Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Satan's Little Helpers by Louis Evan Palmer

This is "what if" time as in "what if they're right?" and "if so, how can that be?"

Let's start with "they" being the numerous sages who have claimed that what we see, hear, feel, smell & taste is an illusion. Note that it is not that it's like an illusion or that it's partly an illusion or that it's often an illusion. It is completely an illusion.

Let's add in the "they" who argue for the primacy of mind and theories about a holographic universe. Thought and feeling providing direction to the warp & woof of the world; providing impulse and fabric as well.

How does "god" or "true nature" or "supreme being" fit into this?

Here is a speculation based on various inputs & thoughts & intuitions.

Any name is too small to describe or contain or explain "true nature" and can only point at the inexpressible and ineffable suchness of it. It is all-encompassing, all-animating, all-sustaining, all-aware, all-knowing. It is beyond form and before form. It is everything and allows for everything. It is all forms yet it is no form. It gives rise to forms which is the appearance of forms which is what forms really are.

The creative force in any form (which includes energy and any created thing) is free will. The ability to choose and the fissioning of awareness gives rise to a universe. The power of individual minds to create singly or in consensus brings forth the forms of this universe. It is a dance, a concert, a choir. But none of the creation is "true nature". It is all the will and thoughts of the numberless entities that chose this or that. Wanting and desire is a choice. Loving and hating is a choice. Stars and planets are a choice.

How big is a mind? How powerful can a mind be? If this universe was created by mind and sustained by mind, could it be under the direction of a mind immensely more powerful than any one of ours, yet less than "god"? Can an entire universe be the "creation" of an extremely powerful entity? Is it necessarily a godlike production?

Satan is supposedly an entity that has a lot of Earthly power & influence. But what if it's much more than that? What if this whole universe is "his"? And we are here by our choice? And "the fall" is our decision to choose & cling to this universe & this world & this life. The problem being that while our minds & intentions drive the things of this universe, its entire substance & energy & being derives from "god" and our blindness & deafness of that is a lot of what traps us here and dumbfounds us.

So "god" is everything but demands that we create; we are the creators; "god" has no will - why would "he" or "she"? We think & intend & feel every form and relation and "god" actualizes it, becomes it. "god" gives us every single thing we want but we don't see it because we see only the forms and not the essence and the source. And the whole trick of this dimension of reality is to entrap beings, us, with the panoply of causality & beauty & horror & afterlifes & always having something to discover. It doesn't matter - the goal is to keep as many as possible for as long as possible. And to keep them thinking that this is the work of the supreme being. And to sing Satan's praises as "god's" - a beautiful sunset, a baby, a summer sky, birds on the wing, music, the stars. And to blame our own sins on "satan".

What if each & every aware being is completely connected to "true nature" or "god" because that is the nature of existence but we are being convinced or tricked into pouring our creative force, our mind & intentionality, into this universe; helping to sustain it and expand it; in effect, increasing its hold on us and ours, adding to the prison that binds us all?

"Here is the secret principle, without equal, the principle that calms all suffering, the truthful principle: Homage to you, knowledge that has gone, Gone beyond and beyond the beyond." — The Prajanaparamita’s Principle

Then this universe is the universe of the beings; this universe that we will & intend into existence is manifested by "god"; the evil in it is ours, the good as well, but "god" or "true nature" is beyond that, an infinite well of potential & form & relation, which we call up according to our motive & intent & understanding & wisdom.

With that view on things, a book like "Peter Pan" is a profound insight: "Think a happy Thought!"
Satan's Little Helpers, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Artifacts of Vision by Louis Evan Palmer

The greater the level of interaction we find we have with what we "see", the greater the question is as to what we do not "see" and how and why we "see" the way we do.

The eye was the thing that most amazed Charles Darwin on his epoch-making sea journey and, indeed, this amazing organ is the gateway for some 80% of an average human's perception. However, as magnificient as it is, the eye is only part of the visual cognition process. Additionally, there are the optic nerves, one per eye, and the brain itself. There is also a nebulous thing called attention which calls forth other phenomena like the "will" and emotions and beliefs that colour, even shape, what we see.

We "know" what we see because it's been subtlely (and not-so-subtlety) explained to us until our agreement is effortless and unquestioned. Expectation plays a huge role in what we see; it does help us to process more quickly and more effectively, however, it can be more what we (think we) should see than what we consciously & unconsciously see.

The way vision is constructed, or our current understanding of it, is probably not what most of us thought. The understanding is still under construction but various surprising discoveries have been made over the last few centuries especially since the second world war.

For example, each of our eyes has an optic nerve at the back of the eye. This results in a blind spot where the optic nerve exits the eye on its way to the brain - there are no cones or rods. We don't see this hole in our vision for two reasons: firstly, the optic nerve is not in the same position in both eyes so the blind spot of one eye is covered by the other eye; secondly, even if using a single eye, our brain (or our brain-mind) fills in the hole.

Or, we blink every 4 to 6 seconds; it's very quick between 100-150 milliseconds. Why don't we see darkness at that moment? Why doesn't our vision appear as a series of snapshots? One theory was that a phenomenon called "persistence of vision" came into play - an afterimage stays on the retina long enough for the eye to blink and see again so we would in effect be seeing snapshots but not noticing it. A more recent theory is that part of the brain turns off during the eye blink and this is the part that would notice the darkness - so if we don't notice it's dark then as far as our vision goes, it isn't.

Even if "persistence of vision" doesn't seem to play a part regarding uninterrupted vision during eye blinking, it does allow us to see many flashing or discontinuous lights (and things illuminated by light) as continuous. If the light or image is sent at the correct speeds, our brain will intergrate them, it will make the discrete continuous . After light has hit the retina, chemical processes take over. A period of time, called integration time, is needed to process the image. More integration time is needed in low light.

A motion picture runs at 24 frames per second but by shuttering each frame 3 times, the flash rate becomes 72 times per second. That speed is faster than our brain can integrate so we do not see any flicker. Same thing happens with computer monitors which flash at some 75 times a second. Same thing happens with many regular lights especially fluorescent lights.

Another interesting vision-related phenomenon has to do with what light an average person can see. In our eyes, cones, which see colour, are able to detect within certain frequency ranges only. Rods detect lower levels of light. If a coloured light is dimmed, we will see it and its colour until it reaches the threshold for its frequency to be detected by our eyes' cones and then it will be seen but as a grey light - no colour; unless it's a red light, in which case, when it hits the threshold, the red light will disappear to our vision.

We have another blind spot which occurs at night. The center of our visual field is called the fovea - it contains only cones, no rods at all. Therefore, if an object is small enough to fit into that visual center and the light is low enough, we will not see it.

Many of the above visual artifacts have a strong physical component but there are other visual cognition phenomena that have much more of a mental aspect. One phenomenon is called "change blindess" and refers to how people can fail to notice significant changes from one scene to the next. Another phenomenon focuses on the role that attention plays in what you see but, more dramatically, what you do not see.


For the beckman video, for your first viewing, your task is to count how many times the players with white shirts pass the basketball among themselves, only focus on them. Then watch the video again.

This does not touch on "vision" when we dream, reports of remote viewing or OBEs (out-of-body-experiences).

Artifacts of Vision, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Idea of the Vanguard by Louis Evan Palmer

There are many questions that surround leadership. Who leads? How do they gain & maintain authority? How do they get people to follow & accept their orders? Or, more fundamentally, how do they assume power?

In the context of a social revolution, there are numerous steps: the building of a mythology, the laying of an organizational foundation, the cultivation or manipulation of the political & economic climate, the readiness to seize & exercise power, a convincing vision & plan and the means to effect a change in societal perception & control.

Key to all of the above is an organization, a political party, or more accurately, a vanguard within that party or movement. That is, a cohesive group who are determined & effective, who define & lead the transformation. And who are invariably small in number.

One of the most difficult challenges facing any leadership is effecting change. The challenge is only exacerbated by the fact that most change is ill-considered and wrong-headed. At least, most of the change that is proposed.

This naturally draws one towards the bedrock from which change should issue - accurate, valid analysis. Unfortunately, what often substitutes for it, is the spouting of charismatic or ideological leaders.

When the demogogues reign then the idea becomes that what gets done reflects the imposition of one group's will on the rest of the masses and that this usurption of public discourse and diminishment of the ability to dissent or resist is the exercise's true purpose. It is here that the idea of the vanguard - beloved of the old communist dictatorships - emphatically comes to the fore. The small group who leads. In some cases, it a small self-selected group; or, a self-selected leader and would-be high-office holders and flaks and fans and hangers-on but, most of all, the critical bolstering of the true believers who form the bulk of the vanguard, the true shock troops.

How Many Does It Take? The size of the vanguard is typically in the 5-10% range. That is, 5% of a given group directing the other 95%. Based solely on common experience, most of us would probably agree that 5-10% is a good number. Depending on the circumstances, we might even feel it could be lower - perhaps 1%. Certain conditions can act as multipliers so that smaller groups can act with the effective weight of a larger group.

But, the success of the vanguard dynamic depends on many factors, most of which are not commonly, or well-understood.

One noteworthy factor in this type of undertaking is whether a given vanguard can take advantage of any power or impact mulipliers. Typical multipliers are money, the ability to confer fame or honours or social access, the ability to provide sexual gratification, the ability to provide luxury & other physical gratifications including intoxicants, strong shared beliefs, strong bonds (familial, genetic, ..), control of media, control of production, control of wealth, willingness to be violent, kill or die, secrecy, control of social pressure, the ability to instill fear or awe or shock, social momentum, the ability to undermine a person's freedom of action or financial status or mental stability including false arrest, an actual or apprehended state of seige or threat, well-based or baseless blackmail, hidden alliances or weapons.

It becomes evident as one goes through a list like this that a vanguard will quickly end up as a dirty amoral bunch of thugs for a cause. The cause is intended to cleanse them, if not now, then later when victory has been achieved or, perhaps, their redemption will have to be pushed onto future generations. But for now, it doesn't matter and the job must be done!

All the usual suspects are potential vanguards including Jesuits, High-Financiers, Freemasons, NeoCommunists, NeoConservatives, International Criminal Syndicates, etc. etc. A truly effective vanguard must have a militant arm so it's logical to demand that they must have solid links into the armed forces & the police & the intelligence services. The vanguard must also be able to reward its members which, among other things, means access to lots of money & influence. The vanguard must have a political dimension either as a full-fledged party or with members, or access to members, in the major parties.

When looking for potential vanguards especially hidden ones in operation today, it's useful to search for somewhat cohesive groups that fall in the 5-10% range in any given region, social strata or community, profession or endeavour. For example, in some countries, homosexuals might be able to constitute a vanguard. Or, selected ethnic communities like emigrant Chinese throughout South Asia. Or, large prison populations as in the U.S.A. Or, university graduates who might be able to operate as a stealth vanguard? Or, special forces within the armed forces or police or intelligence services?

Of course, there can also be positive vanguards, filled with inspiring idealists who want to make a difference. These can be ecological groups, animal protection societies, anti-poverty and social action groups. These types of vanguards have been identified by some "intelligence" services as terrorists.

When it's successful, any given group that was active enough and assumed significant power might be called vanguard in retrospect; but, it's in the advance analysis where we want to be able to identify these potentially disruptive & destabilizing forces. Where are the vanguards?

The Idea of the Vanguard, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Who really broke the Enigma code! by Louis Evan Palmer

Who really broke the Enigma code!

You may have heard about Bletchley park. You may have also heard about Alan Turing and other British mathematicians who worked on Enigma. Since the secrets surrounding Enigma started emerging in the early 1970s, the main focus has been on Britian's role in cracking this supposedly unbreakable code.

It's a rare person who will have any clue as to who these people are other than assuming they are Polish (they are).These are the Polish mathematicians who really broke theEnigma code along with the help of a small Polish contingent of about 60 persons including those who risked their lives to retrieve a broken Enigma machine from a German military vehicle accident.

The Poles worked with French intelligence and using their own data & the French information and advanced mathematical analysis, they broke the code prior to the start of the second world war. Constant effort was needed as the Germans kept refining the machine - adding rotors, adding other components, making the odds longer and longer at ever being able to crack it when its keys were changed every day.

The Enigma code machine had a long and convoluted history. Invented by Dutch naval officers in 1915, it was obtained by a German businessman who took out a patent on it in 1918 and began selling it. In 1924 the German military adapted it and began using it to encrypt military communications.

There has been a not too subtle campaign to minimize or ignore the Polish contribution. If mentioned at all, it's as a footnote. The Poles while having a small team achieved breakthroughs in all aspects of the Enigma code machine. They acquired, often at great risk, the first Enigma machines not in German hands and built facsimiles. They devised the mathematics that assisted in cracking the early & later codes. They came up with the technique of running Enigma machines in series to speed up the deciphering process - which they called "Bomba".

As Jozef Garlinski notes in his book "Hitler's Last Weapons", the Poles were officially working on breaking Enigma in 1932. They had their intelligence services collecting data, they were monitoring radio traffic and liasing with French intelligence. Poland was decrypting German military traffic by the end of 1937. Dabrowa provides other details on this momumental work at

Of course, there was still tremendous effort and ingenuity required by the Bletchley folks to break the daily key setting and keep up with advances and in these efforts Turing and the others were outstanding - but how much easier their task was when it had been explained in detail by the Poles.

Rejewski. Rozycki. Zygalski.

They deserve our recognition and appreciation.

Who really broke the Enigma code!, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

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Copyright Louis Evan Palmer

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Abode of Consciousness by Louis Evan Palmer

A key question regarding consciousness is if there is, in fact, an abode for it. Does consciousness reside in any one place? Another issue related to the abode metaphor is if there's ever an overlap of consciousnesses. Is it proposed that consciousness is one entity's perception and awareness of itself and its environs but that there is never a merging of one consciousness into another? Or, that if there is any type of merging that it's rare.

Another way of approaching the mystery of consciousness is as a process like the shining of a light in the dark. The existence around us to be perceived and aware of is there and our consciousness is whatever part of that "is-ness" that we alight on. We're consciously aware of that and nothing else. Our consciousness patches & remembers the various instances where our consciousness has alighted and that's how we gain an impression of wholeness or movement or continuity.

Other potential aspects of consciousness revolve around different levels of awareness and consciousness and the layering or aggregation of them into "higher" or more complex consciousnesses. In the same vein, there can be aspects of consciousness that revolve around interactions which posit that consciousness, or part of it, is a "conversation" or a "dance" - the consciousness is in the exchange, say, between two consciousnesses as a conversation, or as a dance, say, when between a consciousness and an awareness or an object or a force.

There is a problem with the old dualism issue - either matter and mind are separate and somehow interact or don't; or they are in reality aspects of each other. In most models, matter is primary and mind is an effect or process of it; in a very small number of other models, mind is primary and matter is an effect or aspect of it. From a consciousness perspective, this article will take the "mind is primary" route and see where that leads.

If the universe as we know it is "aware" either as a result of being created out of single indivisible supremely aware "substance" or as a result of awareness having an almost infinite range where even atomic interactions can be seen as representing a type of consciousness then we presented with a mind-boggling confluence of interactions and effects across all ranges of size and boundaries of space and time. It could be a place where everything from the smallest particles to the largest expanses of space to waves of every size and speed to "living" entities to memories of various types could form part of a consciousness spectrum. It's not important that some of these forms of "consciousness" might be intensely foreign to us.

This would be a universe where many types of consciousness could inhabit, overlap and interact simultaneously. In such a universe could there be elemental particles or energies associated with consciousness? Perhaps, a "cogiton" to join other speculative particles like the "graviton" and the "chroniton"?

Consciousness is a tricky phenomena as it typically includes psychological constructs like the "unconscious". This, however, opens up an important idea - the consciousness that we see and are somewhat aware of versus the vast underlying structure upon which it sits and interacts. This highlights that consciousness itself feeds from many tributaries, not all continuously or evenly interacting or available. The tributaries themselves are fed by various means. In the end, nothing is not touched or involved.

This view of consciousness may see it as an immense intricate "field" or "space". A large part of it may consist of "potentials".

In the Julian Jaynes book, "The Origin of Consciousness", among other things he talks about consciousness as the result of a conversation between the two hemispheres of the human brain. To extend this approach at the human level, what if there are varying degrees of awareness and consciousness throughout the entire human body. What if all the cells have a cellular consciousness; the organs their own distinctive awareness and intelligence - where "going with my gut" or "following my heart" is more than merely an expression? Does the large percentage of the human body occupied by bacteria affect its consciousness? If accurate then a picture emerges of a dialogue (possibly an occasional debate) among all parts of a body and its environs.

In such a world, trees and forests can have a consciousness; rivers and seas and oceans; everything. Each thing aggregating upwards and outwards, vertically and laterally. All the consciousnesses of a single bird in a flock aggregating into the awareness of the flock itself, perhaps spilling over into the wind. Different levels and types of consciousness absorbing and interacting all the time.

Can consciousness aggregate? And, if so, how? Can a higher or greater consciousness emerge from the merging and interaction of various consciousnesses?

Inevitably, this leads us to the definition of who we think we are. If consciousness is a process which always represents an interaction and its memory trace then if we believe we are our consciousness, we only exist when we interact or remember. As was asked in an earlier article, is your voice and spoken words "you"? Yes and No. Similarly, is your consciousness and its memory "you"?

It sounds a lot like what the great sage Nagarjuna stated: "Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves."

Can "awareness" exist if there is nothing to perceive? Or no-one perceiving?

The Abode of Consciousness, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.