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>> The Great Gatsby (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Peeples (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Aftershock (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> And Now a Word From Our Sponsor (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Erased (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> Sightseers (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Venus and Serena (Limited) (PG-13) [trailer]
Las Vegas: Satan Vacations Here
by Victoria Alexander
June 4, 2012
Controlling One's Dreams, Astronomer Jill Tarter's take on aliens visiting Earth, My Reincarnation on POV on PBS, The plot to kill the Dalai Lama, Debt-bondage: a brief look at a little known Law of Karma, and more...
Controlling One's Dreams. A duo of developers from Brooklyn, New York, have built a sleeping mask designed to allow people to have lucid dreams that they can control.
While it may look like a standard sleeping mask, Remee has been billed as a special REM (Rapid Eye Movement) enhancing device that is supposed to help steer the sleeper into lucid dreaming by making the brain aware that it is dreaming.
The goal of the product is to allow people to have the dreams of their choice, from driving a race car to flying to having an assignation with Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt or both.
The invention is the brainchild of Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan, both aged 30, who have started a company named Bitbanger Labs.
The inside of the sleeping mask features a series of six red LED lights that are too faint to wake the sleeper up, but visible enough for the brain to register them. The lights can be programed to produce a sequence designed by the user.
Sleep stages are divided into two main categories: non-REM and REM. People go back and forth between these stages throughout the night, with REM stages, where most dreaming occurs, lasting the longest towards morning.
Remee apparently notices these longer REM stages and 'enters' the dream via the flashing lights – just like the movie Inception. Users can adjust the settings on their sleeping mask through a website. The Remee is available in five colors (pictured) and costs $95 each.
I've had a life-changing dream.
In ancient Egypt dreams were considered to be the messages sent from the gods. The Egyptians divided their dreams into three categories: (1) Pious: A deity would appear and either demand or plead to their worshipper to perform some kind of an act of devotion or piety. (2) Relevatory: Dreams that foretold future events. (3) Informational: These dreams gave information. Dreams were so important to the Egyptians that some people made their living by interpreting dreams.
Dreams were certainly important in the Old Testament. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Ezekiel, Joseph all had life-changing dreams.
In researching dreams I found this very interesting theory:
The fact that we remember so few of our dreams -- a few percent at best -- also argues against any function for dreams. If they are so important, why don't we remember more of them?
Furthermore, the people who remember a great many dreams don't seem to be any different from those who remember few or none, at least on the standard personality tests that have been used in many studies to date. If dreams are important, why aren't the recallers of them better off in some way?
The plot to kill the Dalai Lama. Chinese agencies are secretly collecting samples of the Dalai Lama's blood, urine and hair according to the Tibetan government in exile. "Chinese intelligence agencies have stepped up their clandestine efforts to collect intelligence on the status of His Holiness's health, as well as collecting physical samples of his blood, urine and hair," it said in a statement.
It is also learnt that they are exploring the possibility of harming him by using ultra-modern and highly sophisticated drugs and poisonous chemicals. Earlier this month the Dalai Lama told Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper that he had been informed of a plot to assassinate him, using Tibetan women posing as devotees seeking his blessing.
In the interview, the Dalai Lama said he was told the Tibetan women would be wearing poisonous scarves and have poisonous hair. "They were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch," he said. But he added that there was "no possibility to cross-check, so I don't know."
Debt-bondage. Rnanubandhana. A brief look at a little known Law of Karma. Rnanubandhana (a great stripper name) is a compound word derived from Rna 'cosmic debt' and bandhana 'bondage'. It therefore means 'the debt-bondage'. It represents an unusual theory of karma. In this concept, action is not automatically considered as karma. Only if you identify with your action, if the ego is involved and gets stuck to the action as it were, is the action counted as karma.
All actions, interactions and even karma furthermore are considered to be caused by hangovers of obligations owed from previous lives, or because of rewards due to you. Karma in this point of view is a vast game of tit for tat played out over innumerable lifetimes - and the more you play the more you are obligated to remain on the playing field!
My Reincarnation on POV. An Intimate Yet Epic Story of Spiritual Struggle Between Father and Son premiering on Thursday, June 21, 2012 on PBS. High Tibetan Buddhist Teacher and Scholar Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche Believes His Italian-born Son, Yeshi, Is the Reincarnation of a Buddhist Master, But Yeshi Just Wants to Live a Normal Italian Life.
Filmed over 20 years by acclaimed documentarian Jennifer Fox, My Reincarnation chronicles the story of exiled Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. As Namkai Norbu rises as a teacher in the West, Yeshi, recognized from birth as the reincarnation of a famed Buddhist master, breaks away to embrace the modern world. Can the father convince his son to keep the family's spiritual legacy alive?
My Reincarnation has its national broadcast premiere during the 25th anniversary season of PBS' POV series on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 10 p.m. and will also stream on POV's website June 22 - Sept. 20.
Fox began filming Namkhai Norbu in 1988 when, as a filmmaker and student of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, she took a four-year sabbatical from filmmaking and worked as his secretary. She returned 13 years later, and periodically after that, until 2009, amassing more than 1,000 hours of footage.
(Chögyal Namkhai Norbu teaches while his son, Yeshi, looks on. Photo: Zohe Film Productions, Inc.)
My Reincarnation highlights Yeshi's views of his father and thoughts about the spiritual legacy to which he is heir. Even more striking is witnessing Yeshi's spiritual evolution, the highlight of which is his visit to the Tibetan monastery of his great uncle, where the local monks and villagers greet him with an ancient ceremony and respect as their reincarnate Master.
The Dalai Lama on his reincarnation. The Dalai Lama has said his successor will be born in exile and has even floated the idea of choosing his own successor while still alive – perhaps even a woman. In a 2011 statement he said if the institution of the Dalai Lama were to continue, then he would leave behind "clear written instructions about it."
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, does not have a right to choose his successor any way he wants and must follow the historical and religious tradition of reincarnation, a Chinese official said on Monday.
The Chinese government says it has to approve all reincarnations of living Buddhas, or senior religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism. It also says China has to sign off on the choosing of the next Dalai Lama. Some worry that once the Dalai Lama dies, China will simply appoint its own successor, raising the possibility of there being two Dalai Lamas — one recognized by China and the other chosen by exiles or with the blessing of the current Dalai Lama.
Just as the Catholic Church had its anti-popes, Tibetans might soon have a Dalai Lama and an anti-Dalai Lama!
Astronomer Jill Tarter's take on aliens visiting Earth. Tarter, the inspiration for heroine Ellie Arroway in the novel and movie "Contact," is retiring after spending 35 years scanning the heavens for signals from intelligent aliens. Tarter is stepping down as the director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research. Jill Tarter recently put out this statement regarding recent alien-based movies Prometheus, Battleship, and Men in Black 3:
"Often the aliens of science fiction say more about us than they do about themselves. While Sir Stephen Hawking warned that alien life might try to conquer or colonize Earth, I respectfully disagree. If aliens were able to visit Earth that would mean they would have technological capabilities sophisticated enough not to need slaves, food, or other planets. If aliens were to come here it would be simply to explore. Considering the age of the Universe, we probably wouldn't be their first extraterrestrial encounter, either. We should look at movies like 'Men in Black III,' 'Prometheus' and 'Battleship' as great entertainment and metaphors for our own fears, but we should not consider them harbingers of alien visitation."
In 1999 the Hubble Space Telescope estimated that there were 125 billion galaxies in the "Observable Universe", that is, that part of the universe visible to us since we can only see a fraction of the Universe. Earth is in The Milky Way, a spiral galaxy containing 200–400 billion stars. It may contain at least as many planets, with an estimated 10 billion of those planets orbiting in the habitable zone of their parent stars.
Our Solar System is in a really insignificant part of the Milky Way Galaxy. We are marooned out here in one of the remote, backwater areas of the Orion Spiral Arm which is about 28,000 light years from the center of our galaxy. We are on the outer edge of a spiral arm. To get to Earth, an alien civilization would pass billions of life-rich planets circling billions of stars. Why come here?
If you would like to contact me about this column, or be included on my private distribution list for a weekly reminder, just email me at Masauu@aol.com.
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