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Friday, February 27, 2009

A400M Delayed - How Serious is This?



















The Airbus A 400M, Loadmaster, which is to make it possible for South Africa to continue to support its external deployments effectively is going to be delayed for more than a year.

We have troops currently deployed in various countries in Africa and have been the only African country to consistently support the effort with its own aircraft, but the Boeing 707 that was used has been retired and the C 130 Hercules fleet is limited in its ability. I wonder how seriously this will effect the troops deployed and Airbus. Such a large scale problem may lead to cancellations by all the other countries to have ordered the aircraft and if that happens it may seriously damage Airbus.

The biggest problem may however be that countries (not necessarily South Africa) may have problems continuing with peace keeping missions. Imagine the implications.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Unified Field Untheory

I do not know what Unified Field Theory looks like, but so does nobody else. What I am quite sure about is that it approaches our idea of God or a Godhead or a common consciousness among people, but replace "people" with the smallest sub-atomic particle known to man and all you really have left is energy, which also cannot be seen, but I know it is there. Just like our beliefs in God or any similar idea of the divine it may not lie in mathematics, but in simply accepting that it exists. God may be a beautiful paradox or divine dichotomy as Neale Donald Walsch suggests in Conversations with God.

On that note I wonder if the internet is currently acting as a precursor or training wheels to global collective consciousness. Where are we going? Who are we; I mean who is the observer asking these questions? Is this observer incredibly tiny or is it everything in universal existence or both? Unfortunately, if I take this question further I am not accepting, but questioning and I will probably have some unhappy people asking me questions I cannot answer and I think nobody else can answer these sufficiently either. Maybe we should live in the present, in the uncertainty of the question. Live in the now, the isness of the moment, the I am ... with no quantifying answer.

... or I might have it all beautifully wrong ...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is that a Road!




















The road conditions have not yet improved since I was there last year. Land slides are a problem and whenever a road is damaged it's up to the locals to get it repaired with rakes and spades.

Riaan Vermeulen

























Captain Riaan Vermeulen used to be the Adjutant of 6 SAI Bn, but is now one of the company commanders of this unit in the DRC. We have been friends for more than a decade now.

Friends in the DRC




















I received this photo from Captain Riaan Vermeulen's wife. Riaan is the guy on the right and he is leaning on Captain Carl Fuller. On the left is Captain Sampson and in the background is the commanding officer, Lt Col Gopane. 6 SAI Bn is left with mopping up the problems created after the fighting end of last year. Good luck for the last four months, guys.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New York Benefit Concert - Still Unsure about Transcendental Meditation?




















By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Paul Horn and Moby will perform April 4 at a New York benefit for the David Lynch Foundation.

The event at Radio City Music Hall will further the foundation's goal to teach 1 million children the techniques of Transcendental Meditation. Ticket information has not yet been revealed.

"In today's world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence -- bliss -- the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us," filmmaker Lynch writes on the foundation Web site (http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org). "This is the way to save the coming generation."

"I have been 'diving within' through the Transcendental Meditation technique for over 30 years," he continues. "It has changed my life, my world."

Reuters/Billboard

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Waiting Patiently to Free the Slaves



















From the moment we are born we are taught why we are different to others and we start erecting invisible barriers and monuments to seperateness because we are different. Then we become teenagers and realise we need to rebel because its all bullsh*t, but it is all too late as most of us are sucked into the world of division; we end up as slaves of our disjointed ideas of seperateness and spend the rest of our lives trying to free ourselves and/or others.

The following is the lyrics to John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change. It leaves one with a feeling of despair, but also hope for the future:

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

Monday, February 16, 2009

Article Published in US Medicine after 9/11

Transcendental Meditation Proposed As Homeland Defense - Matt Mientka
WASHINGTON-Less than 80 minutes after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack began on the World Trade Center in New York City and just 15 minutes after one of the four hijacked jetliners burrowed into the southwest side of the Pentagon here, a renowned terrorism expert from India delivered a pre-planned overture to the Bush administration to halt plans for the National Missile Defense Shield-a solution he said would only invite more enmity and asymmetrical terrorism.
"You know what is happening today and if the missile shield was present today this [still] would have happened. The shield would not protect against airliners," said retired Maj. Gen. Kulwant Singh, PhD, of the Indian Army, who led India's fight against its own intransigent terrorism problem for nearly 30 years.
Rather, Dr. Singh proposed a so-called Vedic defense shield, which would protect America by reducing global tensions via the field of consciousness believed by quantum mechanics scientists to connect everything in the universe. Dr. Singh proposed that the U.S. institute a "department of peace" that would train enough people, the square root of one per cent of the population, or approximately 8,000 individuals, to effectively influence global populations through the use of transcendental meditation. Ostensibly, the meditation would work like a radio transmitter to broadcast "coherence," or feelings of harmony, to human populations via the interconnecting unified field.
Dr. Singh's American backers, including Lt. Col. Richard Neate, USAF (ret.), said they realize the idea sounds far-fetched to the general public but said that approximately 600 research studies conducted by 212 institutions in more than 30 nations have supported the efficacy of transcendental meditation on reducing collective and individual stress in human beings. In fact, more than 50 peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Conflict Resolution and Science have featured studies on the subject of transcendental meditation's effect on collective stress.
"The unified field theory is pretty standard in quantum physics now and is not controversial," said John L. Davies, PhD of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management and professor in the department of government and politics at the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Davies said his work as a social scientist focuses on interpreting the work of physicists "to try to make sense of what we're seeing" in quantum mechanics.
According to Dr. Davies, the generally accepted theory of the unified field posits that all physical phenomena in the universe, including gravity, nuclear reactions, electromagnetic forces and human consciousness is connected, bringing new meaning to the expression "no man is an island." He added, "It's another perspective to get us out of the habitually narrow way in which we conceive ourselves as isolated from each other except as far as we bump into each other."
Also according to Dr. Davies, current research on meditation subjects who utilize the specific Vedic technology, rather than simple meditation or prayer, verifies that not only does an individual's brain waves become more "coherent" during meditation, but that individuals in meditation groups exert an influence on one another, a networking of sorts. Dr. Davies, who co-authored a paper published in the Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Social Statistics Section in 1990, which was presented at the American Psychological Association Convention in Boston that year, credited the warming of relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union in part to the effects of transcendental meditation by a group that convened in the early 1980s in Fairfield, Iowa.
Dr. Davies said the public tends to over-credit leaders such as former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, while ignoring the underlying levels that, for example, actually propelled Gorbachev to power. "You've got to look at this stuff as part of a multi-level dynamic that goes on in society [to which] we are all connected in many different ways," he said.
Dr. Davies told U.S. MEDICINE, however, that he believes the U.S. should deploy a national missile defense system-in addition to a Vedic defense shield-if the military can do so at a reasonable cost. "We need to look at all the ways possible for improving relationships internationally, to be able to improve the stability of our society as well," he said.
Following the well-orchestrated Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S., said Michael Dillbeck, PhD, a research scientist and professor at Mahareshi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, there is little doubt that the country is vulnerable to enmity and must explore a new, fundamental protection in addition to current plans to shield the nation from ballistic missiles. Dr. Dillbeck said he supported Dr. Singh's proposal that the U.S. train a sufficient number of military or government personnel to practice transcendental meditation on a full-time basis.
Dr. Dillbeck told U.S. MEDICINE, "the human nervous system has the capability to experience the consciousness in its deeper level, as a field," which he said is responsible for the group and individual benefits of transcendental meditation.
NIH-Funded Meditation Studies
In fact, while Dr. Singh and others attempt to sell the group benefits of transcendental meditation to the U.S. government, the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in Bethesda, Md. is more interested in the individual health benefits of transcendental and other forms of meditation and prayer.
For example NCCAM provided a $1.4 million grant to the Johns Hopkins Center for Cancer Complimentary Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to study the effect of prayer in black women with breast cancer. Dr. Adrian Dobbs, MD, MHS, the lead researcher, acknowledged the complexity of the research and said that for this study researchers will simply measure the effect of individual meditation or prayer on the subjects' levels of stress hormones rather than their breast cancer outcomes. "It's very difficult to prove whether or not meditation helps clinical breast cancer," Dr. Dobbs said, explaining that the five-year study will follow only 100 subjects.
NCCAM spokesperson Anita Green told U.S MEDICINE last month that the agency in 1999 awarded another four major grants to study the hypothesized individual benefits of meditation, including a $7.5 million grant to MUM to conduct research over a five-year period.
Green said that $1.5 million of that award was given to MUM researcher Dr. Robert Schneider to study the effects of transcendental meditation on both older blacks with coronary vascular disease and older black women with coronary vascular disease.
According to Dr. Schneider, the U.S. government and private institutions have provided $17 million in funding to MUM for the study of transcendental meditation during the past 13 years. Presently, MUM is conducting research with a consortium of institutions, including Drew University Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Moorehouse Medical School in Atlanta and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Dr. Schneider said that while Dr. Singh spoke here of the collective benefits of the ancient Vedic technology, his work focuses on the individual health benefits of the technique. He said MUM's previous randomized, controlled studies had shown that the Vedic technique reduced blood pressure in subjects with hypertension by twice as much as other relaxation techniques and exactly as much as medication. Referring to a MUM study that was published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, Dr. Schneider said, "The program was effective in reducing hardening of the arteries as measured by ultra-sound of the cartis artery walls, which parallel the arteries in the heart and brain.
Dr. Schneider said that MUM has since begun to study primary, secondary and tertiary stages of heart disease, studies he said have large implications for public health given that coronary heart disease is public health enemy number one in the industrialized world.
The Vedic technique is unique from other forms of relaxation, he added, because it allows the individual to enter a deep, profound state of rest while his or her mind achieves an enhanced state of wakefulness. Physiologically, he said researchers have measured decreased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, in addition to lowered blood pressure. Yet, researchers seem to know less about the other effects of transcendental meditation: the psychological track that underpins the physiological benefits.
The Vedic Technology
The ancient Vedic technology is not a religion, philosophy or lifestyle, Dr. Singh told U.S. MEDICINE in an interview, but is a technology scientifically proven to positively affect individual and group health. The technique is simple enough to require only 90 minutes of training per day for five days, he said, and slows the practitioner's physiology to allow the mind to tap into the unified field of consciousness.
According to Dr. Singh, the meditation of one person can effect as many as 99 other individuals while a larger group of meditation practitioners, reaching a critical mass, can reach exponentially higher numbers of people. The Mahareshi Effect, named after Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi, who revived the technology some 42 years ago, is said to effect friends and enemies indiscriminately-as would radio waves-and thereby reduces violent crime, social tensions and even helps the environment.
Dr. Singh said that Mahareshi experimented on Dec. 17, 1983 by assembling 7,000 "yogic flyers," or transcendental meditation practitioners, in Fairfield, Iowa for three weeks of meditation. "A global Mahareshi effect was seen whereby conflict reduced worldwide by 30 per cent and the effect was seen all over the world," he said.
Vedic technology would provide an effective defense against terrorism and warfare, said Dr. Singh, because the actual cause of war has less to do with the actions of leaders and more to do with a "lack of coherence, disharmony and tension" across societal levels. "We are convinced that we can create world peace by having a few groups, two to three, of 8,000 [yogic flyers]. Dr. Singh added that the governments of Japan, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Indonesia and Nepal are considering incorporating Vedic technology into defense and said his proposal had been well received by his American audience during his recent visit. "I think with all of this [terrorism] today, America needs a new approach to protection," he said.
Dr. Singh's world tour to promote Vedic technology as a homeland defense has been taken seriously, his backers said, because of his distinguished 35-year career fighting terrorism and insurgency in India stemming from the dispute with neighboring Pakistan over the barren, mountainous Kashmir province. Dr. Singh's backers were quick to emphasize that he once commanded 20,000 Indian troops and coordinated the activities of 150,000 troops in total to fight terrorism in India.
The Bush administration commented after the Sept. 11 attack, however, that American vulnerabilities to asymmetrical terrorism in no way obviate the need to defend the country from the growing threat of ballistic missiles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meditation is path to peace, Mozambique leader says

















President Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique is one of Africa's more enlightened leaders. Twice a day, he tries to attain pure consciousness through transcendental meditation (TM).
The president discovered TM, the teaching of the Beatles' guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in 1992, shortly before the end of Mozambique's 16-year guerrilla war. It was no coincidence.
"First I started the practice of transcendental meditation myself, then introduced the practice to my close family, my cabinet of ministers, my government officers and my military," Mr Chissano, a former Marxist bush-fighter, is on record as saying in literature published by Maharishi devotees. "The result has been political peace and balance in nature in my country."
Said to originate in India's ancient Vedic tradition, TM is based on the theory that stress is the cause of all evil. Yogic flyers, its most advanced practitioners, decrease environmental stress by tapping into pure, or universal, consciousness; thus righting the balance in natural law. Essentially, this involves moving in a series of supposedly gravity-defying, cross-legged bounds while meditating.
Best results are seen when approximately 8,000 yogic flyers gather in one place. This produces "the Maharishi effect", described as an "upsurge in harmony and social coherence enveloping the Earth".
Disciples claim that when such "coherence-building groups" have met in the past - often in California where the Maharishi was for a long time based - conflicts in Africa and the Middle East died down measurably.
Meditate
Maharishi's theory of invincible defence is related to this. Once a "prevention wing" of yogic flyers is formed within an army, Maharishi says, "military power is brought in alliance with the invincible power of natural law, which spontaneously provides safety and security to the government of the universe and eternally defends the sovereign domain of every galaxy and solar system".
The attractions of this to Mr Chissano and his generals seemed clear. From the end of 1994, all military and police recruits were ordered to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day. More than 16,000 soldiers were taught yogic flying and TM, according to Mozambique's defence minister. So were 30,000 Mozambicans, according to the Maharishi movement.
In October, 1994, the deputy defence minister of the day, Antonio Hama Thay, wrote to the national military school ordering that, "transcendental meditation must be an integral part of the curriculum of the cadets in the school, as a requirement for them to become officers".
According to the current defence minister, Tobias Dai, the effect was overwhelming. Crime levels dropped; a drought was averted and economic growth, predicted at 6%, soared to 19%.
Yet in the past two months, for what the Maharishi Centre in Maputo describes as "administrative reasons", TM has been withdrawn from public life.
The new deputy defence minister, Henrique Banze, confirms that TM is no longer compulsory in the army, although the practice continues in some units. "My personal opinion is that transcendental meditation and yogic flying did not end the war," he said. "But then I never tried it."
Mr Chissano told the Guardian this week: "For me it is very relaxing and very simple - I just keep quiet and chant the mantras. The results have been scientifically proven. Many of my ministers find it enhances their capacity to work."
The trade minister, Carlos Morgado, is not one of them. "I'm afraid I'm too greedy for all that," he said. But the visible effect of TM on the 62-year-old Roman Catholic president was striking, Mr Morgado admitted.
"He emerges from each session looking like a strongman, charged up for another 10 hours' work."
Jacob Hermansen, a Norwegian instructor at the Maharishi Centre, claims to have put down an insurrection in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province last year by leading 200 army officers in yogic flying. He predicts more countries will follow Mozambique's example.
Mr Hermansen maintained that Mr Chissano was a highly skilled yogic flyer - though the president has never said as much himself - and had shown the way.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/sep/22/jamesastill

Get a Grip




















This is apparently in a Texas Book Store. Obama may be good, but he is no God, my friend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rhodes University Economics Students Team Building


















Some of the Rhodes Students aboard a Samil 50 truck on their way to start the annual team building day in our training area. The day was a major success and I am looking forward to next year.

Shooting


















One of the Rhodes University Economics Honours Students getting familiar with the R 4 Rifle. Some actually had quite a knack for shooting.

Rhodes University Team Building


















Today we had the Rhodes University Economics Honours Students at the unit for their annual team building exercise. They thoroughly enjoyed it and did team building exercises and fired R 4 Rifles (Galil). The day was ended in the Officers' Club Bar where they had a braai, some drinks and performed their group war cries to the Officer Commanding.

I would like to commend them on their fabulous attitude. If the country future is in the hands of people like this we have a bright future to look forward to indeed. Thanks, guys. Looking forward to next year and good luck with the studies.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Peace Through Meditation

























Photo link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharmasphere/17647469/


Some of the benefits of meditation are:

Reduces anxiety attacks as it lowers the levels of blood lactate.

Builds self confidence.

Increases serotonin which influences moods and behaviour. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, headaches and insomnia.

Enhances energy, strength and vigour.

Helps keep blood pressure normal

Reduces stress and tension

Creates a state of deep relaxation and general feeling of wellbeing

Helps with P.M.T.

Increases concentration and strengthens the mind

Helps reduce heart disease

Helps with weight loss

The David Lynch Foundation in the USA has made it its goal to encourage consciousness-based education and world peace. For one thing they have managed to get certain schools to adopt Transcendental Meditation.

Large companies such as General Motors apply Transcendental Meditation (TM) as well. The Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa bases all education it does on consciousness-based education.

More than 6 million people in the world perform TM on a daily basis and the numbers are growing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

"No Guide Dogs Allowed"? Plaka Restaurant, Durban

Today I attended the Casual Day function in Port Elizabeth and was surprised to hear how a certain restaurant owner treats people with guide dogs. Since 1996 the organisers of Casual Day have used this day to raise money for the handicapped in South Africa. From that first year when they raised less than R1 Million to last year when they raised in excess of R15 Million. All that money goes to NGO's who treat and assist handicapped people in South Africa.

As part of the process they travel through South Africa and give talks in our largest cities. This year they did so again and the main speaker was Barry and his guide dog Vixen who entertained us today and did so as well earlier this week in Durban.

I was really surprised to hear about what happened to them in Durban. Barry went with Annelise De Jager to a Greek Restaurant in Durban called Plaka. Here they were confronted upon entering and told that they were not allowed to enter the restaurant with the guide dog Vixen. Of course they assumed it was a mistake and they proceeded to explain to the manager that Barry was in fact blind and that Vixen was his guide dog. Annelise went so far as to show the owner paperwork to prove Barry was blind and that the dog (with the obvious guide harnass attached) was a licenced guide dog. Still the manager insisted he would not allow a dog in his restaurant and offered to give them a table on the pavement!

Who would have though that in South Africa, now, one still finds people with such an attitude. If I was in Durban I would definately not dine in Plata Restaurant again. The best part of the story though is that when they arrived in Port Elizabeth somebody suggested to them that the best restaurant in town was El Greco, also Greek. Having been embarrassed in Durban they decided to phone first and ask if guide dogs were allowed in the restaurant. The manager of El Greco said he would love to have them come over, welcomed them with open arms and even brought Vixen a bowl of water!

I know where I will eat next time I visit Port Elizabeth.

I did some research and found this article in The Bugle.

Dear Ed,
We had a traumatic experience at Plaka Restaurant, Umhlanga (opposite Gateway) last Friday night. The night after the Top Billing review, the service we received was shocking and the food was terrible - unlike what was shown on the programme. Further more, after we complained about the food, the ill-tempered Durban owner David (Angelo was on the show) did nothing to try and resolve our problem. In fact he was arrogant and abrupt with us, and went on to insult us to other customers - commenting on what we expected if we ordered cheap meals (Prawns are not cheap!) We gave him an opportunity to make things right by inviting him to our table to talk, but his attitude worsened and this was followed by him jumping up and swearing at us in front of all the patrons to "F, Off! This was followed by further swearing and verbal abuse until we were aggressively escorted out as if we were criminals. We paid our bill of R900.00 and advised him that we would not be back and the reply we received was that they did not need our R900 to stay in business. In our company we had an elderly lady and younger girl and we were all extremely distraught about this.
We demand a public apology from PLAKA for the humiliation we received and do not intend to ever go back there again. Everybody who has heard about the incident is shocked and in the interim we have heard of further obnoxious behaviour from David towards other customers where they have been rudely turned away from Plaka because of their clothing.
Many thanks
I strongly urge Durban Residents to spread the word about this place.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Invincible South Africa

















On the theme of Invincible Defence Technology; I have discovered the South African site here. I urge South Africans to go to the site to see exactly what you can do to help implement IDT for a better, safer and more inspiring country. You can do a lot more than you may think.

International fans of IDT can find a website on IDT for many countries. Here are a couple:

Canada
USA

There are many more, but I currently do not know where to find them. Any interested person can also join my Facebook Group called Invincible Defence Technology - The Maharishi Effect for more information and some inspiration.