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Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

By Lance Schuttler

It was reported by Redhawk at Standing Rock in North Dakota that two police officers have turned in their badges in support of the water protectors.

“There have been at least 2 reports of police officers turning in their badges acknowledging that this battle is not what they signed up for. You can see it in some of them, that they do not support the police actions. We must keep reminding them they are welcome to put down their weapons and badge and take a stand against this pipeline as well. Some are waking up.”- Redhawk

Hearts are opening...

Hearts are opening…

Hearts are opening

With actions from militarized police continuing to be seen as extremely violent and dangerous, this news is a big win for the water protectors and for humanity as a whole. While the actions of some police officers are not appropriate, we all must continue to visualize and intend/pray that the hearts of all involved in this situation continue to open. Police must be held accountable for their actions, though we must continue to welcome them over to the side of the water protectors.

Having the police lay down their weapons and join the people is the goal. It is also a win-win solution, which is the best case scenario. So what is it that opened the hearts of these two officers?

At the time of this writing, the answer is not known but we can speculate on a few different items.

  • Word is spreading quickly that there are 17 multi-national banks funding this pipeline and that the propaganda being spread about this deal “creating American jobs” or “helping America’s economy” is being seen as just that, propaganda. The American people, as well as people of the world, know that the big banks and U.S. Government does not care for the people, but only themselves. These banks and the government showed their hand in 2008 when they were bailed out after the stock market crash, leaving the public to bear the economic and social burdens. Even the police are becoming aware of this fact that the government and banks do not care for them and see the police only as pawns in a bigger game the government wishes to control.
  • Water is life is not just a meaningless slogan in many people’s minds. It is becoming understood by more and more that water IS indeed life. If water becomes toxic, all life that depends on that water becomes toxic…including the families of these same police officers who are currently protecting the construction sites. They too would be affected by toxic water.
  • It is innately traumatizing for humans to hurt other humans. While we have been seeing this for some time now with this situation, police officers are realizing the harm they do when they assault an unarmed, peaceful water protector. In essence, peace is wanting and needing to be established.

Take a look at what happened in Frankfurt, Germany in May of 2012. The police removed their helmets and began marching with the people who were protesting the big banks, while also safely escorting them down the streets.

Let us all use this latest news as a big step forward towards peace and resolution of this pipeline issue. The pipeline construction needs to and must stop. With the announcement from Barack Obama yesterday that the White House is considering “re-routing” the pipeline, we must continue to demand that it’s construction cease entirely. We can also view that statement as a buckling of the Establishment. Continue on, water protectors. Truth and love is spreading.

Source*

Related Topics:

Standing Rock Protestors Use Mirrors to Inspire Humility among Police Officers*

Mirrors Brought to Protests to Force Police to Look at What They’ve Become*

German Police Officers Take Off Helmets & Marched With German Citizens Against Rothschild European Central Bank!

Wisconsin Police Join the Mass Protest

Islamophobes Found Themselves Surrounded in a Sea of Diversity*

On the Rights of Nature*

On the Rights of Nature*

By Mari Margil

Reading headlines on the environment can be terrifying.

In November, a New York Times headline stated, “Great Barrier Reef Hit by Worst Coral Die-Off on Record, Scientists Say.” In December, USA Today reported “Giraffes face ‘silent extinction’ as population shrinks nearly 40%.” And in January, the Washington Post reported that “U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row.

Environmental degradation is advancing around the world. The United Nations has warned that we are heading toward “major planetary catastrophe.” With this there is a growing recognition of the need for fundamental change in how we, humankind, live on planet.

More than forty years after the passage of the major federal environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act – laws which are now mirrored around the world – the earth’s species, waterways, oceans, coral reefs, forests, and other ecosystems are rapidly declining.

These environmental laws, rather than protecting the rights of the environment to exist and thrive, instead regulate its use and exploitation. Thus, environmental laws largely legalize harm – including fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and pipelines – rather than protect against it.

These laws are premised on nature being considered property under the law, and therefore, as right-less. Much like indigenous peoples, slaves, and women have been considered right-less under the law – unable to defend their own basic rights to life and well-being – so today do environmental laws treat nature.

A movement is building to advance a different paradigm, one which is recognizing the inherent rights of nature

Rights of nature laws have now been passed in more than three dozen communities in the United States, as well as codified in Ecuador’s Constitution. These laws recognize the inalienable rights of nature – or Pacha Mama as is stated in Article 71 of the Ecuador Constitution – to exist, thrive, evolve, and be restored. These laws transform nature from being property under the law to being rights-bearing.

While the passage of laws recognizing the rights of nature is new – the first laws in the world were first established within the past decade or so – the idea of nature having rights is not new.

Many have said that the recognition of legal rights of nature is a codification of indigenous culture into law, thus reaching back thousands of years of human history. More recently, though still more than a century ago, environmentalist John Muir wrote that we must respect “the rights of all the rest of creation.” In 2015, Pope Francis called for a new era of environmental protection, stating in a speech before the United Nations, “A true ‘right of the environment’ does exist…”

Much of the more modern day discussion heralds back to Professor Christopher Stone’s 1972 law review article titled “Should Trees Have Standing – Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects” in which he considered why we might want, and what it might mean, to recognize legal rights of nature.

Stone described how under the existing structure of law, nature was considered “right-less” having no legally recognized rights to defend and enforce. Thus, nature – much like slaves once were – was treated by the law as a thing, as property, existing for the use of its owner.

Moving from the idea of rights of nature to the codification of those rights in law first occurred in Tamaqua Borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Now communities in a number of states have such laws in place, the largest being Pittsburgh, where the City Council unanimously passed the rights of nature law in 2010. These laws recognize that ecosystems and natural communities have the legal right to exist and flourish, and that residents and their government have the authority to enforce and defend those rights.

There are several cases now in the United States, in which oil and gas companies are challenging laws recognizing the rights of nature. The companies , Pennsylvania General Energy and Seneca Resources, are claiming that these laws – which prohibit fracking related activities as a violation of the rights of nature – violate their corporate constitutional rights. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (for which the author works) is representing ecosystems that are seeking to intervene in the cases to defend their own rights.

In Ecuador, we are also beginning to see the impact of these laws, as indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, communities, and public interest organizations seek to enforce and defend the rights of nature in the face of numerous threats from governmental and corporate actors.

In a 2015 decision related to illegal shrimp farming, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador explained that enshrining the rights of nature in the country’s constitution establishes a “biocentric vision in which nature is prioritized, as opposed to the classical anthropocentric conception in which the human being is the center and measure of all things, whereas nature was considered a mere provider of means.”

The Court ruled that the lower court, which had earlier ruled in the case, had failed to consider the rights of nature in its decision. In not considering these rights, the Court explained, the lower court failed to recognize that the rights of nature are “transversal” such that “all the actions of the State, as well as of individuals, must be in observance…to the rights of nature.”

The Court explained that under Ecuador’s Constitution, nature is now a holder of rights, and that government and the people have a responsibility to uphold and protect those rights. This comes with the recognition that until and unless we establish a harmonious relationship with nature – much different than humankind’s relationship with the natural world today – we will continue to see the decline of ecosystems and species, the very fabric of life.

As communities in the United States advance the rights of nature, and in Ecuador people seek to defend the constitutional rights of nature, peoples in other parts of the world are advancing such rights as well.

In India, for example, the National Ganga River Rights Act is being advanced for consideration by the national Parliament. Half a billion people depend on the river, yet it is an ecosystem in severe decline. The Act would establish rights of the river to exist and flourish, and the right of people of India to water and a healthy, thriving river ecosystem.

In Nepal, a rights of nature constitutional amendment is being considered to address climate change. As one of the world’s most mountainous nations, Nepal is facing the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, which people, species, and ecosystems throughout the country depend on for water. As a Sherpa explained to me, with the melting of ice and snow, “The mountains are turning black.”

The Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin is the first tribal nation in the United States to advance an amendment to their tribal constitution to recognize the rights of nature. In September 2016, the Ho-Chunk General Council voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposed amendment. A vote of the full membership is expected later this year.

The preamble to the proposed Ho-Chunk constitution amendment reads:

Whereas, in the tradition of the Nation’s relationship with Mother Earth, from which we came and upon which we depend…we recognize that to protect Mother Earth, we must place the highest protections on nature, through the recognition of rights in the Nation’s highest law, our Constitution…

As Bill Greendeer of the Ho-Chunk Nation explained,

Passing the Rights of Nature amendment will help us protect our land.

Source*

Related Topics:

Schooled in Nature: There’s a way to Teach Children Without Colonizing Their Minds*

Nature Doesn’t Need People

Do Women Who Surround Themselves With Nature Live Longer?

Has a Foreign Fracking Company Quietly Buys Rights to Botswana Conservation Park?*

****Up Nature: Sex change for Nine-year-olds*

Bolivia: Rights of Mother Earth Becomes Legal*

Law of Mother Earth: Chile Suspends Nature Buster!

Seattle Council Votes to Divest Billions from Wells Fargo over DAPL Support*

Couple Forced to Destroy 40yo Pond on their Own Property because Govt Owns the Rainwater*

Kenya: Rights Of Mother Earth: Maasai Response

Humans Have Between 9 – 21 Senses In Total!?*

Humans Have Between 9 – 21 Senses In Total!?*

We have more than five senses

We have more than five senses

We have more than five senses. Image credit:
Have you ever heard the expression someone has a sixth sense? Why limit our senses to a sixth sense?

Actually, according to scientists, humans can have between 9 to 21 senses in total!

The idea that humans have only five sense is a pure myth. Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), ancient Greek philosopher and scientist is credited with the traditional classification of the five sense organs: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.  Aristotle was wrong, but the myth of five senses persists.

Currently, there is no concrete definition of what constitutes a sense, but according to most researchers a sense is a feeling or perception produced through the organs of touch, taste , etc., or resulting from a particular condition of some part of the body. In order for us to have a sense, there needs to be a sensor. Each sensor is tuned to one specific sensation. For example, there are sensors in your eyes that can detect light.

The five senses mentioned by Aristotle are what we call traditional senses, but there are also additional senses such as:

Equilibrioception: Simply known as the sense of balance. It is helps prevent humans and animals from falling over when standing or moving.

Proprioception: This is the perception of one’s body in space or the body’s position. Even if a person is blindfolded, he or she knows through proprioception if an arm is above the head or hanging by the side of the body.

Thermoception: is the sense of heat. Specialized cellular sense receptors (thermoreceptors) allow the detection of cold and hot temperatures. It means we know which object is hot without touching it.

Nociception: is the ability to feel pain.

Magnetoception: is the ability to detect magnetic fields. Unlike birds, humans do not have a strong sense of magnetoception, but we still have a certain orientation of when detecting the Earth’s magnetic field.

We also have stretch receptors. These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, blood vessels, and the gastrointestinal tract.

Our chemoreceptors help us to detect chemicals in the environment.

Familiarity is part of our recognition memory. A strong sense of familiarity can occur without any recollection, for example in cases of deja vu.

Hunger and thirst are also senses. The sense of time is still debated, but researchers have discovered humans have an astonishing accurate sense of time, particularly when younger.

Other senses are pressure, itch, and muscle tension.

Many people would also say that intuition is also a sense, but there is still isn’t enough conclusive evidence to add it to our sense list. However, more and more scientists are becoming convinced some humans are able to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning.

Scientists who study the phenomenon say it’s a very real ability that can be identified in lab experiments and visualized on brain scans.

What is certain is that humans certainly do have more than five senses.

 

 Source*

Related Topics:

Bringing Adventure, Nature and Imagination Back into Children’s Play Time*

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

“You” are not Your Rational Mind*

Your brain does not process information, or…*

Your Iman is Not Safe in the Hands of Just Your Intellect*

How the Media Uses Neuro-Linguistic Programming*

The Schumann Resonance Rising and Higher Consciousness*

The Schumann Resonance Rising and Higher Consciousness*

The Schumann resonances are oscillating magnetic frequencies that happen in the Earth’s electromagnetic spectrum. They are said to be generated by electromagnetic changes that happen within the earth’s core, that then affect the earth’s surface, and ionosphere, including the sentient beings living upon it. This resonance has been about the same for hundreds, if not thousands of years, but it seems to be changing. Why?

It has been assumed that the Earth, along with all living things on earth, is surrounded and protected with this natural frequency of pulsation of 7.83 HZ, or the Schumann resonance. The ancient Indian Rishis called this sound, OM. Whether by coincidence or not, it also happens to be a very powerful frequency to use with brainwave entrainment allowing human beings to access their full brains, and heightened consciousness.

Though the Schumann resonance can vary dependent upon the geographic location, it has been hovering around 7.8 cycles per second for years. This resonance is thought to be the ‘heartbeat of the earth,’ an oscillating frequency which we ourselves attune to in order to stay in balance energetically.

Gregg Braden claims to have found evidence that HAARP and other weaponized weather is messing with the Schumann resonance, offering that there is evidence in the Seattle library’s archives, and though this has not been verified, many others have suggested that that the Schumann frequency is not only altered to control us, but that we can also alter it, depending on our own level of consciousness.

In 2014, it was considered anomalous for the Schumann resonance frequency to have risen from its usual 7.83 HZ to somewhere in the 15-25 levels.

It looked like this in 2014

It looked like this in 2014

It looked like this in 2014:

This is what it looks like now: http://imgur.com/a/KUnqq Spike in Schumann Resonance in 2017

This is what it looks like now: http://imgur.com/a/KUnqq Spike in Schumann Resonance in 2017

 

There have been peaks to up to 36 HZ in recent days.

You can also track this in real time using the Space Observing System, here.

As the Heart Math institute’s research has revealed by collecting a continuous stream of data from the earth’s magnetic field, there does seem to be a shift occurring in global consciousness, evidenced by changes in the Schumann frequency. You can look at a spectrogram calendar to see the changes for yourself, here.

Moreover, the research suggests that when many people are in peaceful alignment, the resonance changes to reflect that. In other words, we are changing the magnetosphere of the planet with our thoughts and actions. This ‘coherence’ is likely being supported inter-galactically as well.

As NASA details,

“At any given moment about 2,000 thunderstorms roll over Earth, producing some 50 flashes of lightning every second. Each lightning burst creates electromagnetic waves that begin to circle around Earth captured between Earth’s surface and a boundary about 60 miles up. Some of the waves – if they have just the right wavelength – combine, increasing in strength, to create a repeating atmospheric heartbeat known as Schumann resonance. This resonance provides a useful tool to analyze Earth’s weather, its electric environment, and to even help determine what types of atoms and molecules exist in Earth’s atmosphere.

The waves created by lightning do not look like the up and down waves of the ocean, but they still oscillate with regions of greater energy and lesser energy. These waves remain trapped inside an atmospheric ceiling created by the lower edge of the “ionosphere” – a part of the atmosphere filled with charged particles, which begins about 60 miles up into the sky. In this case, the sweet spot for resonance requires the wave to be as long (or twice, three times as long, etc.) as the circumference of Earth. This is an extremely low frequency wave that can be as low as 8 Hertz (Hz) – some one hundred thousand times lower than the lowest frequency radio waves used to send signals to your AM/FM radio. As this wave flows around Earth, it hits itself again at the perfect spot such that the crests and troughs are aligned. Voila, waves acting in resonance with each other to pump up the original signal.

While they’d been predicted in 1952, Schumann resonances were first measured reliably in the early 1960s. Since then, scientists have discovered that variations in the resonances correspond to changes in the seasons, solar activity, activity in Earth’s magnetic environment, in water aerosols in the atmosphere, and other Earth-bound phenomena.”

What NASA does not detail is how human consciousness can interact with these frequencies to change them. The Heart Math Institute calls this global coherence, but it is also known in hundreds of ancient texts as the ‘awakening.’

Additional scientific findings suggest:

  1. The Schumann Resonances are observed by experiment to emerge at several frequencies related to brainwaves. They range between 6 and 50 cycles per second, specifically 7.8 (alpha), 14 (low beta), 20 (mid beta), 26 (high beta), 33 (high beta), 39 (gamma) and 45Hz (gamma), with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 Hertz.
  2. 83 is the strongest of the seven resonances, in the alpha brainwave range. If the rise in resonance continues, this primary resonance, the earth pulse, changes from sub band low alpha (7-10Hz) to sub band high alpha (10-12Hz), perhaps influencing our ability to deeply relax, balance and integrate our mind/body connection. It could influence REM sleep and dreaming. If it continues to rise, it will breach the threshold into ‘fast’ beta activity. Low beta (12-15Hz) is associated with lack of focused attention, and low beta can even reflect Attention Deficit Disorder.
  3. The amplitude (i.e. intensity) of the Schumann resonance is not constant, and appears to be extremely dependent upon tropical (and hence global) temperature. Indeed preliminary results seem to indicate that a mere one degree increase in temperature seems to be correlated with a doubling of the SR. This could not be more significant, as it is unknown what psychobiological effect these fluctuations could have on humans.

It seems the ‘awakening’ is happening through us, and to us, from within and via ‘external’ influences. Without doubt though the Schumann resonance is changing significantly, what remains to be seen, are the ramifications of these changes.

Source*

Related Topics:

Schumann Resonance Fluctuating Frequency *

Schumann Frequency Resonance of the Earth Has Doubled*

Schumann Resonance of our Being

The Electro-magnetic Warfare on our Consciousness*

Plasma Waves and Obama’s Executive Order Regarding Space Weather Events*

U.S. Air Force to Alter Atmosphere with Plasma Bombs*

Earth Weakening Defences as Veil of Plasma is Discovered

CERN: Connection between Particles and Influenced Human Consciousness*

Cosmic Rays Evolve Consciousness and Transform DNA*

The aql is not Reason – it’s Consciousness*

In the Beginning was/is Consciousness*

Genetics Is Giving Way to a New Science of Life*

Genetics Is Giving Way to a New Science of Life*

By Jonathan Latham

Test your understanding of the living world with this simple question. What kind of biomolecule is found in all living organisms? If your answer is “DNA”, you are incorrect.

The mistake is very forgiveable though. The standard English-language biology education casts DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) as the master molecule of life, coordinating and controlling most, if not all, living functions. This master molecule concept is popular. It is plausible. It is taught in every university and high school. But it is wrong. DNA is no master controller, nor is it even at the centre of biology. Instead, science overwhelmingly shows that life is self-organised and thus the pieces are in place for biology to undergo the ultimate paradigm shift.

The mythologising of DNA

Highly respected scientists make very strong claims for the powers of DNA. In his autobiography, Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis called it “The King of molecules” and “The big one”. Maybe he read DNA: The Secret of Life, a popular science book that calls DNA the molecule that “holds the key to the very nature of living things”. Its author should know. He is Nobel Laureate, James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Even institutions have strong opinions when it comes to DNA; the website of the U.S. National Institutes of Health claims “Genes are at the center of everything that makes us human”.

My edition of The Secret of Life features on its back cover Eric Lander. Lander is the celebrated brains behind modern human genetics. He is also the head of the Broad Institute at MIT. In his blurb, Lander endorses “The secret of life” trope. Just below him on the jacket is Professor of genetics Mary-Claire King. She writes: “This is the story of DNA and therefore the story of life, history, sex, money, drugs, and still-to-be-revealed secrets.” According to Prof. King, DNA is life.

The Watson view of genetics dominates education too. The standard U.S. high school biology textbook “Life“, of which we own the 1997 edition, frames the entirety of biology around DNA, thereby giving it the biochemical status of life’s centrepiece.

Meanwhile, Francis Collins, longstanding head of the National Institutes of Health, has published bestselling books about DNA with titles like The Language of Life and the Language of God. It should be no surprise then that the idea of DNA as a master molecule is one of the dominant ideas of our age.

Some biologists will say that these views are extreme and unrepresentative. They are, and part of this article is to explain why extreme views about DNA dominate the public discourse. But its main purpose is to contrast the portrayal of DNA by virtually all biologists with the narrow scientific treatment they apply to other biological molecules. Our existence also depends on proteins, fats, carbohydrates and RNA (Ribonucleic Acid); but no one says “it’s in my protein”. But here is a question: is it any less scientifically preposterous to say something “is in my DNA”?

To take a ruthless look at that question is thus the purpose of this article. Does DNA have any claim to being in control? Or at the centre of biological organisation?

The answer is that DNA is none of the things Watson, Lander, and Collins claim, and that even the standard nuanced biologist’s view of life is wrong. This is provable in many ways but mainly by a new science of life that is emerging from almost complete obscurity. This new science explains the features of living beings in productive new ways that DNA-centric, genetic determinist, biology has not, and cannot. DNA is not the language of God. It is not even the language of biology.

Organisms are systems

The evidence that DNA is not a biological controller begins with the fact that biological organisms are complex systems. Outside of biology, when we consider any complex system, such as the climate, or computers, or the economy, we would not normally ask whether one component has primacy over all the others. We consider it obvious that complex systems are composed of subsystems, each being necessary for the larger whole. Each subsystem has its specific niche but no one subsystem exerts a privileged level of causation.

The same applies to living organisms. At the level of the physiology of an individual organism we do not apply an exclusive or special causative role to the heart, the liver, the skin, or the brain, because a body is a system. All parts are necessary.

At the smaller biological scales of organs too, distinct cell types maintain, operate, and repair themselves and each other. Similarly, at the cellular level, no one disagrees that organelles and other molecular structures are interacting but independent subparts of the whole.

At the level of macromolecules, however, a curious thing happens. Biologists abandon systems thinking entirely. Instead, we apply the famous central dogma of biology, which is that DNA makes RNA makes Protein (Crick, 1970). This formulation creates an origin story that begins with DNA.

The first mistake of the dogma, however, is to call it “central”. If an organism is a system, then there is no centre. The second error is that the pathway described is factually incorrect. The pathway should be a loop since the DNA does not come from nowhere: to make every DNA molecule requires proteins and RNA and DNA. More broadly, the synthesis of DNA cannot be done without a whole cell, just as the making of any RNA or any protein also takes a whole cell.

If we wanted to be more accurate still, we would say it takes a whole organism to make each of these components. Even this description would be incomplete, since, undeniably, it takes an ecosystem, including, in the case of humans, a gut microbiota and a food supply. The full formulation of the central dogma is therefore a loop embedded in a web. But the central dogma taught to millions of students every year takes an entirely different intellectual path. It arbitrarily confers on DNA a special place: firstly, by not closing the loop, and second, by placing DNA at its beginning. The central dogma is thus merely a representation formed from arbitrarily constructed boundaries. It is not biological reality.

Geneticists, and sometimes other biologists, make this linear interpretation seem plausible, not with experiments—since their results contradict it—but by using highly active verbs in their references to DNA. DNA, according to them, “controls”, “governs”, and “regulates” cellular processes, while nouns like “expression” are also commonly used to ascribe functions to DNA. Biologists thus confer activist and willful superpowers on DNA. Ultimately, this can create circular arguments. DNA controls embryonic development or organism health because genes express themselves. QED.

However, there is no specific science that demonstrates that DNA plays the dominant role these words imply. Quite the opposite. For example, a recent publication in Nature magazine posited “An emerging consensus that much of the protein constituent of the cell is buffered against transcriptional variation.” i.e. is insulated from direct genetic quantitative influence (Chick et al., 2016). This buffering is nicely demonstrated by many experiments. One is the demonstration that the circadian rhythm of a bacterium can be reproduced, in the absence of any DNA, by just three proteins mixed together in a test tube. The rhythm was maintained for three days, even in the face of temperature changes (Nakjima et al., 2005).

z-dna_orbit_animated.gifInevitably, any language used to describe DNA will necessarily be metaphorical and be of limited accuracy, but words like “govern” and “control” literally invent attributes for DNA (Noble, 2003). A much more precise metaphor for DNA would compare it to the library of Congress, since cells use DNA primarily as a storehouse of information. Consider that biologists could apply more neutral verbs such as “use”, as in “cells use DNA to create proteins”. If so, they would have created a very different status for DNA. Only librarians would have T-shirts saying “its in my DNA”.

If we shed the wild metaphors and the central dogma, a more accurate way to think about biology emerges. If every molecule and every subsystem, regardless of scale, constrains and potentiates the other parts, then there is no need to infer a central controller. We can replace the DNA-centric model of biology with a relational model of complex interplay of feedback systems and emergent properties, of which the library of DNA is just one component. In this model, RNA is simply one of the inputs needed to make proteins and DNA is just one of the inputs needed to make RNA, and so on. Unlike the central dogma, such a proposition is consistent with the known facts of biology.

The formulation encapsulated by the central dogma and by biology textbooks is therefore an illusion. They are a classic case of what microbiologist Carl Woese has called the “reductionist fundamentalism”. Reductionist fundamentalism differs from simple reductionism in that whereas simple reductionism is a valid scientific method, the former is an ideological preference for a simplistic explanation when a more holistic one is better supported by the evidence. In this case, the assigning of superpowers to DNA to explain observed biological activities when a better explanation would accept that many biochemical events have multiple causes and contributors. Oxford physiologist Denis Noble describes this fallacy as conferring on DNA “a privileged level of causation”.

If not DNA, is there a “molecule of life”?

Many plant-infecting viruses lack DNA. They base their lifecycles on protein and they use RNA as their heritable material.

There are also plant pathogens, called viroids, that lack both DNA and protein. Viroids are thus composed solely of non-coding RNA. Lifeforms can therefore exist without either DNA or proteins—but there are none that that lack RNA.

Therefore, the answer to the opening question: “what kind of biomolecule is possessed by all living organisms?” is RNA. RNA stands for Ribonucleic Acid and for many reasons it is a better candidate for being a universal biomolecule than DNA.

RNA and DNA are chemically very similar. Even scientists confuse them, but their modest chemical distinctions confer very different properties. RNA is structurally very flexible (bendy), whereas DNA is highly inflexible; RNA is unstable and chemically reactive, whereas DNA is highly inert. A key difference is the number of chemical modifications that cells are able make to their four bases. In the case of DNA (whose bases are the nucleotides A,C,G and T), just two modifications are possible in most cells. These modifications are called methylation and acetylation. These two modifications alter the properties of DNA bases and they are the primary basis of the fashionable science of epigenetics.

RNA also has four bases (A, C, G, and U). But cells make more than one hundred comparable chemical modifications to them. The roles of these modifications are essentially a mystery, but presumably they help RNA perform its many cellular tasks.

RNA is also misunderstood. In a typical human cell, less than 1% of it makes proteins. The remaining 99% has a huge variety of structural, regulatory, and enzymatic functions. Most biologists though might as well be slaves to the central dogma in thinking that RNA is just the intermediate between DNA and protein. Only recently has RNA begun emerging from the shadow of DNA as a far more interesting molecule.

The deep explanation of these molecular differences is that RNA existed long before DNA. RNA probably predated even the invention of cells. It is enormously old. In consequence, it is so deeply and structurally embedded in living systems that it is very hard to study. Thus the paradoxical reason why we don’t know much about RNA is not because it is unimportant, but because, unlike DNA, RNA is too important to cell function to selectively remove at will.

Consequently, to conform with current evolutionary understanding, we should really invert standard teaching and insist that the proper way to think about DNA is that it is a specialised form of RNA. DNA evolved structural rigidity and chemical inertness to make itself a more staid librarian for the safe storing of heritable information.

So, over evolutionary time DNA was chosen as a better librarian (this library metaphor originates with Colin Tudge and his excellent book Why DNA isn’t selfish and people are nice); proteins turned out to be superior catalysts of chemical reactions; but RNA is more likely to have been the biomolecule around which life was really built. But RNA is no more a controller than is DNA.

Nor is DNA the centre of evolution

A common explanation for organising biology around DNA, and the one given by the authors of “Life“, the textbook, is DNA’s supposed role in the theory of evolution. For two reasons this explanation is highly questionable, however. Both reasons exemplify pervasive misunderstandings of the theory of evolution. One of these misunderstandings exaggerates the significance of Darwin’s theory and the second, once again, gives to DNA credit it doesn’t deserve.

The first misunderstanding is to assume that evolutionary theory is an explanation of life. Life, however, began long before Darwinian evolution and some of its fundamental patterns (cells, proteins, energy metabolism) emerged—so far as we can tell—long before DNA became the molecule of heredity (Carter, 2016). This distinction is important. In a textbook about “Life“, for example, it is important to separate the origin of life from its maintenance so as not to unhelpfully exaggerate (i.e. confuse) what Darwin’s theory explains; but in conflating the two, “Life” is only reflecting the misunderstanding of most biologists.

Second, the pre-Darwinian life of cells and metabolism arose thanks to the fact that complex systems have emergent and self-organising properties (e.g. Kauffman, 1993; Carter, 2016). The advent of DNA into these systems allowed Darwinian evolution to accelerate, but it did not eradicate emergent and self-organising properties. Rather, it colluded with them and helped create new ones. This means such properties are the likeliest explanation of large areas of biology. “Self-organization proposes what natural selection disposes” is how Batten and colleagues quaintly summarise alternatives to standard evolutionary theory which is pretty much rigidly genetic determinist (Batten et al., 2008).

A classic emergent property is the folding of proteins. DNA encodes the linear sequence of amino acids that constitute proteins, but every protein adopts one (or usually more) highly complex three dimensional shape (Munson et al., 1996). These shapes, along with charge and solubility, are largely responsible for a protein’s properties. It is habitually, but lazily, presumed that DNA specifies all the information necessary for the formation of a protein, but that is not true. All protein shapes depend also on the integration of multiple sources of information. These sources include temperature, other cellular molecules like water and mineral ions, pH, energy molecules like ATP, protein folding aids called chaperones, and so forth. Beyond this, many proteins have functions, such as to be molecular channels and pumps that emerge only at higher levels of structure, such as in the presence of other proteins.

Thus DNA specifies proteins and their functions only up to a very limited point. It is possible to disregard all such non-genetic contributions and ascribe to DNA all the properties of a protein or a process (or a whole organism). Most scientists do, but doing so is an ultra-determinist position. It writes emergent properties, such as protein folding, entirely out of the functioning of life. It again confers onto DNA superpowers it does not have.

Emergent properties are only one example of why the relationship between DNA and evolution is much more tenuous than is normally portrayed. Patrick Bateson of Cambridge University, whose perspective is not emergent properties but animal behaviour, explained evolution much more accurately than most when he wrote: “Whole organisms survive and reproduce differentially and the winners drag their genotypes with them. This is the engine of Darwinian evolution“.

Thus we can explain why Charles Darwin invented his theory of evolution without knowing DNA even existed, because, even for evolution, DNA still is not “The big one”, but it is standard for biologists to teach that DNA is more important to evolution than any other component of living organisms.

Explaining genocentric biology

When Dorothy journeyed to the Emerald City she discovered that The Wizard of Oz was only “a common man”. He was devoid of magic powers and so could not help her friends. But there was at least something behind the facade. The same is true for DNA.

Most cellular molecules are highly reactive and transient chemical substances. That means they are difficult to extract, and hard to study. So it is with RNA and proteins.

DNA, however, is a much more practical point of intervention in biology. It is stable and robust and simple enough to be isolated on a reproducible basis and copied precisely. With an hour of training, high school students can do it. With a bit more training, DNA can be altered and, in some species, replaced. Hence the alarm over garage hacking of DNA.

This explains, in a nutshell, why our understanding of gene regulatory networks runs far ahead of our understanding of other disciplines of biology. It is because DNA is the low hanging fruit of biology.

Scientific dissent around DNA

“The human body completely changes the matter it is made of roughly every 8 weeks, through metabolism, replication and repair. Yet, you’re still you –with all your memories, your personality… If science insists on chasing particles, they will follow them right through an organism and miss the organism entirely.”

Mathematical biologist Robert Rosen is supposed to have said. And indeed, examine any multicellular organism and concealed under its relatively calm surface are circulatory systems, churning stomachs, lymphatic drainage systems, electrical impulses, biomolecular machines and so forth.

These systems cause every part of an organism to continuously move, contract, twist, vibrate, strain and grow. What defines living organisms, in the final analysis, is their dynamic and  animate nature. This is why, when we want to know if an organism has legally died we don’t examine its DNA, we measure its heartbeat or brain function. Animate properties require animate components, like RNA and proteins.

Yet by organizing our understanding of life largely around DNA (recall Mary-Claire King’s “DNA is life”), biologists have curiously chosen the cellular constituent that is probably the least representative of life’s dynamic nature.

For this reason there are dissenters in biology. Some are prominent. Some are not. They all have questioned whether biology is not much more complex and interesting than our present DNA-based framing can make room for (e.g. Kaufman, 1993; Strohman, 1997; Rose, 1999; Woese 2004; Annila and Baverstock 2014; Friston et al., 2015).

These dissenters like to note, for example, the general absence of medico-scientific breakthroughs following the sequencing of the human genome and the ever-more-detailed-analysis-of-tiny-scraps-of-human-DNA (Ioannidis, 2007Dermitzakis and Clark, 2009Manolio et al., 2009).

Some go much further in their critiques than others. Carl Woese, perhaps the best known bacteriologist since Pasteur, argued before his death that genetic determinism is a dead end, its vision of biology is “spent” (Woese, 2004).

There perhaps is no finer example of this than the field of tissue engineering. Tissue engineers claim to have made “incredible” progress making whole human organs in vitro for transplanting and other medical uses, yet these organs are all non-functional (Badylak, 2016). They don’t have blood vessels or immune systems or nerve networks, they are just human cells on an ear-shaped scaffold or a hand-shaped scaffold and so, among their many deficiencies, they are short-lived because they have no regenerative properties.

Many biologists suspect at least part of this paradigm problem, but they rarely act on it. The sole noticeable official response to the obvious fact that organisms are highly complex systems has been to shovel modest funding in the direction of ‘systems biology’.

One is bound to note that even this systems biology is rarely the study of systems. Instead, biologists have overwhelmingly used systems biology funds not to further the understanding of complex systems but to scale up and mechanise their reductionism.

Thus no scientific specialism or institution has articulated the profound inadequacy of viewing organisms as collections of gene regulatory networks or moved towards assembling an alternative paradigm (or paradigms) to replace it (Strohman, 1997).

This intellectual near-vacuum is nevertheless being steadily filled by individual scientists, mostly on the margins, with promising, even revolutionary, theoretical developments and experimental findings that explain biological phenomena in ways that transcend genetics.

A short guide to alternative paradigms of life

A Helmholtz machine is a sensory device that makes a prediction about reality and crosschecks it against that reality. It then estimates the difference between the two. Bayesian statistics is a mathematical method of doing the same: estimating differences between expectation and reality.

A new theory of neurobiology, called the Bayesian brain theory, proposes that the brain is the biological equivalent of these (reviewed in Clark, 2013). Brains make predictions, measure the mismatches with their expectations and pass those mismatches up to higher neural circuits. These higher circuits repeat the process and if mismatches persist then these are passed on to yet ‘higher’ mental levels.

The Bayesian brain hypothesis is quite new and predictive neurons might seem superficially improbable, yet the hypothesis appears to explain numerous aspects of brain structure and brain function; for example, how the brain can treat widely different stimuli (visual, sensual, oral, aural, etc.) essentially with the same neural mechanisms and structures. It also appears to show how the brain can integrate action and perception. The theory also provides a substantive explanation of learning: learning is the updating of the predictive model. The Bayesian brain hypothesis may even explain how brains evolved higher levels of consciousness over evolutionary time periods: by adding new layers of prediction.

A particular strength of the Bayesian brain hypothesis is that it corresponds to the actual spatial organisation of neurons in the primate cortex in which ranks of “predictive” neurons and “sensory” neurons send signals in opposing directions which lets them cancel each other out (except for the mismatches).

The structure-based predictive learning system proposed by the Bayesian brain hypothesis is of interest here because it relegates detailed genetic explanations of many phenomena, including arguably all consciousness, to the margins (Friston, 2010). Genes and proteins may fill in the details but many of the key elements of brain function: learning, action, and perception, derive primarily from structure alone. I.e., like protein folding, they are emergent properties of organisation.

Emergent properties are equally important in other areas of biology. An example is the vascular system of plants. Trees can transport water from unsaturated sources hundreds of feet into the air. Transpiration, as it is called, requires no energy input. Rather, it takes advantage purely physical properties of hydrophilic xylem tissues (tubes) and the properties of water itself. Without transpiration, which already operates, but only very weakly, in soils, plants could not exceed a couple of inches in height, nor tolerate dry conditions (Wheeler and Stroock, 2008). Thus, the defining characteristic of plants (apart from photosynthesis) is their clever exploitation of a simple physical property of water.

A further example is the arches of the human foot. These are longitudinal and transverse diaphragms composed of bone and connective tissue whose emergent property is both to dissipate forces at impact and operate as springs to transfer energy from impact into forward motion. Arches reduce the energy needed to walk or run.

In the discipline of biochemistry, a recent development is the proposed existence of metabolons. Metabolons are three-dimensional spatial arrangements of enzymes. Metabolons explain how the product of an ostensibly minor metabolic pathway can nevertheless constitute 30% of the weight of a seedling and so drive away pests (Laursen et al., 2017).

A more conventional class of self-organising properties found in biology are homeostatic feedback loops. They too are phenomena largely independent of gene functions with key roles in explaining the activities and properties of living organisms. The three proteins noted earlier that can recreate a bacterial circadian rhythm are just one example (Nakajima et al., 2005).

At more elemental and universal levels of life are unifying theories of cells and metabolism, many of which relate life to the operation of fundamental physical forces. The father of all such theories was arguably Nicolas Rashevsky, who died in 1972. He is survived by his students Robert Rosen and AH Louie. Others include physicist Erwin Schrödinger, author of “What is life?“; Stuart Kauffman, author of “The Origins of Order” (1993); Steven Rose “Lifelines: Biology beyond determinism” (1997); Enrico Coen “The Art of Genes” (1999); Denis Noble, “The Music of Life” (2003) and Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity (2017); and Annila and Baverstock who argue life is the inevitable outcome of the second law of thermodynamics (Annila and Baverstock, 2014; see also Friston et al., 2015). These, and other omitted thinkers, have gone far in assembling the potential raw material for a scientific revolution. One that leaves the framework of gene regulatory networks far behind.

The closest that of any of these theories come to definitively falsifying genetic determinism as a life-concept, however, would be a theory of the origin of life itself that positions metabolism at the centre.

Readers may be familiar with the concept of the RNA world, which is theorised to have predated the supposed “modern DNA world”. But more convincing than an RNA world, for which there is little evidence, is a new theory, the peptide-RNA world.

The central piece of evidence of the peptide-RNA origin thesis (Carter, 2016) is that the enzyme (called aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase) that nowadays links RNA to proteins—and which therefore connects the RNA world to the protein world—comes in two basic forms (in all organisms). The evolutionary origin of these two forms (called Class I and Class II enzymes), however, is strangely irreconcilable. Class I and II molecules perform almost identical functions (though with different amino acids) yet have nothing structurally in common. Except for one thing. Their most conserved aminoacids, those at their active catalytic centre, can be derived from opposite strands of the same small RNA molecule (Carter 2016). In other words, the two proteins that let RNA make all modern proteins are derived from opposite strands of a single very primitive small RNA molecule that encoded them both.

The implication of this compelling observation is to intimately link metabolism and replication at a very early stage of life’s origins. RNA was the assembler of primitive proteins and the purpose of those proteins was catalysis, i.e. to guide and enhance metabolism. What the peptide-RNA origin thesis therefore does is to replaces the RNA world—which is a replication-first theory—with a metabolism-first theory in that RNA is enhancing a metabolism that already predated it.

DNA and politics

“Human biology is actually far more complicated than we imagine. Everybody talks about the genes that they received from their mother and father, for this trait or the other. But in reality, those genes have very little impact on life outcomes. Our biology is way too complicated for that and deals with hundreds of thousands of independent factors. Genes are absolutely not our fate. They can give us useful information about the increased risk of a disease, but in most cases they will not determine the actual cause of the disease, or the actual incidence of somebody getting it. Most biology will come from the complex interaction of all the proteins and cells working with environmental factors, not driven directly by the genetic code”. (Anand et al., 2008)

This quotation, spoken (but not written), by Craig Venter, the legendary genome sequencer, suggests that even many geneticists secretly appreciate a clear need for alternative paradigms.

At the same timethe Venter quote prompts a deep question: How is it that, if organisms are the principal objects of biological study, and the standard explanation of their origin and operation is so scientifically weak that it has to award DNA imaginary superpowers of “expression” and “control” to paper over the cracks, have scientists nevertheless clung to it?

Why is it that, rather than celebrating and investing in Rashevsky, Kauffman, Noble, et al., as pioneers of necessary and potentially fruitful and unifying paradigms, have these researchers been ignored by mainstream biology?

What is the big attraction of genetic determinism?

A compelling and non-intuitive explanation for the monomania of biology does exist. It is set out in a second and forthcoming article: The Meaning of Life. It is an explanation that requires going behind the window dressing of science and examining its active and symbiotic relation to power in modern political systems.

Source*

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A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.” –Henry David Thoreau

Is it true the physical world we see with our eyes is the essence or nature of reality? For much of human history, this is what scientists and most people around the world have believed. More recently, however, another view of reality has emerged, one the authors of HeartMath’s new e-book, the Science of Interconnectivity, † contrast with the historic view.

“Classical physics conceived of reality as elementary building blocks made up of solid objects, separated by empty space,” the authors explain.

“This view continues to be most people’s view of reality, including scientists.”

In contrast, they write,

“Physical objects cannot be understood, or observed in isolation, but rather must be viewed as part of a holistic web of interconnectedness in which fields and relationships are pivotal.”

This new view, which HeartMath Institute’s Dr. Rollin McCraty and Annette Deyhle, Ph.D. refer to in their e-book as the “field view of reality,” is shared by a growing number of scientists around the world who are engaged in actively researching it.

The understanding of the world we live in profoundly shifted,” McCraty stated for this article,

“after the discovery of electromagnetic fields and the experimental validation of modern quantum physics.” These have helped to give rise to the field view of reality.

“We can no longer think of reality as little building blocks separated by an empty space,” he said.

“We now know there is no such thing as empty space and that physical objects, including us, do not exist in isolation, but are part of this holistic web of interconnectedness in which fields and relationships are primary.”

HeartMath and the Field View of Reality

The field view ties in closely with research at HeartMath Institute (HMI). The institute has conducted experiments for a number of years to demonstrate the ways in which people are connected with one another through their own individual magnetic fields, which are generated primarily by the brain and, although much more so, the heart.

Examples of these experiments include measurements of an infant’s heart rhythm registering in the brain waves of its mother, and the heart-rhythm coherence of a boy corresponding to an increase in his dog’s heart-rhythm coherence.

In the latter example, a boy and dog were placed in a room together. Then the boy moved to a separate room, which resulted in the dog experiencing chaotic and incoherent heart rhythms, in contrast to when it and the boy were in the same room. The boy was instructed to use a coherence technique to consciously feel feelings of love and care for his dog, which he did after re-entering the room with the dog, while having no physical contact with it. The dog’s heart-rhythm coherence increased significantly.

Through its Global Coherence Initiative, HeartMath also has had success in demonstrating some of the health and behavioral effects of activity in Earth’s magnetic fields.

Other scientists have studied solar and geomagnetic activity and correlated it to changes in blood pressure, blood composition and the physical and chemical state of humans. There are many documented cases in which researchers have attributed increased rates of depression, heart attacks and debilitating conditions to solar and Earth magnetic field activity. (You can learn more about the Global Coherence Initiative and its work at GCI Research.)

solar-system-periodicField View of Reality and a Theory of Everything

Besides being the title of the popular 2014 film about physicist Stephen Hawking, a “theory of everything” also arguably is the Holy Grail of modern physics. Simply explained, physicists hope such a theory, which is more formally referred to as a grand unified theory, would fully explain and link together all physical aspects of the universe.

Now, such an ambitious endeavour, which many physicists project may actually be successful within decades, naturally is far more complicated than the brief description above. The notion of a link, or connection between everything, however, suffices to convey one of its primary purposes, which happens to be a shared purpose with HeartMath’s own research.

Connectedness, or what HMI calls interconnectedness, is an important and primary area of interest today at HeartMath and its Global Coherence Initiative (GCI). This interest has led their scientists in several directions as they explore and seek to validate the central hypotheses they have formulated in their interconnectedness studies.

  1. Human and animal health, cognitive functions, emotions and behaviour are affected by planetary magnetic and energetic fields.
  2. The earth’s magnetic fields are carriers of biologically relevant information that connects all living systems.
  3. Each individual affects the global information field.
  4. Large numbers of people creating heart-centered states of care, love and compassion will generate a more coherent field environment that can benefit others and help offset the current planet-wide discord and incoherence.

As today’s physicists pursue a unified theory that would explain and link together all physical aspects of our universe, HeartMath will continue expanding on its work in the realm of a field view of reality and the interconnectedness of all living things.

“New perspectives are emerging that suggest nonmaterial fields organize and in-form all organisms, including key aspects of our thoughts, emotions and intuitions,” McCraty said. “It is exciting to see new data coming out of our research that shows that we really are deeply connected with each other and with fields of the earth.”

The Science of Interconnectivity e-book is expected to be released around mid-July and will be available for purchase in HeartMath Institute’s online bookstore. Contributors to the current Tree Research Project, which is part of HMI’s ongoing interconnectedness research, can receive a free copy of the e-book.

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Humanity at the Crossroads: The Crisis in Spiritual Consciousness

The Psychic Roots of Tyranny*

Consciousness Science Kept Hidden*

What Unconditional Love Can Do to a Severely Disabled Child*

Freedom Proves Gravity Subject to Another Force ~ LOVE*

Love’s In Need Of Love Today

We Are All One (Tawhid)

Physics of Tawhid: A Quantum View of the World

Human DNA Tied Mostly to Single Exodus from Africa Long Ago*

White Supremacist Finds Out He Is Part Black*

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

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When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

By Anisa Abeytia

Studies say that no matter where you were born, after living an average of five years in another country, you are susceptible to the same diseases as the native population. I lived in the Middle East for five years and in the Muslim American community for fourteen. I was not raised a Muslim and I’m not an Arab, but after nineteen years, I picked up some interesting habits.

Last summer, my children’s school received extra funding for tutors over the summer break. The kids weren’t thrilled, but I was. The perspective tutor called and we chatted about the children’s needs. She told me her brother’s names is Yousuf, just like my son. She had an accent, but I couldn’t place it and I didn’t want to ask her where she was from. It’s wasn’t important. I figured she was from a Muslim country and I’d find out when she came to my house.

The children waited for her and we watched as she parked and walked down the street to our house. She was a thin woman, wearing a scarf on her head, tied behind her head like a Russian peasant. I tried to place her look and I thought, maybe she’s Bosnian.

We sat and chatted for a few minutes and she again told me joyfully that her brother’s name is Yousuf. So I asked her where she was from.

“I was born in Israel,” she replied.

My heart sank. I looked at her scarf, the way she wore it and then back at her face. She must be an Orthodox Jew. I could feel my face rearrange itself into a frown and the colour drained from my face. I was embarrassed by the thought that she might notice the physical change, but her demeanour didn’t change at all. I tried to force a smile, but figured it would contort my face into an even more bizarre expression, so I just gave up.

My son entered the room before I was able to recover and she hugged him. My eyes opened wide, and I half expected her to harm him. Images of bleeding Palestinian children and angry Israeli settlers filled my head. My eyes darted back and forth, looking for an escape and to see if my mother had any of the Palestinian flags out.

I wondered, would she hurt him? I didn’t want to leave them alone, but I slowly turned to walk up the stairs. Why was I thinking this way? As I took each step, I tried to talk sense to myself.

I don’t even know her and I’m judging her. Step.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Step.

Women in Black are Israeli. Step. 

This continued until I reached the top of the stairs, at which point I spent two hours debating with myself. Am I supporting the occupation? Am I doing a bad thing? Should I go downstairs and ask her to leave? How do I justify that? I have to dig deeper than that for an answer to how I should behave. I look out the window and take in a deep breath, close my eyes, exhaling slowly.

What does Islam say?

I open my eyes. The answer is easy, don’t judge. Don’t be suspicious and always treat people in the best possible way. She is a guest in my house and my child’s teacher. Am I a Muslim? Do I follow my religion only when it’s convenient?

I’m calm now and just in time, the tutoring session is over.

I make my way down the stairs and my mother walks into the room. The tutor says she loves all the art on the walls and asks who the collector is. My mother starts to tell her about a Syrian Artist, Akram Abu Al Foz that I told her about.

“Anisa, show her his work. It’s absolutely stunning.”

I take out my phone and start to explain. She loves it, so I tell her about my trips to Turkey and my work with the Syrians. She asks me many questions and I answer. A few days later I receive a phone call from her. She tells me she was so inspired by the work I’m doing and would like to help. Would I mind meeting with her daughter who works at a local radio station?

I’m a bit taken aback. She wants to help me? I can barely get Arabs, Muslims or Syrians to help me and she is this Jewish-Israeli woman asking me if she can help? Then she tells me,

“My parents are Syrian. We are Syrian Jews.”

I am so happy I start laughing and I tell her how frustrated I’ve been, that I had decided to stop the work I was doing because I just wasn’t getting support and that I prayed a week ago and said,

“Oh Allah, if this is the path you want me to continue on, you will need to send the help to my door because I will not make one more effort.”

I was so depressed and ready to give up and my prayer was answered with a test. If I had given into the common Arab/Muslim mentality that all Jews are bad, I would have lost this opportunity. She opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed. However, the greatest gift she gave me was a renewed sense of hope and the knowledge that I was not alone. I only need to ask, with an open heart and mind, and help would be sent.

Source*

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