Saturday, May 23, 2020

Community Gardening One Solution for Curing Diabetes

To talk about the diabetic epidemic African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos and not include its companion obesity only paints half of the full picture (Lombard, Forster-Cox and Smeal) (Oregon Department of Human Services). The diabetes targeted in this discussion is type 2. Type 1 diabetes is genetically derived; it is the body’s inability to produce insulin (American Diabetes Association). This type usually affects children and young adults. Type 2 is caused by unhealthy eating and lifestyle choices over a period of time. This type usually is characteristic of older adults, but lately has been seen in older children (Oregon Department of Human Services). This problem is personal for me, as I have recently been diagnosed with†¦show more content†¦Too much of the general population does not recognize the correlation between food and health. In addition, when looking at diabetes, not everyone affected is at the poverty level. Statistics support that more people with diabetes are poor, but the middle working class are also at risk. One of the reasons is that they have brought into the propaganda that they should be able to eat what they can afford. Just recently I watched an episode of a reality television show called â€Å"Restaurant Impossible.† On the show an expert visits restaurants that are failing and going broke and provide the owners with new menu items, clean up when necessary, and provide an investment of ten-thousand dollars in a redesign of the restaurant. One of the new and improved menu items was smoked chicken; after smoking the chicken the chef then slathered butter on it, grilled it and covered it with barbeque sauce and served it with potatoes, and I don’t remember seeing a vegetable. Nevertheless, this is a prescription for disaster. Also consider the restaurant Applebee’s; I was shocked to find out that most of their entrà ©es are over a thousand calories and also slathered with butter and salt. I am afraid to eat there now. Middle-class Americans are frequenting these restaurants. Therefore making the change to healthier eating is a huge and difficult endeavor. Excess consumption of

Monday, May 18, 2020

Measuring World Development Essay - 825 Words

Measuring World Development Development is a complex economic, social and political phenomenon. There are a range of simple and composite indicators used to measure development. There are many definitions of development, perhaps the most used is; â€Å"Development refers to a number of characteristics such as demographic change, economic growth, an increase in the case of resources, modernisation, higher levels of technology and political freedom.† Indicators of development are put into four sectors: Economic, Social, Political and environmental. These factors can be broken down into two groups, simple and composite. Such simple indictors would be birth rate, death rate and GNP.†¦show more content†¦These types of countries are not necessarily ‘not developed’, they just have different customs, cultural differences or they could be nomadic (farming based) or an indigenous population, as described above. Maps of the globe are produced to show levels of world development based on three key features; wealth, social advantage and deprivation. An imaginary line can be seen around the world which separates the ‘developed’ countries and the ‘non developed’ countries. This line is called the Brandt line. It is a modern day method of measuring development. It basically separates countries based on how economically stable a country is, how technologically advanced it is, how democratic and how modern a country is. The line shows ‘most developed’ countries to the north and west, whereas the ‘least developed’ countries to the south and east. As with every theory, there are exceptions. These being Australia and New Zealand, which are classed as ‘developed’ countries. Other indicators of development that are being used today are the PQLI, which is the physical quality of life index. Also the IHSI, which is the International Human Suffering Index. The PQLI is a quantitative measure of development and can be calculated by taking the average of three variables. These are life expectancy, literacy rates,Show MoreRelatedTourism Industry a Major Source of Income Essay670 Words   |  3 PagesTourism is recognized as a big industry worldwide which is a key sector of development in several countries and a major source of income, jobs and wealth creation and also influencing complementary investment and domestic policies. This range of influence and importance creates challenges to measurement in tourism. The most industry activities can be measured by clear statistics such as agricultural industry and automobile or electronics manufacturing. While, Tourism is a large and complex industryRead MoreDevelopment Indicators928 Words   |  4 PagesTITTL E: An essay on development indicators describing the following indicators that may be used to explain levels of development within countries: (a). (b). (c). Gross National Product (GNP) Child (Under- five) Mortality Rate Human Development Index (HDI) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Defining Development Indicators 3. Gross National Product 3.1 Advantages of GNP 3.2 Disadvantages of GNP 4. Child (under - Five) Mortality 4.1 Advantages of child (under-five) Mortality 4.2 DisadvantagesRead MoreThe Theory Of Measuring Intelligence1613 Words   |  7 Pageslearning strategies have been in development since the 1980s, much of society still sees intelligence in this limited manner. Though the course of this paper we will look at theories for measuring intelligence. We will also explore how memory plays a major role in developing intelligence and the effect these factors have on learning. Intellectual Development Intellectual development can best be described as a child’s ability to think about and understand his/her world. The manner in which a child obtainsRead MoreFootView 3D Essay1398 Words   |  6 Pagesfairly fragmented and highly competitive, although the market is dominated by large buying groups. Core activities are value-adding services where the foot measuring products enhance the operations and marketing of the compatible footwear size and even procurement with cost savings information. 2. ConQ is a UK based research and development firm which aims to develop new market and product opportunities in footwear industry with their key product (Footview3D) 3. Product segment includes traditionalRead MoreSouthbank Essay813 Words   |  4 Pagesthe stakeholders and their interests is very important for the sustainable development. Southbank stakeholders and their roles are listed in Appendix II. Issues associated with measuring sustainability of TLEM As a part of assessing TLEM sustainability, it will be important to understand the key issues and challenges of the measuring process. Therefore, following issues are noted as the key issues associated with measuring the sustainability of TLEM. 1. Integrating the both demand side and supplyRead MoreImproving The Accessibility, Quality, And Efficiency Of Energy1010 Words   |  5 PagesBy 2030, the 7th UN Sustainable Development Goal aims to improve the accessibility, quality, and efficiency of energy. While some of the targets are clearly defined, others use ambiguous terms, making them not truly measureable. Firstly, terms used in targets 7.1, 7.2, and 7.b are not clearly defined, making them not truly measurable. Being able to provide a service universally, implies that every person worldwide should have access to the service. This is neither reasonable nor measureable. TheRead MoreEnvironmental Objectives Of The United Nations1074 Words   |  5 PagesThe United Nations has recently worked on establishing goals each with specific targets regarding sustainable development. Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, and its associated targets will be analysed for measurability and thoroughness. Targets The 7 targets associated with goal 14 focus on 4 themes. Targets 1 and 3 focus on reducing pollution, targets 2 and 5 focus on protecting ecosystems, targets 4 and 6 focus on overfishingRead MoreHuman And Social Development Level Of Development993 Words   |  4 Pagesin the social development level. At first, this essay argue the reason why we need to measure the level of development, it is because producing measurements about an activity gives you a handle on it, a way to improve it. This paper goes on to critically examine the varied ways to measure development. A ‘developed country’ is one with a high Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, as defined by the World Bank. But this does not tell the whole story, country s level of development is not a fixedRead MoreThe Seduction Of Quantification And Human Rights Measuring And Monitoring, Gender Violence And Sex Trafficking1584 Words   |  7 PagesThe use of quantification and indicators in human rights measuring and monitoring, gender violence and sex trafficking in the context of global governance is prevalent around the world. My internship at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) regional office in Dubai International Humanitarian City, made my reading of â€Å"The Seduction of Quantification† by Sally Merry an engaging and very relative. As I was analyzing development aid allocations, I came to realize the importance of indicatorsRead MoreStages Of Emotional And Cognitive Development1242 Words   |  5 Pagescognitive development in children and the role of nurture and nature. In understanding the emotional and cognitive development in children, many theorists including Bowlby and his attachment theory, Baumrind theory towards parenting styles and also Vygotsky and his theory on social development, have all worked hard over many years of research into producing theories on understanding how the development of children is important. It has been found that emotional and cognitive development are becoming

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

My Pursuit For A Career - 872 Words

From an early age, I was exposed to medicine through my father, a radiologist, and as I grew, the influence of his career naturally and inevitably tailored my interest. It has been my own desire, however, that has compelled me to pursue a career in medicine. The summer after my sophomore year in high school, my family took a trip to our native town in India. For two months, I volunteered at the Charity Foundation in India, and the experiences I had there resonated deeply in me, changing my perspectives forever. More than my duties, the simple daily exposure transformed me permanently. These experiences with the Charity Organization and Mother Teresa herself showed me medicine in a light I might not have seen back home in Texas or elsewhere, gave me a new understanding to a physicianï ¿ ½s role in society, and set forth my pursuit for a career in medicine. After my sophomore year in college, I decided to study abroad in Europe for a year. My ongoing interest in medicine, coupled with a strong desire for a new environment and new challenges, led me to discover a 6-year M.D. program at the University in Hungary. Although I had the option of returning home after the 1st year, my first year in Debrecen had transformed me tremendously. My strong academic performance, vast exposure to different cultures, viewpoints, and ways of life convinced me to make one of the most crucial decisions of my life. I decided to continue my studies in Hungary. The extensive basic science curriculumShow MoreRelatedArt And The Pursuit Of Art1329 Words   |  6 Pagesthroughout my life. As a child, art was my retreat from the mundane of the world. I found a way of communicating the things I was feeling with others around me! It gave me different perspectives and ways of looking at events, emotions, and people. All of these perspectives helped shape me, made me contemplate the individual I wanted to be and how the world behaves. Art answered as many questions as it posed. It made life worth living. From that moment on, there would never be a day in my life thatRead MoreMy Academic Journey1241 Words   |  5 Pagesacademic confidence or perceive education as a priority. Looking back at my adolescence, both of these perspectives were displayed through my behavior. Nonetheless, the past eight years of my life illustrate major growth and development as an individual, a family member, a co-worker, and a student—a journey which led me to this moment. Literally, this very moment! I now possess the academic confidence to present an analysis of my lifes history and academic objectives to a committee of scholars/professionalsRead MoreThe Life of Mulan Essay1471 Words   |  6 Pagesshe was separated from the war since she was a woman. This made me venture outside of my thinking box. What was it about the duality of the term participatio n (as in being part of a whole while simultaneously being separate) as Tillich described it that allowed me to believe woman were warriors -- warriors, not in the sense that they fought with swords and guns, but that they conquered their daily tasks of career, spouse-work, and motherhood? In Courage and Participation, Tillich suggests thatRead MoreApplication Essay For Master s Program901 Words   |  4 Pageshealth analysis. I also find this career path appropriate because I will be able to deal with several health dimensions which encompass a state of comprehensive mental, physical and social well-being and not merely disease absence. This career is also fully packed with advancements and a great earning potential. In addition, I will be able to help several lives in the society that need services regarding this sector as I sharpen my leadership skills further and widen my scope of knowledge and skillsRead MoreThe Owner Of The Restaurant1328 Words   |  6 PagesBefore leaving home for Rutgers, I was a fry cook at a burger restaurant. The usual pace was slightly overwhelming and all my co-workers had 2+ years of experience with the company. One night, about two months after I started working there, it was so incredibly busy that the line of customers measured ou t the door. As I frantically tossed food into hot grease, I fumbled with a box of jalapeà ±o poppers and dropped all of them on the floor. The cashiers, general manager and head cook all rolledRead MoreInterview About My Working Dad Experience Essay983 Words   |  4 Pagesschool so he choose to continue with the business management career field. He has been working with Firestone Building Products for almost three and half years. During this time he has held the production supervisor position and now his current position of plant superintendent. In his current position he oversees maintenance of the building and safety issues while managing production crews. Work has been very supportive in his pursuit of a master’s degree. They reimbursed him for all classes throughRead MorePersonal Statement Of Purpose By Mr. Thomas H. Huxley812 Words   |  4 Pages Huxley. The unyielding quest for boundless knowledge has been my motivating and driving force throughout my career purs uit. It’s the same quest that prompted me for higher studies. The dedication to finding solutions and a thirst for creating new tools to benefit humanity has molded me into a seeker of advanced knowledge. I commence this statement with a bit of my personality which has a direct bearing on my academic pursuits. I have always felt a strong need for achievement, which has beenRead MorePseudo Happiness: Can Money Buy Happiness? Essay1400 Words   |  6 Pagesmany, ironically, find pseudo happiness or just plain unhappiness. In our country we have placed so much emphasis on earning opportunities when choosing careers, rather than the calling, the talent or the true passions being the driving force of the career. This potential poor career choice can make a lot of people unhappy with the job or career they are doing. We spend usually more hours in our life at our vocation than the time spent with family or friends. As a consumer based society we tendRead MoreStatement of Purpose: Pursuing a Master Degree of Public Administration654 Words   |  3 Pages I have given much thought about my education and career goals. I included my current qualifications and accomplishment, as well as, the fulfillment of my desire to work in the government sector or industry. The issue I had with setting this goal was I qualified to work in many areas, and had become as a â€Å"jack of all trades and master of none.† I was all over the place trying to land in a specific area and industry. I have an Associates of Applied Arts degree in Paralegal, a Certificate in CorporateRead MoreThe Definition Of Nursing And Share My Thoughts On What Makes The Ideal Nurse Essay1505 Words   |  7 PagesIntroduction In this paper I will discuss the definition of nursing; and share my thoughts on what makes the Ideal Nurse. I will also focus on my pursuit into the nursing profession, and how I will be influenced by entering the profession of nursing. Nursing Definition According to the ANA, â€Å"nursing is the protection, promotion, optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Racism, Racism And The Central Frame From Bonilla Silva Of...

When we were first asked to write about our first experience of racism I never imagined that at the end of the semester we were to analyze the essay and see the way in which racism has affected our lives without our knowledge. After obtaining further knowledge I was able to open up mind up and notice the racist things that might not be noticeable but are still there.Just after reading the story I came to the conclusion that the experience I mention was closer to Color Blind Racism with the central frame from Bonilla Silva of Cultural Racism. First of all, the experience in which I am referring to is in fact the first time i believed to experience racism. In the essay i express the treatment a selective group, that I was included in, that shared similar characterics were given after being deemed not be â€Å"good enough† at English. These students were given a test and failure to pass they were placed into speech class. The test placed this selective group into a speech class where we were taught to enunciate and speak English correctly. What would happen to this selective group is that on certain days of the week we were expected to leave class and go to a classroom where we were taught how to speak english â€Å"the correct†. Being that were placed in these classes because that basically said we weren t good enough it discouraged many of us from trying harder and getting out of these classes. Even though this might seem like a silly thing i never was able to get a clear answerShow MoreRelatedEssay about Eduardo Bonilla-Silvas Book, Racism Without Racists1653 Words   |  7 PagesRace has been an issue in North America for many years. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva discusses the new racism in his book, Racism without Racists. Bonilla-Silva classifies the new racial discrimination as color blind racism. Color blind racism is then structured under four frames (26). Color blind racism is believed to have lead to the segregation of the white race from other minorities called white habitus. Color blind racism and white habitus has affected many people, whom don’t even realize thatRead MoreRacism Without Racists Essay1059 Words   |  5 PagesOver the years, the face of racism has taken on many forms. In present day America, racism is a very taboo subject. It a common view that racism is not a big issue anymore, given the large strides that we, as a country have made towards equality. However, the inequalities that still exist between races point to a different situation. Instead of the blatantly discriminatory acts that our nation has witnessed in the past, modern racism practices are more covert and seemingly nonracial, making thisRead MoreThe Myth Of Racial Americ Color Blind Racism3433 Words   |  14 Pages‘Post-racial’ America: Color-blind Racism in the Push to Repeal Affirmative Action in Higher Education By: Samantha L Bowden Dr. Bernd Reiter CPO 5934/LAS 6936: Race/Ethnicity/Nation December 2th, 2014 INTRODUCTION Across the sociological indicators, minorities, and especially blacks, â€Å"lag behind whites in the United States in terms of income, wealth, occupation and health status, educational attainment, and other relevant indicators† (Bonilla-Silvia, 2001, 1; see also 2014Read MoreCultural Communication And New Policy Implementation1754 Words   |  8 Pagesissue in our society today that needs to be deeply understood by cultural communication and new policy implementation. In the movies, To kill a mockingbird and The searchers, they have fully portrayed the idea of race and ethnic relation between several cultures such as the relationship between whites and blacks and the relationship between new colonizers and native tribes. For example, The searchers’s main character, Ethane is white from western and seem Native American as a savage group of people.Read MoreThe Phenomenology Of Racism And Racism3579 Words   |  15 Pagesprivileged family in the suburban area of Atlanta , Georgia. Not many African Americans attended my school with me . My parents and grandparents experienced racism in their community.I am pushed by my family to work hard and be the best that I can be. As I was reading a very interesting power point, I learned that the phenomenology of racism promotes negative attitudes to other blacks and Africa. It also normalizes attitudes of desire and debasement toward white people and white culture . According

The Secret Circle The Initiation Chapter One Free Essays

It wasn’t supposed to be this hot and humid on Cape Cod. Cassie had seen it in the guidebook; everything was supposed to be perfect here, like Camelot. Except, the guidebook added absently, for the poison ivy, and ticks, and green flies, and toxic shellfish, and undercurrents in seemingly peaceful water. We will write a custom essay sample on The Secret Circle: The Initiation Chapter One or any similar topic only for you Order Now The book had also warned against hiking out on narrow peninsulas because high tide could come along and strand you. But just at this moment Cassie would have given anything to be stranded on some peninsula jutting far out into the Atlantic Ocean – as long as Portia Bain-bridge was on the other side. Cassie had never been so miserable in her life. â€Å"†¦ and my other brother, the one on the MIT debate team, the one who went to the World Debate Tournament in Scotland two years ago†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Portia was saying. Cassie felt her eyes glaze over again and slipped back into her wretched trance. Both of Portia’s brothers went to MIT and were frighteningly accomplished, not only at intellectual pursuits but also at athletics. Portia was frighteningly accomplished herself, even though she was only going to be a junior in high school this year, like Cassie. And since Portia’s favorite subject was Portia, she’d spent most of the last month telling Cassie all about it. â€Å"†¦ and then after I placed fifth in extemporaneous speaking at the National Forensic League Championship last year, my boyfriend said, ‘Well, of course you’ll go All-American†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Just one more week, Cassie told herself. Just one more week and I can go home. The very thought filled her with a longing so sharp that tears came to her eyes. Home, where her friends were. Where she didn’t feel like a stranger, and unaccomplished, and boring, and stupid just because she didn’t know what a quahog was. Where she could laugh about all this: her wonderful vacation on the eastern seaboard. â€Å"†¦ so my father said, ‘Why don’t I just buy it for you?’ But I said, ‘No – well, maybe†¦Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ â€Å" Cassie stared out at the sea. It wasn’t that the Cape wasn’t beautiful. The little cedar-shingled cottages, with white picket fences covered with roses and wicker rocking chairs on the porch and geraniums hanging from the rafters, were pretty as picture postcards. And the village greens and tall-steepled churches and old-fashioned schoolhouses made Cassie feel as if she’d stepped into a different time. But every day there was Portia to deal with. And even though every night Cassie thought of some devastatingly witty remark to make to Portia, somehow she never got around to actually making any of them. And far worse than anything Portia could do was the plain raw feeling of not belonging. Of being a stranger here, stranded on the wrong coast, completely out of her own element. The tiny duplex back in California had started to seem like heaven to Cassie. One more week, she thought. You’ve just got to stand it for one more week. And then there was Mom, so pale lately and so quiet†¦ A worried twinge went through Cassie, and she quickly pushed it away. Mom is fine, she told herself fiercely. She’s probably just miserable here, the same way you are, even though this is her native state. She’s probably counting the days until we can go home, just like you are. Of course that was it, and that was why her mother looked so unhappy when Cassie talked about being homesick. Her mother felt guilty for bringing Cassie here, for making this place sound like a vacation paradise. Everything would be all right when they got back home, for both of them. â€Å"Cassie! Are you listening to me? Or are you daydreaming again?† â€Å"Oh, listening,† Cassie said quickly. â€Å"What did I just say?† Cassie floundered. Boyfriends, she thought desperately, the debate team, college, the National Forensic League†¦ People had sometimes called her a dreamer, but never as much as around here. â€Å"I was saying they shouldn’t let people like that on the beach,† Portia said. â€Å"Especially not with dogs. I mean, I know this isn’t Oyster Harbors, but at least it’s clean. And now look.† Cassie looked, following the direction of Portia’s gaze. All she could see was some guy walking down the beach. She looked back at Portia uncertainly. â€Å"He works on a fishing boat,† Portia said, her nostrils flared as if she smelled something bad. â€Å"I saw him this morning on the fish pier, unload-ing. I don’t think he’s even changed his clothes. How unutterably scuzzy and vomitous.† He didn’t look all that scuzzy to Cassie. He had dark red hair, and he was tall, and even at this distance she could see that he was smiling. There was a dog at his heels. â€Å"We never talk to guys from the fishing boats. We don’t even look at them,† Portia said. And Cassie could see it was true. There were maybe a dozen other girls on the beach, in groups of two or three, a few with guys, most not. As the tall boy passed, the girls would look away, turning their heads to stare in the opposite direction. It wasn’t a flirtatious sort of looking-away-and-then-back-and-giggling. It was disdainful rejection. As the guy got closer to her, Cassie could see that his smile was turning grim. The two girls closest to Cassie and Portia were looking away now, almost sniffing. Cassie saw the boy shrug slightly, as if it were no more than he expected. She still didn’t see anything so disgusting about him. He was wearing ragged cutoff shorts and a T-shirt that had seen better days, but lots of guys looked like that. And his dog trotted right behind him, tail waving, friendly and alert. It wasn’t bothering anybody. Cassie glanced up at the boy’s face, curious to see his eyes. â€Å"Look down,† Portia whispered. The guy was passing right in front of them. Cassie hastily looked down, obeying automatically, although she felt a surge of rebellion in her heart. It seemed cheap and nasty and unnecessary and cruel. She was ashamed to be a part of it, but she couldn’t help doing what Portia said. She stared at her fingers trailing into the sand. She could see every granule in the bright sunlight. From far away the sand looked white, but up close it was shimmering with colors: specks of black-and-green mica, pastel shell fragments, chips of red quartz like tiny garnets. Unfair, she thought to the boy, who of course couldn’t hear her. I’m sorry; this just isn’t fair. I wish I could do something, but I can’t. A wet nose thrust under her hand. The suddenness of it made her gasp, and a giggle caught in her throat. The dog pushed at her hand again, not asking; demanding. Cassie petted it, scratching at the short, silky-bristly hairs on its nose. It was a German shepherd, or mostly, a big, handsome dog with liquid, intelligent brown eyes and a laughing mouth. Cassie felt the stiff, embarrassed mask she’d been wearing break, and she laughed back at it. Then she glanced up at the dog’s owner, quickly, unable to help herself. She met his eyes directly. Later, Cassie would think of that moment, the moment when she looked up at him and he looked down at her. His eyes were blue-gray, like the sea at its most mysterious. His face was odd; not conventionally handsome, but arresting and intriguing, with high cheekbones and a determined mouth. Proud and independent and humorous and sensitive all at once. As he looked down at her his grim smile lightened and something sparkled in those blue-gray eyes, like sun glinting off the waves. Normally Cassie was shy around guys, especially guys she didn’t know, but this was only some poor worker from the fishing boats, and she felt sorry for him, and she wanted to be nice, and besides she couldn’t help it. And so when she felt herself start to sparkle back at him, her laughter bubbling up in response to his smile, she let it happen. In that instant it was as if they were sharing a secret, something nobody else on the beach could understand. The dog wiggled ecstatically, as if he were in on it too. â€Å"Cassie,† came Portia’s fuming hiss. Cassie felt herself turn red, and she tore her eyes away from the guy’s face. Portia was looking apoplectic. â€Å"Raj!† the boy said, not laughing anymore. â€Å"Heel!† With apparent reluctance, the dog backed away from Cassie, tail still wagging. Then, in a spray of sand, he bounded toward his master. It isn’t fair, Cassie thought again. The boy’s voice startled her. â€Å"Life isn’t fair,† he said. Shocked, her eyes flew up to his face. His own eyes were as dark as the sea in a storm. She saw that clearly, and for a moment she was almost frightened, as if she had glimpsed something forbidden, something beyond her comprehension. But powerful. Something powerful and strange. And then he was walking away, the dog frisking behind him. He didn’t look back. Cassie stared after him, astounded. She hadn’t spoken aloud; she was sure she hadn’t spoken aloud. But then how could he have heard her? Her thoughts were shattered by a hiss at her side. Cassie cringed, knowing exactly what Portia was going to say. That dog probably had mange and fleas and worms and scrofula. Cassie’s towel was probably crawling with parasites right this minute. But Portia didn’t say it. She too was staring after the retreating figures of the boy and dog. as they went up a dune, then turned along a little path in the beach grass. And although she was clearly disgusted, there was something in her face – a sort of dark speculation and suspicion that Cassie had never seen before. â€Å"What’s the matter, Portia?† Portia’s eyes had narrowed. â€Å"I think,† she said slowly, through tight lips, â€Å"that I’ve seen him before.† â€Å"You already said so. You saw him on the fish pier.† Portia shook her head impatiently. â€Å"Not that. Shut up and let me think.† Stunned, Cassie shut up. Portia continued to stare, and after a few moments she began nodding, little nods to confirm something to herself. Her face was flushed blotchily, and not with sunburn. Abruptly, still nodding, she muttered something and stood up. She was breathing quickly now. â€Å"Portia?† â€Å"I’ve got to do something,† Portia said, waving a hand at Cassie without looking at her. â€Å"You stay here.† â€Å"What’s going on?† â€Å"Nothing!† Portia glanced at her sharply. â€Å"Nothing’s going on. Just forget all about it. I’ll see you later.† She walked off, moving quickly, heading up the dunes toward the cottage her family owned. Ten minutes ago, Cassie would have said she’d be deliriously happy just to have Portia leave her alone, for any reason. But now she found she couldn’t enjoy it. Her mind was all churned up, like the choppy blue-gray water before a gale. She felt agitated and distressed and almost frightened. The strangest thing was what Portia had muttered before getting up. It had been under her breath, and Cassie didn’t think she could have heard it right. It must have been something else, like â€Å"snitch,† or â€Å"bitch,† or â€Å"rich.† She must have heard it wrong. You couldn’t call a guy a witch, for God’s sake. Calm down, she told herself. Don’t worry, be happy. You’re alone at last. But for some reason she couldn’t relax. She stood and picked up her towel. Then, wrapping it around her, she started down the beach the way the guy had gone. How to cite The Secret Circle: The Initiation Chapter One, Essay examples

Mysticism Essay Example For Students

Mysticism Essay In this article I would like to bring the findings of my somewhat unusual butincreasingly accepted field ? mysticism? to the discussion, for I think theymay offer some helpful insights about consciousness. Why? When a biologist seeksto understand a complex phenomenon, one key strategy is to look to at it in itssimplest form. Probably the most famous is the humble bacterium E. coli. Itssimple gene structure has allowed us to understand much of the gene functioningof complex species. Similarly many biologists have turned to the ?memory ofthe simple sea slug to understand our own more kaleidoscopic memory. Freud andDurkheim both used totemism, which they construed as thesimplest form ofreligion, to understand the complexities of religious life.1 The methodologicalprinciple is: to understand something complex turn to its simple forms. Mysticalexperiences may represent just such a simple form of human consciousness. Usually our minds are an enormously complex stew of thoughts, feelings,sensations, wants, snatches of song, pains, drives, daydreams and, of course,consciousness itself more or less aware of it all. To understand consciousnessin itself, the obvious thing would be to clear away as much of this internaldetritus and noise as possible. It turns out that mystics seem to be doingprecisely that. The technique that most mystics use is some form of meditationor contemplation. These are procedures that, often by recycling a mentalsubroutine,2 systematically reduce mental activity. During meditation, onebegins to slow down the thinking process, and have fewer or less intensethoughts. Ones thoughts become as if more distant, vague, or lesspreoccupying; one stops paying as much attention to bodily sensations; one hasfewer or less intense fantasies and daydreams. Thus by reducing the intensity orcompelling quality of outward perception and inward thoughts, one may come to atime of greater stillnes s. Ultimately one may become utterly silent inside, asthough in a gap between thoughts, where one becomes completely perception- andthought-free. One neither thinks nor perceives any mental or sensory content. Yet, despite this suspension of content, one emerges from such events confidentthat one had remained awake inside, fully conscious. This experience, which hasbeen called the pure consciousness event, or PCE, has been identified invirtually every tradition. Though PCEs typically happen to any single individualonly occasionally, they are quite regular for some practitioners.3 The pureconsciousness event may be defined as a wakeful but contentless(non-intentional) consciousness. These PCEs, encounters with consciousnessdevoid of intentional content, may be just the least complex encounter withawareness per se that we students of consciousness seek. The PCE may serve, inshort, as the E coli of consciousness studies.4 But the story does not stophere. Regular and long-term meditation, according to many traditions, leads toadvanced experiences, known in general as ?enlightenment. Theirdiscriminating feature is a deep shift in epistemological structure: theexperienced relationship between th e self and ones perceptual objects changesprofoundly. In many people this new structure becomes permanent.5 Theselong-term shifts in epistemological structure often take the form of two quantumleaps in experience; typically they develop sequentially.6 The first is anexperience of a permanent interior stillness, even while engaged in thought andactivity ? one remains aware of ones own awareness while simultaneouslyremaining conscious of thoughts, sensations and actions. Because of itsphenomenological dualism ? a heightened cognizance of awareness itself plus aconsciousness of thoughts and objects ? I call it the dualistic mystical state(DMS). The second shift is described as a perceived unity of ones ownawareness per se with the objects around one, an immediate sense of aquasi-physical unity between self, objects and other people. States akin to thishave been called ?extrovertive- or sometimes ?nature- mysticism; but Iprefer to call it the unitive mystical state, UMS.7 Like the PCE, these lattertwo may serve as fertile fields for students of consciousness to plough. Tounderstand them, I want to introduce the idea of the relative intensity of athought or desire. Some desires have a high relative intensity. Lets say I amwalking across the street when I see a huge truck hurtling at me. Virtually 100%of my attention is taken up with the truck, the fear, and getting out of theway. It is virtually impossible for me to think about anything else at thattime. I dont even consider keeping my suit clean, how my hair might look, thediscomfort in my tummy, or the classes I will teach tomorrow. The fear andrunning are utterly intense, we might say, consuming nearly 100% of myattention. That evening, I come home starved, and rush to the fridge. I may becivil to my kids and wife, but I have very little patience. My desire for foodis very intense, for it preoccupies most of my consciousness, but it consumesless of my attention than did jumping away from the truck. Some thoughts consumevery little of my attention. Driving to work the next day, for example, I mightruminate about my classes, remember the near miss with the truck, half hear thenews on the radio, and think about getting that noise in the car fixed ?nearly all at once. None of these thoughts or desires is very intense, for nonehas a strong emotional cathexis that draws me fully into it. My attention canflow in and out of any of them, or the traffic ahead, effortlessly. In short theintensity of a thought or desire tends to increase the amount of myconsciousness that is taken up with that thought or feeling. Conversely, thethoughts intensity tends to lessen when I am able to retain more attentionfor other issues, and for my wider perspective. Now, as I understand them,advanced mystical experiences result from the combination of regular PCEs plus aminimization of the relative intensity of emotions and thoughts. That is, overtime one decreases the compulsive or intense cathexis of all of ones desir es. The de-intensifying of emotional attachments means that, over the years, onesattention is progressively available to sense its own quiet interior charactermore and more fully, until eventually one is able to effortlessly maintain asubtle cognizance of ones own awareness simultaneously with thinking aboutand responding to the world: a reduction in the relative intensity of all ofones thoughts and desires. This state of being cognizant of ones own innerawareness while simultaneously maintaining the ability to think and talk aboutthat consciousness offers students of consciousness a unique situation. Forthese subjects may be both unusually cognizant of features or patterns of theirown awareness and also able to describe them to us: a kind of ongoing microscopeon human consciousness. In short, while not as phenomenologically simple as PCEs,these experiences may provide us with highly useful reports about the characterof human awareness. Several additional preliminary matters: First, perf orce wewill be drawing conclusions based on the experiences of a very few people. Mostof us havent had any experiences like the ones I will describe, and some maysound pretty strange. Yet we often do generalize from the unusual to thegeneral. Just think how much we have concluded about consciousness from a veryfew: epileptics, people with unusual skull accidents or brain injuries, the manwho mistook his wife for a hat, etc. From the pathology of a very few we havelearned a great deal about the relationship of one side of the brain to theother, of two kinds of knowing, of information storage and retrieval, of impulsecontrol, etc. Indeed it is common practice to take data about a few unusualindividuals and generalize it to the many. Here again we are studying the dataof a few. But rather than the pathological, we will be studying people ?Sakyamuni Buddha, Teresa of Avila, Ramana Maharshi, etc. ? who are not?pathological but unusually self-actualized. Should we not be as willing tolear n from the experiences of the unusually healthy as we are to learn from theunusually diseased? The second matter is definitional: What do we mean bymysticism? What is generally known as mysticism is often said to have twostrands, which are traditionally distinguished as apophatic and kataphaticmysticism, oriented respectively towards emptying or the imagistically filling. These two are generally described in terms that are without or with sensorylanguage. The psychologist Roland Fischer has distinguished a similar pairing astrophotropic and ergotropic, experiences that phenomenologically involveinactivity or activity. Kataphatic or imagistic mysticism involveshallucinations, visions, auditions or even a sensory-like smell or taste; itthus involves activity and is ergotropic. Apophatic mystical experiences aredevoid of such sensory-like content, and are thus trophotropic. When they usenon-sensory, non imagistic language,8 authors like Eckhart, Dogen, al-Hallaj,Bernadette Roberts and Shankara are all thus apophatic mystics. Because visionsand other ergotropic experiences are not the simple experiences of consciousnessthat we require, I will focus my attentions exclusively on the quieter apophaticforms. Finally, I want to emphasize that phenomenology is not science. When wedescribe these experiences, we do not gain hard scientific proof thereby. Therecan be many ways to explain an unusual experience: one might say it was theresult of what one ate for dinner, a faulty memory, psycho-somatic processes, aquantum microtubule collapse, or an encounter with Ultimate Truth.* Withoutfurther argumentation, phenomenology cannot serve as the sole basis for anytheory of reality. It may be taken only as a finger, pointing in some direction,rather than conclusive evidence for or against a particular thesis. This is howI see my role in this paper. I will simply describe mystical experiences asaccurately as I can, and say where I see their fingers pointing. That is, I willattempt to coax metaphysical hypotheses out of these phenomenologicaldescriptions. First-person reports, especially those that are about unusualexperiences are, of course, notoriously unreliable. When an epileptic says that?the table seemed wavy, or when a man asserts that his wife is a ?hat,these reports are not taken as data about the world, but about their condition.9One may w ant to assert that a mystics report should be regarded similarly. But we must be careful here, for first-person reports can also be veridical oreven sources of wisdom. For example, in the kingdom of the blind, the?first-person report of a sighted fellow that ?the mountain peak near thevillage is in the shape of five fingers may be regarded as the rantings of alunatic or as information about the mountains. Similarly, when Woodward andBernstein spoke with the Watergate informant ?Deep Throat, they could havetaken his utterances as paranoid ramblings, data about his developing psychosis,or as information about the Nixon administration. How can we determine which wayto regard the unusual first-person reports of the mystics? If we were Woodwardand Bernstein, how would we decide? Common sense seems a good place to begin. Wemight ask, does Deep Throat, or the mystics in our case, seem unconnected ordelusional? I believe most of us would say no. In fact many regard MeisterEckhart, Teresa of Avila, the authors of the Upanishads, and others who tell usof suc h experiences as unusually wise. Certainly they do not seem utterlyunhinged, physically ill, etc. Secondly, we might ask, do others in a situationsimilar to Deep Throats describe things similarly? In our case, assumingreasonable cultural differences in language and detail, do mystics from aroundthe world describe things largely similarly? Here again the answer is yes. Weshall find a reasonable amount of similarity among their descriptions, a familyresemblance, They tend to confirm each others reports. Finally, is there otherconfirming evidence for our Deep Throats claims? Here the information is notin: just how consciousness works, relates to the world or the brain, is anythingbut established. In sum, it makes sense to regard the mystics unusual reportsabout the world as more like those of a Deep Throat than those of an epileptic. But also, again as with Deep Throat, the information we can glean from them isnot, by itself, reliable enough to base a theory of consciousness solely on it. It will take the hard-working Woodwards and Bernsteins in the scientific andphilosophical trenches to verify or deny the suggestions of our Deep Throats. Three Mystical Phenomena and their Implications Pure consciousness events Let mebegin by offering several reports of the first of the mystical phenomena Imentioned above, the pure consciousness event (PCE). First, from Christianmystical literature,10 St. Teresa of Avila writes of what she calls the?orison of union: During the short time the union lasts, she is deprived ofevery feeling, and even if she would, she could not think of any single thing.. . She is utterly dead to the things of the world . . . I do not even knowwhether in this state she has enough life left to breathe. It seems to me shehas not; or at least that if she does breathe, she is unaware of it. . . Thenatural action of all her faculties . She neither sees, hears,nor understands (James, 1902/1983, p. 409).11 Several key features of thisexperience jump out. First, Teresa tells us that one reaches this ?orison ofunity by gradually reducing thought and understanding, eventually becoming?utterly dead to things, encountering neither sensation, thought norperceptions. One becomes as simple as possible. Eventually one stops thinkingaltogether, not able to ?think of any single thing . . . arresting the use ofher understanding . . . utterly dead to the things of the world. And yet, sheclearly implies, one remains awake.12 Meister Eckhart describes somethingsimilar as the gezucken, rapture, of St. Paul, his archetype of a transientmystical experience: . . . the more com pletely you are able to draw in yourpowers to a unity and forget all those things and their images which you haveabsorbed, and the further you can get from creatures and their images, thenearer you are to this and the readier to receive it. If only you could suddenlybe unaware of all things, then you could pass into an oblivion of your own bodyas St Paul did, . . . In this case . . . memory no longer functioned, norunderstanding, nor the senses, nor the powers that should function so as togovern and grace the body . . . In this way a man should flee his senses, turnhis powers inward and sink into an oblivion of all things and himself (Walshe,1982, p. 7). Like St. Teresa, Eckhart specifically asserts the absence ofsensory content (?nor the senses), as well as mental objects (?devoidof memory, understanding, senses, etc.). One becomes oblivious of ones?own body and ?all things. In short one becomes ?unaware of allthings, i.e. devoid of all mental and sensory content. The absence of th oughtand sensation is repeated in the following passage from the Upanishads whendescribing the state these early Hindu texts call turiya, the ?fourth. Verily when a knower has restrained his mind from the external, and thebreathing spirit (prana) has put to rest objects of sense, thereupon let himcontinue void of conceptions. Since the living individual (jiva) who is named?breathing spirit has arisen here from what is not breathing spirit,therefore, verily, let the breathing spirit restrain his breathing spirit inwhat is called the fourth condition (turiya) ? Maitri Upanishad 6:19 (Hume,1931, p. 436). Here again one has ?put to rest objects of sense, i.e. gradually laid aside all sensations, and continued ?void of conceptions,i.e. not thinking. And yet the Upanishads are insistent that one remainsconscious, indeed becomes nothing but consciousness itself. The consciousnessthat one reaches in turiya comes to be known in Samkhya philosophy as ?purusha?,often translated as awareness or consciousness itself, that which?illuminates or ?witnesses thoughts, feelings, and actions.13 Thepurusha or awareness that one reaches during this experience is described as?sheer contentless presence (sasksitva) . . . that is nonintentional(Larson, 1979, p. 77). Here is a report from the present authors owntwenty-eight year practice of neo-Advaitan (Hindu-derived) TranscendentalMeditation, which suggests the persistence of consciousness throughout suchevents. Sometimes during meditation my thoughts drift away entirely, and I gaina state I would describe as simply being awake. Im not thinking aboutanything. Im not particularly aware of any sensations, Im n ot aware ofbeing absorbed in anything in particular, and yet I am quite certain (after thefact) that I havent been asleep. During it I am simply awake or simplypresent. It is odd to describe such an event as being awake or being present,for those terms generally connote an awareness of something or other. But inthis experience there is no particular or identifiable object of which I amaware. Yet I am driven to say I am awake for two reasons. First, I emerge with aquiet, intuited certainty that I was continually present, that there was anunbroken continuity of experience or of consciousness throughout the meditationperiod, even if there seemed to have been periods from which I had no particularmemories. I just know that there was some sort of continuity of myself (howeverwe can define that) throughout.14 In Buddhism such Pure Consciousness Events arecalled by several names: nirodhasamapatti, or cessation meditation;samjnavedayitanirodha, the cessation of sensation and conceptualizati on; sunyata,emptiness; or most famously, samadhi, meditation without content (cf. Griffiths,1990). What is most fascinating about traditional Buddhist explorations of thisstate is that despite the fact that one is said to be utterly devoid of content,according to Yogacara Buddhist theorists ones consciousness is said topersist as ?some form of contentless and attributeless consciousness (Griffiths,1990, p. 83). That is, despite the fact that one is not aware of any specificcontent or thought, ?something persists in this contentlessness, and thatis consciousness itself: ?I, though abiding in emptiness, am now abiding inthe fullness thereof? (Nagao, 1978, p. 67). When discussing this possibilitythat one may abide in the ?fulness of ?emptiness, Vasubandu states: Itis perceived as it really is that, when anything does not exist in something,the latter is empty with regard to the former; and further it is understood asit really is that, when, in this place something remains, it exists he re as areal existent.15 In sum, the PCE may be defined as a wakeful but contentless(non-intentional) experience. Though one remains awake and alert, emerging withthe clear sense of having had ?an unbroken continuity of experience, oneneither thinks, nor perceives nor acts. W.T. Stace (1960): Suppose then that weobliterate from consciousness all objects physical or mental. When the self isnot engaged in apprehending objects it becomes aware of itself. The self itselfemerges. The self, however, when stripped of all psychological contents orobjects, is not another thing, or substance, distinct from its contents. It isthe bare unity of the manifold of consciousness from which the manifold itselfhas been obliterated (p. 86). Now what implications can we draw from the pureconsciousness event about the nature of human consciousness? 1. We have apattern here that is seen across cultures and eras. This, in combination withthe reports offered in The Problem of Pure Consciousness, suggests tha t thephenomenon is not an artifact of any one culture but is something closer to anexperience that is reasonably common and available in a variety of culturalcontexts.16 2. Thomas Clark and other defenders of functionalism have suggestedthat consciousness is identical to certain of our information-bearing andbehaviour- controlling functions, even going so far as to define it thus (Clark,1995, p. 241). Others have suggested that consciousness is an artifact or anepiphenomenon of perception, action and thought, and that it arises only as aconcomitant of these phenomena. Our accounts tend to disconfirm this view, whichis generally argued on a priori grounds. Rather they suggest that consciousnessdoes persist even when one has no perception, thought or evaluation. Thissuggests that consciousness should not be defined as merely an epiphenomenon ofperception, an evaluative mechanism, or an arbiter of perceptual functions, butrather as something that exists independently of them. 3. Some h ave suggestedthat if we can understand how we can tie together perceptions and thoughts ?the so called binding problem ? we will ipso facto understand consciousness.17Now, how we bind together perceptions is a very interesting question forcognitive psychology, neurobiology and philosophy of mind. But even if weunderstand how we do tie together perceptions, we will not necessarilyunderstand the phenomenon of consciousness per se thereby, for according tothese mystical accounts, it is more fundamental than a mere binding function.18These reports suggest that binding is something done by or for consciousness,not something that creates consciousness.19 4. Our evidence suggests that weshould conceptually and linguistically differentiate merely being aware or awakefrom its functional activities. Accordingly, I propose to use the terms asfollows: (i) ?awareness and ?consciousness for that facet ofconsciousness which is aware within itself and which may persist even withoutintentional conte nt; (ii) ?awareness of and 1consciousness of to referto that feature of experience which is cognizant when we are intentionally awareof something; and (iii) ?pure awareness and ?pure consciousness torefer to awareness without intentional content.20 5. Reports of pureconsciousness suggest that, despite the absence of mental content, the subjectswere somehow aware that they remained aware throughout the period of the PCE. Sammanfattning: Essayreturn from the solitude of individuation into the consciousness of unitywith all that is, down as one that passes away, and up asone imperishable. Earth, heaven, and sea resounded as in one vast worldencircling harmony. . . . I felt myself one with them . . . (von Meysenburg,1900; emphasis mine). The keynote of Malwidas experience is that in some sortof immediate or intuitive manner she sensed that she was connected with thethings of the world, as if she was a part of them and they part of her. It is asif the membranes of her experienced self became semi-permeable, and she flowedin, with or perhaps through her environment. A similar experience is describedin Starbucks 19th century collection of experience reports. Here again we seea sense of unity with the things of the world. . . . something in myself made mefeel myself a part of something bigger than I . . . I felt myself one with thegrass, the trees, birds, insects, everything in nature. I exulted in the merefact of existence, of being apart of it all, the drizzling rain, the shadows ofthe clouds, the tree-trunks and so on. (Ref) The author goes on to say thatafter this experience he constantly sought these experiences of the unitybetween self and object again, but they only came period-ically. This impliesthat for him they were temporary phenomena, lasting only a few minutes or hours. This sense of the unity between self and object, the absence of the usual linesbetween things, is clearly reminiscent of Plotinuss First Ennead (8:1). Hewho has allowed the beauty of that world to penetrate his soul goes away nolonger a mere observer. For the object perceived and the perceiving soul are nolonger two things separated from one another, but the perceiving soul has within itself the perceived object (quoted in Otto, 1930, p. 67). Again we havea lack of boundaries between consciousness and object. It is not clear from thispassage if Plotinus is describing a transient or a permanent experience. Yetsome reporters clearly tell us that such an experience can be constant. Thoughit is often hard to distinguish biography from mythology, Buddhist descriptionsof Sakyamuni Buddhas life clearly imply that his Nirvana was a permanentchange in epistemological structure. Similarly the Hindu term for an enlightenedone, jivanmukti (enlightened in active life), clearly suggests that thise xperience can be permanent. Notice how different these reports are from our DMSdescriptions of an inner expanse. There we saw no change in the relationshipbetween the subject and the perceived world. Here ?the object perceived andthe perceiving soul are now united. ?I felt myself one with the grass, thetrees, birds, insects, everything in nature. One of the clearer descriptionsof this state comes from Krishnamurti, who wrote of his his first experience ofthis sort, in August, 1922: On the first day while I was in that state and moreconscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinaryexperience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickax heheld was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; thetender blade of grass was my very being, and the tree beside the man was myself. I also could feel and think like the roadmender and I could feel the windpassing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was acar passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; asthe car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was ineverything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain,the worm and all breathing things. All day long I remained in this happycondition. (Ref) Perhaps the most unmistakable assertion that these shifts canbe permanent comes from Bernadette Roberts. Sometime after her initialtransformation, she had what is clearly a development on her earlier dualisticsense of an expanded consciousness. She writes: I was standing on windyhillside looking down over the ocean when a seagull came into view, gliding,dipping, playing with the wind. I watched it as Id never watched anythingbefore in my life. I almost seemed to be mesmerized; it was as if I was watchingmyself flying, for there was not the usual division between us. Yet, somethingmore was there than just a lack of separateness, ?something truly beautifuland unknowable. Finally I turned my eyes to the pine-covered hills behind themonastery and still, there was no division, only something ?there that wasflowing with and through every vista and particular object of vision. . . . WhatI had taken as a trick of the mind was to become a permanent way ofseeing and knowing (Roberts, 1984, p. 30; italics mine). She describes this?something there that flowed with and through everything, including her ownself, as ?that into which all separateness dissolves. She concludes with anemphatic assertion: ?I was never to revert back to the usual relative way ofseeing separateness or individuality. Again we have a state, not a transientepisode. We could multiply these examples endlessly. This unitive mystical state(UMS), either temporary or permanent, is a very common mystical phenomenon. Itis clearly an evolution of the previous sense. First one continues to sense thatones awareness is expansive, field-like, and that the self is experienced aslarger, expanded beyond the usual boundaries. One feels oneself to be ?a partof something bigger, which is to say, senses a lack of borders or acommonality between oneself and this expanse. Indeed, in Bernadette Robertscase, her sense of ?something there followed and was an evolution of herinitial dualistic mystical state. But now this perceived expansion of the selfis experienced as none other than, permeating with and through, the things ofthe world. Ones boundaries become as if permeable, connected with the objectsof the world. The expanded self seems to be experienced as of the samemetaphysical level, or of the same ?stuff, as the world. Despite thegrammatical peculiarities, ?what I am is the seagull, and what the seagull is,I am. From this fascinating phenomenon we may note several implications forour understanding of consciousness. 1. The perceived ?spaciousness ofawareness suggests, I said above, that consciousness is like a field. Theseunitive experiences reaffirm this implication and suggest that such a field maynot only transcend our own bodily limits, but somehow may interpenetrate orconnect both self and external objects. This is of course strikingly parallel tothe physical energy fields and/or the quantum vacuum field said to reside at thebasis of matter, for these too are both immanent within and also transcendent toany particular expression, a parallel that Fritjof Capra, Lawrence Domash andothers have been quick to point out. 2. The perception of unity holds out thepossibility that the field of awareness may be common to all objects, andhowever implausibly, among all human beings as well. It indicates that my ownconsciousness may be somehow connected to a tree, the stars, a drizzle or ablade of grass and, paradoxically, to yours. Thus these unitive experiencespoint towards something like a primitive animism, Leibnitzs panspsychism andGriffins suggestion of a pan-experientialism, that ex perience or some sort ofconsciousness may be ?an ingredient throughout the universe, permeating alllevels of being. All this, however, opens up another Pandoras box ofpeculiar questions: most obviously what might the consciousness be of a dog,flower, or even a stone? Does the claim of a perceived unity merely point tosome ground of being, and not a consciousness that is in any senseself-reflective like our own consciousness? Or if you and I share consciousness,can I experience what you do? If not, why not? 3. Not everyone who meditatesencounters these sorts of unitive experiences. This suggests that some may begenetically or temperamentally predisposed to mystical ability; borrowing fromWeber, the ?mystically musical. One might suggest that the mysticsawareness is categorically different than other peoples, i.e. that it isconnected to the world in an ontologically deep way that the rest of ours isnot. I find this unconvincing, since every mystic I have read says he or shebegan as an ?ordinary, i.e. non-mystical, person and only came to realizesomething of what he or she ?had always been. Whichever explanation we optfor, however, it is clear that there is some ability the mystics have been ableto develop ? through meditation or whatever ? that most of us have not. Conclusions Our three modalities of mystical experiences point clearly towards adistinction between awareness per se and the ordinary functional processes ofsensation, perception and thought. They suggest that awareness is notconstructed out of the material processes of perception or perhaps the brain,but rather they suggest a distinction and / or interaction between consciousnessand the brain. Furthermore, they suggest that awareness may have anon-localized, quasi-spatial character, much like a field. Finally they tend tosuggest that this field may be transcendental to any one person or entity. Iwant to end by restating my earlier caveat. Phenomenology is not science. Therecan be many ways to explain any experience, mystical or otherwise, and we shouldexplore all of them. But in the absence of compelling reasons to deny thesuggestions of their reports, we would be wise to seriously examine thedirection towards which the finger of mysticism points. If the validity ofknowledge in the universities is indeed governed, as we like to claim, by thetests of evidence, openness and clarity, then we should not be too quick tothrow out the baby swimming in the bathwater of mysticism. Footnotes 1 I amindebted to the psychologist of religion William Parsons, in a privatecommunication, for this observation. 2 See here Ornstein (1976). 3 See thearticles in Forman (1990) and Section I of Forman (1998). 4 Bruce Mangan (1994)suggests this when he says that ?mystic encounters . . . would seem tomanifest an extreme state of consciousness (p. 251). 5 James famouscharacterization of mysticism in The Varieties of Religious Experience statesthat a defining feature of mysticism is ?transiency (James, 1902/1983, p. 381). My evidence says this is simply wrong. 6 I say typically because sometimesone may skip or not attain a particular stage. Ken Wilber (1980) claimssequence. William Barnard (1995), however, disputes this claim of sequence. 7One key element of the UMS is that it is a permanent shift in the structure ofawareness. ?Extrovertive mysticism, a term coined by W.P. Stace, impliesthat one has mystical experiences out in the world, while we are?extrovertively aware. Zaehner coined the term ?nature mysticism todescribe such paths as Zen or Taoism, which describe mystical experiences innature. This he distinguishes from the theistic traditions, among others. But inthe UMS, as I understand this form of life, the sense of being in contact withthe expansive emptiness that extends beyond the self, never fades away, whetherone is in nature or in the city, whether the eyes are open or closed, andwhether one is a Zen Buddhist, a Jew or a Christian. Thus each of these acceptedterms define this exper ience too narrowly, and thus I coin my own broader term. 8 Cf. Smart (1982). * These may not be mutually exclusive. See, for example,neurologist Oliver Sacks comments on migraines and mysticism in the case ofHildegard of Bingen (Sacks, 1994, pp. 238-9.) 9 I am grateful for Joseph Goguen,private communication, for articulating this question so clearly. 10 Forman(1990) offers a rich compendium of reports of the PCE. I have intentionallyoffered here several reports of this experience that are not included there. 11James is quoting from St. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, in Oeuvres, trans. Bouix, vol. 3, pp. 421?4. 12 The mystic apparently remains consciousthroughout. Although Teresa does not explicitly say the mystic is not asleep, Icannot imagine anyone spilling so much ink on merely sleeping or blacking out,or on something like a coma. See below for more explicit statements to thiseffect. 13 These two are not quite equivalent. Atman, when seen in its fullest,according to the Upanishads and to Advaita Vedanta, merges with Brahman, andthus is experienced as including the object or content of perception. Purusha,according to Samkhya, is more an independent monad. It thus remains foreverseparate from its content. But the two both represent the human awareness,however differently understood. 14 This account is taken from Forman (1998). 15Vasubandu commentary on Vs. 1.1 of the Madhyanta Vibhaga, quoted in Nagao(1978). Vasubandu is here wrestling with just the focus that made Yogacara sodistinctive and clear. In its focus on the alayavijnana, it deals directly withthe ques tion of what remains in ?cessation meditation. Steven Collins(1982) believes this is a mistaken view of the nature of samadhi, thoughunfortunately he never directly confronts such Yogacara texts. For comparableanalyses from a Zen perspective, with explicit comparisons with Yogacara, seee.g. Chang Chen Chi (1970), pp. 167?71. 16 See especially Forman (1990), PartI. 17 This debate goes back at least to Kants criticism of Humes associationismin the eighteenth century. For a discussion of contemporary parallels, seeHardcastle (1994). 18 If we think in a socio-cultural way here, we might notethat our long western worldview, with its roots in the Judaeo-Christian past, inthe protestant capitalistic history, and in the history of science, would tendto favour a definition of consciousness in active, masculine, intentional, and?doing terminology. Thus consciousness is, in this view, always vectorial,intentionally pointing towards this or that. Such a definition fits how peopleare expected to act in such a culture. Contemplative traditions and the east, onthe other hand, tend to be more open to defining consciousness as awareness perse, or just being. In the west we may take these to be too passive, feminine,but they ?fit the more station-oriented caste and natal-status behaviouralpatterns. My thanks to Bill Parsons for this observation. 19 Logically:awareness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for binding; binding isneither a necessary nor sufficient condition for awareness. 20 This usagepreserves Deikmans (1996) separation of awareness from the other senses of?I, and Chalmers (1995) similar distinction. My thanks to Jonathan Shearfor pointing out that I have reversed Chalmers terms (he calls awareness initself ?consciousness and connects its various functional phenomena withthe term ?awareness). I believe that my usage is in better accord both withordinary speech and the traditional scholarly use of ?pure consciousnessand ?pure consciousness event. 21 See the extended discussion of thispossibility in Forman (1998). 22 Here language fails us. The awareness is not inany sense conscious of the passage of time; rather I am suggesting thatawareness ties itself together through what an external observer would note asthe passage of time. 23 William James thought that mysticism is?transient, i.e. short lived, clearly does not capture BernadetteRoberts experience, nor many of the experiences documented in this section. 24 Here I am struck by the parallel with the rapid shifting of a physical systemas it becomes coherent. Disorganized light just ?shifts or ?zips intolaser light nearly instantaneously. 25 Writing this, I think of the parallelbetween this sense and Bernadette Roberts sense of having lost the usual?unlocalized sense of herself. 26 It is my impression that the awareness ofthe specific locations within the body is not essential to this transformation. 27 Freud was employing a phrase from his correspondence with Ramakrishnasdisciple Romain Rolland. See Parsons (forthcoming). 28 Walt Whitman, quoted inJames (1902/1983) p. 396, no reference. 29 Of course, that implies that one hassome sort of non-sensory sense, the ability to sense ones own expansivepresence even though there are no visible mechanisms of sensation. But is thatso strange after all? If we can sense our own awareness directly in the pureconsciousness event, why shouldnt we be able to sense something of itsnon-limited character on a more permanent basis?BibliographySee Freeman (1994) for a brief report and Clarke (1995) for the full text ofChris Clarkes talk. References Barnard, William (1995), ?Response toWilber, unpublished paper delivered to the Mysticism Group of the AmericanAcademy of Religion. Chalmers, David J. (1995), ?Facing up to the problem ofconsciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), 1995, pp. 200?19. Chang Chen Chi (1970), The Practice of Zen (New York: Perennial Library / HarperRow). Clark, Thomas W. (1995), ?Function and phenomenology: closing theexplanatory gap, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp. 241?54. Clarkand Skinner (1958), Meister Eckhart: Selected Treatises and Sermons (London:Faber and Faber). Clarke, C.J.S. (1995), ?The non-locality of mind, Journalof Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp. 231?40. Collins, Steven (1982), SelflessPersons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Deikman, Arthur (1996), I = Awareness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3 (4), 350?6. Forman, Robert K.C. (ed. 1990), The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York:Oxford University Press). Forman, Robert K.C. (1998) Mysticism, Mind,Consciousness (Albany, NY: SUNY Press). Freeman, Anthony (1994), ?The scienceof consciousness: non-locality of mind , The Journal ofConsciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 283?4. Griffiths, Paul (1990), ?PureConsciousness and Indian Buddhism, in The Problem of Pure Consciousness. Hardcastle, Valerie (1994), Psychologys binding problem andpossible neurological solutions, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (1), pp. 66-90. Hume, Robert (trans. 1931), The Thirteen Principle Upanishads (London:Oxford University Press). James, William (1902/1983), The Varieties of ReligiousExperience (New York: Longmans, Green and Co.; reprinted in Penguin Edition). Larson, J.G. (1979), Classical Samkhya: An Interpretation of its History andMeaning (Santa Barbara: Ross/Erikson). Libet, Benjamin (1994), ?A testablefield theory of mind?brain interaction, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1(1), pp. 119?26. Lonergan, B. (1967), Collection, ed. Frederick Crowe (NewYork: Herder and Herder). McCarthy, Michael H. (1990), The Crisis in Philosophy(Albany: SUNY Press). Mangan, Bruce (1994), ?Language and experience in thecognitive study of mysticism ? commentary on Forman, Journal ofConsciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 250?2. von Meyensberg, Malwida (1900),Memoiren einer Idealistin, 5th Auflage, iii. 166. Quoted in James (1902/1983),p. 395. Nagao, Gadjin M. (trans. 1978), ?The Culasunnata-Sutta (Lesserdiscourse on Emptiness) translated as, ?What Remains in Sunyata:A Yogacara Interpretation of Emptiness, in Mahayana Buddhist Meditation, ed. Minoru Kiyota (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii). Ornstein, Robert (1976),?The techniques of meditation and their implications for modern psychology,in On The Psychology of Meditation, Claudio Naranjo and Robert Ornstein (NewYork: Penguin). Otto, Rudolf (1930), Mysticism East and West, trans. BerthaBracey and Richard Payne (New York: Macamillan). Parsons, William (forthcoming),The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling (Oxford University Press). Peers, E. Allison(trans. 1961), The Interior Castle (New York: Doubleday). Roberts, Bernadette (1984), The Experience of No-Self (Boulder: Shambala). Sacks, Oliver (1994), An anthropologist on Mars , Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 234-40. Smart, Ninian(date), ?Interpretation and mystical experience, Sophia, 1 (1), p. 75. Stace, W.T. (1960), Mysticism and Philosophy (London: Macmillan Press). Walshe,M.OC. (1982), Meister Eckhart, Sermons and Tractates, Vol. 1 (London:Watkins). Wilber, Ken (1980), The Atman Project (Wheaton, IL: The TheosophicalPublishing House).

Friday, May 1, 2020

Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information free essay sample

Characteristics of Accounting Information Business owners can use accounting information to conduct a financial analysis of their companiesamp;rsquo; operations. Accounting information often has quantitative and qualitative characteristics. Quantitative characteristics refer to the calculation of financial transactions. Qualitative characteristics include the business owneramp;rsquo;s perceived importance of financial information. Business owners often require financial information when making business decisions. Incorrect or inappropriate information can hamper decision-making or cause business owners to make incorrect assessments about their companies. Understandable Accounting information must be understandable. This is an important qualitative characteristic for small business owners. Many small business owners do not have a strong accounting background. Financial information that is too technical or cannot be understood by a layperson can be ineffective for business owners. Small business owners often use professional accountants to complete various accounting functions. Business owners should choose an accountant who can prepare information in an easily understandable manner. We will write a custom essay sample on Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page Useful Business owners need accounting information that is applicable to the business decision at hand. They can request financial statements, accounting schedules, reconciliations or cost-benefit analysis. For example, cost allocation reports may not provide sufficient information for business owners who must make a decision on hiring employees. Cost allocation usually refers to applying business costs to goods or services produced by the company, which has very little to do human resources. Business owners should carefully request and review accounting information to ensure it provides the most useful information for the decision-making process. Relevant Accounting information should relate to a specific time period or contain information regarding individual business functions. Business owners often conduct a trend analysis when reviewing financial information. The trend analysis compares historical financial information to the companyamp;rsquo;s current accounting period information. Irrelevant historical information can severely distort the trend analysis process. For example, reviewing the production process for widgets requires relevant information on the cost of materials for widgets. Cost information on the materials to produce cogs would be irrelevant. Reliability Accounting information must be reliable, so that business owners can be reasonably assured that accounting information presents an accurate picture of the companyamp;rsquo;s financial health. Business owners often use accounting information to secure external financing for their business. Information that is not reliable or accurate may cause lenders and investors to question the business owneramp;rsquo;s management ability. Business owners may also struggle to secure external financing with poor accounting information. Comparable Comparability allows business owners to review their companiesamp;#039; accounting information against that of a competitor. Business owners use comparison to gauge how well their companies operate under certain market conditions. Owners often use the leading company of an industry for the comparison process. These companies usually have the most efficient and effective business operations. Non-comparable accounting information can make this a difficult process. For example, business owners should consider preparing financial statements according to standard accounting principles. The statements can then be compared to other companyamp;rsquo;s financial standard prepared in a similar manner. Consistent Consistency refers to how business owners and accountants record financial information in a companyamp;rsquo;s general ledger. Business owners need to ensure financial transactions are handled the same way. Inventory purchases should be recorded the same way as yesterday, today and tomorrow. This helps companies create accurate historical records and limit the amount of financial accounts or journal entries included in their general ledgers.