In the air: U.S. Air Force strategic bombers will be trimmed from the current deployed total of 93 to 60 - including 19 B-2 stealth bombers (pictured) - with an additional six bombers available in a non-deployed status

U.S. to put 50 of its nuclear missiles in STORAGE to comply with controversial arms treaty with Russia-4/9 Daily Mail,
• Pentagon says it will keep 450 land-based missiles but put 50 in storage
• The launch silos will be kept 'warm' however, ready to return to service
• Removal will help U.S .comply with the controversial New START treaty
• U.S.-Russia agreement was signed in 2011, aiming to reduce nuclear arms ...

Russian Military Spending Soars-4/9 Russia has announced that it will increase defense spending by some 18 percent this year despite its worsening economic outlook. ...

40 Central Banks Are Betting This Will Be The Next Reserve Currency-4/9

Why Keynesian Economists Don’t Understand Inflation-4/7

APOCALYPSE NOW: Why a rare astrological event LAST NIGHT could herald the 'End of Days'-4/9 Express.UK, IF YOU'RE feeling out of sorts today don't worry, it isn't just you. Mars, Earth, and the Sun all aligned last night, a rare 'opposition of the planets' that only happens once every 778 days. But what made this event so remarkable is that it occured precisely a week before everyone on earth will see the first of FOUR dark red 'blood moons', an extraordinary event some Christians believe represents the End of Days and the second coming of Christ. ...

Richard Nolle-4/9 April promises to be the most dramatic month of what has already been an eventful year. With the first of this year’s two exact Uranus-Pluto squares – this one tied into a Grand Cross incorporating Mercury, Mars and Jupiter; plus two eclipses and the Mars Max peak on the 8th, April brings shocks and storms on many fronts: seismic, meteorological, economic, social and geopolitical. ...

Was the Gospel of St Luke 'written' by MARY? Jesus' mother recounted events recorded in biblical text, claims writer-4/14

Fiery Thoughts ...

498. Urusvati knows that people are especially attracted to the forbidden. It is told that a certain Ruler desired to introduce an enlightening, useful measure into life, yet everywhere met with opposition. He turned for help to a wise counselor, who asked, “Have you tried every available means to declare your offer?” Receiving an affirmative answer, the counselor said, “Then you must issue a law that forbids the very things you are advocating. You will see how people will then desire the forbidden, and if the law is sufficiently strict, there will be an even greater desire to break it.”

 

This old parable has equal meaning today. It can be shown how entire movements grow stronger and become purified because of prohibition. Throughout the entire world the unique tactica adversa sometimes proves to be the best way. It is amazing that humanity must go through such labyrinths when the simplest ways are available. But the spiral of evolution is complex. It even demands a temporary lowering in order to rotate higher later.

 

We know these earthly peculiarities and accept them as unavoidable. Even supermundane thoughts must follow a complicated human path. We must patiently observe how the travelers struggle up a difficult route instead of taking the shortest way. But if one is in the middle of crossing a stream, his movement cannot be disturbed. We can only lightly touch the one who walks, so carefully that he will not notice it and will not stumble and fall. Even the most well-meaning touch must be full of caution. One must learn this in earthly life too, amidst one’s daily labor. The Thinker used to say, “We must all sense where help can be applied. The less noticeable it is, the more perfect it is.”

Supermundane III, The Inner Life (Agni Yoga, 1938)

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Jewel-encrusted goblet found gathering dust in tiny Spanish museum 'touched the lips of Jesus and is in fact the HOLY GRAIL' say two historians with evidence to prove it-3/31 Daily Mail,
• Chalice belonging to Queen Urraca of Spain 'contains Christ's onyx goblet'
• Has sat on display in basement museum of Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon
• Margarita Torres and Jose Ortega del Rio say 3-year study proves theory
• 'Was stolen by Egyptian Muslims, gifted to Spain for help during famine' ...


“The music of Mendelssohn” – Source.

Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia-3/28 The Public Domain Review, by Benjamin Breen -- Grounded in the theory that ideas, emotions, and even events, can manifest as visible auras, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Thought-Forms (1901) is an odd and intriguing work. Benjamin Breen explores these “synesthetic” abstractions and asks to what extent they, and the Victorian mysticism of which they were born, influenced the Modernist movement that flourished in the following decades. -- “I have always considered myself a voice of what I believe to be a greater renaissance — the revolt of the soul against the intellect — now beginning in the world,” wrote William Butler Yeats to his mentor, the Irish nationalist John O’Leary, in 1892. Yeats believed that magic was central not only to his art, but to a dawning epoch when spirituality and technology would march together toward an uncertain future. Thought-Forms, a strange, beguiling, frequently pretentious, utterly original book first published in 1901, emerged from this ferment of late-Victorian mysticism. It was written by Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, erstwhile members of the London Theosophical Society alongside Yeats, and it features a stunning sequence of images that illustrate the book’s central argument: emotions, sounds, ideas and events manifest as visual auras. The book’s grand ambitions are evident from the first page. “To paint in earth’s dull colours the forms clothed in the living light of other worlds,” Besant laments, “is a hard and thankless task.” She insists that the images in the book “are not imaginary forms, prepared as some dreamer thinks that they ought to appear.” Rather, “they are representations of forms actually observed as thrown off by ordinary men and women.” And she hopes that they will make the reader “realise the nature and power of his thoughts, acting as a stimulus to the noble, a curb on the base.” This grandiloquence was typical: fin de siècle occult leaders produced some of the most baroque writing in literary history, the purplest of purple prose. Yet what are we saying, exactly, when we call black words on a white page “purple”? These sorts of underlying associations between words, colors and sounds were precisely what motivated Thought-Forms. In other words, the book was about synesthesia. The illustration of the music of Mendelssohn reproduced above, for instance, depicts yellow, red, blue and green lines rising out of a church. This, Leadbeater and Besant explain, “signifies the movement of one of the parts of the melody, the four moving approximately together denoting the treble, alto, tenor and bass respectively.” Moreover, “the scalloped edging surrounding the whole is the result of various flourishes and arpeggios, and the floating crescents in the centre represent isolated or staccato chords.” Color and sound had become commingled. ...

Music Through Theosophy-3/28 Blavatsky News, The Utah-based string quartet, the Fry Street Quartet, will be touring the UK May 6 - 9 2014, performing a concert that “explores the connections between music and Theosophy as part of the Leverhulme-funded network Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the Arts, 1875-1960. This will include rarely heard works from the twentieth-century British composers Cyril Scott and John Foulds. Scott found inspiration in the writings of Theosophical Society founder Helena Blavatsky, and Foulds worked for a time on behalf of the Society as director of music at the London headquarters. The concert will close with the music of Beethoven, a favourite musical topic in Theosophical journals and one of the composers often celebrated by Theosophists.” The Quarter’s program, “Hearing Enchantment: Music Through Theosophy,” will be performed at Cardiff University, May 6, at the Theosophical Society in London, May 7, and at the University of York, May 9.

Pioneering Spirit: Maud MacCarthy-3/28 Mysticism, Music and Modernity


Sacred Knowledge: In Plain Sight-3/28

Secrets in Plain Sight-3/28

The Tibetan Book of Proportions-3/28 The Public Domain Review, An eighteenth-century pattern book consisting of 36 ink drawings showing precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. Written in Newari script with Tibetan numerals, the book was apparently produced in Nepal for use in Tibet. The concept of the ‘ideal image’ of the Buddha emerged during the Golden Age of Gupta rule, from the 4th to 6th century. As well as the proportions, other aspects of the depiction – such as number of teeth, colour of eyes, direction of hairs – became very important. The V&A have produced a good guide to the iconography of the Buddha, including the 32 Lakshanas or special bodily features. ...


Voynich - a provisional, partial decoding of the Voynich script-2/22

Has the Voynich manuscript been decoded? First words of mysterious 15th century text revealed-2/21
600 year old mystery manuscript decoded by University of Bedfordshire professor-2/22
Voynich Manuscript partially decoded, text is not a hoax, scholar finds-2/22
American Botanical Council Publishes Revolutionary Analysis Unlocking Mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript-1/26


Around the World w/ Norman Rockwell on Pan Am


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The orbits of Sedna (orange) and dwarf planet 2012 VP113 (red). Also shown are the orbits of the giant planets (purple). The Kuiper belt is the dotted light blue region. Illustration: Scott S Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science

Dwarf planet discovery hints at a hidden Super Earth in solar system-3/28 Guardian,
• Orbits sun at greater distance than any other known object
• 2012 VP113 may be shepherded by unseen planet
• Discovery team call it VP, or 'Biden' after US vice president ...

Has This New Discovery By Astronomers Confirmed there is a 'Planet X'?-3/28 Daily Grail, Posted by Greg -- Astronomers have extended the range of our Solar System with the discovery of a new 'dwarf planet' orbiting our Sun. The planet, currently technically labeled '2012 VP113', has an elliptical orbit that brings it to within 80AU of the Sun (an 'AU' is the unit of distance from the Sun to Earth) at perihelion (closest point in its orbit to the Sun) - some three times the distance from the Sun to Neptune - while it gets as far as 450AU away at the other end of its orbit. The object is not unique: astronomers have previously discovered another similar dwarf planet, named 'Sedna'. Indeed, the new discovery, by astronomers Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo, hints that there are a multitude of dwarf planets orbiting the Sun in a location known as the 'inner Oort cloud'. An intriguing coincidence is that the current positions of both Sedna and 2012 VP113 - which are also near both their perihelions - are very similar, leading to some speculation of an unknown, massive body orbiting our Sun well beyond our current sensing abilities - a 'Planet X': The latest work has already thrown up an intriguing possibility. The angle of the body's orbit and that of Sedna's are strikingly similar, an effect most likely caused by the gravitational tug of another, unseen body. One possibility is a "Super Earth" that traces so large an orbit around the sun that it has never been seen. "If you took a Super Earth and put it a few hundred astronomical units out, the gravity could shepherd Sedna and this new object into the orbits they have," said Sheppard. Over at her Planetary Society blog, Emily Lakdawalla has a more detailed breakdown of the discovery, the coincidences, and what it might mean for the Planet X theory. She notes that for a an object of that size to form ('accrete'), it needs to be in a circular orbit - so the elliptical orbit of these two dwarf planets suggests that they were 'scattered' by something at some point after they formed. But the 'Planet X' theory isn't the only possible explanation - the planets may have been thrown into their current orbits by a star that passed within "several hundred AU of the Sun and disturbed orbits of objects it passed near", or it may be due to the fact that Earth was born in a star cluster. ...

---

How ‘Cosmos’ Bungles the History of Religion and Science-3/28 The Daily Beast, by David Sessions -- Neil Degrasse Tyson’s remake of the 1980s series tries to explain how early-modern thinkers began to discover the wonders of the universe. Its history is as cartoonish as its graphics. Cosmos, Fox’s much-anticipated remake of Carl Sagan’s classic wonder-of-science series, is drawing attention for an unexpected reason. The middle of the premier episode features a long segment on Giordano Bruno, an early-modern friar and philosopher who was burned at the stake for his outlandish theological views. Bruno’s heresy was partially related to his hypotheses about the universe, some of which were astonishingly correct: that the cosmos is infinite, and that the sun is just another star. His proto-scientific inquiry and his clash with the Catholic Church made Bruno an Enlightenment hero, lionized by modern historians and even by figures as celebrated as the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. That’s more or less the story that gets told in Cosmos. Bruno is introduced as “only one man on the whole planet” who suspected that the universe was larger than everyone living in the year 1600 thought. Neil Degrasse Tyson ambles through alleys in the Vatican, explaining that there was “no freedom of thought in Italy,” and Bruno’s theories brought him “into the clutches of the thought police.” Bruno, according to Cosmos, wandered around Europe, arguing passionately but fruitlessly for his new explanation of the universe, only to be mocked, impoverished, and eventually imprisoned and executed. Catholic authorities are depicted as cartoon ghouls, and introduced with sinister theme music. Tyson explains that the church’s modus operandi was to “investigate and torment anyone who voiced views that differed from theirs.” What Cosmos doesn’t mention is that Bruno’s conflict with the Catholic Church was theological, not scientific, even if it did involve his wild—and occasionally correct—guesses about the universe. As Discover magazine’s Corey Powell pointed out, the philosophers of the 16th century weren’t anything like scientists in the modern sense. Bruno, for instance, was a “pandeist,” which is the belief that God had transformed himself into all matter and ceased to exist as a distinct entity in himself. He believed in all sort of magic and spirits, and extrapolated those views far beyond his ideas about the infinity of the universe. In contrast to contemporaries who drew more modest conclusions from their similar ideas, Bruno agitated for an elaborate counter-theology, and was (unlike the poor, humble outcast portrayed in Cosmos) supported by powerful royal benefactors. The church didn’t even have a position on whether the Earth orbited the sun, and didn’t bring it up at Bruno’s trial. While the early-modern religious persecution certainly can’t be denied, Bruno was killed because he flamboyantly denied basic tenets of the Catholic faith, not because religious authorities were out to suppress all “freedom of thought.” ...


Extraordinary new book by intensive care nurse reveals dramatic evidence she says should banish our fear of dying-1/26

Heaven is for Real: Will This New NDE-Related Movie Put Forward a Christian Interpretation?-2/3 Daily Grail, posted by Greg -- One of the biggest selling books in recent years on the topic of near-death experiences has been Heaven is for Real, which tells the story of (then) 3-year-old Colton Burpo's NDE during emergency surgery in 2003. The success of the book, which puts a rather heavy Christian slant on the near-death experience, has led to it being adapated into a movie, which will be released at Easter (yup). ...


First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia and Mrs. Robinson are greeted by Tibetan students at the Zangxiang Village Tea House in Chengdu, China. March 26, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

The First Lady’s Travel Journal: A Taste of Tibetan Culture-3/28 Tibet.net, [Source: White House] Note: This post is part of a series authored by First Lady Michelle Obama to share her visit to China with young people in the U.S. You can read all of the First Lady’s posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip. -- Chengdu is sometimes known as the “Gateway to Tibet” because it is located just a few hours from the towering mountains and rich culture of Tibet, which is a region of China. There are roughly 6.5 million Tibetans in China, and they are one of the largest and most well-known minority groups in the country. For centuries, Tibet was largely unknown to the outside world — but today, Tibetan Buddhism (the main religion in this area) and its spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama, are known across the globe for their teachings on compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. Tibet is also known for its beautiful, majestic landscapes. Some of the world’s tallest mountains are located there – if you want to scale Mount Everest, you can start from a base camp in Tibet. To experience some of the rich culture of Tibet, we headed to the Zangxiang Village Tea House for a traditional Tibetan meal that included the following items: truk ja (yak butter tea), yak soup made with highland barley, sha pa le (yak pie made with minced onion and celery), boiled yak ribs, samba (a dense bread made with barley) and steamed vegetables with barley. Before we ate, we had the chance to spin a traditional Tibetan prayer wheel, a device used by the Tibetan people to spread spiritual blessings. Tibetans believe that spinning this wheel helps one accumulate wisdom and merit (known as good “karma”) and purify themselves of bad things (known as bad “karma”). We were then greeted by a group of Tibetan students who placed beautiful silk scarves called “khataks” (which symbolize purity and compassion and are thought to bring good luck) around our necks — this is considered a welcome gesture. The students then displayed magnificent paintings they had made called “thangkas.” Thangkas traditionally depict images of Buddhist deities, retell myths or describe historical events. I am incredibly grateful that we had the chance to learn a little bit about Tibetan traditions. The Tibetan people have struggled to preserve their unique religious and cultural traditions, and this visit was a powerful reminder of how important it is for each of us to treasure what makes us special, even when it makes us feel different from everyone else. I know that’s not always easy, especially when you’re a minority in your school or community. But in America, our diversity is what makes us who we are — it’s what makes our country so vibrant, strong and endlessly interesting. So don’t be afraid to celebrate where you come from and whatever it is that makes you who you are — and don’t hesitate to share that with others. This visit was such a wonderful way to end our journey here in China. It has been a tremendous honor for me, my daughters and my mother to experience this fascinating country over this past week. I’ve especially enjoyed speaking with young people in China, learning about their hopes and dreams, and sharing your stories with them and their stories with all of you. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about your peers on the other side of the globe — and I hope you find ways to keep on learning about China and other countries around the world in the years ahead. Thanks for traveling along with us!

Near-death patients do see afterlife-3/28 Daily Mail, Doctors claim to have found the first scientific evidence that patients have experiences of an afterlife when they are clinically dead. One in ten heart attack patients experienced emotions, visions and lucid thoughts when they had been unconscious with no pulse and no breathing activity, say the researchers. The study is believed to be the first to ensure that the patients who reported a near-death experience (NDE) were clinically dead before being resuscitated. The findings also contradict the notion that lack of oxygen is responsible for NDEs. Those who had the most compelling experiences had the best reserves of oxygen. Debate has raged for more than a century over whether the sense of entering another world, feelings of peace and a light at the end of a tunnel are evidence of an afterlife, or simply hallucinations. The latest study, by Southampton University researchers, suggests the mind may continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function and the body is clinically dead. The research team studied 63 survivors of a cardiac arrest who were resuscitated at Southampton General Hospital after they had been clinically dead with no pulse, no respiration and fixed dilated pupils. Independent studies have confirmed that the brain ceases to function at that time. But seven out of the 63 survivors recalled emotions and visions during their unconsciousness, says a report in the journal Resuscitation. Four patients (six per cent) met the strict criteria used to diagnose NDEs. They recalled feelings of peace and joy, of time speeding up, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another world, encountering a mystical being or deceased relative and coming to a point of no return. Dr Sam Parnia, a university clinical research fellow and co-author of the study, said accounts of NDEs have been found in many different cultures but there is often a problem in confirming the people involved were actually near death. ...


Man Who Claims He Visited Heaven During Near-Death Experience Tells Megyn Kelly How It Has Changed His Life-2/23


Heart Surgeon Confirms Near-Death Experience Account That Challenges Modern Science-2/25


Are we hard-wired to believe we're IMMORTAL? Belief that we are eternal is part of human nature and develops during childhood-1/30 Daily Mail

The children who have near-death experiences - then lead charmed lives: Study reveals youngsters as young as six months can have lucid visions-1/30 The Daily Mail, The Mail has been serialising intensive care nurse PENNY SARTORI's compelling research into near-death experiences. Here in part three she reveals how children can have such experiences and how this can affect their lives... ...