Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooks in our lives

When I saw a photo that my friend  took and  innocuously posted on his blogsite. I thought I saw something spooky in the photo.  So I jokingly commented that I saw Casper, the friendly ghost.
Photo of a light bulb by Mitchell Hegman
Today being Halloween in the United States, I thought about how we are spooked and often because of our own doing. Here are some forms of spooks:
Ego. This is the mother of all spooks. Many relationships end up in the graveyard because of the Ego.  Complaints like "she didn't communicate with me today" or "he never takes me out to dinner"  are mostly ego-driven.
Judgment. We cannot avoid judging, some say.  While that may be true, a big mistake one makes in judging is to assume that one's perception is valid and immutable.  A friend practically laid out a booby-trap in her relationship when she commented that her partner MUST have a deep-seated subconscious distrust and resentment of women because his ex-wife divorced him after 35 years of marriage  despite his many attempts to save the union.
Fears. Most of our anxieties are about the future, something that has not yet occurred.  "I can't have a relationship with him. He has no money. Our future will be miserable" is something I often hear from both men and women.  My take?  Trust! Have faith in the Universe's intention for our overall good.  There is both comfort and hope in the saying "just do your best and let God do the rest."
Imagination.  Imagination is the knife that cuts the limits of what we know or are capable of.  It is the mother of creativity and invention. But when imagination is used  to build a set of assumptions, as if they are facts, imagination can be very damaging.  A friend accused her boyfriend of sleeping with another woman solely on the basis of her rather wild imagination.  Well guess what happened to her relationship?
Procastination. When are you going to say "I love you" to your spouse or partner or your children, your friends? What are you waiting for?  If you are out of love, you are like an amputated arm or foot -- separated from the body called "us."
Without our realizing it, there are many spooks in our lives and they surface everyday, not just on Halloween.  Sadly, more often than not, we only spook ourselves silly!
Enjoy the once-a-year Halloween madness. But remember: when we have a lot of spooks in our lives, Halloween becomes real time 24/7. And that is certainly not fun!  
Posted with Aloha!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Less wine? Oh no!

My friend Jack recently posted a news article (link below) on one of the social networks  about the declining production of wine world-wide.
Although I am hardly a wine connosieur  I would still drink wine every time I'm offered a glass or whenever I feel like opening a bottle. I prefer reds but wouldn't mind a Chardonnay every now and then.
Now that it looks like wine will be getting more expensive since demand is in excess of supply we might have to resort to some drastic measures, such as:
1. Stepping up production of local wine. Here on the Big Island of Hawaii, we have the Volcano Winery. They make a variety of grape, fruit and specialty wines.  Some local favorites are Hawaiian-Guava-Grape Wine, which costs about $20 a bottle and Macademia Nut Honey Wine, also $20 a bottle.
2.  Check the possibility of making wine out of other local fruits. The Big Island is known for, among other things, those sweet and fragrant papayas.  Has anybody tried making papaya wine?
3. Rice wine abounds all over Asia. The Japanese have Saki. Filipinos have Basi. And since there are many Asians in Hawaii who are rice lovers, maybe it's about time somebody comes up with a Hawaiian rice wine.
4. If nothing else works and you're desperate enough, try meditating on vats of tap water and maybe if you're lucky, a miracle will transform water into wine.

image source:

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013


"He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others--the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.”   ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

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Thursday, October 24, 2013


She wasn't perfect, like many of us. She'd harrass and terrorize the househelp, hardly giving them time to rest. 

She was so frugal she bought herself only one (1) new dress and only one (1) new pair of shoes every year.  She hardly threw anything away and collected used plastic bags, bottles, and gift wraps and ribbons. She even kept little jars of used cooking oil which she got rid of only after they reached a dark brown color. "Never use oil from cooking fish for frying meat," she'd often say.

But she stashed money away in various places only she knew about and then promptly forgot she hid them. When her children needed money and didn't have the temerity to ask and go through her inquisition-like interrogations, all they needed to do was silently scavenge around her house and thank her later.

She liked to haul goodies. She'd go on vacations to the country and return to her house in the city bringing sacks of rice, fruits, vegetables, fish and even several live chicken, with their feet all tied together so they wouldn't get away.  Her children were always in fear that one day she'd come back from the country and enter her house with a whole live cow in tow.

She loved gaiety. It didn't take much to get her to dance, sometimes just by herself. She'd cook for days, invite kin and friends to party and then complain of being tired and vow not to do it again, which of course she did. And repeatedly.  It was a never ending cycle of cooking, partying and then complaining. Sigh!

She had an extra pair  of antennae.  She'd tell stories of having been visited by her long-gone father or her favorite aunt.  Some mornings, she'd get out of her bedroom and announce that  she had smelt candle smoke and that so-and-so  had passed away. Somehow she knew when a friend or relative died even before she received news of the death.

Hers was somewhat an arranged marriage. Her husband's mother courted her mother. The two were classmates in cooking school.

Apparently, she had learned to love her husband. She was always at his side and nursed him through a stroke he suffered. Later, her husband did the same for her. They both passed away in the same year, as if they could not bear to be without each other. He died in March and she in August of 2004. 

She was a stern disciplinarian.  Nobody was allowed to leave the dining table unless his/her plate was clean of food. Spare time was to be used darning frayed clothes, wiping dust off furniture or watering the plants in the yard. She set curfews for her children, even if most of them managed to violate them and still get away unscathed except for a tweak on the ear.

Yet when one of her children had an untimely pregnancy, she gave only love and comfort  instead of condemnation and reprimand.

Her name was Rosie.  She was my mother. And today is her birthday.

 Rosie during her graduation from college with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy

Rosie's wedding to Tony, my father (deceased).

Rosie and Tony on their 25th wedding anniversary

Tony and Rosie in New York, USA, December 1990

Posted in memoriam

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What if? Part 3: starseeds, Homo Novus and the challenge to awaken

Only a few days after I replied to a question that my friend, Paul, commented in my blog about extra-terrestials (link below) and only a few weeks after I posted a series of "What If" blogs (links below), I came across  a video that articulates my exact same intuitive thoughts about the universe, other life forms, and humanity's future.
The video below may seem a bit long but is definitely worth watching and thinking about, if only as an exercise in getting out of our many boxes, labels and "programming."  Entitled "ETs, souls, and the coming global shift," the video might just lead you into thinking that there's really more worth pursuing  in  life than just  "food, sex, and a good night's rest." :
Here are some statements (almost verbatim) made in the video that I felt were significant:
-  "If we can release many of the judgments and human fears that color our understanding. It allows us the freedom to explore, and examine possibilities, such as the true nature of human reality. Quantum physicists hypothesize that the Universe is holographic in nature and everything is connected within this matrix.. If that is the case we could discover we are all just souls playing different roles, in the same cosmic dance."
- "What I have discovered from cases world wide is that there seems to be a far broader ability that suggests that we are being contacted on many levels of consciousness."
- "There are a lot of metaphysical names given to these children. They are the ones saying to me that they are not afraid of ETs but that they feel that they are family. And they don't understand our world and our cruelty to one another."
- "2012 to 2017 is the crucial time. There is something going to be profound. Earth changes. Dramatic enough to change a great deal in the way our world is orchestrated from a socio economic status because of the shift in human consciousness."
- "The awakening.  Timing and trusting that when it's time, you will know what you need to know. To know too soon would be disabling.  There is a sense of an impending huge change. Something we would need to trust that the soul will know exactly what it is doing."
- "I believe that humanity --  that we are all being challenged to grow and to change. Some of us are open to it and some are not. We can choose to be high-frequency or low-frequency people."

If the video doesn't work, please click on this link:

image source:

Links related to the video


Links to Ariel's past blogs related to the video

Posted with Aloha!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Silverswords and taking responsibility

I was still recovering from a nasty cold over the weekend but  I nevertheless joined other members of my Rotary Club in going up Mauna Kea, one of several mountains/volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We went up there to work and do some star gazing at the Visitors' Center, which is over 9,000 feet above sea level. The Center's official name is  Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea.

Most of the gentlemen gathered weeds while the ladies watered Silverswords, a highly endangered plant unique to only two places and only  in the state of Hawaii: at the Haleakala mountain on the island of Maui and up on  Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.

My fellow lady Rotarians and I went to a designated place where young Silverswords were being nurtured.  Each young plant was ringed by protective stones and marked by a small flag.

I watered the plants not just in my assigned area but also in others.  I even surprised myself by returning for another once-over just to make sure that the plants were saturated with water. 

I could not quite identify the overwhelming feeling but I  felt both  blessed and strangely comforted to have been in close contact with something struggling to live.   

I thought of the efforts that have gone into nurturing  the young plants and saving them from joining the ranks of the dinosaurs and other flora and fauna now extinct.

I thought it simply beautiful  that people cared enough to take responsibility!

Photo of ilversword plants  from

I took this photo of a very young Silversword. Note the tiny flag to the left of the plant.

 Ariel and a Silversword

For more info about Silverswords, please click on the following links:

Posted with Aloha!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is the grass always greener on the other side?

The grass is always greener on the other side, so goes the saying. But is it?  Here's a funny Youtube clip that makes a parody of people's dissatisfaction with themselves or others. And if you still don't get it, you just might learn a thing or two by joining  a vibrant Google+ community called "Acceptance."

Image source:

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

What new idea do you want to experience?

I thought I'd share this with you. It was written by  Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon of the Spiritual Living Community. 

[Science of Mind founder Dr. Ernest] Holmes contends that the greatest discovery of all times was that the individual could think. The next greatest discovery, therefore, must be our ability to think anew. This “newness” is the catalyst for the involution of everything else. Simply put, everything becomes the result of a new idea, a new concept put firmly into a field of creation. The greatest tool we have in this is imagination.

Every great discovery in our world was first started as an imagined idea. Everything began as a previously unexperienced thought that through persistence, awareness, and conscious application eventually became form.

New ideas are not created; they are recognized. More often than not, they are recognized by intuitive and contemplative acts of surrender. They are not new—they have always been there, and through the individual mind open to the recognition, they find form.

What newness in your experience would you choose to bring to life? Health, wealth, creative expression, loving relationship? What new idea do you want to experience?
Image source:
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

At least wonder!

Ever curious and eager to  know what people think, I recently accepted   an invitation  to join a  Google+ community dedicated to the refutation/discussion of the evolution and Big Bang theories.   Upon joining the community I became concerned about the heated exchanges and the seemingly aggressive call to debate.

Here is a modified version of my first post to the community.  

We all want to know the answers to the mysteries of the universe.  Through science we have come to know more. Yet we do not know enuogh. In fact we only know so much.
We have limited knowledge, capacities and abilities thus making it impossible to claim to know all the answers.  Nobody has a monopoly of the truth. 
How did we come to be here? I say share what you know, sow the seeds and let them thrive or rot. There is no right or wrong answer. We can only think about it or not.  Either we consider the question only a nuisance to our day-to-day concerns or we stop to think and wonder.
Seeds that fall on fallow ground usually mean an imagination tethered by confining boxes and labels of skepticism, dogma, or apathy.
When seeds fall on  fertile ground, our imagination and how we resonate in this world/universe allow us to transcend our limitations, even if only a bit and despite the lack of or the presence of empircal evidence.
But in that particular instance, when we learn something that intuitively and deeply touches both our mind and our spirit, reconciles our many and varying perceptions and beliefs, and enables us to find meaning and sense in our existence and our world, therein lies the beauty of man. We are limited. We are weak. But we  dare reach for the stars, think of the unthinkable, and find our own personal truth while recognizing that we still do not have all the answers.
Seek and be open to wonder!

Image source:

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What if? Part 2: Evolution

There is an on-going argument between those who believe in evolution and those who think otherwise -- that we are creations.  I am considering that the two beliefs can be reconciled.

What if we were first fish and then an ape until we are the man-form we are now.

What if Evolution and the Big Bang are really parts of an Intelligent Design.

What if hell really means being in a state of no love and eternal damnation is being consumed in perpetuity by fear, greed and hatred in a never-ending cycle of anguish and pain.

What if heaven is not up there or out there but in our heart, a place of love, joy and peace.

What if evolution is meant to be a continuing process   and man, as we know ourselves now, is meant to gradually transform, like an upgrade, until there is harmony between flesh and spirit.

What if we have been intended to metamorphose into beings of wisdom, of pure love, peace and joy?

What if ultimately we become the very image of the Creator?

Image source: Google

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What if?

I saw these two graphics, which are not mine. And then the video was brought to my attention.  It is a bit long but I hope that you will watch it till its end. I saw the graphics and the video within a span of about 7 days, one after the other.  I  thought them to be all interrelated and the manner and timing  they came to me as no coincidences but as simply and wonderfully, synchronicity. 

Source of graphic: From Quarks to Quasars. Photo credit: Ben Canales

Source of graphic: EWAO (Earth We are One), a community on Facebook

If you cannot open the video here's the link:

- Posted with Aloha!

Friday, October 4, 2013

By the river

I recently stumbled upon this song "By the River," performed by the group Ju-Taun.  Here are two  versions of the song performed by the same group.  Enjoy!


Unfazed by the electric/telephone wire, I still took this photo of an idyllic pastoral scene by a river near the western Oregon coast two days ago.

Posted with Aloha from Hawaii!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Imagination has always been a concept hard to describe. But finally, researchers and scientists have come to uncover more about imagination. Below is an article published in The Huffington Post.

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination," Albert Einstein once said. "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
The elusive quality of mind has long been mused about by artists, philosophers and psychologists who have sought to uncover the driving force behind great works of art and groundbreaking inventions.
Yet despite its role in some of the greatest discoveries ever made, our understanding of imagination -- where it comes from and what it looks like in the brain -- has been remarkably limited. That's now beginning to change, and a new study from researchers at Dartmouth University is providing some answers.
Einstein, the revolutionary physicist, employed a highly creative scientific process, one that no doubt played a significant role in some of his greatest discoveries, according to Alex Schlegel, a researcher in the Dartmouth College Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and an author of the study.
The Dartmouth  researchers found that the activity of what we call the imagination is the product of a widespread network of neurons (what they call the "mental workspace") that consciously alters and manipulates images, symbols, and ideas, and gives us the intense mental focus that we need to come up with new ideas and solutions to complex problems.
"When asked what his scientific thought process looked like, Einstein would say that he'd take an image in his mind and play around with it and manipulate it, looking at it from different angles -- combining and breaking things apart," Schlegel told The Huffington Post.
"The way we think about the mental workspace is in terms of all these really incredible, flexible things that humans can do," he added. "We can create art, we can think scientifically, we can think mathematically. And in a lot of those cases, that requires the ability to have a mental representation of ideas, symbols and images, and to be able to play around with them in the mind."
To witness the workings of the imaginative brain, researchers hooked 15 participants up to an MRI scanner and asked them to visualize specific abstract shapes, then told them to imagine combining those shapes into more complex figures. What they discovered was a large cortical and subcortical network across the brain that produced the manipulations of imagery -- the so-called mental workspace.
The network ranged from areas that govern visual processing to other areas related to attention and executive processes. "They're all working together to make manipulations happen," Schegel said.
The findings, which will appear this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can help us better understand how the organization of the brain creates an environment that allows us to think openly and creatively.
The study is also a significant departure from most previous research on imagination, which has looked at different parts of the brain in isolation in an attempt to locate the seat of creative activity. The Dartmouth findings and other recent studies have effectively debunked the popular theory that the "right brain" governs creative activity; mounting research suggests, instead, that the human brain is far more vast and interconnected than such simple explanations would indicate.
But the question of what makes some of us more imaginative than others -- and how we might be able to enhance or trigger our own creativity -- remains largely unresolved.
"There's a lot of debate about what makes some people more creative than others," said Schlegel, who pointed to the mental workspace for clues. "That is one possibility, that we tap into this network more or better than others -- maybe there are stronger connections between these areas of the brain."
The new insights also offer a starting point for research that could help design better learning processes or potentially advance artificial intelligence.
"Our findings move us closer to understanding how the organization of our brains sets us apart from other species and provides such a rich internal playground for us to think freely and creatively," Schlegel said in a press release accompanying the study. "Understanding these differences will give us insight into where human creativity comes from and possibly allow us to recreate those same creative processes in machines."

Here's a link to the article:

Image source:

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- Ariel Murphy