Saturday, 31 December 2016


      This priceless Egyptian false door carved out of stone, from the tomb of venerable Hanout, dates from the twelfth dynasty [2000-1788 BC.].
      The first Mastabas [tombs in the ground] of the old kingdom had no rooms within them and only a false door in the East side. The dead, dwelling in the West behind the door, might enter again into the world of the living at will. This false door was finally elaborated into a kind of chapel-chamber in the mass of the masonry.
      Throughout the years, false doors were changed to the west wall of the chamber so that the deceased, when looking out of the false door, would be facing the valley where the offerings were brought.
      This door represented a symbolic entrance and exit which “Ba” or soul of the deceased could use to reappear from the beyond in order to make away the offerings placed in the tombs by survivors. Another purpose of the false door was to hide the true entrances to the burial chamber so that the tomb robbers would be unable to find the mummy and its treasures. This practice hardly discouraged tomb robbers, since most of the tombs were violated by Egyptian thieves and later by Arab invaders. 



               DÉJÀ VU gives us the feeling we have experienced an event before, even though this may seem to be an impossibility. Thus, the feeling of familiarity accompanying déjà vu is often unexpected and inexplicable, leading many people to wonder if their déjà vu experiences are psychic, physiological, or both.
         A number of mechanisms have been advanced to account for the déjà vu experience. Because psychic experiences of many kinds have been associated with déjà vu, it has often been suggested that déjà vu itself is a psychic experience. In this regard, déjà vu has been reported to be the result of reincarnation memories, subconscious memories of dream projections or out-of-body –experiences, subconscious memories of precognitive dreams, and clairvoyance. A higher frequency of déjà vu experiences have been reported for those who meditate frequently.
       Another proposed mechanism for déjà vu is that of biochemically encoded ancestral memories. This concept states that memories build up over generations into instincts, race memories, the collective unconscious, and all the materials that make up the totality of mind. Such a theory of memory, both personal and inherited, was advanced by C.G. Jung as a explanation for déjà vu. According to Jung, whenever an external event touches upon some subconscious knowledge, this knowledge can reach our objective consciousness. “The event is realized as déjà vu, and one remembers a pre-existent knowledge about it.”

                                                 BRAIN STIMULATION

       While the puzzling phenomenon of déjà vu has been reported in nearly all categories of altered states of consciousness, brain stimulation also achieves similar effects. Only a half-second’s stimulation in the hippocampal and amygdala portions of the limbic system. Lying deep within the brain’s temporal lobe, promotes déjà vu or familiarity as it is called by some researchers. Dr. Jose Delgado of Yale University noticed that patients stimulated in certain regions of the limbic system would listen to subsequent exchanges between themselves and the doctor with an air of amusement and bewilderment. “But this has all happened before. I knew what you were going to say before you said it.”
     Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who frequently experience déjà vu are more likely to have lesions in the right temporal lobe. Coincidentally perhaps, the right hemisphere is non-verbal, and more intuitive and artistic than the left hemisphere.
        J.E. Orme of Middlewood Hospital in Sheffield, England, discussed the relationship of déjà vu to time theory in his scholarly work, Time, Experience and Behavior. He cited the work of R. Elfron, who found that the brain hemispheres do not necessarily process a message simultaneously. In a right-handed subject, a stimulus delivered to the left hand of the body is not available to the left hemisphere for two to six milliseconds after the right hemisphere receives the signal from the left side of the body. During the delay, the left hemisphere is unable to verbalize the sensation. The delay is the time it takes for the information to be passed to the talkative left hemisphere. If a lesion were to further delay the transfer, Elfron felt that maybe everything would appear to be happening twice, like instant replay.

                                                FEELING OF WONDER

           This speculation falls short of accounting for the subjective feeling that one is recalling the distant past. Also, the déjà phenomenon is sometimes accompanied by a wave of ineffable poignancy; the memory seems to be set in an emotional context. The psychic nature of déjà vu often leaves one feeling of wonder. This unique sense of wonder accompanied by familiarity is a hallmark of the mystical experience, and thus, the increased incidence of déjà vu frequently reported for meditators is not unexpected. During such mystical experiences déjà vu may also be accompanied by specific memories of precognitive dreams and visions. In these instances the specific dream memory may be of a metaphoric or symbolic character. For instance, one subject in our laboratory reported dreaming of a recently deceased pet who transformed into another personality that was not recognized by the dreamer at that moment. But soon afterwards, when a close friend with identical features to those of the dream personality unexpectedly died, the laboratory subject experienced déjà vu. He came to realize that the dream was helpful to others as well as himself, for the dream served to prepare them comfort during subsequent events.
          The brain mechanisms, while essential for the realization of such experiences as déjà vu, reflect a psychic process that lies deeper than the brain itself. The value of brain mechanisms, however, is that they allow us the opportunity to ref



      Robert Frost, in the last verse of “The Road Not Taken”
                                         “I shall be telling this with a sigh
                                           Somewhere ages and ages hence:
                                           Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
                                           I took the one less traveled by,
                                           And that has made all the difference.”
        It deals with my favorite philosophical question: CHOICE. What choices do we have and what do we do with those choices? We can ponder on endlessly how much of life is predetermined, how we are limited by heredity, intellect, social status, environment, economics. That is not the issue here; nor do I believe that it is important. However limited the choices, what matters is what we do with the choices we have.
        Victor Franki survived the death camps of World War II to write in man’s search for meaning; “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms –to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
         I believe we have a great deal of choice; that most of us do not make most of these choices and that we tend to live our lives based on other people’s decisions and expectations. I believe that too often we lack the courage to act on our decisions. Not to decide is to decide. I believe this freedom to choose is one of the most important aspects of our lives, and that to act responsibly on those choices determines the success or failure of our lives.
           It is important to differentiate between freedom and license. Make no mistake- this is not the concept of “if it feels good, do it.” All choice combines freedom with responsibility; they are inseparable. We pay a price for all our decisions and our indecisions, but we have the individual freedom to determine for ourselves when the price is too high.


          Each day brings new opportunities for choice. Each day brings countless decisions to be made. I submit that all choices matter and that the potential for a better life is all around us. It is by the choices we make –the large, the small, the important, and the seemingly trivial, that we determine who we are and the quality of our lives. I believe we become the sum of our choices. Let’s talk about choice and some of the areas in which we can exercise our freedom to choose.
           We can choose the living God. Erich Fromm said: “All living things seek the sunshine.” Therefore, the natural condition is to seek life and the life-giving force. You can, if you so choose, move into the shadows, you can deny the sunshine; you can curse God and die. Your denial does not diminish the sunshine, it changes you. Remember Joshua: “Choose you this day whom you will serve. “The New Testament speaks of Mary and Martha. When Martha complained because Mary did not help her in the kitchen, Christ said: “for Mary has chosen the good part.” Choose the sunshine.
         We can choose love. We can decide who matters in our life; we can nurture the relationships we care about. We can make time for the people we love. We can find new people to love. I believe good, lasting relationships require willing commitments by the people involved. You can choose to have more love in your life.
        We can choose health –both mental and physical. Again, we choose not from our limitations, but from the freedom we do have. We can choose not to abuse our bodies, how we spend our days. We can choose not to whine about imagined aches and pains. Choose good health.
         We can choose beauty. You can decide to include beauty in your life. For me, each day includes the simple pleasure: fresh flowers, light through stained glass, wine in stemmed crystal, music, candlelight, a little poetry. Why not? They are easy to come by –clichés really. Clichés that got that way because they gave other people pleasure too. Choose your own beauty.
        We can choose to be happy. If you are unhappy, it is your fault. It is your responsibility, no one else’s. If you permit some one to make you unhappy, you choose to do so. I believe we are most influenced by other people in this area, only you know what makes you happiest. Choose to be happy.

                                                      EACH DAY, A CHOICE

        We can choose to have fun, to be spontaneous. I have a small plaque by my bed which reads: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” It isn’t. Let’s choose to fly more kites, buy more balloons, give more daisies, go barefoot more often, look for more seashells, and sing in the car. Let’s serve more red onion sandwiches with icy cold beer. Let’s hold hands more often. Choose fun.
       We can choose to dream. In the words from South Pacific, “if you do not have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true?” Dream your own dream.
        I would persuade you to make choices and have the courage to act on these choices. Remember that choice means to select the best part, to discard that which is not. I would persuade you to make deletions in your life. If someone consistently makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, why are they part of your life? If you don’t like the movie you are watching, why don’t you leave it? You do not have to leave a tip –if the service is poor, do you really care what a surly waiter thinks of you? You don’t have to answer the phone because it is ringing. If you don’t like your life, are you looking for ways to make it better?
       Choose what you want in your life and what you do not. Have you ever made a list of the things that make your life better and the things that detract from it? I have made some deletions in my life. I no longer make rooms for: plastic flowers, wine in paper cups, chronically unhappy people, self-service gas stations, restaurant meals that cost more than $50 each. I haven’t missed any of them. Their deletion leaves more time for things that matter. I do not invite people to my home I do not really want to see. I attend parties and give presents because I want to –not out of obligation or duty. It is more honest and in the end, it is easier.
       All choices involve responsibility for those choices. We have to pay our dues. I believe in choice for myself. I believe in choice for other people. I believe we have the right and the freedom to make our own decisions –not from selfish motivations, but from our own uniqueness and integrity. We become the sum of our choices. It is your choice…….remember the scriptures: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life”  

Thursday, 29 December 2016


        Many mysteries abound in Africa, many of them are unexplainable even with science advancement and technological greatness. Mysteries like ghost attack, reincarnation, witchcraft, nightmares, e.t.c. have been explained in many ways but the truth is that not one of the explanations is right. One of the amazing mystery is an unbelievable landscape in Namib Desert, what made it more amazing is the fact that is it physical that is you can see it, touch it, and feel it.
       In an area of about 2,000-kilometer swath along the western edge of the Namib Desert in southwestern Africa, patches of barren, sandy soil three meters in diameter dot the landscape. Each patch is girded with a ring of tall grass. To some visitors the rings look like terrestrial chicken pox or splash marks made by giant raindrops. Local tradition has it that these circles possess magical powers. Some tribes believe that each circle surrounds the grave of a bushman who died in one of the many conflicts between bushmen and colonialists over the centuries. The local assertion is more generally accepted within the local areas and not accepted in science circle.
     Scientists too have long sought to explain the rings. In 1978, assuming that over time the circles would shift position, researchers marked the centers of some with metal stakes. Twenty-two years later, the circles had not moved. There have been abundant theories on the origin of the circles, including termite activity, poisoning from toxic indigenous plants, contamination from radioactive minerals and even ostrich dust baths. These theories were tested one after the other and they were all disproved one after the other in an overwhelming way.
    Perhaps significantly, the researchers did find that grass withered when planted in soil taken from the grassy rings, confirming that there is a difference between the soil in the two areas. Although initial soil testing failed to provide any explanation, Van Rooyen hopes that analysis using a mass spectrometer will turn up further information. She wonders if there are toxic elements in the soil of the circles. But even if we find them, how they came to be there is the next problem. For now, then, the circles remain one of the earth’s many fascinating mysteries.
    Science and technology have limits and constrains especially on spiritual or mystical issues and events. It is wise to combine science and religion in every issue to get the best out of the situation.



    Genetically modified crops are banned in most European and North America countries and are not grown in these areas. But in Africa the opposite is what is happening, genetically modified crops are found everywhere in Africa. What are the dangers in genetically modified crops? What can be done about it?
   Biotechnology has moved at such a dizzying pace that neither the law nor regulating agencies can keep up with it. Research can scarcely begin to prevent unforeseen consequences from arising. A growing chorus of critics warn of unintended results, ranging from severe economic dislocation for the world’s farmers to environmental destruction and threats to human health. Researchers warn that there are no long-term, large-scale tests to prove the safety of genetically modified [GM] food. They point to a number of potential dangers.
   If a gene producing a protein that causes allergic responses ended up in corn, for instance, people who suffer from food allergies could be exposed to grave danger. Despite the fact that food-regulating agencies require companies to report whether altered food contains any problem proteins, some researchers fear that unknown allergies could slip through the system.
   Some experts believe that genetic modification may enhance natural plant toxins in unexpected ways. When a gene is switched on, besides having the desired effect, it may also set off the production of natural toxins.
     As part of the genetic modification of plants, scientists use what are called marker genes to determine if the desired gene has been successfully embedded. As most marker genes provide resistance to antibiotics, critics fear that this could contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Other scientists, however, counter that such marker genes are genetically scrambled before use, thus alleviating this danger.
   One of the biggest fears is that once modified crops are planted, genes will escape via seeds and pollen to weedy relatives, creating superweeds that are able to resist herbicides.
   Researchers from Cornell University reported that monarch butterfly caterpillars that ate leaves dusted with pollen from GM corn sickened and died. While some question the validity of this study, there is still some concern that other nontargeted species could be harmed.
   Among the most successful GM crops are some that contain a gene that produces a protein toxic to insect pests. However, biologists warn that exposing pests to the toxin produced by this gene will help the pests develop resistance and thus render pesticides useless.


  Many mysteries abound in Africa; many of them are unexplainable even with science advancement and technological greatness. ...