Science of Mind Explained

The teachings of the Science of Mind can be condensed down to the simple idea that all thought is creative. That is, the thoughts that you think create the reality that you experience. And this includes both conscious thoughts and subconscious ones. The “science” part of Science of Mind refers to the fact that the preceding idea is not something to be believed only in theory—it must be tested, found to be true or false, and then integrated into your life as a principle of living.

An illustration of the power of thought comes to me from my life as a Swing dancer. Whenever there is a crowd of people watching a group of dancers doing their fancy moves, there can be two responses to the dancing. One says, “That’s amazing! There’s no way I could ever do that.” The second says, “Wow! I want to learn how.” And these thoughts become self-fulfilling prophesies. You can especially see how the former thought limits the possible set of experiences available to the thinker.

So when I read Jesus’ statement in the Bible that says, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father”, I imagine two responses. One is that made by traditional Christianity, which says that Jesus is an exception to our humanity. He is Special. We cannot be like Him because He is different than who we are. It too is a limiting thought. It says, “I could never be like Him.” And so it is. The second response, on the other hand, says that Jesus is an example of our humanity. What He became, we can become. This thought expands the possible set of experiences available to the thinker.

I choose to adopt the second type of mindset, not because it is objectively true, but because subjectively I can create a more empowered, creative, and fulfilling life experience for myself. And this is the power of the Science of Mind in action.

Jason’s Alternator Story

My friend Jason Rule was in Edmonton for the Father’s Day weekend and had a funny trip back from Edmonton to Calgary. In his own words, here is what happened.

[Alternator photo by goodharbor. Used with permission.]

While driving in Edmonton, I noticed at one point my alternator light go on… It just happened for a second and I did not really think anything of it. Later as I was leaving the city, the light was about 50% on, so basically it’s putting out some power—the exact amount the car needs. By the Edmonton International Airport, the light was on and I was running on battery power (the battery power was making the spark for the engine).

I went into conservation mode and turned off all electrical systems but the radio.

Around Red Deer, the engine started skipping a beat and the radio died. There was not enough power to spark the plugs… I pulled over (leaving the engine running) and quickly wired up my second battery to the engine by the wires I had pre-installed years before. The car’s back to life!!! I turn off the radio and keep driving.

It starts raining… I try using the windshield wipers, but there is so little power, they take about 10 seconds to cycle. So, with no fan (defog) and no wipers… I continue.

I need to stop in Didsbury where Brooke’s dad lives. I needed to pick something up and get as much power as possible. About 10 km from Didsbury, the dash fails, no speedo, nothing… About 3 km from Didsbury, the car is skipping again. I am approaching a stop sign and go to apply the brake. The power going to the brake lights makes the engine quit. As I was still travelling fast, I pop the clutch and get the engine running again. I then stop the car with engine breaking and the ebrake. I just get to the house and park in front of her dad’s truck.

Without explaining what I was doing, I start his truck and start transferring as much power as possible via booster cables into the car battery. I also start charging the second battery via a charger…. How long to wait… it’s 8 p.m. and the sun is going down. By 9:45 p.m., it will be dark and I will need headlights and I will be screwed… But, I need as much power as possible.

I pull out almost all of the circuit breakers from the fuse box. At 8:15 p.m., I start driving, extra battery not connected, car battery driving the engine. There are no electrical systems at all…

I make it to just north of Airdrie. Engine, with no warning, fails… Poor steering and brakes (that was a surprise). I pull over and remove the primary battery and install the secondary battery. I tried to start the engine, but there is not enough power to turn the starter…. I get out of the car, push it backwards, down the little hill I was on… Pop the clutch and the engine is running… I’m off.

I make it to Deerfoot and McKnight. Engine again quits… I pull over and call Brooke. The Deerfoot Trail is nuts as cars are going by at nuts speeds. She comes quickly and now it’s about 9:30 p.m. I pull the extra battery from her truck and throw it into the car. The car starts and we start driving—Brooke following me and being my lights.

About five blocks from home, car again fails… We load the gear into the truck and leave the car there for the night… We come back the next morning with a charged battery and drive home.

Two points to this story:

  1. All that crap I carry in my car sometimes comes in very handy.
  2. MacGyver himself would have been proud!

— Jason

My Spiritual Biography

I wrote the following spiritual biography as part of the Path of Discovery Class taught at the Centre for Spiritual Living in Edmonton.

My earliest concept of God comes from some of my earliest memories of being alive. Just knowing that I am here, I am alive, being conscious about being a living, breathing being. My parents taught me about God as a loving creator and that the world was safe, and I felt that and knew that as a young child. I trusted that God was there, that I was special and that he loved me. I knew that I was perfect when I was a young child.

I think that knowing this and feeling this about myself and my world was synonymous with knowing and experiencing God’s love. I knew I was supported. I knew I was safe. I knew I was who I was meant to be.

I feel a little sadness now to look back and see how this changed for me, to become frightened and feel a separateness from God. To feel that God didn’t like me and that he would punish me for being who I am. In the church tradition I grew up in, the focus was on performance, on following the rules and behaving, on our inadequacy and failure as human beings. I bought into these messages and made them the foundation of my thinking and living.

The darkest moment in my life occurred when I left seminary in 1998. I had been a super Christian up to that point and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t measure up. I couldn’t be who they wanted me to be. I knew there was more to God and to life than that.

I started to see change when I let go of my old beliefs and opened up to new ones. I could make room in my view of God for homosexuality and evolution. I started learning about Buddhism and mediation. I learned from Carl Jung about a more mythical and mystical way of seeing the world. I learned so much from Ram Dass about letting go, about miracles, about the spiritual Journey, and about finding my own path.

Michelle has played a big role here, because our paths and awakenings have been on similar tracks.

I currently see God as Creator, but also as the playful Father with a twinkle in his eye. He doesn’t take himself or this life too seriously, so neither do I. I’m starting to see Consciousness as the only reality and to see this physical world as merely a simulation or a game in which I am the only player and everything else and everyone else is in on the game, to support me and help me to awaken to the true nature of myself and the Game.

My purpose is to remember who I am, to forget all the false truths about how I think the world is. In doing so, I can release my fears and see just how deep the love and support of the Universe is. I am meant to experience the Fullness of Joy.

Darren Paul Griffith
Edmonton, September 2007

Eclipse Watching

I stayed up last night to watch the Lunar Eclipse transpire. What a wondrous feeling I get from these aligned astronomical geometries. The quietness, the slow marching forward of time, the bursting waves of the Northern Lights in the sky overhead, and the projection of our very own shadow on a screen so far away. Shadow puppets on the Moon.

As the Moon darkened, the fainter stars slowly emerged. Even the Andromeda Galaxy graced the glass of my binoculars. And I felt wrapped in the infinite Love of the Universe. A perfect moment. A perfect world. A perfect Self.

First Moon Landing: 19 years x 2

According to the official story, man first landed on the moon 38 years ago today. What makes this special is that 38 years is divisible by 19. And 19 is the period of the Metonic cycle, the approximate common multiple of the tropical year and synodic month.

6939.6075 days =  19 tropical years
6939.6887 days = 235 synodic months  

What this really means to us is that the phase of the moon today is very close (within about 6 hours) to what people saw 38 years ago on July 20, 1969. Very cool.

So, enjoy the view of the moon today and remember back to when we as a global humanity first bought the story that man had finally made it to the moon. 😉

Emailing cron output to different users

When a cron job generates output on either stdout or stderr, the output gets mailed to the owner of the crontab. Now, you can specify an alternative email address by setting the MAILTO environment variable in the crontab, but this applies to all jobs in the crontab.

So, if you want the output of different jobs to get mailed to different users, then you can just redirect the stdout and stderr of each job to the mail command like this:

13 02 * * *     /bin/backup 2>&1 | /usr/bin/mail -s "Cron <root@exobox> /bin/backup" \
user@example.net

MTR as a combined traceroute and ping tool

mtr combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool.” And it’s really cool.

Like ping, it sends “echo” packets from your machine to the target machine to measure latency and packet loss along the network path, but it continuously displays updated statistics in real time as it operates.

Like traceroute, it shows the names or IP addresses of each machine along the network path, also updating these statistics for each machine.

Here’s some (frozen) sample output from the ncurses mode (terminal mode) mtr:

                                My traceroute  [v0.71]
exobox (0.0.0.0)                                             Thu Dec 21 16:15:01 2006
Keys:  Help   Display mode   Restart statistics   Order of fields   quit
                                             Packets               Pings
 Host                                      Loss%   Snt   Last   Avg  Best  Wrst StDev
 1.                                         0.0%    20    0.4   0.3   0.2   0.7   0.1
 2.                                         0.0%    20    1.6   1.4   1.0   2.7   0.4
 3.                                         0.0%    19    1.3   1.3   1.0   2.7   0.4
 4. 10.0.0.25                               0.0%    19    1.1   1.2   1.0   2.7   0.4
 5. 219.142.10.17                           0.0%    19    1.4   2.6   1.2  16.0   3.3
 6. bj141-130-121.bjtelecom.net             0.0%    19    1.4   1.6   1.4   2.5   0.3
 7. 202.97.57.221                           0.0%    19  199.3  12.0   1.3 199.3  45.4
 8. 202.97.37.9                             0.0%    19    1.7  35.7   1.3 186.5  56.2
 9. 202.97.53.146                           0.0%    19    1.8   2.0   1.5   4.8   0.8
10. 202.97.61.50                            0.0%    19  284.6 292.2 278.3 305.8   8.7
11. so-4-0-0.mpr2.lax9.us.above.net        15.8%    19  286.2 291.9 278.6 325.2  11.5
12. so-5-0-0.mpr1.iah1.us.above.net        15.8%    19  313.2 323.8 311.3 340.5   8.6
13. so-5-3-0.cr1.dfw2.us.above.net          5.3%    19  319.6 331.1 314.1 404.6  20.3
14. so-0-0-0.cr2.dfw2.us.above.net         11.1%    19  696.0 718.7 693.3 797.2  33.7
15. so-3-1-0.cr2.dca2.us.above.net         36.8%    19  347.4 354.9 342.5 368.7   8.6
16. so-0-1-0.mpr1.lhr3.uk.above.net        11.1%    19  421.5 423.6 411.1 438.2   7.8
17. so-1-0-0.mpr3.ams1.nl.above.net        11.1%    19  433.9 438.9 422.4 514.1  22.0
18. DutchDSL.above.net                     33.3%    19  423.1 432.7 418.7 463.0  11.4
19. ge-0-1-0-v189.rtr1.ams-rb.io.nl        27.8%    19  405.8 414.7 398.2 434.6  11.6
20. 213.196.40.242                         23.5%    18  404.8 418.1 399.9 485.8  21.9

Looking at the Avg column (units in ms), the above output shows that my network packets pass through Beijing Telecom’s routers to the U.S., then to the U.K., and finally to their destination in the Netherlands. A large latency increase occurs between lines 9 and 10 (presumably leaving P.R. China), and another between lines 13 and 16 (U.S. to U.K.).

mtr has some interesting display modes besides the above, where it shows the latency of each packet graphically according to a dynamic scale. In this way, the above points of really large latency can be easily detected.

mtr can be obtained from the mtr website, or it can be installed in Debian/Ubuntu by:

# apt-get install mtr-tiny

or

# apt-get install mtr

for the ncurses or X11 versions, respectively, although mtr-tiny appears to be installed by default in the Debian and Ubuntu machines I have tested. So you may already have it.