Category: Religious

Saint David’s Day

Saint David’s Day

 

March 1st  is Saint David’s Day.

Did you remember to celebrate it yesterday?

The first day of March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David as traditionally it is believed that he might have died on that day in 569, 588 or even 589; the date is uncertain.

Stainglass picture of St David of Wales

Stainglass depicting St David of Wales

St David (Dewi Sant) was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century.  He spread the word of Christianity across Wales.

St David's own flag flown over Churches and some public buildings on St David's Day

St David’s own flag flown over Churches and some public buildings on St David’s Day

A  famous story about Saint David tells how he was preaching to a huge crowd and the ground is said to have risen up, so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing and seeing him.

 He was born towards the end of the 5th century. He was of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) where St David’s Cathedral  stands today. David was famous for being a teacher.  His monastery at Glyn Rhosin became an important Christian shrine and important centre in Wales. Before  his death, Saint David is said to have uttered these words: “Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfil.”

Welsh ex-pats around the  world celebrate St David’s Day. The  daffodil  & the leek are the national emblem of Wales and badges of which are worn with pride.

Daffodil flower and emblem of Wales

Daffodil flower and emblem of Wales

Why a leek as an emblem?  One theory is that St David advised the Welsh, on the eve of battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps to distinguish friend from the enemy. Shakespeare mentions in Henry V, that the Welsh archers (fearsome for the power and accuracy of their legendary long bows,)  wore leeks at the battle  with the French at Agincourt in 1415.

The Leek vegetbale an other emblem of Wales

The Leek vegetable an other emblem of Wales

The traditional meal on St David’s Day is cawl. This is a soup that is made of leek and other locally grown produce.

Another symbol of Wales is  the iconic Welsh Dragon  in Welsh- Y Ddraig Goch (“the red dragon”)

Welsh National-Flag

The Welsh National Flag

It  appears on the national flag of Wales. The flag is also called Y Ddraig Goch.

The Historia Brittonum(History of Britons written around 828)  records the first  use of the dragon to  symbolise Wales.

The Dragon was popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of the legendary King Arthur  other ancient Celtic leaders. archaeological  literature, and documentary history suggests that  it evolved from an earlier Romano-British national symbol.  During the reigns of the  Tudor Monarchs, the red dragon was used as a symbol of support  in the English Crown’s coat of arms (one of two supporters, along with the traditional English lion).  The red dragon is often seen as symbolising all things Welsh, and flags are flown  by many public and private institutions in Wales and some in London too.

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1 March 2014

To celebrate St David’s Day Google has this special doodle to commemorate the occasion.

st-davids-day-2014-5651391519391744.2-hp

 

 

Pope Francis urges Philippine Government Leaders To End Corruption

All institutions are prone to corruption and to the vices of their members.
– Morris West (Australian Novelist 1916-1999)

Here is an interesting BBC news item, we hope the Philippine leadership take note and act upon speedily as would any upcoming Presidential hopeful in 2016!

Despite President Aquino making his own comments about the Catholic Church in the Philippines, more importantly, the  Pork Barrel PPAF, Napoles etc scandals still persist despite promises from Filipino leaders to deal with!

We hope His Holiness’s words will be heeded !

Pope Francis urges Philippine Government Leaders To End Corruption

 Pope Francis urges Philippine Government Leaders To End Corruption

Pope Francis waves to the faithful from his Popemobile as his motorcade leaves the Presidential Palace for the Manila Cathedral Friday, 16 January 2015 in Manila, Philippines.Pope Francis travelled to Manila’s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in his ‘Popemobile’ on Friday

Pope Francis has urged Philippine leaders to end “scandalous social inequalities” and corruption during a welcome ceremony in Manila.

On the first full day of his five-day visit, he called for politicians to show commitment to the “common good”.

But President Benigno Aquino responded that many Catholic clergy had been silent about the abuses conducted under former President Gloria Arroyo.

And he said some clergymen were now too quick to criticise him.

“In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticise,” he said.

“Even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin.”

The pontiff arrived in the majority Catholic country on Thursday and is due to travel to the typhoon-hit city of Tacloban on Saturday.

The centre-piece of his visit is an open-air Mass in Manila on Sunday, which is expected to attract millions.

The Pope is on a six-day tour of Asia. Earlier in the week he visited Sri Lanka.

‘Voice of the poor’

Well-wishers line the streets to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis in Manila on 15 January 2015 The Pope received a rapturous reception as he arrived in Manila

Speaking at a welcome ceremony in the presidential palace, Pope Francis called for leaders “to reject every form of corruption, which diverts resources from the poor”.

He said it was a Christian duty to “break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities”.

The Philippines, like many countries in Asia, has corruption issues.

Corruption activist group Transparency International put the Philippines at 85 in its latest Corruption Perceptions Index, level with India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Under Mr Aquino, the Philippines’ record has slowly improved.

Mr Aquino suggested the Church had not done enough to fight corruption under Mrs Arroyo, who is facing charges of plundering state funds and election fixing.

“There was a true test of faith when many members of the Church, once advocates for the poor, the marginalised, and the helpless, suddenly became silent in the face of the previous administration’s abuses, which we are still trying to rectify to this very day,” Mr Aquino said.

Filipino Catholic devotees gather outside the Manila Cathedral as they wait to celebrate a mass with Pope Francis in Manila, Philippines, 16 January 2015Many people began waiting outside the cathedral in Manila for the Mass in the early hours of Friday
Pope Francis, left, and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III stand together during the welcoming ceremony Friday, 16 January 2015 at the Presidential Palace grounds in Manila, PhilippinesPresident Benigno Aquino (R) hosted a welcome ceremony for the Pope at the presidential palace on Friday.

Poppy Field At The Tower of London

Poppy Field At The Tower of London

 

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red ‘ Photo by PH Morton

Poppy falls Photo by JMorton

Poppy falls
Photo by JMorton

Recently, Jean & I visited the Tower of London to see the amazing poppy field created in the dry verdant green grass covered moat surrounding the Tower.

Nearly 900,000 hand-made ceramic red poppies have been planted by volunteers in the moat to commemorate each of the British and Commonwealth soldier and serviceman who fell (died) fighting & defending freedom in World War One (WW1).

The poppy exhibition known as ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ will see 888,246 poppies planted.

The last poppy will be planted on Armistice Day on 11th November.

The poppies will remain in place for Armistice Day as 2014 is the centenary marking the start of WW1 also known as the Great War.

In mid-November, the poppies will be collected up by volunteers again.

Like many others, we are one of lucky ones to have bought one of the displayed ceramic poppies on-line at £25 per stem +PP . They are now sold out. We are assured that the majority of sales raised approximately £15+ million will be shared among six service charities, including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

A quantity of the poppies will also go on an exhibition tour across the country.

We will keep the poppy as our own reminder to those fallen. We hope to hand it down to our son and grandson as a memorial too.

Each year around October /November we buy & wear charity poppy pin badges to remember WW1, WW2, and later wars & conflicts in which our troops and service personnel, (Army Navy, RAF & Merchant Seamen) fought were injured and perished.

My late Maternal Grandfather fought in World War One and was seriously injured.

My late Father fought as a soldier (Desert Rat) in World War Two (WW2). Luckily he survived uninjured. Up to his passing away in the 1980s, Dad would regularly attend and enjoy the yearly reunion in London (normally at the Union Jack Club), of his wartime comrades and friends.

The poppy symbolises the red poppy flowers that were growing in some of the WW1 battlefields in France, where many soldiers fell.
Sadly the red of the poppy matched the blood of those fallen on the battlefields.
A potent symbol…

Bringham Young

youngEveryone should learn to do one thing supremely well because he likes it, and one thing supremely well because he detests it.  ~Brigham Young

 

Bringham Young

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  • Founding Figure
  • Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. He was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877. Wikipedia

Pope Francis In Twenty Facts

pope-francis-graphic-biography-montagePope Francis is beginning to look like a good champion of the Faith, and may turn out to be the greatest Pope in the modern history of papacy.

Pope Francis is invigorating the Catholic Church and in so doing also the Christian faith in general.

I have to admit that my favourite pope, (though I am not a practising Roman Catholic anymore – but they say a Catholic will always be a Catholic, just look into the history of Henry VIII!) is Pope Benedict XVI. I was so disappointed when he resigned but I do understand it now. He said that he that he heard from God that it was time for him to go and let someone with more vim and vigour to take over. How right that was!

Since he became in charge of the Papal Seat, Pope Francis has been vocal and proactive.  He has tackled things head-on which is admirable in the short time that he has been the Pope.

Let us get to know him more, below are 20 facts about Pope Francis.

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Pope Francis In Twenty Facts

 

He’s had a girlfriend, he loves the tango, and at one point he worked as a bouncer. Here’s 20 things you didn’t know about this most humble of Popes.

Pope francis twenty things you may not know

Pope Francis is a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club Photo: Reuters

By Harry Alsop

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/9931413/Pope-Francis-20-things-you-didnt-know.html

1. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born Dec 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of five children born to an Italian railway worker and his wife.

2. His father, Mario Jorge, emigrated to Argentina from the Piedmont region of Italy.

3. He speaks Italian, German and Spanish fluently, in addition to a smattering of English, French and Portuguese. He can also speak a bit of the Piedmontaise dialect too.

4. He lost part of his lung to infection as a youth.

5. He is a fan of the tango. “I love tango and I used to dance when I was young,” he told Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, the authors of his 2010 biography El Jesuita.

6. He had a girlfriend. “She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with. But then I discovered my religious vocation,” he said to Ambrogetti and Rubin

7. He worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar to earn money as a student.

8. He is a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club, his local team. They were the first Argentine team to win the domestic double, in 1972.

9. His favourite painting is The White Crucifixion, painted by Marc Chagall in 1938. The painting shows Jesus being crucified on the cross, wearing a prayer shawl as a symbol that he is Jewish. The painting originally showed a soldier with a swastika on his armband burning down a synagogue.

10. His favourite film is Babette’s Feast, a 1987 Danish drama directed by Gabriel Axel.

An early 1950’s picture of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, right, posing with unidentified schoolmates (AP)

11. He studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and also has a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.

12. He was a teacher of literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before becoming the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

13. He is the co-author of “Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (On Heaven and Earth)”, which can be purchased for Kindle.

14. He was previously Archbishop of Buenos Aires, from 1998 to 2013. He was known during this time to try and set an example for others, eschewing the extravagant robes of his position for the humble robes of a simple priest.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, centre, speaking with a passanger during a travel in metro in Buenos Aires (Ediciones B/EPA)

15. He used public transport rather than taxis or a chauffeured car to get around and lived in a small flat with an older priest and made all his own meals, despite having access to the Archbishop’s quarters and a chef.

16. He was made a Cardinal by John Paul II in 2001.

17. During the 2005 conclave in which he was runner up, he was reportedly the victim of a smear campaign by other, more liberal members of the Jesuit order, who claimed that he never smiled.

18. He travelled to the conclave in Rome on an economy flight.

19. Francis is the first non-European pope since Gregory III, who was born in modern-day Syria and elected in 731.

20. He is apparently not Francis I but Pope Francis. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi explains: “It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II.” Pope John Paul I, the last pope to affix a ‘I’, decided to attach it himself.

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Latest endeavour of the Pope is an invitation to engaged couple to attend a special meeting with him on St Valentine’s Day.  How human and lovely is that?!!!

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The Nativity Celebrated in Our Homes

It is 9pm here in London, Christmas Eve. A friend will be arriving soon. Later we will attend Midnight Mass at our local church and welcome Christmas Day and celebrate the birth of a very special Baby. As well as putting up festive decorations around the home, many like our family set up models of the Nativity so that we remember the true meaning of Christmas time.

Nativity scene

Nativity scene Photo PH Morton

What is a Kumari or Living Goddess?

Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is the tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or devi in Hindu religious traditions. The word Kumari, derived from SanskritKaumarya meaning “virgin”, means young unmarried girls in Nepali and some Indian languages and is a name of the goddess Durga as a child.

In Nepal a Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl selected from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of the Nepalese Newari community. The Kumari is revered and worshiped by some of the country’s Hindus as well as the Nepali Buddhists, though not the Tibetan Buddhists. While there are several Kumaris throughout Nepal, with some cities having several, the best known is the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, and she lives in the Kumari Ghar, a palace in the center of the city. The selection process for her is especially rigorous. The current Royal Kumari, Matina Shakya, aged four, was installed in October 2008 by the Maoist government that replaced the monarchy. Samita Bajracharya, as the Kumari of Patan is the second most important living goddess.

In India a Kumari is generally chosen for one day and worshipped accordingly on certain festivals like Navaratri or Durga Puja. In the Indian state of Bengal this is a particularly prevalent practice.

A Kumari is believed to be the incarnation of the goddess Taleju (the Nepalese name for Durga) until she menstruates, after which it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury are also causes for her to revert to common status.

– Source: Wikipedia

Nepal: Life after divinity for former living goddess

News from Elsewhere...News from Elsewhere……as found by BBC Monitoring

Kumari, Nepal's Living Goddess 2006
Preeti Shakya during her time as the Kumari

A Nepali girl shut off from her family and peers during her decade as a living goddess says she’s happy to have settled back into normal life, it’s reported.

Preeti Shakya was three when she was separated from her parents to live a secluded life, revered as the Kumari by Hindus and Buddhists. Now 16, she has to study a lot but is “happy nowadays when I think that I can get out of my house anytime I want”, China’s Global Times newspaper reports.

When a living goddess, Preeti was apparently only allowed out of her palace about once a month, with weekly visits from her mother and older sister. When she finally left Kumari House after reaching puberty, she was afraid of cars and felt everyone was staring at her, she says.

She seems to be adjusting well in her new life, the Global Times suggests. But some human rights groups have called for the abolition of the centuries-old Kumari tradition due to the psychological impact on the chosen girls, the paper says.

A Warm Welcome and Best Wishes to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

GlobalGranary.Org would like to extend its best wishes to the new Chief Rabbi Mirvis. Hope your tenure will be a successful one and that your ideals will enrich your religion.

Wishing all our Jewish friends

Shanah Tovah and hope you have a Gut Yor!

L’shanah tovah tikateyvu v’tichatemu

JPJhernes
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Britain’s new chief rabbi faces task of uniting Jewish community

ReutersBy Belinda Goldsmith | Reuters – 2 hours 7 minutes ago

Chief rabbi-designate, Ephraim Mirvis, waits for Prince Charles to arrive to attend his installation as chief rabbi, at St John's Wood Synagogue in London September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville


Reuters/Reuters – Chief rabbi-designate, Ephraim Mirvis, waits for Prince Charles to arrive to attend his installation as chief rabbi, at St John’s Wood Synagogue in London September 1, 2013. REUTERS/

Britain's Prince Charles (R) shares a light moment with chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks (C), and chief rabbi-designate, Ephraim Mirvis, as he attends the installation of Mirvis as chief rabbi, at St John's Wood Synagogue in London September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleBritain’s Prince Charles (R) shares a light moment with chief rabbi & Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s new chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who has vowed to remain traditional by barring women rabbis and same-sex marriage, was sworn in on Sunday to face the challenge of uniting the nation’s polarised Jewish community.

About 1,400 guests, including Britain’s heir apparent Prince Charles, attended a ceremony at a north London synagogue as Mirvis replaced the respected Jonathan Sacks after 22 years as the leading spokesman for British Jews.

“A warm welcome to new @chiefrabbi Mirvis & my thanks to Lord Sacks for special contribution he made to our whole country as #ChiefRabbi,” Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted.

South African-born Mirvis, 56, becomes head of Britain’s largest Jewish denomination, but his synagogue network and other mainstream Orthodox make up only half of the 260,000-strong UK Jewish community, the world’s fifth and Europe’s second largest.

As titular head of British Jews, Mirvis faces the same problems confronting the Church of England, such as falling congregations and the challenge of making traditional religion relevant in a modern consumer society.

He signalled the orthodox United Synagogue would retain its traditionalist stance on single-sex marriage, which is at odds with rabbis in the Liberal and Reform synagogues at the forefront of the campaign for same-sex marriage.

“We have a clear Biblical definition of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman, and through that we value traditional family life,” Mirvis said in a BBC interview ahead of Sunday’s ceremony.

As for the possibility of women rabbis, he responded: “In our tradition, men have occupied that role, and that is the format for Orthodox congregations”.

Mirvis is expected to tread a careful course to try to bring the various streams of British Judaism closer.

Rabbis in the liberal-leaning Reform movement have urged Mirvis to abandon the title of chief rabbi and instead call himself the chief Orthodox rabbi to more accurately reflect his position and as a gesture to growing progressive congregations.

Progressive synagogues now account for around a third of all Jewish congregations in Britain.

The rapidly growing strict Orthodox or haredi communities make up much of the rest and they also do not consider the United Synagogue head as their chief rabbi.

But Mirvis, who won plaudits for being the first United Synagogue rabbi to host an address by an imam, has shown no inclination to change his title and has declined to break tradition and visit a non-Orthodox synagogue.

(Additional reporting by Tom Heneghan, Editing by David Evans)

St Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)

Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (28 January 1225 – 7 March 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian[2][3] Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Doctor Angelicus", "Doctor Communis", and "Doctor Universalis".[4] "Aquinas" is the demonym of Aquino, his home town.Thomas Aquinas is considered the greatest of the Scholastics of the middle ages and his body of works are still the ultimate statement of the Catholic Church.

He was born in Aquino, Sicily to aristocratic family.  He was only 5 years old when he started his education and by the age of 17, he decided to up and leave his comfortable life in view of joining an order of poor Dominican monks.

But his family was having none of it; they kidnapped him and kept him well guarded for at least two years.

Young Thomas, however, was quite resolute.  He never wavered from his goal.  The family finally gave up and allowed him to study in Paris under the tutelage of the scholar monk, Albert the Great…. and the rest is history.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)

Faith has to do  with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not at hand.
– St Thomas Aquinas

“Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve the ship, he would keep it in port forever.
– St Thomas Aquinas

In recalling to mind the life and actions of the saints, walk in their footsteps as much as possible, and humble thyself if thou canst not attain to their perfection.
— ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
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Leave to every one the care of what belongs to him, and disturb not thyself with what is said or done in the world.
— ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

No man should sell a thing to another man for more than its worth.
– St Thomas Aquinas

Nothing created has ever been able to fill the heart of man. God alone can fill it infinitely.
— ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
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Shun useless conversation. We lose by it both time and the spirit of devotion.
— ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
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“The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is. ”
~St. Thomas Aquinas

Life After Death

One of the aspects of living is also dying.  Many of us go about our lives as best we can, not overly regarding our own mortality, hoping that joining ‘the choir invisible’ is a long way off.
In various cultures what comes after death is important as the life here and now. Whether there is a life after death is subject to much discussion. Now with science advancing the province for the subject may not remain in the religious domain

Even in our fast paced tecno 24/7 lives,  there is a steadily growing belief particularly in the west, that there could be survival after death. Some scientists, philosophers & medical doctors now question how the concious entity that defines us interacts with the physical and chemical reactions of the brain. This is not a question of whether there is a heaven or hell but whether our consciousness can exist outside of the brain.
consc

Many cases of so called Near Death Experiences (NDEs) have been recorded over the years. Doctors and surgeons have been baffled by what patients who were clinically dead for up to two hours recount when they ‘wake’  or have been rescusitated. No real mention of paradise but of floating above their bodies looking down at the frantic efforts of medical staff to revive them. Some describe seeing aspects of the medical intervention such as the description of medical staff, clothes, medical instruments used that they should not have known about as they were clinically dead at the time with flat line EEG(heart) and ECG(brain death).

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There are sites on the internet with contributions from those who have experienced NDE as well as academics, surgeons & doctors ascribing to this.

If we discount whether this external existence counts as heaven or  chemical reactions that may stimulate an NDE,  the chemical reaction is a weak theory, as so many have the same experience that could not be drug or chemically induced. Also when people are deeply unconcious (not NDE) because of trauma or anaesthetised, they rarery if ever remember any dreams. NDE exepriences are very lucid and remain with the person.

Heaven or Hell is not the case but now comes the interesting part, hard to get one’s head around, but basically quantum physics is being linked to the possibility of consciousness being external to a biological construct. It is widely known that we influence what can happen at a sub atomic level Schrodingers Cat experiment. An eminent British physicist Sir Roger Penrose (an atheist) argues that known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of consciousness.

h_consciousness

Penrose proposes the characteristics this new physics may have and specifies the requirements for a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics (what he calls correct quantum gravity). Penrose uses a variant of the computer genius (first to devise programming) Alan Turin’s Halting Theorem to demonstrate that a system can be deterministic without being algorithmic. (E.g., imagine a system with only two states, ON and OFF. If the system’s state is ON if a given Turing machine halts, and OFF if the Turing machine does not halt, then the system’s state is completely determined by the Turing machine, however there is no algorithmic way to determine whether the Turing machine stops.)

Anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff collaberated with Penrose to propose that consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in microtubles within the neurons of the brain, instead of chemical reactions. As demonstrated at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) quantum effects appear out of nowhere’ to disappear again in the tiniest fraction of a second. Many scientists etc. posit that these sub atomic particles slip in out of alternate realities or dimensions. Therefore consciousness maybe a quantum ‘entity’ that when released/free from the physical 3D realm travel elsewhere. Scientists believe that 11 separate dimension or bubble universes may exist outside our own physical universe and sub atomic particles move between these. That ties in with what they think happened before the Big Bang and may happend to our universe when all atoms break down again to sub atomic parcticles in billions of years time.

Atheists have had near-death experiences just like everyone else does. The philosophy of Positivism, founded by the famous atheist named A. J. Ayer, is the philosophy that anything not verifiable by the senses is nonsense. Because NDEs mark the end of the senses, Positivists believe the survival of the senses after death is nonsense. But this philosophy has been challenged by its founder A. J. Ayer himself. Later in life, Ayer had a NDE where he saw a red light. Ayer’s NDE made him a changed man: “My recent experiences, have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death … will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be” (Ayer, 1988 a,b).

Antony Flew (1923 – 2010) was a British philosopher belonging to the analytic and evidentialist schools of thought, he was notable for his works on the philosophy of religion. Flew did not have a near-death experience but he was friends with Christian NDE researcher Dr. Gary Habermas who was a big influence on Flew’s conversion.
Flew was a strong advocate of atheism, arguing that one should presuppose atheism until empirical evidence of a God surfaces. He also criticized the idea of life after death, the free will defense to the problem of evil and the meaningfulness of the concept of God. In 2003 he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto. However, in 2004 he stated an allegiance to deism more specifically a belief in the Aristotelian God stating that in keeping his lifelong commitment to go where the evidence leads, he now believes in the existence of God.

I guess we will not know ourselves what comes next until we individually shuffle off our own mortal coils.

 

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