Saturday, May 30, 2020

What Matters More in Life, Happiness or Purpose?

The following is a revised version of my original post in Life in the Finger Lakes.

We are taught to be happy. We are told that happiness brings contentment and fulfillment. The “pursuit of happiness” is even mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.
But is there some other than happiness that matters more?
While researching the “purpose of life” for my next book I came across another book that said having meaning and purpose in life was tantamount to finding fulfillment. Author Emily Esfahani Smith – The Power of Meaning, Crafting a Life That Matters – makes a compelling case to why having a purpose in your life matters.
For example, she cites an extensive study done in 2014 by the University of Virginia and Gallup that examined 140,000 participants in over 130 countries. It found that people in more affluent countries such as those in Scandinavia were much happier than those living in poorer countries such as the sub-Sahara in Africa. Conversely it found that those living in wealthier countries had less meaning in their lives compared to poor countries such as Togo and Niger.
The study also found that happiness and unhappiness were not predictors of suicide. Many wealthier countries had much higher suicide rates compared to poorer countries. This was not an anomaly created by a specific cohort within the population of the richer country that may have felt disenfranchised.
What was a predictor of suicide?
A lack of meaning in your life; not having meaning in your life increased the chances for suicide. Citizens of countries with the lowest levels of meaning, such as Japan had the highest rates of suicide.  
Another study found that the search for meaning was far more fulfilling for people than the pursuit of personal happiness. Having meaning and purpose also makes us more of a giver, such as buying more presents for others. Having a purpose in life makes us more resilient to various ailments, as well as increases longevity.
Smith also draws upon the work of Victor Frankel (Mans Search For Meaning), a Jewish psychiatrist who was arrested in September of 1942 and thrown into a Nazi concentration camp. Frankel found those prisoners that did not abandon hope and saw some meaning in their lives were better able to cope with the suffering and violence of a concentration camp. In other words, having a sense of purpose and meaning can better help us deal with the biggest challenges.
Although the Finger Lakes Region has begun opening up, many of us are still without work. Smith points out how important work is in our lives, saying it provides us with a source of identity, a sense of worth and gives us something to do. She suggests finding some ways to be of service to others if we are without work. Our region has numerous not-for-profits that can provide you the opportunity to be of service to others.
Hardship can bring reflection, often followed by change. For those of us fortunate enough to get beyond fear and concern for the future, the COVID-19 stay at home regulations have provided us with the opportunity to reflect. Does your life provide you with meaning and purpose? Is there a career path, pursuit or commitment that would bring more passion into your life?
Having purpose and meaning into your life matters.

Author Emily Esfahani Smith has article on meaning that you can read online, “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy."

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Earth's Geomagnetic Field is Weakening

The weakening of the earth's geomagnetic field is not a good thing. It could be prelude for many events from a pole shift, to a life extinction event.

Most likely human activity is the cause. In recent years Electropollution from our cell phones, other digital devices, wind turbines, and more has had the effect of microwaving Mother Earth.

Swarm probes weakening of Earth’s magnetic field

In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening. This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth. Scientists are using data from ESA’s Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hipp Brook Prserve

Below is my most recent post for Life in the Finger Lakes.

The following has been adapted from Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA,OH,NJ,CT,MA,VT,ONT) That Changed the World
Story and photos by Madis Senner
Marsh marigolds, wild irises, cardinal flowers and a variety of other water loving plants put on a spectacular show each spring at Hipp Brook preserve in the Rochester suburb of Penfield. Accompanied by wildlife such as song birds, wood ducks and more Hipp Brook provides you the opportunity to experience all the majesty of a marsh in the spring. Because the main trail, the Wild Iris Path is only half a mile long you won’t have to walk too far. The trail is easily accessible. Parking is available on street that borders the preserve.
Hipp Brook is a ninety-four acre mostly wetland preserve. Because it is a Class I wetland, it was able to avoid the fate of being covered with landfill and houses. The Genesee Land Trust began its rescue in 1990, and continued to buy parcels up until 1999. It was one of their first properties.
What adds to fun at Hipp Brook are the numerous boardwalks on the trails. They remind me of younger me and of hikes and canoe trips in the Adirondacks. And while those boardwalks were generally in bogs, there was something mysterious and adventuresome to them; Particularly the boardwalk at Avalanche Pass.
Spring time is the ideal time to visit Hipp Brook. Not only are the flowers putting on their display but the bugs have yet to come out in earnest. Even though our recent cold wave has reduced their numbers still bring your repellent. Fall and winter are the other times to visit.
Please be aware that tree leaves and reeds may impair your view in the summertime. You will also encounter many more bugs when the weather is warm.
There are several benches on the trails that allow you to stop to rest or take in Hipp Brook’s beauty. Give yourself an hour, possibly two for your visit.

Address: 100 Phaeton Dr., Penfield, NY
Email:, for events, membership.
Telephone: 585-256-2130
Donate, Volunteer: Donations of land, money and time welcomed. There are several stewardship opportunities: Trail maintenance, fieldwork and educational/teaching opportunities.
Hours: Dawn to Dusk. No camping, hunting or fires. Dogs must be on a leash.
Directions: From I-490 exit (23) onto Rt. 441 going east. Turn left onto Baird Rd. Right onto Whalen Rd. Left onto Jackson Rd. Ext. Left onto Brougham Dr. Your first left onto Phaeton Dr. Follow to the end and park around the circle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Sedona Journal of Emergence--Everything has Karma

The Sedona Journal of Emergence published my article below in February. Here are the first few paragraphs.

The Eastern concept of karma says that we reap what we sow. In fact, we often reap what others have sown. This is because everything has karma. We are constantly shaped and influenced by the things we come in contact with, the places we visit, the organizations we belong to, the religions we are members of, the activities we participate in, the beliefs we adhere to, the food we eat and drink, and much more. We also have an impact on everything we come in contact with.
Karma is much more than a simple law of retribution. It binds everyone and everything to each other. If you are serious about your spiritual development, you need to get karma right and understand that everything has karma. Something that appears good might have unintended consequences.
To understand why everything has karma, we first need to know about the nature of ultimate reality. By understanding the nature of ultimate reality, we begin to see how karma works. Karma is a Hindu concept. Vedic tradition holds that the world we live in (material reality) is an illusion called maya. What is the nature of that reality?....

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Survey--Clarks Reservation Survey--The Woods is Full of all sorts of Wonder and Stone Works

Last week  I went to Clarks Reservation in Janesville, NY, an eastern suburb of Syracuse, to take a few pictures of trilliums. I had written a post "The Trilliums Are Out" for LIfe in The Finger Lakes' blog and needed some pics of trilliums.

I was in the back of the state park that borders National Grid property/power lines. While I was walking in the woods I came across several lines of boulders that did not appear to be an old foundation for a house, or a stone wall.

Below is a Manitou Stone. It shows its age by the build-up over the millennia of dirt around it sinking it deeper into the land.

Below is a what I call a "platform stone" marking a nest, or intersection of numerous Energy Lines.

All this shows is that all sorts of wonders can be found in the woods. You don't need a large ornate structures. Those structures as I noted inTHE DONALD TRUMP (OSTENTATIOUS) THEORY OF SACRED SITES attract the wrong element--ghost hunters, ufologists and a variety other people and groups whose actions and intentions diminish the vibe; it's all about the vibe.

My one regret was not having my dowsing rods with me.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Trilliums Awakening

The following is my latest blog post for Life in the Finger Lakes.

The trilliums are blooming. Take a walk in the woods and you may be blessed with a spectacular show of their large bright white petals, or reds. Better yet you may see a spray of their blooms covering a large swath of land—breath taking.
Occasionally you find single trillium plants by themselves. More often you find them in large clumps. That is because their seeds once dropped do not travel far. Although trilliums are spread and distributed by ants that carry them back to their nests to eat the seed’s coating (elaiosome) and then discard the still fertile seed away from their nest.
Trilliums are a sure sign that spring has arrived and coincides with the sighting of robins. Because of this some refer to them as Wake Robin. They were once referred to as Nosebleed because they were used to stop bleeding. Evidently some Christians refer to them as Trinity, because trilliums have three flower petals and three sepals (leaves). They are also called Birthroot, or Native Balm, for their use by Native Americans as an astringent during birth.
While trilliums are long lived they are also sensitive and easily damaged. So don’t cut the flowers as it will take years, if ever, for the plant to recuperate. The NYS DEC lists trilliums on New York State’s Protected Native Plant List. It cannot be “picked, severed, removed, damaged, or carried away” without the consent of the landowner. Red trilliums also protect themselves in way through the nodding, or drooping habit of their flowers, which tends to keep them hidden. Trilliums are not very aggressive and can easily be overrun by other plants.
Trilliums are woodland plants and prefer a leafy covering that helps regulate the soil temperature. You find them where the soil is moist, but not boggy.  I find them along stream banks, or areas that offer moisture. The summer heat or drying soil may have them dying back.
You can find trilliums at many of our forests in the Finger Lakes region. The Finger Lakes Trail, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, the Genesee Land Trust and NYS DEC all have trails on their lands that you can hike and explore.
Over the years I have found several spots on public woodlands where hundreds of white trilliums bloom in a confined space providing a spectacular show. I found several of these places in the summer or fall, long after the blooms were gone. I suggest getting to know their three-leaf pattern and look for it when you go for hike. Remember where you find large clumps and come back next spring.
To find trilliums look for low elevation trails through nutrient rich woodlands, preferably made up mostly of deciduous trees. You will see them along stream banks, or areas close by where the streambed changed course and is now dry.  If allowed, go off the trail and explore.
The trilliums have just started blooming across the Finger Lakes region and should do so for another few weeks. Get out and enjoy Mother Nature’s show.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Many feel that the Covid-19  pandemic began when the  virus escaped from a  laboratory in Wuhan, China.

Could the Wuhan Laboratory be behind the Covid-19 pandemic even if it did not physically release the coronavirus?


To understand how this may be the case I have posted an excerpt from my last book  Everything Has Karma: Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness pages 129-131 below. It explains how the way we approach the world has repercussions (karma) for us individually and as a society.

It explains how science and technology have failed to grasp the basic concepts of the universe such as the Law of Love and its corollary of resistance training. Somehow science does not understand the premise each of practices when we go to the gym--resistance training.

So the question becomes did the scientist's at the Wuhan Lab through their experiments unleash the coronavirus, or mutate it, or make if stronger in some way?


Guided by Selfishness, Violence, Scientific Materialism
Unfortunately, instead of following the law of love as prescribed by the prophets and teachers, we have built a world based upon selfishness and competition. Our guiding principal is Adam Smith’s law of ‘self-interest.’ Instead of cooperation and working together we revel in competition; believing it makes us work harder and breeds success. But, does it?

Are the Golden Rule, do unto others, and love your enemy merely slogans for religious services and spiritual adherents? I think not.

The law of love is the guiding principle of the universe. Go against it at your own peril.
Take science and disease. Instead of employing the law of love the scientific approach looks to conquer and defeat. Beat back and destroy that nasty disease; or learn how to control the weather; or how to better extract minerals, rather than developing a holistic alternative based upon cooperation and love. Because of this ‘kill the enemy approach’ we have created numerous Frankenstein’s that are coming back to haunt us.

As German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, “Whatever does not kill me, makes me stronger.”138 Science has made some very wicked things very, very strong.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) calls them “superbugs”: “nightmare bacteria” that have developed unusually resistant genes that do not respond to antibiotics, killing tens of thousands each year in the USA and posing an enormous risk to the health of Americans.139 

Richard D. Smith and Joanna Coast note that medicine thought it had conquered infectious diseases with antibiotics, but all it has done “is made diseases stronger and more resistant. A new class of superbugs from ear infections and strep throat to malaria and tuberculosis formed in response. And the resistance is growing.”140 

We created superbugs with resistant genes because of the resistance training we put them through. We tried to wipe them out, defeat them, kill them, and exterminate them; and because of this, they developed resistance to our assaults.

You all know about and probably have even practiced resistance training. When you go to the gym and lift weights, you are practicing resistance training. By lifting weights, you are putting extra pressure on your muscles, and in response, they get stronger. This is a basic law of the universe. 

Understandably, helping people get well is a good thing. Unfortunately, we have chosen a violent approach of killing and defeating a particular disease, and in the process have created new mutations that are even more dangerous. We need to consider alternative approaches not based on violence—and we have to be creative here—but some other alternative, or approach or doing something unrelated, that helps. Secondly, we need to understand that it may take time, a very long time, to develop alternatives. It took centuries, arguably millennia, to get to our current state of curing individuals.

Our approach to disease is a microcosm of our approach to the world around us. It matters to you, because you are linked to its karma. You don’t need to be a scientist creating new drugs, or a researcher testing those drugs on animals, or even a consumer of them; although your degree of linkage will be how duplicitous you have been in the process.
The question is: what are you going to do about it?