Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wind energy

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote a little snippet about the dire predictions for the 2007 hurricane season? (Scroll down to "You are like a hurricane" on the May 24 post.) I mentioned Phoenix, aka Lynn Marks, aka The Spirit Diva, whom I’d written about a few months back. Lynn claims she can communicate with hurricanes, and she says that focusing on their destructive aspects will just make them more destructive. If you talk nice to them, though, they'll behave themselves. I ended my snippet with this prediction:

I predict this about the 2007 hurricane season: If it fails to be as bad as the dire prognosticators warned, the wind whisperers and LOA folk will take credit for focusing on the positive, ignoring the negative, and therefore neutralizing the storms. If, on the other hand, the season is as bad as or worse than predicted, the LOA-noids will say that the folks affected by the storms attracted their troubles. So either way, the New-Wage weather watchers are covered.

I have every reason to believe my prediction will come true, if the email I received today from Spirit Diva is any indication. She wrote that she had been speaking with a client in Oregon a few days ago, and the client said that the local media there were reporting doom-and-gloom about this year’s hurricane season, which officially began June 1.

Spirit Diva cited Dr. William M. Gray, head of the hurricane forecast team at Colorado State University in Phoenix. Dr. Gray anticipates seventeen named storms to form in the Atlantic between June 1 and November 30. Well, Spirit Diva is having none of that:

Knowingly or not Mr. Grey [sic] is putting his hurricane order into the great Universal oven. This is what he and his team intend to cook-up / receive. And, then, worst yet their request to the Universe is being repeated over and over again by perceived authorities, i.e., the news media, and in doing so hugely impacting mass consciousness and possible outcomes.

Thought creates reality is a Universal law…

We are all one - part of the Universal mind – and have the power to influence the outcome of anything, "good or bad," with our thoughts and feelings – even hurricanes. Those of you who have participated in the global prayer and meditation gatherings for hurricanes I've led the past three years know how a small group of mindful people can influence the outcome of a powerful force like a hurricane.

Spirit Diva goes on to tell about the first time she led a hurricane meditation. She said her small group had gathered at the shore on Miami Beach about 10:30 in the morning; Hurricane Ivan was forecast to hit Miami by 3 PM that same day. SD says that as soon as they concluded the meditation, she looked out at the ocean – and behold, "the waves had shifted direction and appeared much calmer."

SD says her friend Donna, a CNN producer, went immediately from the meditation to the National Hurricane Center to get the latest coverage. As soon as she arrived, she called SD and confirmed that the National Hurricane Center had documented that Ivan had indeed shifted direction and intensity – at the exact same moment the group had ended its meditation.

SD adds:

Additionally, Ivan honored our request: go to an area where he could do the least damage. Ultimately Ivan headed to the less populated western tip of Cuba. Although there was physical damage there were no deaths or injuries.

I invite you to shift your thought, words and feelings whenever talk about an active hurricane season (or anything else that seems ominous) comes up. Your inner reality helps create your outer reality. It's just that simple. And, life university gives us varied ways to master this truth.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Ivan:

Ivan reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, the highest possible category, and it became the sixth (now ninth) most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, as well as the only Category 5 storm of the season.

Ivan caused catastrophic damage to Grenada, which it struck directly at Category 3 intensity, and heavy damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the western tip of Cuba. After peaking in strength, it moved north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to make landfall as a strong Category 3 storm in the United States, near Gulf Shores, Alabama, causing very heavy damage. Ivan dropped heavy rains on the Southeastern United States as it looped across Florida and back into the Gulf of Mexico. The remnant low from the storm regenerated into a new tropical system, which moved into Louisiana and Texas, causing minimal damage. Ivan caused an estimated $13 billion worth of damage in the United States, making it the fifth costliest hurricane to ever strike the United States.

When I read that, the storm didn’t sound nearly so benign as Spirit Diva described. But then, maybe I’m just looking at things too negatively.

By the way, you can thank Lynn and her friends for last year’s relatively tame hurricane season:

…Gray's team and the U.S. government also forecast an active hurricane season last year. The forecast unnerved many U.S. residents still affected from the 2005 hurricane season that included Hurricane Katrina (only wish I had followed the weather reports, now friends call and let me know of potential storms). Instead 2006 was relatively quiet: five hurricanes formed and none hit the U.S. coast.

Surely our meditations were a major factor (albeit not yet recognized by traditional media coverage) in shifting the energies.

What SD seems to be saying is that not only did she help make the 2006 hurricane season a mild one, but she could have possibly prevented such widespread devastation from Hurricane Katrina if only she’d known about it in time.

Could this be a symptom of megalomania?

One obvious point Spirit Diva seems to be overlooking is one that has already been discussed to death, but it seems to bear mentioning again. A major reason Katrina caused so much devastation in 2005 was precisely the opposite of a doom-and-gloom mentality. The problem was not that too many people were obsessing about such a storm in advance. Rather, the problem was that nobody – at least no one who could do anything about it – was focusing on the possibility of a deadly hurricane hitting New Orleans. Some folks had been issuing dire warnings for years about the possibility of such a disaster in the Big Easy, but those in power apparently weren’t listening. The state and local governments were totally unprepared, the people of New Orleans were certainly unprepared, the nation was unprepared.

Perhaps Spirit Diva and her friends would do well to read Never Saw It Coming: Cultural Challenges To Envisioning The Worst, by Karen Cerulo. More than likely, though, they and other skilled hurricane communicators will simply go on focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative, all the while rationalizing about Universal law. There seems to be more profit in that.



Anonymous moi said...

It's very easy for "hurricane communicators" to say that they affected the direction of hurricanes because the nature of hurricanes is that they change direction quickly without rhyme or reason. My mother always says that they have a mind of their own. The only person I know who really seems to be able to communicate with hurricanes is Nash Roberts, the 90 year old retired weather man who for years was the only one one in La. who could predict exactly where they would go. He's the one you want to listen to before deciding whether or not to evacuate.

Friday, June 08, 2007 8:22:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

Connie, here's a link to the real "weather god":

I'd place my bets on him.

Friday, June 08, 2007 8:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Moi; good info. And there is one big difference between Nash and the New-Wage hurricane "communicators" such as Spirit Diva and Mr. Fire (the latter of whom takes credit for helping redirect Rita so it wouldn't hit Houston and the Hill Country). From what I can see, Nash has never claimed to *influence* the hurricanes. He just predicts their course.

Friday, June 08, 2007 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

Well, I rally don't know what to say about people trying to redirect the forces of hurricanes. I don't think that would give people living on the coast any comfort. However, Nash really did help people by giving accurate predictions and telling them what to do. He did rely on a deep kind of intuition since he had observed hurricanes for so long, but intuition is not the same thing as magical thinking.

Friday, June 08, 2007 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"...intuition is not the same thing as magical thinking."

And that's another big difference between Nash and the wind whisperers I've been writing about.

It's funny how the latter, who are indeed prone to magical thinking, claim that they were influential in redirecting and/or calming the hurricanes, especially since the hurricanes did do considerable damage anyway and in some cases caused some deaths.

Friday, June 08, 2007 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Are you really surprised that these folks claim some esoteric power over the wind? After all, one has but to read a paragraph from any of their offerings to recognize the passage of wind. :-)

Friday, June 08, 2007 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

I have nothing against people praying in order to influence events- that's soomething humans have been doing for a long time. I guess the only thing I have a moral problem with is that of making claims that it was largely because of their thoughts that the hurricane/storm/whatever changed direction or diminished. It would be giving people false hope ,and perhaps cause them to take less action in the political arena where global warming needs to be addressed so as to effect real change in disastrous and neglectful environmental policies.

Friday, June 08, 2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You know, you're right, Rev! I do notice a peculiar odor whenever I read stuff by the New-Wage wind whisperers. Initially I attributed it to Rex The Farting Dog, but come to think of it, he never sets foot in my office, and that's where I usually am when I'm reading this stuff. Thanks for clearing up the mystery. Now if I could just clear up this residual odor... is there some kind of pyschic room spray we could buy? :-)

Friday, June 08, 2007 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Those are pretty much my sentiments, Moi. I do think that the claims of the wind whisperers and other magical-thinkers give people an easy "out" to keep from taking any real action. I understand people's need to feel they have some influence in a world where all of us are in so many ways powerless, but for a person or group to claim they can control the weather with their minds... well, that borders on delusional.

Friday, June 08, 2007 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

Rev Ron, I thought I smelled something funny too, but I think connie has been reading more paragraphs of this sort than myself. Connie, just imagine putrifaction dissipating and that should do it! Who neds lysol?

Friday, June 08, 2007 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

......From another angle, though, I do think some forms of chant or prayer around a sick person may help that person recover...for example, I heard a story where someone I know was very sick in Burma. Monks attended him day and night and, I suppose, chanted by his bed. In those cases I think there might be an effect.

Friday, June 08, 2007 5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Moi. But all the powerful thoughts in the world don't do much to neutralize the work of our farting dog Rex. That's why I'm glad the Lord created Lysol.

Friday, June 08, 2007 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Obviously my previous comment was to your bit about "Lysol," Moi... I published it before your second comment came in.

As for chants and prayers having a healing effect, at the very least I can see that there might be a placebo effect if the afflicted person is aware of the chanting or praying.

Which, of course, is worlds apart from trying to influence the course of a hurricane via prayer or meditation.

Friday, June 08, 2007 5:43:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"....if the afflicted person is aware of the chanting or praying."
Yes, That's what I meant. It probably heals in the sense that the person feels love and support, which could boost the immune system's response.

And as for poor Rex, perhaps if you just don't think about it, it will cause the gaseous emissions to change direction and they will reach the Rev's nose instead of yours.

Friday, June 08, 2007 6:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"And as for poor Rex, perhaps if you just don't think about it, it will cause the gaseous emissions to change direction and they will reach the Rev's nose instead of yours."

Now, that's an excellent idea. I do have an advantage at night, because Rex sleeps on the floor next to Ron's side of the bed.

Friday, June 08, 2007 7:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Rational Thinking said...

There was a scientific study done on the effects of prayer fairly recently - specifically with reference to patients recovering from coronary surgery. In fact, those who knew others were praying for them, fared rather worse in terms of post-op complications. There's a speculation that this might be because the patients felt under stress to get better quickly. Interesting reading anyway. Here's the link:


Sunday, June 10, 2007 6:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, RT! I thought I remembered reading about such a study; thank you for providing the link.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

Maybe it didn't work because only Christians were 'administering' the prayers (lol).
btw, i think it is kind of silly in the first place to try and scientifically determine if prayer works. The efficacy of prayer is highly subjective.

Monday, June 11, 2007 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Moi, I think you are probably right about the ultimate futility of using the scientific method to prove or disprove the efficacy of prayer.

I don't think it would have even been that big an issue in the first place were it not for the spate of books, beginning in the late 80s and early 90s (think Larry Dossey, et al.), that attempted to use science to bolster the belief that prayer really works for physical healing and other matters, even if the prayee has no idea that he, she or it is being prayed for.

Like the Secretrons who insist the Law Of Attraction as presented in "The Secret" is a scientific law, if the prayer advocates are going to use science to gain leverage for their beliefs, then they can only expect that (real) scientists will have something to say about it.

Monday, June 11, 2007 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

True. I guess if people resort to science to make the claim that prayer works, then that would justify subjecting it to scientific research. I think in some instances, scientifically testing metaphysical theories can be a good thing, but with prayer, it just seems that the psychological variables involved would make it difficult to quantify.

Monday, June 11, 2007 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

My mom always said about prayer, "If it doesn't help, it probably doesn't hurt." Which I suppose is as good a way of looking at it as anything else, as long as one doesn't rely on prayer alone in situations that call for more earthly remedies.

Monday, June 11, 2007 3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

An afterthought- I hope i did not come off as offensive to christians in one of my comments. It's just that the study 'rational thinker' mentioned involved only Christian denominations. The results may have been different if other faiths were involved.
(btw, I am not advocating prayer instead of earthly remedies).

Monday, June 11, 2007 4:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Moi, I think you raise an interesting question: would the results have been different if other faiths had been involved?

I didn't think you were advocating prayer instead of earthly remedies. And truth be told, I don't think most prayer advocates would recommend relying on prayer alone. You know the old saying, "Trust in God (or Allah), but tie up your camel too." :-)

Monday, June 11, 2007 4:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Rational Thinking said...

"Kind of silly to try and scientifically determine if prayer works"? How so? I'd think if it could be scientifically determined that there was an effect, and that effect was beneficial to those in pain, then it might be a useful means of relieving suffering. Prayer might be prescribed along with medicine, for example. And the patient's own experience is subjective, as all individual experience must be. Which is why objective external criteria are measured, not the patient's own views. Studies into the efficacy of drugs would have to meet similar objective criteria. If prayer is being suggested as a method of healing, then I'd say it should be subjected to equally as rigorous testing.

I don't think religious beliefs would be particularly relevant to the results in this particular instance - the study being into whether or not prayer has a measurable effect, rather than about a specific religion. But I agree, it might make an interesting study to conduct the same experiment with different religious groups. It's an intriguing field of study.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 6:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

RT, I agree that it is a fascinating field of study. And it's certainly a more worthy pursuit than, say, participating in a group meditation to stop a hurricane. :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Rational Thinking -
Since pain is - like prayer - by its nature subjective, I think that attempts to objectively quantify it (or the effects of prayer upon it) are probably going to be futile. If the patient claims that a medication - even a placebo - or prayer has eased his or her pain, I would say that the efforts were successful, since the desired objective had been achieved.

I'm a firm believer in seeking treatment whose efficacy has been established via the "scientific method," even given the fact that a good deal of what is presented as pure research is biased in favor of a desired outcome. I also acknowledge, however, that science isn't even remotely complete, and that we may well discover that what is considered to be metaphysical is merely an extension of the physical realm, but beyond the present scope of our ability to measure.

If you recall, at the turn of the (19th) century, the head of the US Patent Office recommended that the office be closed down, since everything had already been invented. :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good points about pain, Ron. However, the study to which RT linked was measuring other factors besides pain (even if pain may have been one of the factors):

"Prayers offered by strangers did not reduce the medical complications of major heart surgery. Not only that, but patients who knew that others were praying for them fared worse than those who did not receive such spiritual support, or who did but were not aware of receiving it...

"..."Many different kinds of complications can occur during, and for 30 days following the surgeries, such as abnormal heart rhythms. Among the group that knew outsiders were praying for them, researchers recorded 197 cardiac complications, compared with 187 and 158 in the other two groups. Eighteen percent of those who received outside prayer without their knowledge suffered major complications like heart attack or stroke, compared with only 13 percent of the group that went without such support."

I think that this research is worth pursuing, though I recognize the potential problems of such research, as pointed out by you and Moi. (Not to be confused with "you and me." :-))

I'm also thinking that if it were "proven" that prayer can affect the outcome of a medical condition, for better or for worse, then there are going to be licensing and credential issues. And the malpractice attorneys are going to get involved in this somehow too. Praying without a license? Spiritual malpractice lawsuits when the prayer appears to make the person worse? I'm only being semi-facetious, but I'm thinking maybe we should let well enough alone here...

Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Rational Thinking said...

Hi Ron - I think that whilst individual perception of pain is always going to be subjective, there's no reason why we couldn't attempt to develop objective criteria to give a measure by which we could study the effects of different forms of treatment on them. I was thinking particularly of animals - where we can't verbally communicate, drug companies have developed a simple method by which the owner of an animal can adjust the dosage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to ease pain for certain conditions, based on the owner's observations of certain symptoms (e.g. stiffness on waking and so on). I'd think it might be possible to devise a similar system for quantifying the observable effects of pain on human beings. Which might be useful in studies of the efficacy not only of prayer, but of a wide variety of treatments.

Connie - you're quite right, there would be all sorts of side issues if prayer were scientifically proven to affect pain. Hippocrates got it right, didn't he, when he said "first, do no harm"!

Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

RT -
Keep in mind that even the outward reaction to pain will vary greatly from dog to dog - or person to person, for that matter. I could step on Rex' foot with all my weight (and have done so, unintentionally, of course!), and all he'll do is look up at me or, at most, pull his foot away. Our Dachshund, however, will shriek if you touch her toenails. And I won't be so ungentlemanly as to compare Connie's reaction to pain to my own. :-)

Friday, June 15, 2007 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Rational Thinking said...

Hi Ron

Just to clarify, it's because individual subjective reactions to pain are variable, that the only way I can think of that would provide useful data would be to measure the objective effects - e.g. stiffness on waking, limping etc. etc.. In other words, measure what you can measure - observable effects, rather than an individual's subjective reaction, which I don't think we can - or not, at least, at present.

With the example you give, stepping (inadvertently) on our dogs, their vocal reaction wouldn't be measurable by any means I can think of - except in decibels, in the case of my dogs! I think perhaps we're at cross-purposes, I'm thinking about measurable effects arising, rather than individual reactions.

Long way from wind energy! But an interesting exchange - thank you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 5:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yes, it has been an interesting exchange. And I don't care that it diverted a bit from the original topic; I'll take the discussions whichever way the wind blows 'em. :-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007 10:21:00 AM  

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