If You Knew God Stood 
Next To You

A compilation


Very few of us understand the full meaning of the words in Matthew 1:23: “They shall call His name Emmanuel; which being interpreted is, God with us.” This short sentence reveals to us the grandest fact the world will ever know; that God, the Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, is not a far-off Deity, dwelling in a Heaven of unapproachable glory, but is living with us right here in this world, in the midst of our poor, ignorant, helpless lives, as close to us as we are to ourselves. This seems so incredible to the human heart that we are very slow to believe it; but the Bible teaches this as a fact. In the very beginning of Genesis we read of the “presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” And from that time on He is revealed to us always as in the most familiar and daily [interaction] with His people everywhere.

In Exodus we find Him asking them to make Him a “sanctuary, that He might dwell among them.” He is recorded as having “walked” with them in the wilderness, and as “taking up His abode” with them in the Promised Land. He taught them to rely on Him as an ever-present friend and helper, to consult Him about all their affairs, and to abandon the whole management of their lives to Him. And finally He came in Christ in bodily form and dwelt in the world as a man among men, making Himself bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, taking upon Him our nature, and revealing to us, in the most tangible and real way possible, the grand, blessed, and incomprehensible fact that He intended to be with us always, even unto the end of the world.

Whoever will believe this with all their hearts will find in it the solution to every difficulty of their lives.

I remember when I was a little girl and found myself in any trouble or difficulty, the presence of my father or mother on the scene would always bring me immediate relief. The moment I heard the voice of one of them saying, “Daughter, I am here,” every burden and anxious thought dropped away. They did not need to promise to relieve me; the simple fact of their presence was all the assurance I required that everything now would be set straight and all would go well for me, and my only interest after their arrival was simply to see how they would do it all. Perhaps they were exceptional parents to have created such confidence in their children’s hearts. I think perhaps they were. But as our God is certainly an exceptional God, the application has absolute force, and His presence is literally all we need.

How often in the Bible He has stilled all questions and all fears by the simple announcement, “I will be with thee”; and who can doubt that in these words He meant to assure us that all His wisdom, and love, and omnipotent power would therefore, of course, be engaged on our side?

I remember to this day the inspiring sense of utter security that used to come to me with my earthly father’s presence. I never feared anything when he was by. And surely with my Heavenly Father by, there can be no possible room for fear.—Hannah Whitall Smith1

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not leave you, nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

Moses was used mightily by the Lord, yet we all know he had his inadequacies and limitations too. Still, he was the vessel which God chose to work through as He carried out the plagues over Egypt, divided the Red Sea, and miraculously led and fed the children of Israel for forty years. That’s pretty big stuff. Can you imagine having to be Moses’ successor after all that? That’s exactly what Joshua had to do. I can’t even begin to imagine what Joshua was thinking at the time.—How can I possibly live up to Moses? But the Lord comforts and reassures Joshua and says, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you!”

Those words for Joshua are also for us today. You know why? All the men and women who have done great things for the Lord were just ordinary men and women—with a great God. The same God who walked with Moses, Elijah, Daniel, and all the great men and women of God—is with us today!—George Whitten2

What does this mean, “God with us”? … The Greek particle used here is very forcible and expresses the strongest form of “with.” It is not merely “in company with us,” as another Greek word would signify, but “with,” “together with,” and “sharing with.” This preposition is a firm bond, implying, if not declaring, close fellowship. God is peculiarly and closely “with us.”

Christ Jesus was the man of men, the second Adam, the model representative man! … You can scarcely find a halting place in the march of life at which Jesus has not paused, or a weary league which He has not traversed. From the gate of entrance even to the door which closes life’s way, the footprints of Jesus may be traced. Were you in the cradle? He was there. Were you a child under parental authority? Christ was, also, a boy in the home at Nazareth. Have you entered upon life’s battle? Your Lord and Master did the same. … There is no pang that rends the heart—I might almost say not one which disturbs the body—but what Jesus Christ has been with us in it all.

Do you feel the sorrows of poverty? He “had not where to lay His head.”3 Do you endure the griefs of bereavement? Jesus “wept” at the tomb of Lazarus.4 Have you been slandered for righteousness’ sake and has it vexed your spirit? He said, “Reproach has broken My heart.”5 Have you been betrayed? Do not forget that He, too, had His familiar friend who sold Him for the price of a slave. On what stormy seas have you been tossed which have not also roared around His boat? Never a glen of adversity so dark, so deep, apparently so pathless, but what in stooping down you may discover the footprints of the Crucified One. In the fires and in the rivers, in the cold night and under the burning sun, He cries, “I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am both your Companion and your God.”—Charles Spurgeon6

When the times get rough and storms rage, when the nights get darker and the discouragement deeper, don’t give up! Just look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.7 Jesus is there with you. He is with you in the darkness. He is with you in the trial. He is with you in the depths. He is with you there because He loves you. He is there to pull you through.—David Brandt Berg

Our God is not some faraway disinterested being. He is a God who is personal, who has a relationship with His creation. He has made Himself known to us through His Word. He has shown us some of what He’s like. He is interested in us as individuals. He has made a way for us to live with Him forever, through salvation. Through belief in Jesus, God the Son, we become God’s children, which enables us to touch Him personally, to communicate with Him, to hear His voice, to share our hearts with Him. He communes with us, abides in us, and loves us. We commune with Him, abide in Him, and love Him. We have a personal relationship with the Personal God. How incredibly wonderful!—Peter Amsterdam

1 Adapted from A Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life (1875).

2 http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian-devotional/emmanuel-god-with-us

3 Matthew 8:20.

4 John 11:35.

5 Psalm 69:20.

6 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons21.lxi.html

7 Hebrews 12:2

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Tales of the Dead Come Back: How Modern Medicine Is Reinventing Death

"Death travelers" are bringing back stories of life beyond death.

Thanks to CPR, people can be revived after being dead for up to an hour. Author Judy Bachrach calls them "death travelers" in her new book.

PHOTOGRAPH BY TIME LIFE PICTURES/GETTY

Simon Worrall

for National Geographic

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 3, 2014

They can fly through walls or circle the planets, turn into pure light or meet long-dead relatives. Many have blissful experiences of universal love. Most do not want to return to the living. When they do, they're often endowed with special powers: They can predict the future or intuit people's thoughts.

Many end up unhappy and divorced, rejected by their loved ones or colleagues, burdened with a knowledge they often dare not share. They are the "death travelers."

If this sounds like the movie Flatliners or a science fiction novel by J. G. Ballard, it isn't. These are the testimonies of people who have had near death experiences (NDEs) and returned from the other side to tell the tale.

Journalist Judy Bachrach decided to listen to their stories, and on the way cure her own terror of death.

Here she talks about how advances in medicine are enabling us to raise the dead, why the scientific and religious communities are hostile to the idea of NDEs, and how a British traffic controller returned from the dead with the ability to predict the stock market.

Your book, Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death, opens with you volunteering to work in a hospice. Why?

The person who put the idea in my head was former First Lady Barbara Bush, whose own daughter had died in hospice at the age of four. One of my best friends was dying of cancer. We were both at the time 32 [years old], and I couldn't get over it. I was terrified of death, and I was terrified of her dying. So I decided to start working in a hospice to get over my terror of death.

Until the 20th century, death was determined by holding a mirror to a patient's mouth. If it didn't mist over, the person was dead. We now live in what you call the "age of Lazarus." Can you explain?

Everybody who's been revived by CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation—and there are more and more of us—is a formerly dead person. We walk every single day among the formerly dead. Death is no longer simply the cessation of breath or heartbeat or even brain stem activity. These days people can be dead for up to an hour and come back among us and have memories. I call them "death travelers" in the book.

One scientist you spoke to suggests that NDEs may simply result from the brain shutting down, like a computer—that, for instance, the brilliant light often perceived at the end of a tunnel is caused by loss of blood or hypoxia, lack of oxygen. How do you counter these arguments?

The problem with the lack of oxygen explanation is that when there is a lack of oxygen, our recollections are fuzzy and sometimes non-existent. The less oxygen you have, the less you remember. But the people who have died, and recall their death travels, describe things in a very clear, concise, and structured way. Lack of oxygen would mean you barely remember anything.

Most death travelers don't want to return to the living, and when they do, they find it is a painful experience. Tell us about Tony Cicoria.

Tony Cicoria is a neurosurgeon from upstate New York. He was like the rest of us once upon a time. He believed death was death, and that was the end. Then he got struck by lightning. He was on a picnic with his family, talking to his mother on the telephone, when a bolt of lightning hit the phone. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground saying to himself, "Oh, my God, I'm dead."

The way he knew he was dead is because he saw his mother-in-law screaming at him. And he called out to her and said, "I'm here! I'm here!" But she didn't hear anything.

Next he was traveling up a flight of steps without walking. He became a bolt of blue light and managed to go through a building. He flew through walls, and he saw his little kids having their faces painted. Right after that, he felt somebody thumping on his chest.

A nurse who was in the vicinity was thumping on his chest. But he did not want to come back to life. Very much like other death travelers, he wanted to stay dead. Being dead is evidently a very interesting experience. And exciting.

You suggest there is a difference between brain function and consciousness. Can you talk about that idea?

This is an area where a lot more scientific research has to be done: that the brain is possibly, and I'm emphasizing the "possibly," not the only area of consciousness. That even when the brain is shut down, on certain occasions consciousness endures. One of the doctors I interviewed, a cardiologist in Holland, believes that consciousness may go on forever. So the postulate among some scientists is that the brain is not the only locus of thought, which is very interesting.

You coin several new terms in the book. What's a Galileo?

I call the scientists who are involved in research into death travel "Galileos" because, like Galileo himself, who was persecuted by the Inquisition for explaining his theories about the universe, scientists involved in research into what occurs after death are also being persecuted. They're denied tenure. They're told that they're inferior scientists and doctors. They're mocked. Anthony Cicoria, the man who was struck by lightning, didn't tell any of his fellow surgeons about his experience for something like 20 years.

Why do you think the scientific community is so hostile to the idea of NDEs?

It's a really good question. I think the scientific community is very much like I used to be. Journalists tend not to be very religious, we tend not to be very credulous, and we tend to believe the worst possible scenario, which, in this case, is nothing. The scientific community is very materialistic. If you can't see it and you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.

When I gave a speech at the NIH [National Institutes of Health], I talked with the top neurologist there. I said, "Are you doing research on what used to be called near death experiences?" He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, "Why? Does it cure anything?"

The Christian Church is also not very keen on this area of inquiry. Why is that?

I think that religion, very much like science, likes to rely on everything that's gone on before. If your grandfather believed something, then you want to believe it. If the scientists who came before you want to believe something, then you believe in it. Because the options for those who deviate are very scary.

Most of the people I interviewed got divorced. That is not uncommon among death travelers. You come back and tell your husband or lover or wife what went on, and they look at you like you're nuts. It's a very scary thing to come back and say, "I remember what happened after death."

The Christian Church, or the Jewish faith, whichever we're talking about, also have very specific views of what life after death should involve. Everybody I interviewed deviated from the traditional theological views. They didn't see angels necessarily. They don't float in heaven. It's not some happy-clappy area of the universe. It's far more complicated—and interesting—than that.

One of the curious facts I discovered reading your book is that women are far less optimistic about their chances of going to heaven than men are. Why is that?

This was told to me by a monk who died by drowning and then returned. Obviously, he'd had a good deal of experience with people confiding in him and confessing. I think it's because women are very self-critical. We're very hard on ourselves. Nothing is ever good enough about us. We're not smart enough. We're not beautiful enough. Look at what we do to our bodies and our faces in the name of perfection! And I think that applies to our chances of getting, if you will, into heaven.

For her new book, journalist Judy Bachrach collected the testimonies of people who had near death experiences and returned to tell the tale. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOKS

Why is it important for you to believe that there is life after death?

It was not important for me, at all, to believe. I'm a journalist. I don't go around thinking, "I really hope there's life after death." Indeed, at the beginning I was the opposite—I didn't want to believe. Yes, death was a source of terror. For me, the worst thing that could happen was nothingness. I would have far preferred to hear that Satan was waiting for me than to learn that there was nothing. But I was absolutely positive that there was nothing after death—that the curtain descends, and that's it. Act III. It's over. The stage is black.

And when I first ventured into this strange area of research, I was pretty sure, just as you said, that it was all the result of oxygen deprivation and that these were hallucinations. It was only after I discovered that it can't be the result of oxygen deprivation, and these were not hallucinations, that I realized I had to change my views. That's a very difficult thing to do, particularly when you're past adolescence. But every bit of evidence, every single person I interviewed, forced me to change my views. It was something I did quite unwillingly and with a good deal of skepticism.

What I tried to do, as a journalist, was simply record what these people say happened. All I know is what I've reported, which is, when you die, that is not the end. Stuff goes on. That, to me, is weird. But it's true.

Did engaging with this research make you want to die?

No! Nothing makes me want to die! But it did make me less fearful of dying. It was a long process, though. After the first 20 or 30 interviews, I was still terrified of death. All these people were telling me stuff that I never believed could happen. But gradually I came to accept that what they said was true. So I'm a little less terrified of death now.

You say that having an NDE often invests people with special powers. Tell us about the British air traffic controller.

[Laughs] The British air traffic controller makes me laugh. He told a person I interviewed, a British neuropsychiatrist named Dr. Fenwick, that he had a death experience. Oddly enough, as a result of this death experience, he became terrific at picking and choosing stocks. [Laughs]

The psychiatrist goes, "Uh-huh." The guy says, "Yeah, you really should invest in British Telecom."

Dr. Fenwick says, "Uh, yeah. Right." And of course the stock soars right after that!

Usually these powers involve perceptual abilities, though, [such as] the ability to know what other people are thinking, the ability know what's going to happen next. So they're usually less materialistic than this gentleman's powers. [Laughs] But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

NDEs are, surely, not the same as a complete death experience. These are generally short episodes not lasting more than an hour and often in hospital settings. No one, as far as I know, has returned from the dead after a long period of time and told us about it. Do we know any more than we did before about what will actually happen when we die?

What's happening now is revolutionary. If you'd told somebody a hundred years ago that they could die for an hour and come back and tell you what happened, that would have been in the realm of theology or philosophy. But now it's in the realm of the real world.

It's absolutely true that we don't know what happens, say, after six days being dead. All we know now—and that's one of the reasons I think it's important for scientists to investigate far more—is what happens up to an hour.

How did your friends and peers in the journalistic world react to you writing this book?

It depends who they are. Some of them looked at me like, "Oh, OK. You're nuts. I never really thought you were before. But now I know you are."

Others, because National Geographic is publishing the book, said, "Oh, National Geographic! It must be true then." [Laughs] My religious journalist friends said, "Thank God you're doing it. You were always such a skeptic and a cynic."

I have to say that I fall into none of those categories. I'm just a journalist doing what journalists do. I'm interviewing people and trying to find out what is true.

After writing this book, can you say with any more certainty what death is?

Yes, I can. I can say that death is an adventure, which to me is the oddest thing in the world. It takes you from this Earth, this ordinary Earth, into extraordinary places.

One of the experiences I describe is of the renowned psychologist Carl Jung, who died when he had a heart attack in his 60s. He was ultimately revived, and came back describing, in great detail, how he had seen the universe.

One of the people I interviewed had a similar experience. And that shocked the hell out of me because that's the kind of experience I would love to have. Like an astronaut's delight. You're up there. You can move toward planets or away from planets. You can see the Earth. It's gorgeous. It's interesting. And it doesn't cost a thing.

(Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Hebrews 2:14-15, Hebrews 15:52-54)

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PROPHECY IN THE NEWS

The Growing Fiction of Superior Space Aliens

By Gary Stearman on September 5, 2014

In a number of recent studies about the UFO phenomenon, we have repeatedly stated that we profoundly disagree with the prevailing idea that the Earth is being visited by space aliens from other star systems, or even other galaxies. But today, most governments, academic institutions and even religious convocations have submitted this possibility to intense scrutiny. In the process, they have allowed themselves to be convinced that we are about to be (and probably already have been) visited by extraterrestrial ambassadors to planet Earth. This is the lie of the ages, as demonic powers consolidate their assault on the edifices of mankind.

Prophecy tells us that men who should know better have welcomed false gods as superior beings, and will do so again. Israel is the model for this forbidden practice, clearly documented in Moses’ concluding work in the Torah:

“They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deut. 32:16,17).

God’s indictment of Israel is that in the past, they welcomed into their lives beings whom they regarded as superior. The prophet Daniel says that this will happen again, when Israel welcomes the man whom they believe to be their messiah. He will be backed by alien powers that give him credibility. In all likelihood, these powerful beings will masquerade as ambassadors from other planets. But they will be devils:

“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Dan. 11:38,39).

The strange gods are already appearing in forms designed to make them acceptable to modern man. In reality, they are exactly what they’ve been for thousands of years in our past.

An Alien Philosophy

A number of think tanks have pursued the basic questions of coexisting with this advance guard. And it is now well known that the Roman Catholic church seems to regard aliens as real, corporeal beings from other star systems. It has even gone to the extent of theorizing about whether these aliens would fall under the rule of necessity for redemption through Christ.

As we reported in the February, 2010 edition of this magazine, the director of the Vatican Observatory, the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, makes the blatant assumption that UFO reports should now be assumed to indicate that our planet is most probably being explored by aliens from elsewhere in the universe. He wonders aloud whether these creatures should be considered as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In 2008, Funes was quoted in the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, as saying, “Just like there is an abundance of creatures on earth, there should also be other beings, even intelligent ones, that were created by God. That doesn’t contradict our faith, because we cannot put boundaries to God’s creative freedom. As Saint Francis would say, when we consider the earthly creatures to be our ‘brothers and sisters,’ why couldn’t we also talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother?’ He would still be a part of creation.”

On that note, he even questioned whether or not they had their own version of “the fall.” If they never experienced original sin, as humans did, he wonders whether they would even need a Redeemer. His comment raised the troubling question that they might just come here as our moral superiors. And if so, what would be their attitude toward humans?

And as we noted at the time, Funes’ assumption ignores one basic fact. Scripture doesn’t even begin to suggest that Christ incarnated elsewhere, or that God has a covenant with another people, such as an extraterrestrial version of Israel.

Nevertheless, the subject of space aliens has exploded from myth, to speculation, to startling reality. Policy institutes and philosophical groups around the world are now preoccupied with the subject of how to successfully integrate humanity with superior creatures from outer space.

They reason that since ufonauts are already here, they would certainly be superior in their knowledge of science and technology. Their real question then becomes, are they “good guys,” or “bad guys?” Would they come here as spiritual guides, or would they look at humans as a good meal?

Lately, even noted cosmologist Stephen Hawking, said to be the most brilliant mathematician alive today, has begun to sound warnings that we may be inviting danger by exposing our existence to space aliens. Jonathan Leake, writing in the April 25th Sunday Times of London, writes the following about this well-known brilliant thinker:

“The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all that it can to avoid any contact.

“The suggestions come in a new documentary series in which Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, will set out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

“Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.

“‘To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,’ he said. ‘The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.’”

Hawking’s view of life in this universe is grim, indeed. He says, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

His view of real space aliens as nomadic conquerors is very dark and pessimistic, as he sounds the warning that we should be prepared for their imminent appearance.

Others take a dispassionate view, reasoning that recent sightings indicate we may now be in the general time of “disclosure,” when space aliens are finally revealed. A recent paper laid out the question of how we should behave should such a thing happen.

Published in Acta Astronautica, it was entitled, “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis.” It was written by Seth D. Baum, Jacob D. Haqq-Misra and Shawn D. Domagal- Goldman. Its Abstract read:

“While humanity has not yet observed any extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), contact with ETI remains possible. Contact could occur through a broad range of scenarios that have varying consequences for humanity. However, many discussions of this question assume that contact will follow a particular scenario that derives from the hopes and fears of the author. In this paper, we analyze a broad range of contact scenarios in terms of whether contact with ETI would benefit or harm humanity. This type of broad analysis can help us prepare for actual contact with ETI even if the details of contact do not fully resemble any specific scenario.”

The paper is based upon the following: “A central concern regarding possible contact with ETI is whether the contact would be beneficial, neutral or harmful to humanity. This concern will help us decide, among other things, whether or not we should intentionally message ETI and what we should say if we do.”

These writers are typical in their assumption that all the recent suspicious sightings indicate a good probability that they are about to make contact. Those who have really studied UFO phenomena for the last half century realize that they consistently display obvious deception and subterfuge. They have not revealed their intentions.

Moral Mentors or Rampaging Raiders?

Still, the leaders of society insist on presenting them as the bearers of some sort of moral superiority. Are they, in fact, our moral mentors? The classic sci-fi movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” made in 1951, featured the brilliant and congenial Klaatu, who came to Earth with his robot, Gort. He announced to world leaders that unless they ceased their warlike ways, this planet “would be reduced to a burned- out cinder.”

He flew home, leaving mankind under conviction. His moral superiority was fashioned in the form of a Messianic figure. Other fiction, like H.G. Welles’ “War of the Worlds,” or the recent, “Independence Day,” feature extraterrestrials as rampaging raiders, bent on mindless domination. They regard humans as mere pestilence to be disposed of.

But regardless of their personal characteristics, it is universally assumed that they will be superior to humans, for the simple reason that they had the technology to come here. We didn’t have the technology to go there. And of course, in the contemporary mind, technology is everything.

From historic times right up to the present, people relate stories of having been visited by superior beings of various types. Tales of flying ships, glowing globes, circular craft surrounded by lightning and glowing energy go back to Pharaoh Akhenaton, who in the 14th century BC, witnessed and recorded a shining disc.

Indeed, there are literally hundreds of documented sightings of ships and their passengers flying through the sky. Sometimes, they have landed and had conversations with astounded earthlings. The “airships” of the late 19th century led to the “flying saucers” of the mid-20th century. After that, ships of any description … cylinders, triangles, discs, globes and other shapes, glowed and spewed various kinds of energies. “Close encounters” of various kinds dominated the news. They continue to do so, augmented by tales of abduction, and forced breeding to produce human-alien hybrids. Clearly, we have reached a climactic period in what has been a long, long story.

Spirit Beings

We agree that there is a dark presence visiting our planet. It is among the most well-documented truths of human history. But the documentation always reveals it as having spiritual origins. In particular, the Bible speaks of intrusions into our world by beings of all sorts. On the good side are archangels, cherubim, seraphim and angels. On the evil side are fallen angels, nephilim, rephaim and hordes of demonic characters, called by different names.

These are spirit creatures, but that doesn’t mean their characteristics are non-physical. When they enter our dimension, they exhibit many physical characteristics. There is no book on Earth that documents their existence as completely as does the Bible.

Furthermore, the dark side is well known to present itself as the bearer of moral and ethical superiority. Satan is seen contending with the Lord over moral issues in the Book of Job, as well as the Book of Matthew, where he seriously offers territory and ruling power to Jesus. Paul, in speaking of evil men presenting themselves as good, affirms that this is Satan’s modus operandi:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:13,14).

The Bible is replete with warnings about this dark hierarchy. Satan is their leader, and they are not good, but evil.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:11-13).

The Apostle Paul writes this as an exhortation to those who believe as he does, that this world is overrun by various creatures who attempt to subvert the cause of God. Truly, they are aliens, often flying about in fiery chariots. But they are not from other planets. They are from the dimension of heaven. They are master propagandists who must be countered at every turn. In every age of man’s history they have adopted the masquerade that would best recommend them to their human victims. They are the legions of fallen gods and goddesses of ages past.

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U.S. GOVERNMENT IN FULL UFO COVER-UP
Exclusive: George Noory interviews Stephen Bassett about aliens on earth

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The New York Times

As Iraqi Christians in U.S. Watch ISIS Advance, They See ‘Slow-Motion Genocide’

SEPT. 6, 2014

Bishop Francis Kalabat of Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, Mich., wants help for Chaldeans in Iraq, whose churches have been destroyed and monasteries attacked. Tim Galloway for The New York Times

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Early on Wednesday morning, the sonorous sound of Aramaic rose from the pews of Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church here. More than a hundred worshipers had gathered well before the 10 a.m. Mass, and they were already chanting morning prayers in the language of their Lord.

Above the altar and crucifix, light flooded through a stained-glass window that depicted Mary and the baby Jesus standing on fertile fields threaded by two rivers. As everyone present surely knew, these were the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, the nation from which these Chaldean Catholics had begun coming to Detroit more than a century ago.

As it happened, one day earlier, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had released a video of the beheading of Steven Sotloff, an American journalist. Two weeks earlier, the Islamist militants of ISIS had reported a similar murder of another American reporter, James Foley.

So when Bishop Francis Y. Kalabat walked quietly from a side door into Mother of God’s sanctuary, it was with a grim sense that maybe now, finally, he and his flock would no longer be howling into the abyss. As he had written last month in an open letter that was posted in the church’s lobby, “We wish to scream, but there are no ears that wish to hear.”

For the last decade, in fact, the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq — members of an Eastern Rite church that is affiliated with Roman Catholicism while retaining its own customs and rites — have been suffering at the hands of the same kind of terrorists who killed Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Foley. During that period, the total Christian population of Iraq, the largest share of which is composed of Chaldean Catholics, has dropped to about 400,000 while as many as a million, by some estimates, have fled.

Churches have been destroyed, monasteries attacked, entire cities purged. Congregations have been bombed during worship. The bishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, was abducted and executed by Al Qaeda in Iraq six years ago. So the recent atrocities visited upon Iraqi Christians by ISIS are nothing remotely new. All that is new is an awareness of them outside the Chaldean-American enclaves of San Diego and metropolitan Detroit.

“It’s almost like waking up to a burning house,” said Bishop Kalabat, 44. “The first thing I think about is, ‘How do I get my family out?’ You don’t have time to say, ‘I’ve been working on this house for 30 years, this is the house I was going to retire to.’ You have some neighbors taking out a hose to help. But we need the Fire Department.”

Putting it another way, Bishop Kalabat turned from metaphor to recent history. “The bad things we look back at now — the Iran-Iraq War, the first Gulf War, the embargo, even six months ago,” he said. “We’d take all of that over today.”

His intensity is not merely the product of Chaldean self-interest, of special pleading. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, has been tracking the persecution of Iraq’s religious minorities, who include members of Syriac and Armenian Catholic and Orthodox denominations, as well as such non-Christian groups as Yazidis and Mandaeans.

Thus, though Mr. Marshall’s résumé would not state it quite this way, he is an expert in comparative calamity. And in his well-informed view, there is a very real possibility that, except for the relative refuge of Iraqi Kurdistan, Christianity may essentially cease to exist in a country to which the apostles brought the Gospel in the first century. Of the present situation, he wrote in an email, “It is the worst in modern history, and probably in history period.”

The vast tragedy of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq today stands in painful contrast to the success story of their coreligionists in the United States. First drawn by assembly-line jobs in Henry Ford’s auto factories, and after World War II compelled to leave Iraq by a succession of coups, Chaldean immigrants scaled the educational and occupational ladders into the upper middle class. By now, many of the Detroit area’s approximately 175,000 Chaldeans live in the prosperous Oakland County suburbs.

Since the recent round of persecution began in 2004, and especially after this year’s lightning advance of ISIS fighters across the Nineveh Plain, the Chaldeans here have sought to leverage their material comfort and political savvy on behalf of their endangered brethren.

Both clergy and lay leaders have met with officials in the White House, Congress and the United Nations. Congregants have donated several hundred thousand dollars for humanitarian aid. There have been prayer vigils, rallies, the announcement of scholarship funds and an “Adopt a Refugee” program.

The Chaldeans here have been pushing for practical, realistic forms of American involvement: creation of a protected zone and safe-passage corridors for Christians still in Iraq; an increased number of refugee visas and streamlined approval by State Department and Homeland Security screeners for Christians trying to reach America. Yet it seems to have taken the videos of two journalists being decapitated for much of the nation to finally heed the warning cries from places like the Mother of God Church.

“We call this a slow-motion genocide,” said Auday P. Arabo, the lay spokesman for the St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese. “It’s unfortunate people don’t feel it until it hits home. But I guess it’s human nature that you only see what’s happening in the mirror.”

Bishop Kalabat was appointed by Pope Francis to his position — making him one of two Chaldean Catholic bishops for the United States — in early May. Soon after, he traveled to Iraq to meet with Christian refugees in the Kurdish town of Ankawa. More than 10,000 of them, soon to exceed 40,000, had taken shelter in schools and churches.

“What’s happening to us?” Bishop Kalabat said he recalls being asked. “Where’s our government? Where’s the U.S.? Where’s the world? Where’s the church? Where’s God?”

As he recounted those questions in his office the other day, Bishop Kalabat reached into his shirt pocket and extracted a crucifix.

“We are called the Church of Martyrs,” he said. “That’s our pain and our saving grace. Our faith isn’t a theory. It’s not a set of teachings. It’s a person and we’re called to be like him. When I look at this evil, I want to be Rambo. But that won’t do any good. We carry the cross for a reason.”

***

telesur

30% of Israelis Would Emmigrate According to Poll

Israeli soldiers stand atop tanks in the Golan Heights near Israel's border with Syria. (Photo: Reuters)

Published 6 September 2014 - 11:21 PM

One third of Israelis said they couldn't deal with the psychological repercussions of another war.

Following Israel´s recent war on the Gaza strip, Israel´s Channel 2 conducted a poll which found that 30% of the population would emmigrate, Press TV reported on Sunday.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they weren´t thinking of emmigrating, while 14 percent were undecided.

The survey also showed more Israelis were now thinking of leaving occupied Palestinian land, after having lived through three wars in six years.

However the poll did not state how many Israelis were interviewed in the survey.

According to Press TV, a million Israelis have left occupied territies over the last twenty years.

The Israeli assault in July and August killed over 2000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and many of them children. The Israeli government says that 72 were killed on their side, five of them civilians.

***

WORLD BULLETIN

Jerusalem archbishop slams Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa

Archbishop Atallah Hanna called on Palestinians and Arabs in general to stand united against Israeli attempts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem.

05 September 2014

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem accused Israel of committing aggressions against both Muslims and Christians by raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.

Archbishop Atallah Hanna on Tuesday addressed an audience in Jordan's Al-Zarqa city where people had gathered to celebrate Gaza's "victory" over Israel in a recorded speech, saying that he had planned to attend the festivities but was prevented by Israeli occupation forces.

Jordanian newspaper Addustour reported that the Archbishop said "Targeting the Gaza Strip means targeting Jerusalem and all the Palestinian lands."

The Archbishop also called on Palestinians and Arabs in general to stand united against Israeli attempts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem, Middle-East Monitor stated.

"All wounds are the same and all suffering is the same as long as the aim is the same," he said.

For the last year, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex. The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

***

THE JERUSALEM POST

Peres proposes ‘UN for religions’ to pope at Vatican

Francis had ‘interest, encouragement’ for idea, papal spokesman says.

POPE FRANCIS and former president Shimon Peres chat at the Vatican yesterday.. (photo credit:Courtesy)

VATICAN CITY – Former president Shimon Peres emerged from a Vatican City audience with Pope Francis Thursday after proposing a kind of United Nations for religions.


Peres, 91, who was the world’s oldest head of state until his term ended six weeks ago, met with Francis amid heightened tensions in the Middle East.


He used the talks to highlight human rights abuses from Hamas and to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.


But the main topic of conversation was Peres’s idea to create a UN-like organization he called “the United Religions.”


Peres said the Argentina-born pontiff was the only world figure respected enough to bring an end to the wars raging in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.

“
In the past, most of the wars in the world were motivated by the idea of nationhood,” Peres said. “But today, wars are incited using religion as an excuse.”


Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed to reporters that Peres had pitched his idea for “the United Religions” but said Francis did not commit to it.

“
The pope listened, showing his interest, attention, and encouragement,” Lombardi said, adding that the pope pointed to the Pontifical Councils for Interreligious Dialogue and for Justice and Peace as existing agencies “suitable” for supporting interfaith peace initiatives.


The summit between Peres and Francis is the third high-profile meeting between the leaders in little more than four months. They met for the first time in late May, when Francis became the fourth pope to visit the Holy Land in the modern era. On that trip, Francis invited Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican for a prayer meeting in June, which they both attended.


Since then, however, tensions in the Middle East have risen amid increased bloodshed in Gaza and in Syria. Lombardi said the 45-minute conversation between the two men – a longer-than-average meeting for the pontiff – did not touch upon “current political issue in any real depth,” instead focusing on Peres’s idea for the United Religions.


Lombardi said Francis praised Peres as a “man of peace,” and said the unusually long meeting was a reflection of the pope’s “deep esteem and appreciation” for the former Israeli leader.


Peres was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for peace 20 years ago, along with then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, then chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.


But Peres praised Francis as the only world figure respected across national boundaries and different faiths.


In an interview with the Catholic Magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Peres called on Francis to leverage his respect to create an interfaith organization to curb religious violence.


“What we need is an organization of United Religions... as the best way to combat terrorists who kill in the name of faith,” Peres said. “What we need is an unquestionable moral authority who says out loud, ‘No, God does not want this and does not allow it.’” After meeting with Peres, Francis held a 30-minute closeddoor meeting with Jordanian Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, who sponsors the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies to promote religious dialogue. Lombardi said that meeting dovetailed into the day’s topic of interfaith cooperation and peace.

***

SmugMug

Mesmerizing Amish Barn Raising Time-Lapse Captures the Incredible Power of Team Work

Published on September 5, 2014 by DL Cade

The camera never moves, the interval never changes, there’s no crazy ‘flow-motion’ skills involved and what is captured isn’t a picturesque landscape… and yet, this time-lapse gabbed us and wouldn’t let go.

What’s captured in this three-and-a-half-minute time-lapse is an Amish barn raising… about a month of construction done in all of 10 hours. But more than that, it’s the power of team work.

Shot between the hours of 7am and 5pm (with a lunch break in the middle), YouTube user Penny Miller‘s husband set up his 60D to take a picture every 20 seconds. In all, he captured 1600 images, which he then converted into this testament to Amish barn prowess.

And prowess it is, according to Eric Mason, a commenter on YouTube who has worked construction his whole life, what you see happen in 10 hours above “would take a month if done commercially.”

It’s worth noting, as Miller did in the comments, that they got permission to shoot this. The Amish, as a peoples, apparently do not like having pictures taken of them (or even, for that matter, drawings), and so the Millers were considerate.

“People should be respectful of others’ beliefs,” writes Miller in response to the commenter who brought this up, and we couldn’t agree more.

Check out the video at the top to see the captivating power of community for yourself.

***

Zero Hedge

Europe Goes "All In": Will Sanction Rosneft, Gazprom Neft And Transneft

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/07/2014 11:12 -0400

Until this moment, the main reason why everyone mostly dismissed Europe's sanctions against Russia is that despite all its pompous rhetoric, Europe consistently refused to hit Russia where it would hurt: its energy titans Gazprom, Rosneft And Transfneft. The reason is simple: by imposing sanctions on these core energy exporters, Europe would directly threaten the stability of its own energy imports (Russia accounts for up to 30% of German gas imports), and as winter approaches with every passing day, playing with the energy status quo would seem like economic suicide. This all appears to have changed last Friday, when as the FT reports from a leaked copy, Europe's latest sanctions round will boldly go where Europe has never dared to go before, and impose sanctions on the big three: Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Transneft.

This is what is known in game theory terms as a major defection round.

It also means that suddenly the stakes for Russia, and thus Europe, just got all too real, as Putin will now have no choice but to really ramp up the retaliatory escalation, which following the food ban can only mean one thing: a staggered reduction in gas flow to Europe.

It also means something else: recall that it was just ten days ago when we reported that Gazprom would begins accepting payment for oil in Ruble and Yuan.

If today's news is confirmed, Europe's dramatic shift in sanctions strategy means that Europe's embargo of both the US Dollar and the Euro will accelerate as Russia further intensifies its shift away from both the west and the petrodollar. The only and clear winner here: China, which will almost certainly step in to provide the funding Russia needs however on Beijing's terms in effect making the symbiotic link between Russia and China even stronger, forcing Moscow to rely almost exclusively on China for trade and funding relations, and suddenly give Xi Jinping all the trump cards.

What China's president will do, now that he has all the leverage in the world to call shots both to the West, the East, and of course, Africa, remains unknown, although those thousands of tons of gold imports that mysteriously enter the country and are never heard from again, may provide a hint.

***

WASHINGTON'S BLOG

TOP RUSSIA EXPERT: UKRAINE JOINING NATO WOULD PROVOKE NUCLEAR WAR

U.S and NATO Responsible for Ukraine Crisis … and West Has Agreed to Cover Up Details About Shoot Down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17

SEPTEMBER 7, 2014

Stephen Cohen is one of America’s top experts on Russia.  Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union.

Cohen says that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine:

This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees.

Cohen joins other American experts on Russia – such as former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock – in this assessment.

Cohen also says that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to nuclear war:

[Intervviewer:] The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—

STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.

[Interviewer:] Explain.

STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.

[Interviewer:] Cannot join—

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.

In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters. What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.

Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished. Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZE, SANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.

One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.

Former Polish president – and famed anti-communist activist – Lech Walesa agrees that the U.S. and Nato’s arming of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war

Cohen also notes that the West has entered into an agreement to cover-up what happened to Malaysian airlines flight 17, because Russia was not responsible:

***


***

THE INDEPENDENT

Ukrainian Church leader likens Putin to Cain and says he is under the influence of Satan

Patriarch Filaret, the Head of the Kiev Patriarchate, also implored the Russian President to repent or else he'll suffer "eternal damnation"

NATASHA CULZAC

Saturday 06 September 2014

Patriarch Filaret with US Secretary of State John Kerry on 4 March 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate has implied that Russian President Vladimir Putin is governed by Satan and is a modern-day incarnation of Cain who has doomed himself to “eternal damnation in hell”.

The Patriarch Filaret – his secular name is Mykhailo Denysenko – is the leader of the Kiev Patriarchate, which has a rival in the Moscow/Ukrainian Orthodox Church after splitting from it in 1992.

President Putin, a baptised Orthodox Christian, has close links to Russia’s Orthodox Church, Reuters reports.

In a 1,300-word online blog post, Filaret fails to mention Mr Putin by name but alludes to him in strong words that describe his target as a world leader, who through baptism belongs to the Orthodox Church, but is now “under the action of Satan”.

He says that among the world leaders has “appeared a real new Cain”, referring to the Biblical story in which the aforementioned kills his brother Abel.

Filaret says that this leader acquired “power not on good deeds, but on evil” and that through propaganda, has spread “cynical lie about Ukraine, sow enmity against the Ukrainian people, and against our desire to be independent and build our own sovereign state, they provoke bloodshed and murder in the Donbass [the region marred by separatist-government fighting in eastern Ukraine].”

“He says outright and blatant lies: organizing and sending killers mercenaries to our country, speaks of ‘internal conflict’, to which he allegedly is not involved; sending to Ukraine his troops, he publicly states that these forces are not present there.” the post, written in English, Ukrainian and Russian, states.

“This ruler is cynically lying, saying that his country is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine - although he did everything in order to foment the conflict and maintain it.”

President Putin has constantly denied any Russian involvement in the movements or funding of pro-Moscow separatists in the Ukrainian conflict, rejecting claims that he has provided them with weaponry or troops.

Filaret then mocks Mr Putin for supposedly believing himself to be Ukraine’s “brother”, and then lays the blame for the hundreds of deaths and those displaced from the conflict squarely at the feet of the “abovementioned governor” who has his “pride” to blame.

“He calls himself a brother to the Ukrainian people, but in fact according to his deeds, he really became the new Cain, shedding the brotherly blood and entangling the whole world with lies,” Filaret says.

He implies that Mr Putin’s power is no match to that of God’s and called on the Russian leader to repent and “come to your senses!”

“Calls for this ruler and his minions have already been sounded many times publicly - to think again, to stop sowing evil and death, to repent.

“But it seems that he remains deaf to these appeals and only multiplies evil, because Satan went into him, as into Judas Iscariot.”

Patriarch Filaret met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in March this year, when the statesman travelled to the eastern European country to honour those fallen and give support to the government.

***

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

THE ERA OF WIDESPREAD BIOMETRIC INDENTIFICATION AND MICROCHIP IMPLANTS IS HERE

Are you ready to have your veins scanned every time you use your bank account?

by MICHAEL SNYDER ECONOMIC COLLAPSE | SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Are you ready to have your veins scanned every time you use your bank account? Are you ready to use a “digital tattoo” or a microchip implant to unlock your telephone? Once upon a time we read about such technologies in science fiction novels, but now they are here. The era of widespread biometric identification and microchip implants is upon us, and it is going to change the way that we live. Proponents of these new technologies say that they will make our private information and our bank accounts much more secure. But there are others that warn that these kinds of “Big Brother technologies” will set the stage for even more government intrusion into our lives. In the wrong hands, such technologies could prove to be an absolute nightmare.

Barclays has just announced that it is going to become the first major bank in the western world to use vein scanning technology to control access to bank accounts. There will even be a biometric reader that customers plug into their computers at home…

Barclays is launching a vein scanner for customers as it steps up use of biometric recognition technology to combat banking fraud.

The bank has teamed up with Japanese technology firm Hitachi to develop a biometric reader that scans a customer’s finger to access accounts, instead of using a password or PIN.

The biometric reader, which plugs into a customer’s computer at home, uses infrared lights to scan blood flow in a person’s finger. The user must then scan the same finger a second time to confirm a transaction. Each “vein profile” will be stored on a SIM card inside the device.

Vein recognition technology is used by some banks in Japan and elsewhere at ATM machines, but Barclays said it is the first bank globally to use it for significant account transactions.

But Barclays is not the only one that is making a big move into biometric identification.

Online retailing behemoth Alibaba is going to start using fingerprint scanning in an attempt to make their transactions more secure…

Alibaba, the giant Chinese online retailer, is integrating fingerprint scanning into its Alipay Wallet app. Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the iPhone and iPad, threw nearly $5 million at Norway’s NEXT Biometrics, which develops fingerprint scanning technology, back in May. And earlier this month it took a 10% stake for $2 million in AirSig, a Taiwanese company that uses smartphones’ built-in gyroscopes to track air handwriting. The company says AirSig provides three-factor authentication: your signature, your phone, and the way you sign with a flourish in mid-air.

It is only a matter of time before more banks, online retailers and major websites start using this kind of technology. We live at a time when theft on the Internet threatens to spiral out of control, and big corporations are going to be continually looking for answers.

Cell phone security is another area of great concern these days. If someone can get a hold of your phone and unlock it, that person can potentially do all sorts of damage.

So Motorola has developed a “digital tattoo” that will be used to ensure that only the owner of a phone is able to unlock it. The following is how Motorola described these new digital tattoos…

Made of super thin, flexible materials, based on VivaLnk’s eSkinTM technology, each digital tattoo is designed to unlock your phone with just a touch of your Moto X to the tattoo, no passwords required. The nickel-sized tattoo is adhesive, lasts for five days, and is made to stay on through showering, swimming, and vigorous activities like jogging. And it’s beautiful—with a shimmering, intricate design.

It’s another step in making it easier to unlock your phone on the go and keep your personal information safe. An average user takes 2.3 seconds to unlock their phone and does this about 39 times a day—a process that some people find so inconvenient that they do not lock their phones at all. Using NFC technology, digital tattoos make it faster to safely unlock your phone anywhere without having to enter a password.

And below I have posted the video that Motorola shared on YouTube about these tattoos…



Pretty bizarre stuff, eh?

But others are taking cell phone security to even greater extremes.

For example, some people were actually implanting themselves with microchips in anticipation of the release of the iPhone 6 on September 9th…

With a wave of his left hand, Ben Slater can open his front door, turn on the lights and will soon be able to start his car. Without even a touch he can link to databases containing limitless information, including personal details such as names, addresses and health records.

The digital advertising director has joined a small number of Australians who have inserted microchips into their skin to be at the cutting edge of the next stage of the evolution of technology.

Slater was prompted to be implanted in anticipation of the iPhone 6 release on September 9.

The conjecture among pundits and fans worldwide over what chief executive Tim Cook will reveal is building.

At present the iPhone cannot read microchip implants. However, Mr Slater believes the new version will have that capability. His confidence is now lodged between his thumb and forefinger.

Of course this kind of thing is not new. People have been getting implanted with microchips for years. If you doubt this, just do an Internet search for “biohackers” and see what you find.

But it is starting to become more mainstream, and there are already some thinkers that are quite eager to use such technology for very authoritarian purposes.

For example, one prominent philosopher recently suggested that we should use implantable microchips to prevent anyone that is “deemed unworthy” from becoming a parent…

Although he admits it “sounds blatantly authoritarian” and “violates just about every core value we possess in a free society,” a noted transhumanist author has said a world government body should forcibly sterilize anyone “deemed unworthy” of parenthood by using implanted microchips.

Constitutional attorney and civil liberties expert John W. Whitehead, founder of The Rutherford Institute, warned LifeSiteNews earlier this year that political officials would long to use this seminal technology.

In an article for Wired.com today, philosopher Zoltan Istvan wrote that the notion first crossed his mind when he heard a blonde nurse say, “with 10,000 kids dying everyday around the world from starvation, you’d think we’d put birth control in the water.”

After careful thought, in an effort to “give hundreds of millions of future kids a better life, I cautiously endorse the idea of licensing parents,” Istvan wrote today.

You might be tempted to think that this is crazy talk.

But the truth is that this kind of technology is already being developed.

In a previous article, I quoted a news article which discussed how billionaire Bill Gates is funding the development of a birth control microchip that “acts as a contraceptive for 16 years”…

Helped along by one of the world’s most notable billionaires, a U.S. firm is developing a tiny implant that acts as a contraceptive for 16 years — and can be turned on or off using a remote control.

The birth control microchip, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would hold nearly two decades worth of a hormone commonly used in contraceptives and dispense 30 micrograms a day, according to a report from the MIT Technology Review.

The new birth control, which is set to begin preclinical testing next year with hopes of putting it on shelves in 2018, can be implanted in the buttocks, upper arm or abdomen.

Yes, I know that a lot of the things that I have talked about in this article sound really weird.

But the reality of the matter is that technology is changing at an exponential rate, and our world is going to get crazier and crazier as time goes by.

Are you ready for what comes next?

***

ZERO HEDGE

UK IN “FULL PANIC MODE”, RAINS BRIMSTONE, BRIBES ON SCOTLAND AS “YES” TO INDEPENDENCE POLL CROSSES 50%

The usual commentariat until recently was swearing the Yes vote has zero chance

SEPTEMBER 7, 2014

All pundits who over the past few months have been saying the possibility of Scottish independence as a result of the September 18 ballot, is at best a pipe dream got a rude wake up call overnight, when Scottish YouGov poll for the Sunday Times put the “Yes” (for independence campaign) on top for the first time since polling began, with No below the majority cutoff line for the first time, at 49, when undecided voters are excluded, and even when including undecideds “Yes” is still ahead by two points at 47-45. As the Spectator reports, “in the space of four weeks, “No” has blown a 22-point lead.”

According to Bloomberg, “the shift to an outright lead for supporters of independence may further roil financial markets after the pound weakened last week when the pro-U.K side’s support narrowed to six percentage points.” Granted, today’s news may be GBP-negative, but Bloomberg seems to still operate under Old Normal assumptions whereby any news, bad or gad, is anything but great for stocks. Expect the S&P to hit new all time highs on this latest development which will be promptly “priced in” and spun as pent-up reunification.

The usual commentariat, which until recently was swearing the Yes vote has zero chance, is stunned :

“For a positive message to catch up so much in a month is totally unprecedented,” said Matt Qvortrup, a senior researcher at Cranfield University in England and author of “Referendums and Ethnic Conflict.” “This is pretty revolutionary stuff in referendum terms. We’re ringside to history.” The Sept. 18 ballot on Scottish independence is dominating the U.K. after door-to-door campaigning on both sides intensified last week and as traders and investors no longer rule out a dramatic victory for nationalist leader Alex Salmond.”

Others were more direct and to the point:

Scottish poll reflects world-wide disillusion with political leaders and old establishments leaving openings for libertarians and far left.

10:32 AM - 6 Sep 2014

The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson had this to say:

Make no mistake, the UK government will now be on full panic mode. This eclipses everything: the country is 12 days away from dissolution. We’re seeing an almost perfect rerun of what happened in Quebec in October 1995 when the ‘yes’ pulled into a lead at the last minute. Then, Canadians (who had ignored the debate until then) suddenly took notice, realising that their country was falling apart. Seven days before the poll, a massive unity rally in Montreal was organised (details here) by a fisheries minister acting on his own initiative. God knows such initiatives are needed now.

UK politicians, naturally, were not happy, starting with the head of the UK Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, for whom any change from the status quo is very much unwelcome:

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said a program for increased devolution to Scotland if it votes No, offering Edinburgh more control over taxes, public spending and social policy, will be announced in the “next few days” as the London government responds to the shift in the polls.

“It’s clear that Scotland wants more control over the decisions that affect Scotland,” Osborne said in a televised BBC interview. “The timetable for delivering that will be put into effect the moment there is a ‘no’ vote in the referendum. Then Scotland will have the best of both worlds. They will both avoid the risks of separation but have more control over their own destiny, which is where I think many Scots want to be.”

Osborne also reiterated his opposition, which is shared by all major parties in Westminster, to currency union with an independent Scotland. “No ifs, no buts, we will not share the pound if Scotland splits from the rest of the U.K.,” he said.

His predecessor quickly chimed in: enter Alistair Darling.

‘The polls may conflict, but the message I take from them is clear: If you want Scotland to remain part of the UK family you have to vote for it on 18 September. Separation is forever. These polls can and must now serve as a wake-up call to anyone who thought the referendum result was a foregone conclusion. It never was.  It will go down to the wire. Now is the time to speak up and speak out.

‘We are hitting the streets, knocking on the doors, making the calls in unprecedented numbers and we are hearing the people of Scotland respond positively to our vision of Scotland securing the best of both worlds. That means more powers for Scotland without taking on all the risks of separation.

‘We relish this battle. It is not the Battle of Britain – it is the battle for Scotland, for Scotland’s children and grandchildren and the generations to come. This is a battle we will win.’

It only got more panicky from there:

With campaigning in its final days, the opposition Labour Party is trying to keep its supporters onside in a traditional heartland and vote against independence. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now a Labour legislator, will tour the country making the case for the union.

“I want to share our resources with the rest of the United Kingdom, and that will mean better pensions, better health care, more jobs and better security,” Brown, a Scot, said in an interview with Sky News. “Whatever government is in power temporarily, you’ve got to look at the long term picture. You’ve got to look 50 years ahead, 100 years ahead. This is an irreversible decision.”

But perhaps realizing that dazzling them with glass beads and cheap promises won’t work, UK’s Prime Minister went “all the way” and pulled a nuclear Hank Paulson, threatening Scotland with outright death and destruction if it votes to secede. From Bloomberg:

Scotland will be more vulnerable to terrorist attacks in a “very dangerous and insecure world” if it votes for independence on Sept. 18, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Being part of a union gives Scots the protective benefits of being part of a larger country, Cameron told reporters at the end of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s summit in Newport, Wales, yesterday.

“With terrorist threats and other threats, isn’t it better to be part of a United Kingdom that has a top-five defense budget, some of the best intelligence and security services anywhere in the world, that is part of every single alliance that really matters in the world in terms of NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the European Union, a member of the security council of the UN?” Cameron said. “All those networks and abilities to work with allies to keep us safe. Isn’t it better to have those things than separate yourself from them?”

Because how else can Scotland protect itself than by aligning with the nation that, together with the US, provided weapons to these “terrorists” in the first place.

And while everyone else demanded a continuation of the status quo, and is “stunned” at the Scottish people for not appreciating the “clear benefits” that a union provides, one person who was absolutely delighted was Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond who said he expects more the 80 percent turnout in independence referendum on Sept. 18 after a poll for the first time gave a lead for his party’s ‘Yes’ campaign. “We’re encouraged by the clear panic in the ‘No’ campaign,” Salmond said in a BBC interview.

“They’ve failed to scare the Scots, now they’re trying to bribe us. That won’t work either.”

But they’ll keep on trying: just recall “Scottish Independence ‘Yes’ Vote Is A “High Risk” Event, Citi Warns.” Sure enough, here comes Citi with the postmortem released moments ago, with a note titled: “Sterling Is Set for Negative Surprise After Scottish Poll”

  • Recent history would suggest that a move for the pound toward 1.56 vs USD or lower cannot be excluded if Scotland leaves the union, Citigroup writes in client note today.

  • Outright lead in pro-independence campaign in latest YouGov survey will keep investors anxious about the outcome of the referendum on Sept. 18

  • Referendum authorities may conduct more polls in remaining week and a half; fact is, of the 86 polls conducted since 2012, only two put ’’Yes’’ vote in the lead

  • Better U.K. data this week, such as July industrial and manufacturing production, may be of little comfort

  • Carney testimony to Treasury committee hearing on Sept. 10 could highlight political and economic risks for GBP from the referendum

And from Berenberg:

  • Risk that Scotland will vote for independence is real and rising; recent movements have been further and faster than anticipated, Rob Wood, U.K. economist at Berenberg writes in client note.

  • Still expect a no vote; yes campaign lead is within margin of error and latest poll is not matched in other polls, could be an outlier

  • Scotland is re-running the 1995 Quebec independence referendum, which went down to wire before ending in tight vote against splitting from Canada

  • A Yes to independence could cause serious short-term pain over uncertainty on currency, EU status; Scotland may be forced to austerity

  • May raise risk of U.K. exit from EU without pro-EU Scotland

  • A close No vote would keep alive chances of another referendum in 5-10 years, could mean additional powers for Scotland, kickstarting changes to U.K. regional governance

    Etc.

    Of course, everyone knows that the end result of the “vote” will be arbitrated by the proverbial, if not literal Diebold, which we somehow doubt will allow such an earth-shattering outcome as Scotland being allowed to determine its fate, to take place. Because if they can, suddenly it becomes an option for the rest of Europe, a continent where as Mario Draghi has explained time and again, there is far too much political capital invested in allowing the peasants to decide their own fate.

    In the meantime, however, what better excuse than to grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy an all-time classic.

    ***

    the guardian

    Scottish referendum: Shock new poll says Scots set to vote for independence

    'No' campaign to offer radical deal as latest figures show 51-49% backing for end of the union

    The people of Scotland are to be offered a historic opportunity to devise a federal future for their country before next year's general election, it emerged on Saturday night, as a shock new poll gave the campaign for independence a narrow lead for the first time.

    Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.

    The plan, in the event of a no vote, is that people from all parts of Scottish society – rather than just politicians – would be invited to take part in a Scottish conference or convention that would decide on further large-scale transfers of power from London to Holyrood.

    A poll by YouGov for the Sunday Times sent shockwaves through the political establishment north and south of the border as it showed the yes camp had 51% to 49% for no, excluding the don't knows. Better Together leader Alistair Darling said: "These polls can and must now serve as a wake-up call to anyone who thought the referendum was a foregone conclusion."

    David Cameron was at Balmoral on Saturday night on his annual visit, where growing support for a yes vote was likely to have been raised with the Queen.

    With momentum now strongly behind Alex Salmond's push for full-blown independence, the no campaign is desperately searching for ways to seize back the initiative in the last 11 days of campaigning. A win for the yes campaign would represent a stunning turnaround, and unleash the biggest constitutional crisis in the union's 300-year history: it was 14 points behind in polls taken less than a month ago.

    However, another poll carried out by Panelbase for Yes Scotland found that no is leading 52% to 48% when undecided voters are excluded.

    A senior government minister close to the Better Together campaign said a pledge to set up a new Scottish conference or convention, after a no vote, was imminent. The intention is to demonstrate to the Scottish people that they themselves would be able to "finish the job" of devolution if they reject independence. "Watch this space. You can expect something in the next few days," said the minister.

    It is understood that there have been intensive cross-party talks in recent days to finalise the plans. The minister said the conference should be able to complete its work before the May 2015 general election, and in time for the three main Westminster parties to commit to implementing its recommendations in full in the first Queen's speech of a new parliament. Alex Salmond's SNP would be invited to take part.

    The move is designed to reassure voters that by rejecting independence they will not be left with the status quo – but that more far-reaching constitutional change and devolution will definitely follow a no vote.

    Before the latest poll results were revealed, Rupert Murdoch, the boss of News Corp, said they would be seen as a "black eye" for the British establishment. He said the poll would "shock Britain" and reveal that "everything [is] up for grabs".

    "Scottish independence means huge black eye for whole political establishment, especially Cameron and Milliband [sic]," he tweeted.

    With the yes campaign in buoyant mood, the no team aims to focus on a message that Scots can have the best of both worlds if they remain in the UK, with more powers, including over tax and their budget, but with the financial security of staying in the UK and EU.

    A senior European commission official issued a new warning that an independent Scotland could have to wait five years before getting back into the EU. The high-placed Brussels source said that the internal estimate for the time it would take for Scotland to receive new member status would be around five years, contradicting Salmond's claim that Scotland could negotiate its new membership terms from within the EU.

    She said: "It is accepted across the commission that Scotland will need to reapply and every member state will need to agree to them being admitted. There will be a significant wait of at least five to six years. For many Catalans, for example, it is this delay and the disruption to business that is in their mind when they consider independence."

    Key figures involved within Better Together have been hinting at a major announcement on further devolution in recent days. The shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, who represents Paisley and Renfrewshire South, told an audience at Glasgow University on Saturday that the time had arrived to make clear to the Scottish people that real change would follow a no vote.

    "One of our challenges in the dozen days ahead is to find new ways of setting out clearly to people just how the process for further devolution following a no vote would work, how civic society will be engaged, and on what sort of a timetable the new powers will be delivered, whichever of the main parties wins the general election." He said the choice was "between greater devolution and irreversible separation". Some critics of Better Together have said it has focused too much on which currency Scotland would use if it voted yes, and too little on how it could change for the better inside the UK.

    On Friday, Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, said he wanted to lead a debate in the House of Commons on more devolution as soon as possible after the referendum if Scotland voted no. He said it was time to recognise that it was not just Scotland that would feel the effects of devolution, but England, Wales and Northern Ireland, too.

    "The United Kingdom is moving as close to a federal state as is possible in a country where 85% of the population comes from only one of its four parts," he said.

    Brown said it had already been agreed that Scotland would have more power to set its own income tax rate, and that there would be more borrowing powers for the Scottish parliament, but he expected more power to set benefit levels and transport policy to be handed to Holyrood.

    The former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, the MP for North East Fife, who made a similar recommendation for a new Scottish conference in 2012, said it would be "a remarkable opportunity for Scotland as a whole – not just the political parties – to create a relationship with the rest of the UK which to all intents and purposes would be federal".

    Campbell said that devolving powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would raise questions over whether their MPs should then be able to vote at Westminster on matters where powers had been transferred.

    Scotland's deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said her campaign's canvassing database showed a "significant shift" on the ground. She said: "What we're finding is that as people do make up their minds, they are more likely to be deciding in favour of yes."

    ***

    MailOnline

    Get your money out of Britain: Global banks warn investors 'Yes' vote would be 'cataclysmic' for UK economy

    • Value of the pound could plunge by 15% in the event of a 'Yes' vote

    • Japan's top bank Nomura advises investors to brace for sterling collapse

    • Separation of union after over 300 years would be a 'cataclysmic shock'

    • Jitters saw the pound fall to a 10-month low against the dollar yesterday

    • Shares in major Scottish businesses also tanked amid a surge for 'Yes'

    • Sterling continued to fall today as second poll puts referendum on knife edge

      By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE

      PUBLISHED: 03:48 EST, 9 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:35 EST, 9 September 2014

      International investors have been warned to pull their cash out of Britain to protect themselves against the 'cataclysmic' impact of Scottish independence.

      Japan's biggest bank, Nomura, warned sterling could plunge by 15 per cent in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote – amid warnings over a ‘run on UK assets’ threatening savings and pensions of ordinary families.

      It came as it emerged David Cameron has pleaded with business chiefs to publicly warn against Scottish independence.

      The Prime Minister asked company bosses at a Downing Street drinks event last night to 'highlight the dangers of a Scottish exit in any way we can'.

      International investors are increasingly concerned about the prospect of a Scottish 'Yes' vote in next week's poll

      Among those who attended last night’s reception at Number 10 included Sir Richard Broadbent, the chairman of Tesco and Karen Brady, the West Ham United vice-chairman.

      One company chief present told Sky News: ‘The PM emphasised the need for us to do everything we can over the next nine days to keep the union together. He wants us to highlight the dangers of a Scottish exit in any way we can.’

      Mr Cameron's growing concern over the future of the union came after a YouGov poll this weekend put the independence campaign ahead for the first time – with 51 per cent of Scots now planning to vote for separation.

      Following the news, sterling fell to a 10-month low against the dollar yesterday while shares in major Scottish businesses tanked.

      The pound continued to fall today as a second independence poll put the Yes and No camps neck and neck.

      Jordan Rochester, Namura’s foreign exchange strategist, said: ‘We could see a lot of money being pulled out of UK investments. Sterling could fall at least 15 per cent in a worst–case scenario. These are scary times.’

      Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at the largest fund manager in the world, BlackRock, added: ‘Everybody has been focusing on geopolitics, with issues in the Ukraine and the Middle East... but this is the one thing they were not looking at.

      ‘Up until now this was not on the radar of many investors, certainly not in the US, and if it was people assumed this vote would not pass.

      ‘If the Yes vote passes, then investors would have to accept a prolonged period of uncertainty for UK assets.’

      Stephen Jen, head of SLJ Macro Partners, told the Telegraph that Asian investors could not understand what was going on.

      He said: ‘It is totally bizarre. They simply don't understand it, and nor do I. Until a week and half ago everybody thought there was a zero probability of Scotland voting Yes.

      ‘We have always assumed the United Kingdom would stay united, but now everything we thought about the UK has suddenly been tested, and will have to be repriced.’

      He said the situation would be even worse if Scotland refused to take its share of the UK debt, as Alex Salmond has threatened.

      Mr Jen said: 'Sterling could weaken a lot, though just how far it falls depends on a complicated dynamics. If Scotland tries to keep all the oil and refuses to take on its share of the public debt, there could be a run on UK assets.'

      The growing uncertainty over the result of the next week's independence referendum may, meanwhile, have knocked the confidence of Scotland’s biggest employers in Scotland, according to a survey.

      Manpower's employment outlook study suggested company bosses were holding off hiring new workers amid fears over independence.

      James Hick, managing director of ManpowerGroup Solutions, said: ‘The UK jobs market has experienced an unprecedented boom so far in 2014, with job creation peaking at its highest level since records began in 1971.'

      Mr Hick added: ‘This raises questions about whether the phenomenal level of job creation we've seen can be sustained.

      ‘The fourth quarter's Outlook suggests it can't, with a two-point fall in hiring intentions - the sharpest dip we've seen in three years.

      ‘While the UK economy is in robust health, there are issues that may be making employers more cautious.‘The eurozone's recovery is stalling, and the UK faces a period of political uncertainty with the Scottish independence referendum, a General Election and a potential vote on EU membership all on the horizon’.

      ***

      1.8 million people, 11km line: Catalonians stage their biggest independence rally

      Saturday 13th September 2014 at 10:35

      ‘Europe saw one of the largest demonstrations in recent years: at least 1.8 million people formed an 11km red-yellow line to show their support for the upcoming independence referendum. A mosaic was made in the form of a ‘V’ for ‘vote’.

      At least 1.8 million Catalans, dressed in red and yellow, the colors of the Catalan flag, gathered on Gran Via and Avenida Diagonal, two of the main streets in Barcelona. Seen from the air, the rally formed a ‘V’ 11km long. According to the organizers, ‘V’ represented ‘vote’, ‘victory’ and ‘will’ (voluntat in Catalan).’

      more

      ***

      ***

      HEALTHY DEBATES.COM

      Why Time Flies As We Age

      (Starre Vartan) We all heard it from our parents growing up and thought it sounded preposterous at the time: “What happened to last year? It flew by!” they would yell to each other at champagne-soaked New Year’s Eve parties. That’s because when you’re a kid, time seemed to move incredibly slowly. My birthday is only a month from Christmas but I remember when I was 7 that those four weeks felt like eons — now it’s all I can do to even bother celebrating my birthday, since it feels like I still have tinsel in my hair.

      While we can’t put our finger on an exact year when “time speeds up” it happens to most of us — and for real reasons. The first, and largest, is due to what psychologists call the Habituation Hypothesis. For very good reason, our brains want to conserve energy (compared to other animals, human brains use a lot of calories to run). So, once we have gotten used to something — a route to work, doing the dishes or getting dressed in the morning, for example — we start to do it on autopilot, and cease noticing many of the small things that make one day different from another. This makes time seem to pass much more quickly, since fewer unique moments are being recorded by your brain.

      When you are a small child, everything is new, and most days are a learning experience, so your brain is rarely on “auto” and you notice much more, leading to time seeming much slower. The more attention that is paid to each moment, the slower time seems to pass (which makes sense, if you think about it).

      There are physical reasons time perception changes too: Dopamine levels drop as we age, which affects our sense of time. And heart rate even has an impact. According to a 2013 research paper in the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, “…variations in prospective timing are caused by two factors: the pulse rate of an internal pacemaker and the amount of attention directed to the passage of time.”

      While you can’t change much about the biological aspects of aging, you can force yourself out of your typical routine, and slow down time when you want to, using a few techniques.

      Elevate Your Daily Experiences: Whatever it is that brings you into the moment (I favor time in nature and experiencing art), do more of those things. Playing with your kids without any distractions, cooking a meal from scratch or listening to a piece of music (not while reading, not while cleaning, just listening) are other ideas that will ground you in the now, create new memories and slow down time.

      Do New Stuff: Remember those routines I wrote about above? Shake them up. Get up early one morning and take yourself to breakfast; go to a movie after work; take a long lunch and go window-shopping downtown; don’t turn the TV on before bed and read or write instead. Changing up what you usually do will cause you to notice new things and see the world with a new perspective that’s refreshing.

      Quit Multitasking: Not focusing on the task at hand is the easiest way to lose time. If you are throwing together dinner while helping your kids with homework, while chatting to your friend, you probably won’t remember doing any of those things. Try doing one thing at a time — this might require practice if you are used to doing many things at once — and see how you remember the day later.

      Want to keep time from rushing by? It’s at least partially up to you, and how you live your life.

      ***

      Until next week...keep on believing.
      Almondtree Productions


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