God Recalls Collaborating On Joint Vision Of Humanity With Deceased Creative Partner (theonion.com)

THE HEAVENS—Saying He never could have completed such an ambitious project all on His own, God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, recalled Tuesday how He collaborated with fellow divinity Kryzok, Lord of Zogsoth, to create humans. “Kryzok was the one who could see the big picture and knew how to pull everything together into a cohesive organism—I was just the guy tinkering around in a big pile of flesh and bones trying to figure out how we could make arms and legs and nervous systems work,” God said of His late creative collaborator, who passed away in 3759 B.C., reportedly still despondent over mankind’s Fall and subsequent banishment from the Garden of Eden. “But we shared the same vision of what we wanted to accomplish with human beings, even if we came at it from different angles. My first prototype had like five heads and wasn’t even bipedal, but Kryzok brilliantly streamlined everything and shaped it into the product everyone knows and loves today.” Noting that His collaborator also had a great sense of humor and was always pulling pranks, God went on to say that the idea for the human excretory system actually began as a long-running inside joke between the two friends.

The Beginning of Everything — The Big Bang

How did everything get started?

Has the universe a beginning or was it here since forever? Well, evidence suggests that there was indeed a starting point to this universe we are part of right now. But how can this be? How can something come from nothing? And what about time? We don’t have all the answers yet so let’s talk about what we know.

Also, we try to make this one not depressing. Tell us if we succeeded.


Alan Watts and Gary Snyder from “Flowering” (gwyllm.com)

Alan Watts:

Alan Watts

The Big Bang…
“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it. ”

― Alan W. Watts
The Practice Of The Wild/Excerpt:
Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

So we can say that New York City and Tokyo are “natural” but not “wild.” They do not deviate from the laws of nature, but they are habitat so exclusive in the matter of who and what they give shelter to, and so intolerant of other creatures, as to be truly odd. Wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and nonliving beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order. In ecology we speak of “wild systems. “When an ecosystem is fully functioning, all the members are present at the assembly. To speak of wilderness is to speak of wholeness. Human beings came out of that wholeness, and to consider the possibility of reactivating membership in the Assembly of All Beings is in no way regressive.

“August Isn’t for Sissies” by Suzanne Deakins, H.W., M.

The word August means consecrated or venerable and its origins come from old Latin and carry such definitions such as majestic, dignity, and grandeur. August itself is represented in astrology by the lion or Leo. The proud mane of the lion says it all. Those born in August are born to be noticed as the lion is in the pride. The month of August was named after Augustus Caesar. As hot and explosive as the weather is in August so is the history of events in August.

Some fun trivia. The Berlin Olympics opened August 1st, Michael Jackson marries Lisa Marie Presley, August 2nd Hitler becomes German’s Fuhrer, Anne Frank captured by the Nazis and MTV is born. August 5th, and 6th, American Bandstand makes it debut on ABC, Voting Rights Acts signed into law, Beatles release the album HELP!, Microsoft buys a stake into Apple Computers and Nuclear bomb hits Hiroshima. August 8th, 9th, 10th Nixon resigns the presidency, Jessie Owens wins 4th Gold Medal at Olympics, Truman announces the Japanese surrender, the spacecraft Magellan arrives at Venus.

August 11th, 12th, and 13th, Babe Ruth is the first player to bat 500, Mall of America Opens, Riots in Watts Neighborhood, Los Angeles, China announces Culture Revolution. It seems each day of sunny August is filled with historical significance. Woodstock to a Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in NYC our generation has seen and lived through a gigantic amount of changes.

When we were born (those born before 1955) 95 percent of what we use today was not invented. Starting in the 1960s almost 20,000 new products (per year) have appeared on grocery shelves. We launched ourselves into space standing on the moon. We have learned that we came from the stars as a species. 90% of all the species that have ever lived on Earth have vanished. But our humanity has remained. We have learned that survival is not based on the strongest, smartest, or most beautiful, but rather our being able to cooperate with each other and our Earth. We have learned that many of our habits and joys are present in other species. Apes have a religious practice, the young females carry stones as pretend babies, and Elephants weep and grieve at loss of loved ones. Trees and plants talk to each other. The Universe has opened like a lotus to us.

There have been so many heroic individuals during my life I can’t begin to name them all. But what I have learned is that as generations we make history and have heroic acts. Each of us plays a part in the history of our lifetime. The more we embrace life, accept the infinite differences in us as beautiful the more our footsteps leave a mark for the coming generations.

 I doubt any of us will be remembered by name 100 years from now. But I am positive that our ability to love life, to embrace each other in respect and caring is leaving a print that changes the violence, ignorance, and hate into beauty. In the end light and dark, hate and love, violence and peace are all on the same seesaw. Light exists because we know of the dark, peace is a degree of violence, hate on the other end of love. In life and nature, there is no 100%. It is a matter of existing, being, and awakening in the present moment of our lives. As I look back on my life, I can say it has been good. I am proud of my generation and what we have been able to do. We have opened doors that were locked when we were born, we have stood where no one has stood before, and slowly we are learning to embrace all life as equal to our own.

Life at this moment is exactly as it was supposed to be. We are where we are supposed to be. There is no magic in this moment of life, only what we are willing to perceive and know. Wherever your journey is to take you, may it be filled with grace, peace, and love.


Suzanne Deakins, Ph.D., H.W.M.




Marc Raibert: Meet Spot, the robot dog that can run, hop and open doors

That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages. Join Raibert for a live demo of SpotMini, a nimble robot that maps the space around it, handles objects, climbs stairs — and could soon be helping you out around the house.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Marc Raibert · Roboticist
Marc Raibert is the founder and CEO of robot maker Boston Dynamics.

Time to think outside nation-states (democracy.earth)

Bitcoin approaches a decisive moment: are you in control of your private keys? Meanwhile, we discuss a step further: disintermediating politics.

The news we see every day are bad omen for the nation-state era: tech giants enforcing the status quo by providing surveillance tools to old powers, corrupt and innefficient nations barely being able to handle elections without being hacked, borders that make some people powerless. The bright side is many people around the world are realizing it is time to think and build alternatives outside the nation-state, and in July we met them.

At OuiShare Fest 17 in Paris, Virgile Deville and Pia Mancini from our foundation met innovators from all over Europe and the Americas. In summary, we discussed how to move on from the current political chaos:

“What I’d like to share is this notion of not feeling trapped in the existing system. There’s a way to build alternative systems.” – Watch Pia’s message for the Oui Share community below.


Aligned with this spirit, Civicist interviewed Santiago Siri for an article that tries to imagine the technologies and institutions needed to disintermediate political power: “Coding for a World Run by Liquid Democracy”. It is a time to long for an alternative government, and to despair of one.

Some concrete projects for alternative systems were hinted this month as Ethereum tokens became popular. After all, you can’t have a new political system without disrupting the global economy. How do you raise 25 million without a bank involved? We interviewed Herb Stephens about how ICOs work, the current state of Ethereum, tokens and financial sovereignty outside of the current structures of centralized banks and centralized markets.

Bible Series IX: The Call to Abraham

Published on Aug 1, 2017

In this lecture, I tell the story of Abraham, who heeds the call of God to leave what was familiar behind and to journey into unknown lands. The man portrayed in the Bible as the father of nations moves forward into the world. He encounters the worst of nature (famine), society (the tyranny of Egypt) and the envy of the powerful, who desire his wife. There is nothing easy about Abraham’s life. Instead, he is portrayed both as a real man, with serious problems, and a hero, who overcomes tremendous obstacles to establish himself in the world.

His covenant with God is an Ark. His decision to aim at the highest good he can conceptualize places an aura of magic around the events of his life, despite their harshness. He’s a model for life in the world as it is, not as we wish it would be.

Tickets for the next lecture(s) (and as for the rest of the series, as a whole) are available at http://jordanbpeterson.com/bible-series

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Nibelungenlied (German epic poem circa 1200)

Alternative Titles: “Song of Nibelungs”, “Song of the Nibelungs”

Nibelungenlied( German: “Song of the Nibelungs”) Middle High German epic poem written about 1200 by an unknown Austrian from the Danube region. It is preserved in three main 13th-century manuscripts, A (now in Munich), B (St. Gall), and C (Donaueschingen); modern scholarship regards B as the most trustworthy. An early Middle High German title of the work is Der Nibelunge Not (“The Nibelung Distress”), from the last line of the poem. The superscription on one of the manuscripts from the early 14th century is “The Book of Kriemhild.”

The Story

The story has a long history and, as a result, contains a number of disparate elements. For example, the word Nibelung itself presents difficulties. In the first part of the poem, it appears as the name of Siegfried’s lands and peoples and his treasure, but, throughout the second, it is an alternate name for the Burgundians.

The poem’s content falls into two parts. It begins with two cantos (aventiuren) that introduce, respectively, Kriemhild, a Burgundian princess of Worms, and Siegfried, a prince from the lower Rhine. Siegfried is determined to woo Kriemhild despite his parents’ warning. When he arrives in Worms, he is identified by Hagen, a henchman of Kriemhild’s brother King Gunther. Hagen then recounts Siegfried’s former heroic deeds, including the acquisition of a treasure. When war is declared by the Danes and Saxons, Siegfried offers to lead the Burgundians and distinguishes himself in battle. Upon his return, he meets Kriemhild for the first time, and their affections develop during his residence at court.

At this point a new element is introduced. News reaches the court that a queen of outstanding strength and beauty may be won only by a man capable of matching her athletic prowess. Gunther decides to woo Brunhild with the aid of Siegfried, to whom he promises the hand of Kriemhild if successful. Siegfried leads the expedition to Brunhild’sabode, where he presents himself as Gunther’s vassal. In the ensuing contests, Gunther goes through the motions of deeds actually performed by Siegfried in a cloak of invisibility. When Brunhild is defeated, she accepts Gunther as her husband. Siegfried and Kriemhild are then married as promised, but Brunhild remains suspicious and dissatisfied. Soon the two queens quarrel; Brunhild ridicules Kriemhild for marrying a vassal, and Kriemhild reveals Siegfried’s and Gunther’s deception.

Now Hagen becomes a prominent figure as he sides with Brunhild and takes the initiative in plotting vengeance. He wins Kriemhild’s confidence and learns Siegfried’s one vulnerable spot and then strikes the fatal blow.

During these events, Brunhild drops almost unnoticed out of the story, and the death of Siegfried does not appear to be so much vengeance on her part as an execution by Hagen, who is suspicious of Siegfried’s growing power. Siegfried’s funeral is conducted with great ceremony, and the grief-stricken Kriemhild remains at Worms, though for a long time estranged from Gunther and Hagen. Later they are reconciled in order to make use of Siegfried’s treasure, which is brought to Worms. Kriemhild begins to distribute it, but Hagen, fearing that her influence will grow, sinks the treasure in the Rhine.

The second part of the poem is much simpler in structure and deals basically with the conflict between Hagen and Kriemhild and her vengeance against the Burgundians. Etzel (Attila), king of the Huns, asks the hand of Kriemhild, who accepts, seeing the possibilities of vengeance in such a union. After many years, she persuades Etzel to invite her brothers and Hagen to his court. Though Hagen is wary, they all go to Etzel’s court, where general combat and complete carnage ensues. Kriemhild has Gunther killed and then, with Siegfried’s sword, she slays the bound and defenseless Hagen, who to the last has refused to reveal where Siegfried’s treasure is hidden. Kriemhild in turn is slain by a knight named Hildebrand, who is outraged at the atrocities that she has just committed.


In the Nibelungenlied some elements of great antiquity are discernible. The story of Brunhild appears in Old Norse literature. The brief references to the heroic deeds of Siegfried allude to several ancient stories, many of which are preserved in the Scandinavian Poetic Edda (see Edda), Vǫlsunga saga, and Thidriks saga, in which Siegfried is called Sigurd. The entire second part of the story, the fall of the Burgundians, appears in an older Eddaic poem, Atlakvida (“Lay of Atli”; see Atli, Lay of). Yet the Nibelungenlied appears to be not a mere joining of individual stories but rather an integration of component elements into a meaningful whole.

It is the second part of the poem that suggests the title “The Book of Kriemhild.” The destruction of the Burgundians (Nibelungen) is her deliberate purpose. The climax of the first part, the death of her husband, Siegfried, prepares the ground for the story of her vengeance. Furthermore, Kriemhild is the first person introduced in the story, which ends with her death; and all through the story predominating attention is paid to Hagen. This concentration on Kriemhild and on the enmity between her and Hagen would seem to suggest that it was the poet’s intention to stress the theme of Kriemhild’s vengeance.

The Nibelungenlied was written at a time in medieval German literaturewhen the current emphasis was on the “courtly” virtues of moderation and refinement of taste and behaviour. The Nibelungenlied, with its displays of violent emotion and its uncompromising emphasis on vengeance and honour, by contrast looks back to an earlier period and bears the mark of a different origin—the heroic literature of the Teutonic peoples at the time of their great migrations. The poem’s basic subject matter also goes back to that period, for it is probable that the story of the destruction of the Burgundians was originally inspired by the overthrow of the Burgundian kingdom at Worms by the Huns in 437 ce, and the story of Brunhild and Siegfried may have been inspired by events in the history of the Merovingian dynasty of the Franks about 600 ce. Much of the heroic quality of the original stories has remained in the poem, particularly in the author’s conception of Hagen as the relentless protector of King Gunther’s honour.