The premise of Elysium is that in 2054 the megarich live on a space habitat far above the polluted and overpopulated Earth. The poor live in terrestrial megacities and are very oppressed by the corporation bosses a bit like the contrast that exists now between the rich in rich nations and the poor in poor nations but more so. The plot is that the main protagonist ‘Max’ played by Matt Damon is an ordinary guy who is very oppressed by the megarich bosses of the megacorps and their robot cops and administrators. Max steals a ‘magic key’, they call it ‘computer codes’ but I know a magic key when I see it. He fights his way to the magic city of Elysium and uses the key to change everything so that the robots start working for everyone and sharing the world’s resources fairly instead of keeping them for the selfish few. Max dies but his job is done the world is saved and everyone lives happily ever after.

That’s it, that’s the plot of Elysium. The sets are very pretty and I would liked the scenery a lot more than the very childish plot. Honestly anyone over twelve should be embarrassed to have come up with guff like this. Then there are the fights. Big, long, noisy and improbable fights have become a new staple of these ‘blockbuster’ films.

Disappointing after the hype. A good core idea wasted. Maybe it could be rebooted as a TV series.

Thoughts on Consciousness, Chi and Changing the World

I found this video, by Graham Hancock, on the Red Ice Creations website.

Hancock writes:

I have received notification .. that my recent 18-minute TEDx video presentation, “The War on Consciousness” (YouTube) which has at time of writing received more than 132,000 views, is to be deleted from the TEDx website because what I say in that presentation allegedly “strays well beyond the realm of reasonable science”, and because I allegedly make “non-scientific and reckless” statements about psychotropic drugs. I am fighting these charges from TED’s Science Board which in my opinion are untrue and amount to nothing more than an ideologically driven attempt to censor my work. All the indications, however, are that my presentation will be deleted some time today…

…I don’t intend to allow this bizarre transgression of my freedom of speech on the part of an institution – TED – for which I once had the highest respect, to pass without a fight…” (paraphrased)

There is more to consciousness than we suppose and the failure to investigate it means that, as individuals, we confine ourselves to the surface levels of our reality, that we don’t live fully. Collectively we see each other superficially and at this level fear each other and become cruel to each other. I don’t advocate drugs but meditation, regular and deep can help. I understand this from experience though my meditation is patchy. What I find intriguing about the video is the thought that non-material, non-human entities exist within a realm of human consciousness beyond the physical brain.

Another video I saw today and uploaded to YouTube is about Chi. It presents evidence for the reality of Chi and also points to humans being more than is alleged by the materialist reductionist world view:

What links these two videos, on chi and on consciousness, is the pointing to a spiritual vastness or depth of us all. Modern life insulates us from the profound and technology increasing pulls us into a sort of digital dream where we disconnect from each other and ourselves:


For many of us work has long been that part of our lives where we feel alienated, disconnected from meaning:


Now we voluntarily disconnect from meaning or maybe accept the artificial, vicarious experiences of meaning provided by the digital media. These media vie with our real connections to friends, family and our environment for our attention and they have the advantage of being pain free. It’s a lot easier to play a computer game where I’m a conquering hero than to get up before dawn for a morning run. It’s easier to browse through Facebook than to attempt to learn a new still or do some chores or talk about how I feel with my partner or about how she feels. As we run away from reality we become less and less connected to the spiritual and more and more connected to the machine, whether this is the machine of the corporate state or the actual digital machines.

Sometimes it feels as though someone or something wants to keep us disconnected from our higher potentials. The health activist in the following video identifies the pineal gland as the part of the brain that is responsible for us having spiritual or metaphysical experiences and she argues that contaminants such as flouride suppress its functioning:

If we were all functioning at a higher level then the world would change. There are people, institutions that would not want that kind of change and maybe they work to suppress rising consciousness. What if we accepted this as a reality or as a metaphor? What if we saw meaning in raising our level, maybe achieving just a little but aiming high, and encouraging others, everyone, to do the same? Could we, perhaps, change the world? For Good?

Questions, Quotes and Qualities

The pic is from I’m posting it for two reasons; the first is to answer it myself and the second is to remind me to use the idea of questions, quotes and qualities illustrated by photos as part of the summer school projects this year.

Oh. To answer the question. I can’t identify a single thing I can do now that I couldn’t do last year. This means I haven’t developed, learned. This year has been a year of stagnation or false starts. There is a certain frustration .. and yet .. and yet there is also a sense of coming to terms with where I am, with my own strengths and weaknesses.

A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge. ~ Castaneda.

My weaknesses are real. Some I am very aware of, others not so much. These weaknesses stand in the way of my progress like an army, each one supporting the others. My challenge is to eliminate them all.