About a month ago I discovered the 5:2 diet — 5 days per week eating normally (following my LoseIt plan), and on any two non-consecutive days of my choosing I “fast.”
Fasting in this case does not mean eating nothing. Because I’m a guy, I can eat 600 calories. (For women, it’s 500 calories.) After just three of these non-consecutive fast days, the change in my pattern had moved me off the plateau where I’d been at since end of December. Now after about 8 fast days (just two non-consecutive days per week) I’ve lost about five pounds. And the fasting days are not particularly difficult.
Basically they live longer.
Some test animals lived a lot longer. (Equivalent to humans living to age 104 and beyond.) It seems to improve the body’s ability to repair itself. There is also evidence of protective benefits against aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons’s; moderating blood glucose to reduce risk of diabetes; and lowering blood lipid levels associated with heart disease.
But what’s more amazing is that the “fasting” seems to work almost as well when it is intermittent rather than continuous. Most of us could not sustain a severely calorie-restricted diet for more than a couple days at most. But just one day at a time on 500-600 calories, combined with otherwise “normal” eating other days; well that’s perfectly doable.
Here’s what happens when an automated robo-call from CVS Pharmacy contacts my Google Voice phone number with voice-to-text translation:
”Yellow This is C. V. S. Pharmacy. Our records indicate that it’s time for Peter, yo Cally. Yeah to refill the prescription with us you call back later today to remove this number from a reminder list. Yes, call one. Yeah 855. Yeah 4 75, Yahoo, 133, yes 1. Yeah 855. Yeah 475. Yeah 2133 yeah. Thank you for choosing C. V. S, pharmacy, goodbye.”
You callin’ me yellow? Well, CVS, you have a certain style to your hip lingo – yeah. Who’s this Cally you mention — anybody I know? And that subtle reference to Yahoo… did you get some product placement money for that one? Sure would like to unsubscribe from your robo-calls. Yes I’ve tried — several times — but you’re never real clear on that number I’m supposed to call. Yeah — goodbye.
Of course, part of the problem is that Google Voice is not great at this voice-to-text thing. Still, I give them points for trying.
Treesh and I dropped our landline phone because the only calls we ever received on it were sales calls, and annoying calls like this one from CVS. (Everyone who knows us calls our cell phone numbers.) We replaced the landline with free personal Google Voice phone numbers, and if an incoming call isn’t identified by the address books on our iPhones we just let it go to voicemail.
The calls are recorded, but notifications from Google Voice include the voice-to-text so most of the time we don’t have to bother listening to voicemail.
I find if fascinating how these various technologies are interacting, often in unexpected ways. The conveniences — and annoyances — of these interactions are becoming more common as technology evolves.
In this particular case, I’m sure Google Voice translation will improve. The CVS synthesized robo-voice will likely improve too. Then when their agents call my agents, less will be lost in translation. And I can finally get that number to unsubscribe.
In this reprise edition of “Tame Bear Radio,” The Bear relates a wintery tale celebrating the virtues of wool socks. And of a late-night winter walk along the river, which turned into a sorry tale of icy cold water, crackling ice, and the comforting solace of a warm fire and some wise reflection back at home.
Tame Bear presents an original audio podcast from 2005: The Ice Walk
Twitter this year teamed up with Vizify to produce summaries of anyone’s Twitter feed from 2012, distilling it down to the top ten words. Here’s mine. Nothing too surprising — these are The Bear’s top ten words, with “World” leading the pack by a wide margin. (Click on the chart to read the list.) I guess that must mean I tend to think globally? No, mostly it means I write quite a bit on Twitter about our relationship to the world, about how outside reflects inside, and other philosophical speculations.
Two promotional words show up here: “Click-Track-Profit,” which has become my internet marketing home base, and “TrafficWave,” the versatile autoresponder that every online marketer should have in their toolbox.
My “golden tweet” (most retweeted) wasn’t my own words; it was a quotation by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, about corporations. My “golden follower” (mentioned me the most) is a fellow marketer who sent regular shout-outs my way whenever my ad pages showed up on Sweeva — thanks Karl Blatz.
If you’d like to see your own Year on Twitter in just 10 words, click and visit 2012.twitter.com.
Everything has a life — a beginning, a middle, and an end. Absolutely everything. An endless ebb and flow of energy in countless forms. Each one of us is born, we live, and then we die. Every animal and plant comes into being, lives, and dies. Everything has an arc of life that opens out of nothing, then goes for a stretch, growing into something larger than it was, then subsiding, and eventually winding down to an inevitable finish.
Like Waves on an Ocean
Imagine a wave that builds from nothing, far out on the ocean; a wave which runs for miles until it comes crashing in on the beach and dies in splendor and then finally subsides in a soft whisper of foam as it slips back into the sea.
The book “Oceans of Light” offers the theory that everything is composed of waves. MW-Theory proposes that waves are found everywhere, and in everything. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, all arise and subside in us in countless waves. We are composed of these waves. They are the stuff we are made of, they are our material bodies, they are the world we are immersed in.
Absolutely everything has it’s beginning, middle, and end.
Come and Go, Rise and Fall, Ebb and Flow, Live and Die
Have you ever had a hobby? Maybe you don’t do it anymore. You took on something new that you wanted to do, you did it for some length of time, and then you gave it up. At our local Goshen Woodworkers Guild, people join, they learn skills, they make stuff, they have access to a fantastic workshop with good tools and others to teach them. Members are busy at it for a time — perhaps for a period of years — and then as their interests change and evolve they let it go, and maybe they take up something new.
Do you play a musical instrument? Every person who has ever played a musical instrument knows this arc of life. The beginning, the middle, the end. I learned to play the violin in grade school orchestra, took private lessons, did recitals, and played well into my high school years. I still have my violin but it has been years since I last played it. That arc died a slow lingering death. Then this past month I picked up a saxophone, and have begun taking lessons…
— Tame Bear (@TameBear) November 26, 2012
Finding and buying the instrument was a beginning. Just having the thought — “I’d really like to learn to play the sax someday…” — may have been the real beginning. And now this wave is set on it’s course and will have a life and eventually play itself out.
Every thought (“what’s for lunch”), every event (Hurricane Sandy), every person (Sarah Palin), every trend (smartphones), every social change (Obama Care), every technological advance (fluorescent bulbs), every cultural icon (George Clooney) and anything else you can imagine — they all have a beginning, middle and end. They all have their moment in the sun and for a while they shine.
Even places have their arcs of life. The little crossroads of Oakley, Scotland, which was once a bustling coal-mining town, a town for which my producer Pete Oakley is named, and where he traces his ancestry… Oakley is no more to be found on most maps these days.
Entangled Waves of Life
Everything has a life. Everything is a wave with a beginning, a middle, and an end. An arc of life.
And if you think about it, the wave-like nature of anything is also composed of many other waves. As you read this, you are moving on the arc of your life. Your life is composed of many arcs of separate days, each with it’s own beginning middle and end. Each day contains the business of many chores, events, tasks, thoughts, projects, and goals. And even the surprises and heartbreaks and satisfactions have their beginning, middle, and end.
Imagine an orchestra composed of many instruments, each playing its part, with it’s own particular starts and runs and stops. Some with melody, some with rhythm, some with rich undertones and harmonies; and a conductor waving a baton to set tempo and volume, ebb and flow.
Everything is waves within waves within waves. This is not incidental to life. This is the very stuff of life.
All-that-is exists in waves of being. Realizing this, we should also embrace the fact that nothing lasts for ever. All things have their day and then are gone. Everything is part of something larger. Everything changes. One thing becomes something else. Nothing is alone unto itself. There is no separation of this from that. Our waves are part of many other waves — so much so, that it is not possible to tease them apart. We are entangled with all the waves of other people, thoughts, tasks, tools, chores, and events of our every day.
Read “Oceans of Light”
Is it any wonder that we experience life as a complex drama immersed in ceaseless change as many waves within us arise and run and subside, to be replaced by a bewildering array of more endless waves to come. If this is a meaningful way to think about your life and you want to delve more deeply into wave theory, I invite you to buy the book for your iPad or Nook or Kindle and begin to master the multiple waves that make up your life.
In the following three videos, Dr. Lothar Shäfer of University of Arkansas delivers a presentation titled “Quantum Reality and the Importance of Consciousness in the Universe,” drawing a connection between our current scientific understanding of quantum physics and the role of non-dual, non-local conscious awareness. This presentation took place in Barcelos Portugal, in 2010.
Shäfer begins with an easy-to-follow description of quantum mechanical phenomena, in order to explain these statements:
- “The basis of the material world is not material.”
- “Reality is indivisible wholeness.”
- “Consciousness is a cosmic property.”
He introduces the concept of potentiality, a third mode of existence (in addition to being and not-being) in which things have a potential to be or not be.
He goes on to describe the wave-particle nature of electrons; probability waves; and the hidden order underlying matter as it dissolves into a wave. An electron, when it is not interacting, becomes “trans-material,” a mathematical form, a set of numbers. “This is just the way it is.”
Where are particles when they are in their wave-like state? They do not exist in the empirical world. They transcend the material world and exist in potentia; in a state we cannot experience. “They are trans-empirical.”
In Part 2, Shäfer provides a brief survey of ancient metaphysical and spiritual concepts of wave-like vibrational energy underlying reality — in Greek thought, in Hinduism, in Sufism, etc. He describes “perennial philosophy” — the notion of universally recurring insights independent of epoch or culture, which reveal timeless truths regarding the nature of reality.
We live in the empirical world, but with our minds we are able to reach into the realm of forms, conceive of potentiality, deriving thoughts that we can convey via language to others. The universe exists in a state of potentia, prior to emanation. Physics is connected to these other disciplines of human endeavor: metaphysics, ethics, psychology, and more.
In Part 3, Shafer discusses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and self-actualization; it’s relation to Carl Jung’s collective unconscious awareness of archetypal forms. An element of consciousness is active in the universe. “It is difficult to avoid the impression that the realm of forms that Jung discovered, the realm of forms that the quantum phenomena reveal, are one and the same realm of cosmic potentiality.” It is the cosmic spirit that is thinking in us.
Lothar Shäfer is author of “In Search of Divine Reality: Science as a Source of Inspiration.”