Change Your World

The world around us is but a larger scale manifestation of the world within us. Our beings are self-contained worlds of their own with metaphorical governments, and corporations that control them. We determine the course of our lives by voting for the political party or candidate that best serves our needs, as in subscribing to a certain philosophy. We can choose to curb the power of the greedy corporation, our minds, that dictate how our government, our life is run, by seizing control of the corporation. We can acquire a controlling interest by systematically purchasing stock over time, which is akin to acquiring discipline over a training period. We can discipline our minds by deprivation of what our minds crave most, as oil producing countries control other countries.

2012

It is my understanding that the Winter Solstice of 21 December 2012 marks the beginning of Dwapara Yuga or the Bronze Age of civilization, and all that it entails.

Yes, I expect natural calamities to cause mass destruction of population in a way that it benefits the planet and the remainder of human civilization – like Spring Cleanup as we leave Kali Yuga or the Iron Age, which is akin to the cold dreary Winter in terms of human spiritual development.

Survivors in the aftermath would, as per my strong belief, be more spiritually evolved and more aware of their oneness with creation.

Personally, I have undergone tremendous lifestyle changes over the past nine months, almost exactly since the Summer Solstice of June 2009. Over the past four months, since sometime prior to the Winter Solstice of December 2009 (at which time we were about three years away from 21 December 2012), the transformative energies have intensified and I believe I have emerged a more spiritually evolved person. As such I am looking forward to what I believe would be the beginning of a wonderful new life, as I have always felt that I was born in the wrong Yuga.

profile21 December 2012 is when the Earth’s equatorial plane would align exactly with the galactic centre; the midpoint between the Age of Pisces (just over 1,986 years ending on 21 December 2012) and the Age of Aquarius (2,130 years until 4142). We are entering the Age of Aquarius, during which time the solar system is going to be inside the photon belt, and photonic energy is considered divine energy.

My son was born at the midpoint of Aquarius and Pisces and his astrological chart indicates that he is an Aquarian. His Indian name means, “The Reign of Truth”. When he was born, his doctor commented that he looked like the Dalai Lama. He has always been an extraordinary person and wise beyond most people. He too feels he does not belong in this era. I cannot then help but hypothesize that the purpose of my life is to raise my son, who is destined to be a significant contributor in the new world.

Child’s Rights

The law fails to recognize the upsetting of the balance of rights in allowing an individual to terminate his or her marriage, thereby causing an adverse change to the circumstances of another, perhaps weaker individual. A child’s rights are the worst affected.

Children need to participate in actions concerning their future. They must have standing as an absolute right; it cannot be conditional on being verbally articulate or on age. The form of participation should be full automatic legal representation and party status. The form of participation whereby a child’s views, in an age-appropriate and sensitive way, are solicited and made known to decision makers might be acceptable only if indeed the child’s views, and not the professional opinion of a psychologist, are made known to the court.

Legal representation is a child’s right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lawyers have a responsibility to determine whether any client, adult or child, is competent to instruct counsel, but when it comes to taking instructions from a child, most lawyers do not bother to assess a client’s capability since they do not want to take cases where they receive instructions from a child.

If children are not given the opportunity to participate, if they feel that important decisions about their future are made without consulting them or considering their wishes, then children will not easily accept the decisions made about them. This could have dire consequences for a child’s ability to adapt to custodial arrangements, with long-term mental health or other negative implications for that child.

For a child to be subjected to a court decision as to where he or she should live, made without any attempt to consult with him or her, sends an inadvertent but potent patronizing message of judicial disrespect; a message about “justice” that the child may later dangerously seek to return in self-destructive behaviour.

It is not about forcibly putting a child in the position of having to choose between his or her parents; it is about the child being treated with respect, especially one who is determined to live with a parent of his or her own choice based on the child’s existing relationship with each parent as it has developed during the course of the child’s lifetime.

The language of the law connotes the ownership of children. This perpetuates the notion that children are chattel, is antithetical to what is implied in the UN Convention, and is disrespectful to children.

Two child witnesses had this to say to the Senate of Canada during hearings which culminated in the 1998 publication For The Sake Of The Children:

“They think you are nine years old and you don’t know anything. But it’s your life.”

“They’re deciding your life and your future but they don’t even know you.”

Love and Care

If a woman were to tell her friends that she is the one that cooks and cleans, her friends would think that she was being horribly oppressed and they would tell her so, perhaps offering to confront her husband. Conversely if she mentions that her husband does all of that for her, her friends would say, “He really loves you”.

Women should not be embarrassed of admitting to caring for and serving their spouse and children, as their grandmothers and mothers have, and their marriages lasted longer.

Men like a woman who respects and appreciates them, cares and cooks for them, makes them feel important and on occasion even assumes the traditional role of a man, such as paying for a meal or initiating intimacy.

Women should not mar the kind act of caregiving by construing it to constitute gender privilege, weakness or subservience.

Female Chivalry

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and where we possess special powers or talents, we are supposed to use it for good, to help the weak, not to harm others.

Chivalry in medieval times called for male physical strength to be used constructively, such that women be treated better than how they were being treated at the time. Women possess greater emotional strength, and chivalry in modern society calls for this emotional strength being used for good; to protect and nourish men emotionally.

If a woman were to slap a man in public, other women would likely cheer her, and men might say he asked for it. If genders were reversed, other women would be appalled and protest, likely report to the police and a chivalrous man would step in to protect the woman. Why the difference? Women have men convinced that they are always the ones at fault, which in itself is abusive, so they believe that the man deserved it, whereas women as a collective look out for each other. The sexist double standards of modern society are evidently in reverse.

Women too need to be chivalrous and step in to defend a helpless man against a vile woman, since they have the emotional strength to deal with another woman. There should be no hesitation lest it be construed as emasculating. Chivalry is charming, and as long as it comes from a good heart it is not at the mercy of how it is perceived. If it is not appreciated, it is the recipient’s loss.

Internet Movie Rentals – Part 2

I have had quite a lifestyle change since my initial post on this subject.

I now prefer walking to driving, and so the video store no longer seems nearby. I do not consider it worth the time and effort to walk two kilometres each way twice, first to rent, then return a movie.

I appreciated the value of having a car in the past week when I did not have access to one, for two days. I now reserve driving principally for essential commuting to not too far beyond walkable distances and when and where walking is difficult to impossible due to time or weather. The video store is not worth the special trip.

Renting by mail is a reasonable option if one were to get postal mail delivered and picked up at the door. I do not like to specially dress warm and walk to the mailbox on a cold day if I am not otherwise planning to go out. I also do not like the physical handling involved, of opening and shredding envelopes, washing, loading and unloading discs and ensuring these are received and returned in a timely fashion.

Physical copies, not downloads, remain the only way to get 1080p high-definition content and movies not available for download. Buying a physical copy, especially on DVD, is in most cases cheaper than the comparable standard definition downloadable version and serves as a backup against data loss.

I now go for convenience and download movies that are either only available for download, bargain-priced, won’t benefit too much from a higher quality copy on disc or something I want readily available jukebox-style. I get movies on disc if they are only available on disc, are bargain DVDs, warrant getting the best available quality on Blu-ray or need to be playable on any disc player.

The lifestyle change also makes me feel the need to have fewer physical possessions grounding me, so to be as mobile as possible I am more open to owning downloads as opposed to discs.

Netbook vs Smartphone

I believe that a portable computer has utility as a portable only if one is inclined to carry it (and thereby use it), else it is an expensive desktop replacement.

A netbook is supposed to be an ultra low cost computer primarily for Internet activities and as such has minimal specs and is compact and lightweight.

I prefer an iPhone since it is there with me, even if I did not plan to carry a netbook, camera or maps. A netbook needs booting up, is not convenient and looks weird to use while walking, whereas I don’t hesitate to use the iPhone to lookup yellow pages, train timetables or walking/driving directions.

The features a gadget has are important only to a degree, beyond that it is the utility derived from it on an ongoing basis. That is where I find the iPhone to be the most valuable.

Nuclear Power Plants

I say “Yes” to nuclear power plants in the absence of the possibility of hydroelectric power plants and/or regulation of industrial and commercial energy usage.

Nuclear fission provides reliable base-load energy and dependable capacity like coal combustion, but in contrast has very low CO2 emissions (including transportation-generated emissions), and no other emissions.

The natural radioactivity in coal is ten times higher than that from living next to a nuclear power plant for the same period of time. I do not believe in “standards” of any kind, and acceptable levels of radiation from nuclear power plants might be too liberal, however it is no worse than coal unless the affected radius is greater or containment is inadequate. Nonetheless I would not even want to live next to overhead power lines, let alone any kind of power plant.

The province should consider proposals on a case-by-case basis, considering the track record of the investor. Nuclear plants are a whole different ball game, so diligence of the investor and its commitment beyond regulatory requirements to plant safety, containment of radiation and safe on-site waste storage are paramount.

The Alberta Nuclear Consultation workbook and survey [PDF] has been my source of information and the basis of my decision.

Moral Courage

There are people that (a) either take a stand based solely on merits, (b) withhold comment or opinion, or (c) side with who they benefit from.

I am dismayed to find myself alone in the first category. The nicest people I meet lack the courage to endure unpleasantness and/or are apathetic to morals, and as such form the second category. The majority of people I come across fall in the third category.

It is bad enough having to live with spineless cowards; one could forgive them for being weak, but not for being indifferent. It is much worse when the population is mainly comprised of scumbags.

I need not look far; I have had to mould my own family, instill the courage to speak out for what is just with no age bias or fear; and it is an ongoing effort. The memory of a senior family member choosing to retain an unruly paying client over retaining me at our family business just does not fade away.

People in general side with who they need or benefit from the most. It is about valuing friendship and/or an ongoing business relationship over doing the right thing, and such skewed ethics are the norm. There is no moral dilemma to speak of, it’s just business as usual.

Consumer Unfriendly

Why must we die prematurely, by not living rich lives? Why are we being killed slowly by eco-friendly products that deprive us of the quality we deserve to have today? I care about the environment, but everything in extreme is bad. What is worse is, consumers who are being called upon to help the environment by using eco-friendly products are not the real culprits; it is the businesses with the power to corrupt governments to allow dumping of toxic waste and governments themselves wanting to protect their votes by preserving the jobs of those employed in activities detrimental to the environment.

The government still burns coal for the generation of electricity, to protect the jobs of coal miners. How could consumers possibly outdo the government in polluting the environment, no matter how much gasoline or plastic we use?

We the consumers are the worst affected, as we have to live with buying expensive items like cars, computers and such made of “highly recyclable meterials” that cannot withstand moderate temperature changes, let alone any kind of impact. The big businesses love being eco-friendly, as they can charge more by product differentiation and for products that are otherwise inferior and not durable. So you no longer can expect a Bimmer to be unscathed in a minor impact, have an iPhone that doesn’t crack from normal use or even have eyeglasses that have the anti-reflective properties and durability of yesteryears.

Then there’s guilty consumers who, like donating to a church to acquire the right to sin, buy carbon offsets to purge their guilty conscience. Perhaps even to make a statement that they care for the environment. How is a Lexus LS 600hL 5.0 litre 438 horsepower hybrid, that leaves behind a whole different eco-system and probably pollutes the environment more in manufacture, really eco-friendly? That is nothing more than making a statement about being eco-friendly, not actually being eco-friendly.