Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Four Noble Truths of Buddha

1. Life means suffering. 

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a “self” which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call “self” is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

There is a path to the end of suffering – a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely “wandering on the wheel of becoming”, because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.

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Time

Time, in Buddhism, is defined as a measurement of change. For example, a month is the measurement of change involved either externally in the moon circling the earth or internally in a woman going from one menstruation to the next. Such changes are cyclical in that the pattern repeats, although the events of each cycle are not completely identical. Externally, the universe passes through cosmic, astronomical, astrological and historical cycles.


More on the Magnetic Bubles at Edge of Solar System


The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

[link to taoism.about.com]

For the practitioner of Inner Alchemy, the human body is revealed to be the meeting-place between Heaven and Earth: a Rainbow Bridge between the Worlds. In Taoism, this energetic landscape is described in terms of the Dantians, the Snow Mountain area and the meridian system. In the Hindu yoga systems, this same terrain is spoken of in terms of the chakras, and the kundalini energy that rises from the base of the spine, awakening these energetic centers one by one.

The book
[link to www.amazon.com]

The site…

[link to soul1.org]

The seven planes and 49 subplanes visual.
[link to soul1.org]

AND the master key… [link to taoism.about.com]

The Solar Plexus has been likened to the sun of the body, because it is a central point of distribution for the energy which the body is constantly generating. This energy is very real energy, and this sun is a very real sun, and the energy is being distributed by very real nerves to all parts of the body, and is thrown off in an atmosphere which envelopes the body.

6. If this radiation is sufficiently strong the person is called magnetic; he is said to be filled with personal magnetism. Such a person may wield an immense power for good. His presence alone will often bring comfort to the troubled minds with which he comes in contact.


Magnetic Foam at Edge of Solar System

A Big Surprise from the Edge of the Solar System

June 9, 2011: NASA’s Voyager probes are truly going where no one has gone before. Gliding silently toward the stars, 9 billion miles from Earth, they are beaming back news from the most distant, unexplored reaches of the solar system.
Mission scientists say the probes have just sent back some very big news indeed.
It’s bubbly out there.
“The Voyager probes appear to have entered a strange realm of frothy magnetic bubbles,” says astronomer Merav Opher of Boston University. “This is very surprising.”

Big Surprise (splash, 550px)

A NASA video shows how magnetic bubbles might be formed at the edge of the solar system.

According to computer models, the bubbles are large, about 100 million miles wide, so it would take the speedy probes weeks to cross just one of them. Voyager 1 entered the “foam-zone” around 2007, and Voyager 2 followed about a year later. At first researchers didn’t understand what the Voyagers were sensing–but now they have a good idea.
“The sun’s magnetic field extends all the way to the edge of the solar system,” explains Opher. “Because the sun spins, its magnetic field becomes twisted and wrinkled, a bit like a ballerina’s skirt. Far, far away from the sun, where the Voyagers are now, the folds of the skirt bunch up.”

Big Surprise (bubbles, 200px)

Magnetic bubbles at the edge of the solar system are about 100 million miles wide–similar to the distance between Earth and the sun. [more]

When a magnetic field gets severely folded like this, interesting things can happen. Lines of magnetic force criss-cross and “reconnect”. (Magnetic reconnection is the same energetic process underlying solar flares.) The crowded folds of the skirt reorganize themselves, sometimes explosively, into foamy magnetic bubbles.
“We never expected to find such a foam at the edge of the solar system, but there it is!” says Opher’s colleague, University of Maryland physicist Jim Drake.
Theories dating back to the 1950s had predicted a very different scenario: The distant magnetic field of the sun was supposed to curve around in relatively graceful arcs, eventually folding back to rejoin the sun. The actual bubbles appear to be self-contained and substantially disconnected from the broader solar magnetic field.
Energetic particle sensor readings suggest that the Voyagers are occasionally dipping in and out of the foam—so there might be regions where the old ideas still hold. But there is no question that old models alone cannot explain what the Voyagers have found.
Says Drake: “We are still trying to wrap our minds around the implications of these findings.”
The structure of the sun’s distant magnetic field—foam vs. no-foam—is of acute scientific importance because it defines how we interact with the rest of the galaxy. Researchers call the region where the Voyagers are now “the heliosheath.” It is essentially the border crossing between the Solar System and the rest of the Milky Way. Lots of things try to get across—interstellar clouds, knots of galactic magnetism, cosmic rays and so on. Will these intruders encounter a riot of bubbly magnetism (the new view) or graceful lines of magnetic force leading back to the sun (the old view)?

Big Surprise (oldvsnew, 550px)

Old and new views of the heliosheath. Red and blue spirals are the gracefully curving magnetic field lines of orthodox models. New data from Voyager add a magnetic froth (inset) to the mix. Larger images: old, new.

The case of cosmic rays is illustrative. Galactic cosmic rays are subatomic particles accelerated to near-light speed by distant black holes and supernova explosions. When these microscopic cannonballs try to enter the solar system, they have to fight through the sun’s magnetic field to reach the inner planets.
“The magnetic bubbles could be our first line of defense against cosmic rays,” points out Opher. “We haven’t figured out yet if this is a good thing or not.”
On one hand, the bubbles would seem to be a very porous shield, allowing many cosmic rays through the gaps. On the other hand, cosmic rays could get trapped inside the bubbles, which would make the froth a very good shield indeed.
“We’ll probably discover which is correct as the Voyagers proceed deeper into the froth and learn more about its organization1,” says Opher. “This is just the beginning, and I predict more surprises ahead.”


Solar Eruption

Hotting up: Sun wakes up from sleep for busiest sunspot cycle in years and threatens to disrupt Earth communications and power

Last updated at 12:11 PM on 8th June 2011
  • Geomagnetic storm activity expected from around 6pm and could last 24 hours
  • Possible disruption to power grids and satellites
  • Flights over polar regions face being rerouted
This astonishing sequence of images shows a dramatic ‘flare’ bursting out from the sun which could affect satellite communications and power supplies here on Earth.
The spectacular development unleashed a radiation firestorm on a level not seen for five years which is expected to cause a ‘moderate’ geomagnetic storm when it reaches Earth.
Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the event which combines a flare, a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a minor radiation storm.
Blast furnace: Billions of tons of charged plasma fell back on to the sun's surface in a combination of a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection and a minor radiation storm

Blast furnace: Billions of tons of charged plasma fell back on to the sun’s surface in a combination of a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection and a minor radiation storm

‘This one was rather dramatic,’ said Bill Murtagh, programme co-ordinator at the NWS’s Space Weather Prediction Centre, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 am Eastern time in the United States, or 0541 GMT on Monday.
‘We saw the initial flare occurring and it wasn’t that big but then the eruption associated with it — we got energy particle radiation flowing in and we got a big coronal mass ejection,’ he said.
‘You can see all the materials blasting up from the sun so it is quite fantastic to look at.’
Nasa’s solar dynamics observatory, which launched last year and provided the high-definition pictures and video of the event, described it as ‘visually spectacular,’ but noted that since the eruption was not pointed directly at Earth, the effects were expected to remain ‘fairly small’.
‘The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface,’ said a Nasa statement.
Murtagh said space weather analysts were watching closely to see whether the event would cause any collision of magnetic fields between the sun and Earth, some 93million miles (150million km) apart.

A solar spot in the centre of the sun reveals itself as the source of the strongest flare in four years on February 14, 2011

Advance warning: A solar spot in the centre of the sun reveals itself as the source of the strongest flare in four years on February 14, 2011, in an image taken by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

‘Part of our job here is to monitor and determine whether it is Earth-directed because essentially that material that is blasting out is gas with magnetic field combined,’ he told AFP.
‘In a day or so from now, we are expecting some of that material to impact us here on Earth and create a geomagnetic storm,’ he said.
‘We don’t expect it to be any kind of a real severe one but it could be kind of a moderate level storm.’
The Space Weather Prediction Centre said the event is ‘expected to cause G1 (minor) to G2 (moderate) levels of geomagnetic storm activity today, beginning around 1800 GMT’.
Any geomagnetic storm activity will likely be over within 12-24 hours.
‘The Solar Radiation Storm includes a significant contribution of high energy protons, the first such occurrence of an event of that type since December 2006,’ the NWS said.

As many as 12 satellites and spacecraft are monitoring the heliosphere, and one instrument in particular on board Nasa’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter is measuring radiation and its effects.
‘Certainly over the (two-year) lifetime of the mission this is the most significant event,’ said Harlan Spence, principal investigator for the cosmic ray telescope for the effects of radiation, or CRaTER.
‘This is really exciting because ironically when we were developing the mission initially we thought we would be launching closer to a solar maximum when these big solar particle events typically occur,’ Spence told AFP.
‘Instead we launched into a historic solar minimum that took a long, long time to wake up,’ he said.
‘This is interesting and significant because it shows the sun is returning to its more typical active state.’
The resulting geomagnetic storm could cause some disruption in power grids, satellites that operate global positioning systems and other devices, and may lead to some rerouting of flights over the polar regions, Murtagh said.
‘Generally it is not going to cause any big problems, it will just have to be managed,’ he said.
‘If you fly from the United States to Asia, flying over the North Pole, there are well over a dozen flights every day,’ he added.
‘During these big radiation storms some of these airlines will reroute the flights away from the polar regions for safety reasons to make sure they can maintain communications.
‘People operating satellites would keep an eye on this, too, because geomagnetic storming can interfere with satellites in various ways whether it is the satellite itself or the signal coming down from the receiver.’
The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and aurora australis (Southern Lights) will also probably be visible in the late hours of today and tomorrow, Nasa said. 


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