The circle of unity: Intelligence

if one was to start a conversation on Organic Unity, it could be easily described as “whole must be greater than the sum of all it’s parts.”
But what if they wanted to talk about the bio-neural connection between humans that acts as a communication process with action and reaction to every thing? Thru emotions, and the neuron transmitters in our brain that do in fact, wire us all together?
http://www.danielgoleman.info is the website of one such author and doctor, Daniel Goldman in his book on social intelligence. Though the book is not primarily written about the subject of organic unity, he does touch on many topics which include the connections of communication between human being on that travel through mediums of “low” and “high” roads that can affect outcomes in interpersonal relations. The book references many tests and experiments used to show the link between cause and effect of emotions and other forms of communicate throughout all of us that do in fact, link all humans together alike. I definitely recommend the read.

What is “critical thinking?”

http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/ct.php

Critical thinking as defined by this website is, “the ability to think clearly and rationally.” It also includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking: The understanding of logical connections between ideas, identifying and evaluating arguments, or solving problems systematically.

What is critical thinking, not? It’s not a matter of accumulating information. It is not being overly critical of people, or argumentative for the sake of being hostile, or disagreeable.

People seem to often get the two confused and it leads to headaches, ill feelings, and sometimes even violence depending on the situation. I think the most telling thing is that to have a good critical statement, both parties must be one who are able to critically think themselves. This way, the processes involved are on the same page and thus, can lead to a better conclusion or theory.

Dharma, and the New World

Take a trip down Internet Lane and there a a whole plethora of websites devoted to religious practices and teachings. Some of these are looking for a quick paycheck, while others are genuinely trying to push on their knowledge or share some insight.
So I openly stumbled on a website called http://www.dharmaocean.org, just to see what it is all about.
After quickly perusing the site, I looked at it from a viewpoint of the latter mentioned previously. Dharma Ocean seems to carefully whisk one away into the spiritual states of Dharma as taught by Buddhist gurus from different parts of the world. Carefully looking through their site, I saw no additional means to try and coheres or lure new readers into paying for some “path to God” scheme, or unstudied belief system which was rather refreshing. In a world where everything seems to be about money, this was definitely somewhere I should return to for a retreat.

does religious diversity work?

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865589158/America-is-making-religious-diversity-work-journalist-says.html?pg=all

In this article Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent for the New York Times, spoke to a Utah Valley University in support of religious diversity. In her eyes, she sees the benefits of the integration of religions as an important asset to the United States.
I ask the question, can one be truly devoted and abide by their religious practices and not have to compromise? Can believers of a certain religion really, empathize or be nonjudgmental to non-believers if their teachings forbid such a thing? Furthermore, can a religion that has seen persecution, discrimination, and hostility towards their people because of beliefs or culture actually turn the blind-eye and look away from those things?
I think the answer lies within the religion itself, and the character of the person. After all, if there were no religions and no beliefs in the world I still think there would be bad people who do good things, and good people who do bad things. To what extent, is to the individual and does hold a level of societal responsibility.

Trying to find a balance

I think many people desire to lead a more balanced lifestyle. Maybe some want to eliminate stress, or have more time for their hobbies. Some may want to be more fiscally sound, or have a clear state of mind. This article presented 5 concepts for balance: 1)Awareness and mindfulness, 2)Appreciation of your body, 3)Creativity, 4)Patience, and 5)Simplicity.
There are some great things that do come out of an unbalance, however. Many of the most intelligent people of the world are thought to have an unbalanced brain, or more concentration of a specific part of the brain that allows them the ability to be hyper-intelligent. Severe stress on the body with a determinate and non-rational mindset have let athletes break records never thought possible. Complicated and abstract ideas have taken have taken math and science to new theories never before thought possible.
I think overall balance is an ultimate goal of my own mental and physical well-being, but I do not know that it is completely obtainable for more than a very brief moment in time, given real-world and societal factors.

Gandhi’s wisdom

So I was researching the other day some of Gandhi’s more formidable quotes, and I stumbled this on Wikiquotes, quote Gandhi,

“Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.”

I think this is a testament to why “the truth will set you free.” Truth will prevail over all that is not true. It sounds good, fundamentally. I ask though, if truth is the last thing to stand the test of time, will we be alive to see it through? Can we accept the truths of all of the world, the injustices, the crimes, the sins, the mistakes and misfortunes of everyone in the world? If we all knew the truth, our fate, why we are here, who created us, and who they are? Would mankind survive?
Those are some things many have tried to answer for ages.

Can I achieve “brahman?”

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/who_is_brahman.asp

Jayaram V does a fantastic, often complicated and intrinsic job of explaining just what “Brahman” is. For me, the most complicated part of the concept is to capture what my role as “I” is. J.V. goes into a particular interesting discussion of how seeking God, or knowledge, is actual counteractive to understanding what Brahman is. The self-realization, or Brahman as self is the awareness that the Eternal Self is indeed, the inner Self of all. I found it particularly difficult and challenging to think in absolute certainty and trying to put his beliefs into my own perspective. In some ways, I think he explained common questions like “what am I?”, “how do I achieve the after-life?” and “why are we here?” in ways that are much bigger but actually simple to grasp once you obtain this level of belief. He ended the post with a story from a Sufi teaching that basically explained that God himself, is all of us and everything. That is Brahman in my understanding, a Universal Soul that is in everyone and everything.