Keeping a Job
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It was not until after the Civil War in the United States, (1861-1865), that tomato agriculture developed into a major industry in the United States. Prior to this time there was an incredible amount of suspicion surrounding the tomato. In fact, until the end of the 18th century, it was widely believed that tomatoes were deadly poisonous. The French botanist Tournefort gave the tomato the Latin botanical name Lycopersicon esculentum. The name translates to “wolf peach.” The Latin word for peach was used because the tomatoes were round and luscious like a peach. The word “wolf” was used because it was considered poisonous. The tomato was originally brought to Europe by Cortez in 1519. Cortez found tomatoes growing in Montezuma’s gardens and brought seeds back from Europe. The tomatoes were planted but were curiosities to be looked at and were not eaten.
One of the least interesting books I have picked up in a long time is Discover the Hidden New Jersey by Russell Roberts. While different states certainly have a variety of things to be proud of, New Jersey parades something incredibly unusual, as the author discloses right at the beginning of his first chapter, “New Jersey Firsts”:
The First Jersey “first” may or may not be true, but it’s an amazing story, and too good to pass up.
One day in the 1820s, Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson strode up to the courthouse steps in Salem. With a confident smile at the huge crowd that had gathered around, Johnson reached down into a basket at his feet and picked up something everyone agreed was poisonous. As people in the audience watched in disbelief, Johnson proceeded to eat first one “poisonous” object, then a second, and, incredibly, even a third, and was still very much alive when he finished.
The crowd gasped in disbelief. How could Johnson have done it? How could he have eaten those things and survived? Finally, someone said aloud what was on everyone’s minds: “Colonel Johnson is the first person to eat a tomato and live!”
According to another account:
Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson of Salem, NJ, brought the tomato home to America from abroad in 1808. As the story is told, it was Johnson who, on September 26, 1820, once and for all proved tomatoes non-poisonous and safe for consumption. He stood on the steps of the Salem courthouse and bravely consumed an entire bushel of tomatoes without keeling over or suffering any ill effects whatsoever. His grandstanding attracted a crowd of over 2,000 people who were certain he was committing public suicide. This would have been the first reality TV show if they had had television back then. The local firemen’s band even played a mournful song, adding to the perceived morbid display of courage. Before consuming the bushel of tomatoes, Johnson said, “The time will come when this luscious, scarlet apple… will form the foundation of a great garden industry, and will be… eaten, and enjoyed as an edible food… and to help speed that enlightened day, to prove that it will not strike you dead — I am going to eat one right now!”
Colonel Johnson’s physician, Dr. James Van Meter, supposedly warned that “The foolish colonel will foam and froth at the mouth and double over with appendicitis, and with all that oxalic acid, in one dose, he would be dead.”
Johnson’s grandstanding garnered a lot of attention, and North America’s love affair with the tomato was off and running. http://www.walkaboutmag.com/17unclepaul.html
In the case of tomatoes, at one point people believed they were poisonous and were afraid to eat them. This was something quite simple that people did not understand. In terms of the world around us, there are even more complex things that we do not understand. I am going to tell you a true story and it is something that I do not expect you to believe because it is so strange. However, the more I have thought about this incident, the more I am convinced that it is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power that is available to us in the universe and out there–the power that is in fact part of everything there is. One of the strangest and most interesting things that very few people take the time to truly consider is the power that exists in the air around us, and I think we miss this power due to our own assumptions about the world. There is an incredible amount of power in the air that very few people realize and that, quite frankly, most of us take for granted.
When I went to sleep on the night of September 9th, 2001, I kept being woken up by the same recurring dream. I was dreaming of four airplanes in the sky performing all sorts of bizarre and odd maneuvers. The airplanes appeared to be stolen in my dream and doing something frightening in the air. They were large passenger jets, and several times in the night I woke up with various dreams about these jets. There was something sinister about the dream and it frightened me, and I did not know what was going on.
I never remember my dreams but when I went to work that day I told a colleague about this dream because I kept thinking about it again and again. She was in New York and I was in Los Angeles.
“I do not know why I am telling you this, but I was dreaming about these four airplanes doing crazy things all night. It was a really strange dream.” I told her.
I talked to her twice that day and on both occasions I brought up these jets performing these strange maneuvers. For some reason, she was the only person I told about it. I did not tell my wife or other coworkers in my office. Just the girl sitting there working in our company’s New York office. The dream kept repeating itself in my head, and it was a very strong dream.
I have never really remembered my dreams so vividly or spoken to someone about them before or since. On that particular day, however, it was all I could think about. As far as I remember I did not dream of the airplanes crashing into buildings. But I did dream about four stolen passenger jets doing strange things. It was a very strange dream and I did not know what to make of it.
The next morning I was sleeping in bed and my wife came and woke me up to tell me about the World Trade Center disaster. I called my coworker in the New York office almost immediately to ask her if she was OK. She was fine but was not too far from the disaster site. Her apartment was only a few blocks from the World Trade Center.
I have thought about this incident over and over throughout the years. It was so unusual because of
What I think this means is that in “the ether” there are signals that are available to us that our minds may be able to pick up. In the case of the airplanes, without calling myself “psychic,” I think there must have been some sort of “charge” out there related to this event that came to me from the future. I realize how insane this sounds; however, I am really not sure what other explanation there is.
Many people thought the inventor of radio waves, Marconi, was insane when he was working on developing a radio because people believed at the time it was impossible to transmit signals without wires. In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes:
Marconi dreamed of a system for harnessing the intangible forces of ether. Evidence that he did not dream in vain may be found in every wireless and radio in the world. Moreover, Marconi’s dream brought the humblest cabin and the most stately manor house side by side. It made the people of every nation on earth back-door neighbors. It gave the President of the United States a medium by which he may talk to all the people of America at one time, and on short notice. It may interest you to know that Marconi’s “friends” had him taken into custody, and examined in a psychopathic hospital, when he announced that he had discovered a principle through which he could send messages through the air, without the aid of wires, or other physical means of communication. The dreamers of today fare better.
One of the most incredible things is that regardless of what we want to become or do, the opportunity to do that thing lies right before us. There are opportunities before us that we have not even been able to conceive of yet.
For most people, opportunity is something that exists in relationship to where we work, the people we know, where we are, the things we own, the money we have, and more. However, one of the most incredible things is the opportunity right before us and all around us that we may not even realize is available. Opportunity is more a state of mind that anything. It is almost as if this opportunity can become available to you if you simply harness a certain belief system and believe in something. I will elaborate on what I am talking about below.
My wife is an incessant reader of celebrity gossip magazines like Us Weekly, People, Star, and so forth and she leaves them on the treadmill and all around our exercise equipment in our house. I get sucked in and pick them up once I have exhausted the more serious publications I subscribe to each week. A couple of years ago I started reading all these stories about how Madonna, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, and various celebrities had become extremely interested in the Jewish study of Kabbalah. Since I knew nothing about this, I was very curious to see what all the fuss was about.
Shortly after that, my wife and I were driving through Beverly Hills and we saw a Kabbalah center. I nearly veered my truck onto the sidewalk I was so eager to check it out. My wife was really pissed off that I was taking her in there, but I was pretty excited about the entire thing because I knew nothing about it. It looked like there was a party going on, with a ton of balloons in front of the center and some real crowds there. You could tell that a lot of this was because of its new popularity and the celebrity appeal of it–it was like the new Scientology! Inside there was a video of Madonna playing and talking about what an incredible impact this had made on her life and what a great thing Kabbalah was for her.
As we wandered around what essentially was a Kabbalah bookstore, several young people came up to us and tried to explain how cool Kabbalah is and to recruit us. My wife became extremely uncomfortable and wanted to get the heck out of there. In fact, I am not sure she knew what to make of the entire thing.
My wife is Jewish and her father is from Israel and her mother grew up in a fairly typical Jewish New York household, and I do not think she ever witnessed Jews recruiting people to join them. One of the really interesting things about the Jewish religion is that they do not convert people. However, Jews used to proselytize aggressively, until around 300 BC when converting others to Judaism was outlawed when the Roman Empire became Christian. Once the restrictions against this were lifted hundreds of years later, it never really caught on again. Today, people are traditionally discouraged by Jewish Rabbis from converting to Judaism. That said, my wife had never seen Jews trying to convert people and thought she was in the midst of some sick freak show.
Because my wife pulled me out of the Kabbalah Center before I had the chance to buy anything, I ordered a few books about the Kabbalah once I got home. I even ordered the Zohar, which is a huge three-volume set that explores Kabbalah. I read about the Kabbalah for at least a month, and while I learned a lot of stuff from my reading, I will summarize the gist of what I learned right here in an extreme “Cliffs Notes” version:
For example, if you believe your physical body will never die and you will live forever–I mean you really believe this–then according to Kabbalah teachings this could in fact happen. Stories in the Bible of people living hundreds of years could be true according to the mystical sorts of Kabbalah teachings because only the mind can create limits in the body. This sounds magical in many respects, but the logic underlying it is incredibly complex and the more you study Kabbalah the more you see there is some truth to this. For example, prior to May 6, 1954, when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, for over a century people had believed it was physiologically impossible to run a four-minute mile. Harvey Mackay writes in Swim with the Sharks:
“Remember the four-minute mile? People had been trying to achieve it since the days of the ancient Greeks,” biographer Harvey Mackay writes. “In fact, folklore has it that the Greeks had lions chase the runners, thinking that would make them run faster. They also tried tigers’ milk– not the stuff you get down at the health-food store, but the real thing. Nothing worked. So they decided it was impossible. And for thousands of years everyone believed it. It was physiologically impossible for a human being to run a mile in four minutes. Our bone structure was all wrong. Wind resistance too great. Inadequate lung power. There were a million reasons.
Then one man, one single human being, proved that the doctors, the trainers, the athletes, and the millions and millions before him who tried and failed, were all wrong. And miracle of miracles, the year after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, thirty-seven other runners broke the four-minute mile, and the year after that three hundred runners broke the four-minute mile.
A few years ago, in New York, I stood at the finish line of the Fifth Avenue Mile and watched thirteen out of thirteen runners break the four-minute mile in a single race. In other words, the runner who finished dead last would have been regarded as having accomplished the impossible a few decades ago. What happened? There were no great breakthroughs in training. Human bone structure didn’t suddenly improve. But human attitudes did.
Everything we need and could possibly want is already around us. Our limits in terms of who we are and who we can become are largely products of our own mind. To take this one step further, if you believed you could magically levitate and really, truly believed this, then this might in fact be something you could do. One central and important idea behind Kabbalah is that there is power all around us that is available if we are not limited by our own minds.
In addition to Jewish teachings, Christianity also teaches this as well. For example, Jesus taught that “The Kingdom of God is within you.” The New Testament was originally written in Greek. In Greek, Jesus used the word “heavens” and not “heaven” in his teachings. What he meant by the word “heavens” was that it was not some far off place but was something that was available to all of us and was all around us. He made the Kingdom of Heavens and its attainment the most important thing of human existence. The idea is that there is incredible power that we only need to capture in order to achieve what we want in the world. We can achieve this by thinking about the world in a different way and tapping into other sources of knowledge.
In this respect, my having a dream about some planes two nights before the World Trade Center disaster is not all that remarkable. There is knowledge out there that is available to all, some more than others. I am pretty confident there are probably people who had incredibly vivid dreams about the disaster that were far more vivid than mine. They just had a more developed ability to tap into this sort of knowledge.
For several years I have been hearing one story or another about people in India who are able to live without food or water. This sounds incredible; however, I have heard about this from enough people and enough times that I believe that it is probably true. We are able to create nuclear energy without burning fossil fuels. Television waves, cell phone signals, radio signals, and more can travel through the air unseen. There are many things we do not understand.
I recently read an incredible excerpt from the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. In the book he talks about a woman yogi, Giri Bala, who never eats. She is said to live off of cosmic energy and the air by using kriya yoga. She meditates and concentrates her energy and is able to tap into another sort of energy that others are not able to:
“Tell me, Mother, from your own lips–do you live without food?
“That is true . . . From the age of twelve years, four months down to my present age of sixty-eight–a period of over fifty-six years–I have not eaten food or taken liquids.”
“Are you tempted to eat?”
“If I felt a craving for food, I would have to eat.”
“But you do eat something!”
“Of course!. . . Nourishment is derived from the finer energies of the air and sunlight, and from the cosmic power that recharges your body through the medulla oblongata.”
“Mother, what is the use of your having been singled out to live without eating?”
“To prove man is Spirit. To demonstrate that by divine advancement he can gradually learn to live by the Eternal Light and not by food.” (Pages 536-37)
In the Bible, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all fasted without food or water for 40 days. Many people in India, like the woman above, claim to be able to go without food or water for years. One of many people in India who has allegedly done some long-term fasting is Sunyogi Umasankar:
When I saw Sunyogi Umasankar, 39, the first thought that struck me was how totally at ease he seemed in a thin muslin dhoti on a chilly winter morning. I then came to know that he is totally immune to climatic conditions and had even gone to Kailash Mansarovar in the same attire. The most amazing fact is, of course, that he has had the capacity to subsist without food and water since 1996. Sunyogi does eat, but he can go for long stretches of time which adds up to weeks without material subsistence. Sunyogi says he become conscious of the fact that his body was absorbing the energies of the sun suddenly, while practicing sun meditation at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. After this, the first step was recognizing that his body now needed less food. He began skipping meals – eating only when hungry and not because it was ‘meal time’. Gradually, as the need for food reduced more and more – he realized that he was totally free of hunger.
The technique itself seems ludicrously simple. To begin with, all that is involved is steady gazing at the early morning sun for around 20 minutes, while at the same time, remaining undisturbed by invading thoughts, without trying too hard to avoid them. A rhythmic breath pattern is recommended, though it is not essential. The trick is to gaze at the rim of the sun. However, it is extremely important to do this under the Sunyogi’s guidance. http://www.lifepositive.com/Spirit/Sun_Yoga/Living_on_the_Sun_and_Fresh_Air32006.asp
Others have allegedly lived without food. One well-known person who had allegedly gone without food is Hira Ratan Manek:
However, Dr. Andrew Newberg said that Hira stayed at the University of Pennsylvania only for brain scans on studies of meditation, not his ability to fast indefinitely. Newberg denied ever undertaking the 130-day study.
The paperpublished by Dr Sudhir Shah makes it clear that dozens of people had access to Hira Ratan Manek during the study and he went on at least one excursion: “Most surprisingly, he had himself climbed the famous Shatrunjay mountain (Palitana hill) on 4.4.01, on 401st day of his legendary fasting along with 500 fellowmen without anybody’s help, within 1.5 Hrs. only”. The paper reports that the subject lost 19 kg of weight during the study period. Neither the experiment, as described in the paper, nor the paper itself have been validated by any well-known Western scientific or medical journal.
Hira Ratan Manek (born September 12, 1937) claims that since June 18, 1995, he has lived exclusively on water, and occasional tea, coffee, and buttermilk. He says sunlight is the key to his health, citing the Jainist Tirthankara Mahavira, ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Native Americans as his inspiration.
According to his website, three extended periods of his fasting have been observed under control of scientific and medical teams: the first lasting 211 days in 1995-96 in Calicut, India, under the direction of Dr C. K. Ramachandran. During that period he is reported to have lost 41 kg.
The second study lasted 411 days in 2000-2001 in Ahmedabad, India, under the direction of a 21 member team of medical doctors and scientists led by Dr Sudhir Shah and Dr K. K. Shah, a past President of the Indian Medical Association and current Chairman of the Jainist Doctors’ Federation. The latter group aims to “Promote scientific research and medical education based on principles of Jainism”. Dr K. K. Shah said “Fasting is a method of curing the meditation of mind and body which has been proved by great jain monks, sanyasis and munis of ancient times. There is a need to propagate these methods during this age of increasing diseases of the body and mind due to overconsumptions and increasing with fasting would help maintain perfection.”. Dr Sudhir Shah was also involved in the study of Prahlad Jani. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia
What is so incredible about these observations is that they are frequent enough that even if they are partially discredited, the odds are pretty good that there is some truth to them. The idea is that there is certainly some sort of substance and energy out there–whether it is from the sun or the air–that is available to us. In Africa and many parts of the world, people die by the thousands on a daily basis when they are going without food. What would happen, I wonder, if they had a different belief system and believed they could subsist without food or water? The possibilities for this seem pretty remarkable.
What I am trying to bring to your attention and what I know is true is that anything you believe to be possible can become possible just based on your belief. There are forces out there that you can utilize to become virtually anything you want to be. The absurdity of people believing tomatoes were poisonous not too long ago, of believing the inventor of the radio was crazy and thinking that a four-minute mile was impossible are all examples of limits that people once imposed on themselves and the world.
There is far more potential in the world, in you, and around you than you realize. Capture it now.
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