Dec 2005 // This Month In Finity

This Month In Finity is a regular installment of artifacts and developments in humanity’s never-ending quest for truth and meaning. Far from trivializing this pursuit, In Finity recognizes the importance that science, philosophy, religion, etc. play in establishing our identities and satisfying our eternal curiosity, not to mention in finding peace and balance. Be it quantum physics, zen meditation, tribal dance and music, Epictetus’ Discourses, or The Sermon on the Mount — all will find common ground here, and hopefully, a common voice with which to share their insight.

This month: Infinite Smile, Soul Made Flesh, the Global Consciousness Project, and Why God Won’t Go Away.

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Infinite Smile

Michael McAlister leads Zen-inspired, meditative talks which are distributed as podcasts.

In 2002, we started as a group of people taking Michael’s class on meditation. We initially met at the Community Center in Lafayette, California, but in a short time we noticed that we had evolved into something more than just a collection of meditators. We had become a community of people that were sharing a Path toward an ever deepening stillness, balance, and awareness of ourselves and others. And this community is growing at an amazing speed. Currently Infinite Smile Sangha is enjoying sharing Michael’s teaching with fellow practitioners all over the globe, as the podcasts of his talks are now reaching over 100 different countries.

Soul Made Flesh

Author Carl Zimmer contemplates the space that seperates the brain and the mind, the body and the soul:

Our souls are material and yet immaterial: a product of chemistry but also a pulsating network of information – a network that reaches beyond the individual brain to other brains, linked by words, glances, gestures, and other equally immaterial signals, which can leave a mark as indelible on a scan as a stroke or a swig of barium, and yet never become merely physical themselves.

Global Consciousness Project

For the past seven years, random number generators have been running all over the world, electronically flipping 200 coins each second, with the intention of measuring a global consciousness. The Global Consciousness Project (GCP), originating from Princeton, have named these random event generators Electrogaiagrams (EGGs) and are using them to test whether a human consciousness extends a field around the earth which can change the results of random events. They claim that when an important event occurs, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack or the Indian Ocean tsunami, the random event generators start to display patterns that should not exist in truly random sequences.

Not only does the GCP detect spikes of less-than-random activity around some important events, but according to the project it actually predicts them, too.

Daniel Lew, Damn Interesting

Why God Won’t Go Away

Quantium Biocommunication reviews the new book, Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief:

Most secular thinkers believe that religion is an entirely psychological invention—born out of confusion and fear—to help us cope with the struggles of living and comforts us in the face of the terrible certainty that we will die. But researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d’Aquili offer a new explanation, at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the human brain.

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