Bernardo Kastrup: “Everything is Mentation.”

Bernardo Kastrup
Published on Jun 9, 2015

This is a brief, idiot-proof, to-the-point overview of Bernardo’s philosophical views; his ‘theory of everything,’ so to speak. It’s “small” because it’s based on one simple, straight-forward idea, on the basis of which the whole of reality can be explained without reference to any postulated universe outside mind. A corresponding essay touching on the same ideas can be found here:…

The contents of this video are based on the book ‘Brief Peeks Beyond.’

The Universe as an Infinite Storm of Beauty: John Muir on the Transcendent Interconnectedness of Nature

By Maria Popova (


“I… a universe of atoms… an atom in the universe,” the Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman wrote in his lovely prose poem about evolution“The fact that we are connected through space and time,” evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis observed of the interconnectedness of the universe“shows that life is a unitary phenomenon, no matter how we express that fact.”

A century before Feynman and Margulis, the great Scottish-American naturalist and pioneering environmental philosopher John Muir (April 21, 1838–December 24, 1914) channeled this elemental fact of existence with uncommon poetic might in John Muir: Nature Writings (public library) — a timeless treasure I revisited in composing The Universe in Verse.


John Muir

Recounting the epiphany he had while hiking Yosemite’s Cathedral Peak for the first time in the summer of his thirtieth year — an epiphany strikingly similar to the one Virginia Woolf had at the moment she understood what it means to be an artist — Muir writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhen we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly fellow mountaineers. Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains — beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.

Later that summer, as he makes his way to Tuolumne Meadow in eastern Yosemite, Muir is reanimated with this awareness of the exquisite, poetic interconnectedness of nature, which transcends individual mortality. In a sentiment evocative of Rachel Carson’s lyrical assertion that “the lifespan of a particular plant or animal appears, not as drama complete in itself, but only as a brief interlude in a panorama of endless change,” Muir writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngOne is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.


More and more, in a place like this, we feel ourselves part of wild Nature, kin to everything.


One of Chiura Obata’s paintings of Yosemite

A year earlier, during his famous thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico, Muir recorded his observations and meditations in a notebook inscribed John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe. In one of the entries from this notebook, the twenty-nine-year-old Muir counters the human hubris of anthropocentricity in a sentiment far ahead of his time and, in many ways, ahead of our own as we grapple with our responsibility to the natural world. More than a century before Carl Sagan reminded us that we, like all creatures, are “made of starstuff,” Muir humbles us into our proper place in the cosmic order:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge… The fearfully good, the orthodox, of this laborious patchwork of modern civilization cry “Heresy” on every one whose sympathies reach a single hair’s breadth beyond the boundary epidermis of our own species. Not content with taking all of earth, they also claim the celestial country as the only ones who possess the kind of souls for which that imponderable empire was planned.

Long before Maya Angelou reminded us that we are creatures “traveling through casual space, past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns,” Muir adds:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThis star, our own good earth, made many a successful journey around the heavens ere man was made, and whole kingdoms of creatures enjoyed existence and returned to dust ere man appeared to claim them. After human beings have also played their part in Creation’s plan, they too may disappear without any general burning or extraordinary commotion whatever.

However disquieting and corrosive to the human ego such awareness may be, Muir argues that we can never be conscientious citizens of the universe unless we accept this fundamental cosmic reality. In our chronic civilizational denial of it, we are denying nature itself — we are denying, in consequence, our own humanity. A century before the inception of the modern environmental movement, he writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngNo dogma taught by the present civilization seems to form so insuperable an obstacle in the way of a right understanding of the relations which culture sustains to wildness as that which regards the world as made especially for the uses of man. Every animal, plant, and crystal controverts it in the plainest terms. Yet it is taught from century to century as something ever new and precious, and in the resulting darkness the enormous conceit is allowed to go unchallenged.

I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself. Not that Nature manifests any such thing as selfish isolation. In the making of every animal the presence of every other animal has been recognized. Indeed, every atom in creation may be said to be acquainted with and married to every other, but with universal union there is a division sufficient in degree for the purposes of the most intense individuality; no matter, therefore, what may be the note which any creature forms in the song of existence, it is made first for itself, then more and more remotely for all the world and worlds.


Illustration by Oliver Jeffers from Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

This revelatory sense of interconnectedness comes over Muir again a decade later, as he journeys to British Columbia on a steamer in the spring of 1879, experiencing for the first time the otherworldly wonder and might of the open ocean. A century after William Blake saw the universe in a grain of sand, Muir writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe scenery of the ocean, however sublime in vast expanse, seems far less beautiful to us dry-shod animals than that of the land seen only in comparatively small patches; but when we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

More than a century later, Muir’s complete Nature Writings remain a transcendent read. Complement this portion with Loren Eiseley on the relationship between nature and human nature and Terry Tempest Williams — a modern-day spiritual heir of Muir’s — on the wilderness as an antidote to the war within ourselves, the revisit Muir’s British contemporary Richard Jefferies on how nature’s beauty dissolves the boundary between us and the world.


astrology 2019

The Astrology Forecast January 2019 can provide insights on what to expect.

Astrology Forecast January 2019 – Starting Things Off with a Bang!

The Astrology Forecast January 2019 launches the new year with a bang. The starting gun goes off while the calendar is changing pages, and fires us up to get going already.

Where we’re racing isn’t particularly important at first. Merely being able to move at all, and unfettered at that is motivating.

That vibe blazes throughout the month, even as we barrel into monkey wrenches, course-altering insights, the fog that blurs our minds and vision, and imperatives to slow down and be practical. It’s a paradoxical mix and sets up a template for the year.

The get-going impulses grant an extension on making resolutions or setting intentions for the year. Even if you make them, they are likely to change. Quickly.

Not so fast, says the cosmos January 2. The Sun meets Saturn, the planet of adulting, and a brake engages; a wall appears; maturity overtakes us. Concrete thinking and planning with staying power creep in when Mercury enters practical Capricorn on January 4. Direction arrives around the Capricorn New Moon Solar Eclipse of January 5th. It’s the first of four eclipses this year on the Cancer-Capricorn / home-career / Mommy-Daddy axis, and it hits the reset button but good on goals, plans, responsibilities, foundations, and institutions.

Adding to the process, the Clue Fairy arrives when radical changemaker Uranus stations direct the next day. See if you don’t look at the path ahead with refreshed vision. See if you don’t rechart any parts that don’t fit with your awareness of who you are now. (This may take a few days.) (Actually, maybe a few months.)

Whatever dawns on you, you’re aren’t likely to retreat in contemplation. Sociability ignites when Venus enters Sagittarius on January 7 and stirs wanderlust, high spirits, gregariousness, and laughter. With the love goddess and Mars in the compatible fire, relationships are high energy, active and exciting.

It’s not all hi-jinks and making light, though. The days leading to mid-month bring demands for follow-through (raise expectations and be prepared for enforcement), fighting words and steely self-awareness that has you standing your ground.

Words have consequences, and some will be immediately apparent. Ramifications and responsibilities seep into our thoughts and communications (with Mercury joining Saturn) and lock in reality as Jupiter and Neptune take us on flights of fancy.

The planets make their first of three exact squares on January 13, ballooning dreams and visions into the magical, mystical and seemingly impossible, escalating some lies and illusions and forcing others out into the open. The first square comes with a helpful opening to Mercury. Use it to ask for inspiration, not to mention guidance through the fog.

You’re likely to sail through happily. People are getting along, or enjoying jousting and sparking in the style of screwball comedies. Venus and Mars are in the easy flow of a trine, exact January 18, which encourages fun, risk-taking, going after desires and more high-energy relating.

You may surprise yourself. Uranus is tossing a liberating lightning bolt right at you. Even if it startles, also if it stuns, the impact cracks your armor and frees you up. It’s one of the last steps in wrapping up the revolution that’s rocked your identity since Uranus entered Aries in 2010.

A constraint drops by the time the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20. The shift into detachment and individuality occurs in a cinematic atmosphere, fit for a chick flick, or sci-fi fantasy, or a booze cruise. We’re in the thrall of the two guardians of love and creativity, Venus and Neptune.

They’re gently but effectively pummeling our grip on control and reality. It’s yet another facet of the month’s paradoxical nature, pairing the Aquarian bent for distance and friendship with the seduction of dreams and romance.

Perhaps Venus and Neptune will force you to open to love. Perhaps they’ll orchestrate magic, or nudge you toward the promise of their conjunction late last February. Perhaps they’ll fool you. Maybe all of the above. You won’t mind.

You’ll know what to embrace and what to end, and circumstances will take care of both if you aren’t consciously clear. You’ve reached a new level of expressing yourself (including comfort with that), as will be unmistakably shown by emotions and events around the Leo Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, on January 21. It’s bringing dramatic chapter closings, departures and revelations, and leaving important relationship changes in its wake.

A metaphor with widespread applicability is the Phoenix entering and emerging from a purifying fire, which you’ll see both in yourself and many a relationship. This fire is raw and life-changing, fueling desire and a sense of entitlement to them, beating down obstacles and demanding loyalty, commitment, and fulfillment.

Wreckage ensues, sure, but what remains is what we want. (Give the process time; a lunar eclipse takes months to play out.)

Still uncertain? Information or insights out of the blue tilt perspectives and knock cobwebs from thinking, when messenger god Mercury squares Uranus and flies into the big-picture vantage point of Aquarius January 23-24.

No waiting to process or figure things out. Rocket fuel is pouring into our drive and ambition, with action hero Mars answering the more-more-more call of Jupiter. Their trine is amping up self-righteousness, too, but that would be a waste of this dynamic duo. Aim higher; push yourself beyond what logic says is possible. This pair could carry you much further than you would have believed.

Even Saturn’s in on it. The planet of adulting and rules is opening a doorway with Neptune and his magical mysteries. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and trust in the divine are on hand. And sometimes, a little glamour and glitter are what’s needed.

Happy with the Astrology Forecast January 2019? Learn more about the year’s eclipses in Kathy’s talk, live on Sat., Jan. 12 and on mp4 afterward.)

About the Astrologer

Kathy Biehl is an astrologer, Tarot master and Best American Psychics member who helps individuals and businesses understand (and laugh about!) themselves, their options and the people in their lives.


Translators:  Melissa Goodnight, Richard Branam, Hanz Bolen

SENSE TESTIMONY:  Confusion and conflict diminish the shared wealth.

5th Step Conclusions:

1)  All is One Infinite Consciousness, knowing perfectly well, the  absolutely harmonious mutuality that is always abiding and endowing, an Abundance of Provident Means.

2)  The Clear Brite Abundant Wealth of Love is the Truth of all there is, besides which there is none else.

3)  Truth Being I am that I am, this Alchemy of Indivisibility is Perfectly Perceptual Cosmic Consciousness, this One invariably Voluminous Involvement is Universal Integrity, Being Infused Self Commanding Successful Exponential, this Identity is the Endless Open System of living Life Itself.

Let’s Wake Up: Deepak Chopra

Published on Dec 21, 2018


Deepak Chopra talks about his journey from medical school in India and the United States to the experiences and research that have brought him to his present understanding – that the universe, the body, the mind, and everything that we have a name for, is a human construct. “No system of thought can give you access to reality,” he says. For that, you have to go to the source of thought, which is consciousness.

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Book: “Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism”

Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism (Class 200: New Studies in Religion) by [Ogden, Emily]

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Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism (Class 200: New Studies in Religion) Kindle Edition