June 2012

Enabled

This captioned picture of Sarah Reinertsen, an athlete with a prosthetic leg appeared on an atheist FB page. I though it was an intriguing image even if the caption betrays a very childish idea of God. A search for the source of the image led me to another image of Sarah Reinertsen which I post at the risk of being accused of blogging in the style of the Sun newspaper:

Also found at the Grinding website was this TED Talk by Aimee Mullins that made me think that for some people at least at term ‘enabled’ is a lot more apt than ‘disabled’ because science, their social connections and their own fighting spirit (I like alliteration a little too much) enable them.

Running

Even at 5.11am there are too many people around for me and I look every bit the unfit runner that I am. I run the first half mile without stopping and then my lower legs hurt and I stop to walk too often. Still, my overall pace is the same. I really didn’t feel like running this morning but I know that the biggest challenge for me is maintaining some consistency.

I am aiming to run just over a mile each day. I did three runs over Saturday and Sunday and four runs over Wednesday to Friday. So that’s seven miles even though I only ran on five days out of seven. Given my problem with consistency I am pleased with this.

I have signed up to do a 10 mile charity run in October and I realise how far I have to go to be anywhere near fit to take this on.

Turn it Off

The question for me would be “why not turn the computer off?”. The Internet is a real time sink for me. I go on the net for one purpose and then I stay on much much longer than I intend. The Internet is one of the weapons of distraction that I use against myself.

Beyond Belief

Prahlad Jani is a hermit who claims not to have consumed food or water since he was eight. His claims are disputed by rationalists such as Sanal Edamaruku whose Guardian article suggests that the doctors studying this phenomenon are either not very bright or are colluding in a hoax. Edamaruku has been involved in exposing hoaxes by prominent gurus but the existence of fakes does not prove the non-existence of the authentic.

Ram Bahadur Bomjan (“Buddha Boy”) is another example of this ‘extreme fasting’ phenemenon.

http://youtu.be/lhMnSzOEe1E

The documentary showing him being continuously recorded sitting in meditation without food or water for 96 hours is evidence that Ram Bomjan is doing something that contradicts what is known by medical science. The sceptical position seems to be that because it is scientifically impossible it must be a fraud.

After his initial disappearance Ram Bomjam re-emerged and now runs a successful guru practice dispensing wisdom (and scarves) as Dharma Sangha aka Palden Dorje:

Perhaps the extreme fasting abilities of Prahlad Jani and Dharma Sangha are clues (rather big clues) that meditation works and that it is possible to transcend the limits of physical laws. Sceptics and ‘realists’ will insist that since physical laws cannot be transcended the inedia phenemenon must be a scam but I am prepared to provisionally accept its authenticity on the basis of this evidence. Whether the phenomenon, these psychic accomplishments, point to spiritual enlightenment is a different matter. There is a problem with gurus but it is not the one that the sceptics are concerned about. The problem for me concerns the incongruities between the teachings and the practice of the gurus. As I read more about Dharma Sangha I found references to a scandal alleging violence, kidnapping and sexual abuse. There is an extremely interesting discussion, following an article referencing the allegations, on the Irregular Times blog.