Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TNS#85: Everything About 2012 with author Mark Heley

TheNextStep show #85 was taped 4/26/12 and featured bay area author Mark Heley, talking about his book The Everything Guide to 2012. Mark's book covered a wide range of topics and so did our discussion... ranging from the beginning of time in Mayan calendrics to the center of the Milky Way! In preparation for the show I reviewed my whole stack of 2012-themed books, which included The Mayan Factor/Arguelles, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012/Jenkins, The 2012 Story/Jenkins, 2012 and the Galactic Center/Page, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl/Pinchbeck, and 2012: Science or Superstition/Bruce. BTW, Mark's book is the best of the lot in breadth and clarity. Let's see, by way of summary, for starters I was just trying to clarify what the proper terminology for the end of the 13th baktun on 12/21/12 should be called. Each baktun is 5125 years, and the 13th baktun was described as -- somewhat like an IP address! -- but so does that mean 12/20 was since the Mayans used a base-20 vigesimal number system? Well, the answer to that was not forthcoming. The other topic I tried to clarify was the idea that this end of the 13th baktun was somehow coincident with our solar system crossing the central plane of the Milky Way, an idea that John Major Jenkins writes about at length. That topic didn't get much traction either, although I'd refer the reader to the Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet prepared by astrophysicist David Morrison, which he prepared for his talk on 2012 at SETI.org in Nov 2012. When asked, he did confirm that we believe our solar system cycles above and below the galactic plane, on a very long time scale that he wasn't very clear about w/r actual numbers. My comment was that, really, there was no way the Mayans could've even known about the galaxy we're in! Unless of course the extra-terrestrials told them. Yes, that's probably it... I liked Mark's recent article http://realitysandwich.com/215394/what-actually-happened-on-december-21-2012/ and his comment that "By the time we actually reached 2012, it had become very clear that the semantic battle for assigning meaning to this date had been steamrollered (at least in the western media) towards the ‘end of the world’." Indeed! I thought his best quote was this: "The December 2012 solstice has become a focal point for ideas about planetary change... A unique opportunity exists to harness this attention into a global event that celebrates the essential unity of humanity and the power of positive intention." Good summary Mark! BTW he continued the theme by being one of the organizers of peace2012.net which was a global day of peace on 12/21/12, and the unify.org World Spirit Day on 12/21/13. The show has been posted here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-85-everything-about-2012-6200103

Monday, March 18, 2013

TNS#84: Spirits in Spacesuits, with Father Sean O'Laoire

TheNextStep show #84 was taped 2/23/2012 and featured a wide-ranging discussion on spiritual topics with Father Sean O'Laoire. Fr. Sean is the author of various books including Spirits in Spacesuits: A Manual for Everyday Mystics (2003), Souls on Safari (2006), and A Sensible God (2008). What a delightful discussion!

From my notes: "All world religions are merely cultural articulations of the same basic archetypal human search for God"... "reality is an artifact of consciousness"... "the real object of science is to awaken the cosmic religious experience" (Einstein quote)... A 'thin place' is where the veil between the seen and unseen is diaphanous so that one can see thru... "we see things as WE are"... "Resurrection is about recognizing the face you had before your parents were born"... "God cannot forgive, because cannot develop a grudge"... "Children are god's way of reminding adults that we are spirits in spacesuits". "May you discover the mystic within you"!

From Father Sean's website Spiritsinspacesuits.com: Father Seán ÓLaoire was born in Ireland and was awarded a BSc degree (major in Math) from the Nat'l. Univ. of Ireland. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1972 and subsequently spent 14 years working among the Kalenjin people of East Africa. He is multi-lingual. Dr. ÓLaoire has an MA and a PhD in Transpersonal Psychology and is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private counseling practice in Los Altos, California. He lectures and conducts scientific research on the effects of prayer. Fr. Seán is a co-founder and Spiritual Director of Companions on the Journey (COJ), a spiritual community which seeks to recognize the God/divinity within each of us and among all of us. COJ is an independent, non-hierarchical Eucharistic community dedicated to aligning itself with God and healing the separations between us. Each individual's spirituality is seen as derived from his/her own experiences of God, immanent and transcendent, and is illuminated by the teachings of Christ and the wisdom of other spiritual traditions.

The show has been uploaded here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-84_fatherseano-laoire-6098654

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TNS#83: Steve Jobs Retrospective, with John Draper

TheNextStep show #83 was taped 10/27/2011 and featured John "Cap'n Crunch" Draper recounting stories about how he got started with phone phreaking and how he was instrumental in getting Woz and Jobs up to speed with how to use a blue box to make free phone calls. This was Woz and Jobs' first business venture, without which (as Steve Jobs once said) there would have been no subsequent Apple Computer. Our discussion is intercut with a slideshow of photos of Steve Jobs, and video clips of his iconic "One More Thing..." product introductions. The episode has been posted here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-83_stevejobsretrospective-6549719