unemployed, I read his “Seven Laws of Spiritual Success.” Didn’t help the situation at all. Not that I was expecting to get a job as result of reading the book per se, but it would have been nice. Stranger miracles have happened to me.

I picked up “Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine” shortly after I found out about my Mom’s last cancer diagnosis. I guess when I started reading it, I was expecting to stumble upon some new or ancient Eastern technology that would lead to her miraculous healing. I only got to about page 60 before she died. Ultimately, it was just her time to go.

My dearly departed mother doesn’t have to worry about illness or stress anymore, so in a sense, she has been healed. For the those of us who still have one hand on a mouse, this book provides some solid information on the intersections of East and West, mind and body, sickness and health.

“Quantum Healing” has its share of geekspeak. I frankly got lost in some of his discourse on neuropeptides, dendrites, DNA, and dopamine. Still, I got the point: there is really no separation between the mind and the body. If you’re stressed, it’s not just in your head. Your digestive track, heart, lungs, pancreas, etc., are all stressed. Same thing if you’re happy, relaxed, nervous, or depressed. The whole body thinks and is the physical manifestation of consciousness.

Another key theme is the idea that we set limitations on ourselves, when none are really there. Once a person hears that they have cancer, they are no longer just themselves, they become “a cancer patient,” and a set of limitations become real in terms of what they should and shouldn’t, can and can’t do. In reality, there are no limitations. If people could mentally take the news that they have cancer the same way they take the news that they have the flu, the survival rates would be much higher.

Consider the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico. The run 25 to 50 miles a day, day after day, in high altitude. They do this on a diet of almost exclusively corn–and not that much of it. Part of that is genetically learned, but they are humans just like the rest of us. It just doesn’t sound ridiculous or impossible to them, so they do it.

Chopra uses a lot of examples like this to show that the Ayurvedic model he’s proposing is in line with all we know about physics, right up to the Superstring Theory. I more or less buy it, even though he never outlines exactly how to do the bliss meditation or primordial sound techniques. Guess you have to pay for that, because I can’t find it online, either.

What I’ve taken from this book is the reminder that as an individual, I’m not separate from the rest of the universe. That feeling of duality that we feel is often the foundation of disease. Be aware of your oneness with your surroundings. The mind runs all the way through the body, but it doesn’t stop there. Like dropping a stone in a pool to cause a ripple, our thoughts extend outward to the ends of the earth and beyond. Maybe one reason “the world is so messed up” is because so many of us have such messed up thought patterns. I for one, am convinced that the world is a thing of beauty, and so am I.

Life Beyond the Earth

I have come to the conclusion that there must be life on other planets. “Life” can’t just be limited to our planet. It depends on how we choose to define what life is, but my presumption is that there is intelligence and life force pervading the entire universe. It may be microscopic or undetectable by scientific instruments. Still, you can’t tell me the sun, comets, supernovae, ringed planets, and swirling galaxies out there aren’t “alive.”

Now, flying saucers and little green men, that’s another story. The universe is a big place containing everything we can imagine and more. If there are extraterrestrial beings flying around the earth in starships, they must be vastly more intelligent than humans just to be able to make the trip.

I think that there are all types of life forms beyond earth’s orbit, and some of them are bound to be advanced enough to come survey other planets. I’ve never seen a UFO, so don’t believe me. Still, A LOT of reliable people have. Take a look at this Squidoo Lens to see some of the incredible quotes.

http://www.squidoo.com/ufo-coverups

Does reading that change your mind, strengthen your assumptions, or further feed your skepticism about visitors from outer space?

When You Think You Suck

Can you believe there have been times when I wrote a more or less complete blog post, only to click delete instead of publish because of the negativity between my own two ears?

I didn’t think it (or I) was good enough. Fortunately, I’m getting progressively worse at doubting myself.

Listen to what you are telling yourself on a daily basis. I’m not talking about the things you believe on the deepest spiritual levels. Somewhere, deep down in your soul, you know you are the personification of divine beauty, balance, and brilliance. Still, you probably don’t consciously remind yourself of this everyday, therefore you’re bound to forget it.

Those who forget spend a good part of their time convincing themselves that they don’t have enough and haven’t done enough because they aren’t good enough, and that’s reality.

One solution is using a mantra. However you’d like to feel, just put it out there constantly. If you’d like to feel happy and healthy for a change, tell yourself “I feel happy, I feel healthy” 1000 times in the next 24 hours. If you say it 2 or 3 times then go back to business as usual, nothing will change. You have to focus on it–keep repeating it until it’s burned into your unconscious. Soon enough, you will be what ever you think. For better or worse, the universe will bend in your direction to bring your thoughts to reality. 

If I could do it for you, I would.