Does an elephant have a self?

We have much to learn about a grain of sand.  It has come from the material of stars recycled through 4.5 billion years of our planet’s formation.  If we ever gain a more complete understanding of a speck of sand, our knowledge of the universe will be changed irrevocably.  While waiting for this to happen,…

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The Absence of Presence

When I searched for “the absence of presence” on the internet, Google found 223 million results.  Like all expressions, the meaning depends on what you read or who you ask.  A simple view is that mind and body are not together in the one place.  We may be day-dreaming, thinking of something else instead of what is physically at…

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Free Will

Discussions on whether or not we have free will often get heated and go nowhere because each participant in the discussion has a different idea based on idiosyncratic beliefs of what free will means. Human beings are the most complex entity that we humans know of.   We are still endeavouring to understand many fundamental aspects of existence such…

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Reality

Everybody has a view of reality. One view is that there is no such thing as reality.  This is a popular view held by some scientists and also some religious people.  The scientific view is based on quantum physics, which has shown that a subatomic particle (which is not a particle at all) can at any given moment be…

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Civilisation

I am working on what it means to be civilised. Ant colonies are highly organised.  Ants have sophisticated cooperation much like a human city, with building and carrying away garbage, caring for their young in nurseries, withbringing in food, and soldier ants give their lives for the greater good of the colony. There are scouts are on the watchout…

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Slavery

The award-winning movie of a true story 12 Years a Slave shows human behaviour that most of us are distressed to see. But it is behaviour that we cannot and should not distance ourselves from. The book Reality Beyond Belief explains why given similar circumstances we can quite easily and naturally behave in the extreme ways shown in…

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The Value of Art

Have you noticed how fiction pales beside reality? My view is that good fiction gives us a life-line when we are drowning in reality. It gives us a narrative and meaning when there appears to be none. If someone had written a novel about any of the bad things that happen every day, it would be dismissed…

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Happy New Year 2014

You may want to reflect on where you are now and where you want your life to go. Even though you may not regard it as such, the bulk of your efforts goes into survival. It may be to earn more money, to improve your standing among those who can affect your future or that…

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Christmas Greetings!

Christmas is a good time to reflect on what to believe or not to believe. The brain instinctively gathers many bits of information that are associated with an event and automatically gives it a bottom line. What is the bottom line on Xmas? Each our brains have a different process and hence a different conclusion. For many it is…

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What can we teach our children?

We should start by taking out some beliefs which are not true. This requires that we find the honesty which many of us lost some time ago. We are then able to teach our children the following: Our understanding of reality can often be wrong; emotion controls thinking; thinking is often distorted by fear; by examining how we think, we may begin to…

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