Thursday, July 20, 2017

Humans arrived in Australia 20K years earlier

Tim Collins (Mail Online, 7-19-17); Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly



Who killed megafauna?
New date rewrites history of human migration out of Africa: Artifacts reveal humans arrived in Australia 20,000 years earlier and lived alongside giant kangaroos and tortoises
  • New research suggests humans arrived in Australia 65,000 years ago.
  • This would mean they lived alongside the continent's unique megafauna.
  • Some experts have argued that humans may have caused their extinction.
  • Researchers involved in study argues new evidence suggests this is not the case.
  • Not everyone is convinced, however, arguing that arriving on the continent early gave them more chance to wipe out the megafauna.

The story of humanity's [alleged] journey out of Africa and into the wider world may need to be rewritten thanks to new geological evidence.
 
Experts studying ancient artifacts in Australia say we must push back the date from which humans arrived by almost 20,000 years to 65,000 years ago.  
 
The discovery means that they would have lived alongside Australia's unique megafuana for tens of thousands of years.
 
The researchers involved in the study say it adds to evidence that humans did not wipe out the country's megafauna -- but not everyone is convinced. (Scroll down for video).

A new study has found that humans arrived in Australia  around 65,000 years ago, around 18,000 years earlier than one estimate. This graphic shows the movement of our ancestors based on the latest research
A new study has found that humans arrived in Australia around 65,000 years ago, around 18,000 years earlier than one estimate.

This graphic (at right) shows the movement of our human ancestors based on the latest research.
 
WHAT KINDS OF MEGAFAUNA WERE THERE?
Huge "megafauna" [large animal] species once roamed around Australia. But around 85 per cent of these megafauna went extinct. Some of these animals included:
  • 1,000 pound kangaroos
  • 2-ton wombats
  • 25-foot-long lizards
  • 400-pound flightless birds
  • 300-pound marsupial lion
  • Volkswagen-sized tortoises
Around 45,000 years ago, huge 1,000 pound kangaroos, 2-ton wombats, and 25-foot long lizards roamed around Australia.

But within the space of 2,000 [years], 85 per cent of the country's large wildlife had been wiped out.
 
Whether humans were directly to blame or climate change has long been debated, and the latest study has reignited that debate.
 
An international team of researchers examined artifacts found at Madjedbebe, a rock shelter in Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia, which was home to early aboriginals when they arrived in Australia.
 
Over 10,000 stone tools, ochre colored "crayons," plant remains, and bones have been unearthed at the site since 1973.
 
A University of Queensland-led research team evaluated artifacts found in various layers of sediment, using advanced dating techniques. More + VIDEO

Linkin Park singer DEAD! (video)

Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; en.mediamass.net
I can't stand all this money and to be away from Chris Cornell formerly of Soundgarden!


Chester Bennington the wuss singer with a great ability to yell -- following a life of drugs, addiction, and being molested as a child (which predisposes one to addiction, according to Dr. Gabor Mate) -- and this death came about by suicide on Chris Cornell's birthday.

Bennington, 41, father of six, was found dead at 9:00 am in Palos Verdes Estates, a very ritzy beach community in Los Angeles, the LA Coroner confirms. Meanwhile, Linkin Park has released a new rap-metal song on YouTube. The death should help views and sales.



Thanks for trying to visit, Chester. (CC)
Chester Bennington had another band, more suggestive of his dysphoric mood, "Dead by Sunrise," which formed in 2005 while Bennington was writing songs for Linkin Park's 2007 album Minutes to Midnight... By sunrise today, July 20th, Bennington was dead as had been implicitly promised. (Yesterday's death hoax probably did not help his mood or condition too much).

Is it more sad that he made more money this year than any other singer, that he was voted sexiest singer, or that he and Linkin Park have a new album today and were planning a 2018 world tour? Wah-wah-waaaaaah. And somehow right wing Republican nut John McCain, who has brain cancer, is clinging on to life and ready to help Pres. Trump promote war and capitalism and domestic oppression. Way to go, Mara.

Sexiest singer alive? I'm the sexiest dead!
Another death hoax? Chester Bennington dead 2017 (en.mediamass.net) News of singer Chester Bennington's death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the July 2017 report has...
Chester Bennington, now dead, is at the No. 1 spot on People With Money’s top 10 highest-paid singers for 2017 with an estimated $46 million in combined earnings.

"Pale Ink": Ancient China explored America

Henriette Mertz, Pale Ink (1972), Gavin Menzies (amazon.com); Christopher Nyerges (School of Self Reliance); Xochitl, Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Reader book reviews
(Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars)
(December 9, 2012) I'm still reading but am enjoying the thought-provoking information in the book. Why, when the information in this book has been available for years, is this information generally hidden away?

(March 10, 2014) This book met my critical needs of information about early Chinese travelers to America in ancient written records. Expecting more studies.

(May 8, 2015) Great. A must read if interested in history.

(January 23, 2013) Oh my! This book is long and really a great challenge. Makes me re-look at what I thought thanks again.

(October 24, 2007) Very interesting. Since I live and travel in the Western U.S., I find this book very interesting. I think it goes hand-in-hand with 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies. It's time for historians to open their minds more to explorers other than those coming from western Europe. More

1421: The Year China Discovered America
Gavin Menzies (amazon.com)
On March 8, 1421 the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas."

When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the Chinese emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos.

The great ships were left to rot at their moorings, and the records of their journeys were destroyed.

Lost in the long, self-imposed Chinese isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan.

And they [and Buddhism] colonized America before the Europeans [and Christianity], transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world. More

Charlie Rose: Mercers gave us Trump (video)

Joshua Green, Charlie Rose; Connie G., Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Charlie Rose Show (July 18, 2017): Joshua Green, a correspondent with Bloomberg Businessweek, introduces his new book, Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency out today.

It explains how the hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer hired Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and induced members of the country's electoral college system to select Donald Trump, making him president with a minority of popular votes but enough electoral votes to beat Clinton. More 

African presence in early America (video)

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima (TV108: The Black Side, 12-22-16); Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima: Afrikan Presence in Early America

Of course Columbus didn't discover America

(TheGuardian.com, 2006); Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Of course Columbus didn't discover America. But then nor did China
A map [shown below] supporting claims that Chinese Admiral Zheng He reached the New World in the early 15th century is [I say] a hoax.
We all know that a lie goes halfway round the world while truth is putting on its boots. But what if the lie goes the whole way? What if it claims to circumnavigate the globe?

Does map prove China discovered America 70 years before Columbus? (io9.gizmodo.com)
 
This is a Eurocentric map of our world.
[On Jan. 19, 2006 Simon Jenkins wrote:] Last week came purported evidence that the Chinese Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) sailed his great fleet of junks around the world a century before Columbus, Da Gama, and Magellan.

An 18th-century copy of a map dated 1418 has emerged from a Shanghai, China bookshop, depicting North and South America, Australia and Antarctica.

The map was bought by Chinese lawyer Liu Gang and was reportedly to go on display on Tuesday in London's Maritime Museum. (The museum denies all knowledge of it.)

The map challenges the customary Euro-centric version of global discovery and can thus rely on a weight of political correctness in support. It appears to stake China's claim to have "discovered" America first.
 
This comes as a surprise to those of us who know for a fact that America was discovered by Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd in 1170. He landed at Mobile, Alabama, on the orders of the family druid and asserted Wales's claim to King Arthur's North Atlantic empire.

Making his way across country [USA], he settled west of the Mississippi river, where the Mandan tribe were encountered in the 18th century, fair-skinned and speaking a dialect of Welsh.
 
Unfortunately Madoc's arrival had been forestalled by St. Brendan in the seventh century. He sailed to America in a leather-bound coracle, as Tim Severin proved in 1977.

1421: The Year China Discovered America
The survivors of this trip remain pickled in a downtown Boston saloon to this day. Brendan and Madoc were followed by a Scottish knight Templar, Henry Sinclair, seeking refuge from the suppression of his order in 1398.

He and his Freemasons escaped with assorted treasures and holy grails to settle in Nova Scotia with the Micmac Indians (clearly a tribe of Hiberno-Scots [Irish] ancestry).

Sinclair's Masonic star, or "la merika," duly gave its name to the continent and merits a Da Vinci saga all of its own.

The only blot on this glory is that everyone knows America got its name from Glamorgan's Richard ap Meurig (Amerik), a wealthy sponsor of John Cabot's search for the north-west passage in the 1490s. More
Article preview thumbnail
Pacific Islanders reached America before Columbus
Chinese inscriptions on rocks in U.S. prove Asians lived here 3,300 years ago (Mail Online).

Billionaire Mercers got Trump elected

Joshua Green (amazon, July 18, 2017), new book description, edited by Wisdom Quarterly
Whodunit? Robert and Rebekah Mercer. How did they do it? They funded Trump with millions of dollars and their full support and backing. In exchange for their money and influence, they were told to hire Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and to make Mike Pence the vice presidential nominee. Now they have more say than Putin, Ivanka, Kushner, or any Republican official on what Pres. Trump does in office.
 
Devil's Bargain (Joshua Green)
From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump -- the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.

Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Joshua Green explains a masterful narrative of the 2016 campaign from its origins in the far fringes of right-wing politics and reality television to its culmination inside Donald Trump’s penthouse on election night.

The shocking elevation of Bannon to head Trump’s flagging presidential campaign on August 17, 2016, hit political Washington like a thunderclap.
 
It seemed to signal the meltdown of the Republican Party. Bannon (editor for Breitbart News) was a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike. 

Yet, Bannon’s hard-edged altright ethno-nationalism and his elaborate, years-long plot to destroy Hillary Clinton paved the way for Trump’s unlikely victory.
 
Trump became the avatar of a dark but powerful worldview that dominated the airwaves and spoke to ["deplorable"] voters whom others couldn’t see.
 
Trump’s campaign was the final phase of a populist insurgency [or German-style putsch] that had been building up in America for years. Bannon, its inscrutable mastermind, believed it was the culmination of a hard-right global uprising that will change the world.

Any study of Trump’s rise to the presidency is unavoidably a study of mastermind Steve Bannon. Devil’s Bargain is a tour-de-force telling of the remarkable confluence of circumstances that decided the election, many of them orchestrated by Bannon and his allies.
 
They really did plot "a vast, right-wing conspiracy" to stop Clinton. To understand Trump's extraordinary rise and Clinton’s fall, we have to weave Trump’s story together with Bannon’s, or else it doesn't make sense. More

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Divine Ways to Abide (The Brahma Viharas)

Chp. 3: The Four Divine Abidings
A professor of Theravada Buddhism once asked me, "Why is it assumed, at all the interfaith gatherings I attend, that God is the uniting factor among the religions? We should be concentrating on humanity rather than divinity."

When it is taken for granted that all people of faith worship a Supreme Creator and Sustainer God, Buddhists and Jains [two of the great Dharmic religions] are excluded.

Although Buddhists believe that there are gods [devas and brahmas] living in many celestial planes of existence, they do not ascribe original creative power to them [in fact, there are many brahmas, "supremes," wielding a power of creation or power over other's creations], nor do they believe that these gods have any influence over ultimate human liberation.
 
Belief in God cannot, therefore, provide common ground between Buddhists and religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. But can common ground be found in what religions say about humanity or about how we can work for a humane society? I believe the answer is "yes."
  • [In the past Buddhist and Catholic ecumenical gatherings have agreed on the centrality of the cause and cessation of suffering (dukkha) as common ground for discussion.]
What are the best ways to abide?
Buddhism speaks of four Brahma Viharas, the "Divine Abidings" or "Supreme Attitudes," and these qualities permeate the whole of Buddhist teaching. They are metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upekkha (equanimity).
 
Metta is boundless loving kindness radiated to all beings -- friends and enemies, strangers, the loved and unloved. It is an action-changing mental orientation.

Karuna is seen where people are so sensitive to the sufferings of others that they cannot rest until they act to relieve that suffering. To a greater degree than metta, karuna involves action or intercession.

Mudita is a quality that challenges me greatly. To show mudita is to feel joy over the successes of others, free of jealousy, envy, and bitterness, to actually celebrate or rejoice in their happiness and achievements even when we are facing tragedy ourselves.
 
Upekkha is equanimity but has often been misunderstood as indifference or lack of caring when it is actually looking on all things free of bias. It is not apathy in the face of pain, which would be the very antithesis of compassion.

Divine beings abide in mental peace.
Upekkha is really freedom from the self-centeredness that clouds understanding and destroys true discernment and wisdom. People who cultivate upekkha are no longer pulled this way and that by emotional reactions that have more to do with the ego than with actual concern for others. They can see right from wrong and can act with wisdom.
 
The Brahma Viharas speak to me of the ideals that should direct our lives -- the ideals that can create the kind of society any truly religious person yearns for.

Such a society would be one where loving kindness and compassion triumph over greed, where the success of one person does not mean the demeaning or exploitation of others, where rulers are guided by clear principles of right and wrong rather than hunger for praise or power.

These "Divine Abidings" -- or the way that Maha Brahma [the "Great Supremo," the first born in a world system based on its previous karma in former cycles of existence, being neither male nor female but beyond sexual dimorphism] spends its time -- give us a picture of merit and mundane good.

They touch the hope of all religions and can bring unity of purpose independent of a concept or idea of God.
 
So let compassion for the good of humanity be at the forefront of religious encounters. May those who come from the monotheistic traditions discover that they can share their hopes for a righteous society with their Buddhist neighbors.

May Buddhists find themselves united with their Catholic, Jain, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim friends in working for a world where loving kindness takes the place of greed. More