All posts by Mike Zonta

“A Machine to End War” from Liberty Magazine (February 1937)

NikolaTesla

A Famous Inventor, Picturing Life 100 Years from Now, Reveals an Astounding Scientific Venture Which He Believes Will Change the Course of History

by Nikola Tesla as told to George Sylvester Viereck (via pbs.org)

Editor’s Note: Nikola Tesla, now in his seventy-eighth year, has been called the father of radio, television, power transmission, the induction motor, and the robot, and the discoverer of the cosmic ray. Recently he has announced a heretofore unknown source of energy present everywhere in unlimited amounts, and he is now working upon a device which he believes will make war impracticable.

Tesla and Edison have often been represented as rivals. They were rivals, to a certain extent, in the battle between the alternating and direct current in which Tesla championed the former. He won; the great power plants at Niagara Falls and elsewhere are founded on the Tesla system. Otherwise the two men were merely opposites. Edison had a genius for practical inventions immediately applicable. Tesla, whose inventions were far ahead of the time, aroused antagonisms which delayed the fruition of his ideas for years.

However, great physicists like Kelvin and Crookes spoke of his inventions as marvelous. “Tesla,” said Professor A. E. Kennelly of Harvard University when the Edison medal was presented to the inventor, “set wheels going round all over the world. . . . What he showed was a revelation to science and art unto ail time.”

“Were we,” remarks B. A. Behrend, distinguished author and engineer, “to seize and to eliminate the results of Mr. Tesla’s work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark, our mills would be dead and idle.”

Forecasting is perilous. No man can look very far into the future. Progress and invention evolve in directions other than those anticipated. Such has been my experience, although I may flatter myself that many of the developments which I forecast have been verified by events in the first third of the twentieth century.

It seems that I have always been ahead of my time. I had to wait nineteen years before Niagara was harnessed by my system, fifteen years before the basic inventions for wireless which I gave to the world in 1893 were applied universally. I announced the cosmic ray and my theory of radio activity in 1896. One of my most important discoveries–terrestrial resonance–which is the foundation of wireless power transmission and which I announced in 1899, is not understood even today. Nearly two years after I had flashed an electric current around the globe, Edison, Steinmetz, Marconi, and others declared that it would not be possible to transmit even signals by wireless across the Atlantic. Having anticipated so many important developments, it is not without assurance that I attempt to predict what life is likely to be in the twenty-first century.

Life is and will ever remain an equation incapable of solution, but it contains certain known factors. We may definitely say that it is a movement even if we do not fully understand its nature. Movement implies a body which is being moved and a force which propels it against resistance. Man, in the large, is a mass urged on by a force. Hence the general laws governing movement in the realm of mechanics are applicable to humanity.

There are three ways by which the energy which determines human progress can be increased: First, we may increase the mass. This, in the case of humanity, would mean the improvement of living conditions, health, eugenics, etc. Second, we may reduce the frictional forces which impede progress, such as ignorance, insanity, and religious fanaticism. Third, we may multiply the energy of the human mass by enchaining the forces of the universe, like those of the sun, the ocean, the winds and tides.

The first method increases food and well-being. The second tends to bring peace. The third enhances our ability to work and to achieve. There can be no progress that is not constantly directed toward increasing well-being, peace, and achievement. Here the mechanistic conception of life is one with the teachings of Buddha and the Sermon on the Mount.

While I am not a believer in the orthodox sense, I commend religion, first, because every individual should have some ideal–religious, artistic, scientific, or humanitarian–to give significance to his life. Second, because all the great religions contain wise prescriptions relating to the conduct of life, which hold good now as they did when they were promulgated.

There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is barn. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call “soul ” or “spirit,” is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the “soul” or the “spirit” ceases likewise.

I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life. The acceptance by mankind at large of these tenets will not destroy religious ideals. Today Buddhism and Christianity are the greatest religions both in number of disciples and in importance. I believe that the essence of both will he the religion of the human race in the twenty-first century.

The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct, Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.

Hygiene, physical culture will be recognized branches of education and government. The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will he far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War. The pollution of our beaches such as exists today around New York City will seem as unthinkable to our children and grandchildren as life without plumbing seems to us. Our water supply will he far more carefully supervised, and only a lunatic will drink unsterilized water.

More people die or grow sick from polluted water than from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other stimulants. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat. I am convinced that within a century coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue. Alcohol, however, will still be used. It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life. The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly. It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century.

Continue reading “A Machine to End War” from Liberty Magazine (February 1937)

Pope Francis Beats Confession Out Of Uncooperative Catholic (theonion.com)

PopeFrancis

VATICAN CITY—Grasping the back of the man’s collar with one hand while pummeling his face with the other, Pope Francis reportedly beat a confession out of an uncooperative Catholic parishioner Thursday in a backroom of St. Peter’s Basilica. “Listen, buddy, I haven’t even gotten warmed up yet, so we can either keep doing this the hard way, or you can spit out some penance right now. So, what is it? Have you taken the Lord’s name in vain, borne false witness? Maybe a couple minutes being held facedown in the baptismal font would help you remember a sin or two,” said the Vicar of Christ, rolling up the sleeves of his vestments before grabbing a long, heavy papal mace and repeatedly smacking it into his open palm, causing the limp, bloodied man to finally admit to neglecting his familial duties and coveting others’ possessions. “There, was that so bad? Now say 10 Hail Marys and get out of my fucking sight.” The pope then reportedly gave the moaning man one more kick in the ribs as a reminder to come to next week’s Mass with something to confess.

Biography: Bishop James Pike

In Search Of…Bishop Pike: Was Bishop Pike a minister, martyr, or madman? Original broadcast: 15 February 1982. Leonard Nimoy narrates:


James Albert Pike (February 14, 1913 – September 9, 1969) was an American Episcopal bishop, prolific writer, and one of the first mainline religious figures to appear regularly on television.

His outspoken, and to some, heretical views on many theological and social issues made him one of the most controversial public figures of his time. He was an early proponent of ordination of women, racial desegregation, and the acceptance of LGBT people within mainline churches. Pike was the fifth Bishop of California. Late in his life he explored psychic experimentation in an effort to contact his recently deceased son.  [In 1966, Pike’s son Jim took his own life in a New York City hotel room.  As the video above indicates, Jim took his own life due to questions regarding his “masculinity.”]

(Wikipedia.org)

“The Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell

TheAlexandriaQuartet

The Alexandria Quartet is a tetralogy of novels by British writer Lawrence Durrell, published between 1957 and 1960. A critical and commercial success, the first three books present three perspectives on a single set of events and characters in Alexandria (Egypt), before and duringWorld War II. The fourth book is set six years later.

As Durrell explains in his preface to Balthazar, the four novels are an exploration of relativity and the notions of continuum and subject–object relation, with modern love as the theme. TheQuartet’s first three books offer the same sequence of events through several points of view, allowing individual perspectives of a single set of events. The fourth book shows change over time.

The four novels are:

In a 1959 Paris Review interview,[1] Durrell described the ideas behind the Quartet in terms of a convergence of Eastern and Western metaphysics, based on Einstein’s overturning of the old view of the material universe, and Freud’s doing the same for the concept of stable personalities, yielding a new concept of reality.

(Wikipedia.org)

Montaigne on the penis

MicheldeMontaigne

“We are right to note the license and disobedience of this member which thrusts itself forward too inopportunely when we do not want it to, and which so inopportunely lets us down when we most need it; it imperiously contests for authority with our will; it stubbornly and proudly refuses all our incitements, both of the mind and hand.”
–Michel Montaigne on the penis

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. Wikipedia

To Seize Benefits of Coincidence, Sometimes You Must Act Quickly

Airport

By Bernard D. Beitman, M.D. (TheEpochTimes.com)

An opportunity suddenly appears within a narrow time window. Will you act?

In a busy airport, a man saw a woman who immediately struck him as “the one.” A journalist found himself literally on the doorstep of an important contact.

One took the opportunity, the other didn’t. Coincidences, such as those in which you meet exactly the right person at exactly the right time, often present these small windows of great opportunity.

In the Airport

As I recount in my book, Connecting With Coincidence, Joseph Jaworski was running to catch a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare airport when he noticed a “very beautiful” young woman walking toward him. As she passed him, he stopped and looked into her eyes, which were “absolutely gorgeous.”

He was certain he knew her. At that moment, he saw his future life with her. He ran after her and caught up to her. As she was about to hand her Dallas-bound ticket to the agent, he pulled her back and insisted they talk right then.

“Are you married?” he asked.

“No” she replied. “Are you?”

“Of course not,” he said.

He told her that he felt they’d met before, although he knew they hadn’t. He insisted that she give him her name and telephone number. Without hesitation, she did.

Jaworski later wrote about meeting Mavis: “In her presence, I felt this warmth. When my eyes met hers, it was a spiritual thing. When I ran after her, it was as if nothing else mattered. I can hardly describe any of this. It is very mysterious. But it feels like love.”

They were married within the year.

The Journalist

A journalist told me the following story: “It was the late 1970s and I had moved to New York City looking for my first job in journalism after graduate school. A new magazine was being published called Omni and I so much wanted to work for them. The magazine was being published by Bob Guccione, who was also the publisher of Penthouse magazine.

“So I looked in the phonebook, got the address, and decided to visit their offices. It was just a few blocks away from where I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The address turned out to be a brownstone, not your typical high-rise office building, but I had been to several other magazine offices whose offices turned out to be in brownstones, so I thought nothing of it.

“When I walked in, I was asked who I was there to see, and I said ‘Bob Guccione.’ ‘Fourth floor,’ I was told. So I got in the elevator, pressed the fourth floor button, and went up. When the doors of the elevator opened, there was no hallway or reception desk. Instead, I found myself right smack in someone’s living room lavishly decorated with Persian rugs, large sofas, ornate chairs, huge paintings, a gold-framed mirror, truly sumptuous surroundings.

“Suddenly it struck me: I was in Bob Guccione’s home! Realizing my mistake, and since there was no one in the room, I pressed the first floor button, went back down, and left the building quite flustered. I now wonder: Did I miss an incredible opportunity? What if I had sat down on the couch and waited for someone to show up? Maybe my life would have turned out entirely differently.”

What would have happened had he stayed? Would he have been shot by a bodyguard, greeted by a welcoming office manager, or had a chance to meet the publisher and been offered a job at the magazine? He will never know.

Jason Flom, CEO of Lava Records and a self-professed expert at creating “coincidences,” calls the journalist’s fear of acting a “non-moving violation.” The journalist missed the potential promise of the situation.

Avoid “non-moving violations.” Seize the coincidence!

Bernard-Beitman_0

This article was previously published by Psychology Today, as part of a series of articles by Bernard Beitman, MD, on the science of synchronicity and serendipity. Beitman is a visiting professor at the University of Virginia. He is the former chair of the University of Missouri-Columbia department of psychiatry. See his blog, Connecting With Coincidence, to learn more about Coincidence Studies.

Visit the Epoch Times Beyond Science page on Facebook and subscribe to theBeyond Science newsletter to continue exploring ancient mysteries and the new frontiers of science!

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.

 

“The Over-Soul” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let man, then, learn the revelation of all nature and all thought to his heart; this, namely; that the Highest dwells with him; that the sources of nature are in his own mind, if the sentiment of duty is there. But if he would know what the great God speaketh, he must ‘go into his closet and shut the door,’ as Jesus said. God will not make himself manifest to cowards. He must greatly listen to himself, withdrawing himself from all the accents of other men’s devotion. Even their prayers are hurtful to him, until he have made his own. Our religion vulgarly stands on numbers of believers. Whenever the appeal is made — no matter how indirectly — to numbers, proclamation is then and there made, that religion is not. He that finds God a sweet, enveloping thought to him never counts his company. When I sit in that presence, who shall dare to come in? When I rest in perfect humility, when I burn with pure love, what can Calvin or Swedenborg say?

“It makes no difference whether the appeal is to numbers or to one. The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul. The position men have given to Jesus, now for many centuries of history, is a position of authority. It characterizes themselves. It cannot alter the eternal facts. Great is the soul, and plain. It is no flatterer, it is no follower; it never appeals from itself. It believes in itself. Before the immense possibilities of man, all mere experience, all past biography, however spotless and sainted, shrinks away. Before that heaven which our presentiments foreshow us, we cannot easily praise any form of life we have seen or read of. We not only affirm that we have few great men, but, absolutely speaking, that we have none; that we have no history, no record of any character or mode of living, that entirely contents us. The saints and demigods whom history worships we are constrained to accept with a grain of allowance. Though in our lonely hours we draw a new strength out of their memory, yet, pressed on our attention, as they are by the thoughtless and customary, they fatigue and invade. The soul gives itself, alone, original, and pure, to the Lonely, Original, and Pure, who, on that condition, gladly inhabits, leads, and speaks through it. Then is it glad, young, and nimble. It is not wise, but it sees through all things. It is not called religious, but it is innocent. It calls the light its own, and feels that the grass grows and the stone falls by a law inferior to, and dependent on, its nature. Behold, it saith, I am born into the great, the universal mind. I, the imperfect, adore my own Perfect. I am somehow receptive of the great soul, and thereby I do overlook the sun and the stars, and feel them to be the fair accidents and effects which change and pass. More and more the surges of everlasting nature enter into me, and I become public and human in my regards and actions. So come I to live in thoughts, and act with energies, which are immortal. Thus revering the soul, and learning, as the ancient said, that “its beauty is immense,” man will come to see that the world is the perennial miracle which the soul worketh, and be less astonished at particular wonders; he will learn that there is no profane history; that all history is sacred; that the universe is represented in an atom, in a moment of time. He will weave no longer a spotted life of shreds and patches, but he will live with a divine unity. He will cease from what is base and frivolous in his life, and be content with all places and with any service he can render. He will calmly front the morrow in the negligency of that trust which carries God with it, and so hath already the whole future in the bottom of the heart.”

Link to the whole essay:  http://www.emersoncentral.com/oversoul.htm

Biocentrism: A book review of sorts

Biocentrism

“I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics.  Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’  because you will go ‘down the drain’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped.”  
–Nobel physicist Richard Feynman

“The late physicist John Wheeler (1911-2008), who coined the term ‘black hole,’ advocated what is now called the Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP):  observers are required to bring the universe into existence.

“…[C]ontemporary science asks us to believe:  that the entire universe, exquisitely tailored for our existence, popped into existence out of absolute nothingness.  Who in their right mind would accept such a thing?  Has anyone offered any credible suggestion for how, some 14 billion years ago, we suddenly got a hundred trillion times more than a trillion trillion trillion tons of matter from–zilch?  How any possible natural random process could mix molecules in a blender for a few billions years so that out would pop woodpeckers and George Clooney?  Can anyone conceive of any edges to the cosmos?  Infinity?  Or how particles still spring out of nothingness?

“Is it not obvious that science only pretends to explain the cosmos on its fundamental level?  By reminding us of its great successes at figuring out interim processes and the mechanics of things, and fashioning marvelous new devices out of raw materials, science gets away with patently ridiculous ‘explanations’ for the nature of the cosmos as a whole.  If only it hadn’t given us HDTV and the George Foreman grill, it wouldn’t have held our attention and respect long enough to pull the old three-card Monte when it comes to these largest issues.

“Language is rife with a myriad of contradictions that we merely ignore.  Ask someone what he or she thinks happens after death, and one common reply is, ‘I think there will just be nothing.’  Now that seems to be a valid statement but as we saw in a precious chapter, the verb to be contradicts nothingness.  One can’t be nothing.  Our frequent encounters with the term be nothing or is nothing have numbed us into imagining that it expresses something valid and logical, when in fact it says nothing comprehensible.

“First Principle of Biocentrism:  What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness.  An ‘external’ reality, if it existed, would–by definition–have to exist in space. But this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.

“Second Principle of Biocentrism: Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined.  They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.

“Third Principle of Biocentrism:  The behavior of subatomic particles–indeed all particles and objects–are inextricably linked to the presence of an observer.  Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.

“Fourth Principle of Biocentrism:  Without consciousness, ‘matter’ dwells in an undetermined state of probability.  Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a  probability state.

“Fifth Principle of Biocentrism:  The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism.  The universe if fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around.  The ‘universe’ is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.

“Sixth Principle of Biocentrism:  Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception.  It is the process by which we perceive change in the universe.

“Seventh Principle of Biocentrism:  Space, like time, is not an object or a thing.  Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality.  We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells.  Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent to life.”

James Taylor – I Didn’t Know What Time It Was


The music was written by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Lorenz Hart for the musical Too Many Girls (1939). Early hit versions included Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The Crampton Sisters 1964 revival for the DCP label was a Hot 100 entry.

The song was introduced by Richard Kollmar and Marcy Westcott in the musical Too Many Girls. It was performed by Trudy Erwin – dubbing for Lucille Ball in the 1940 film version produced by RKO – and interpolated into the score of the 1957 film Pal Joey, where it was sung by Frank Sinatra.