Neurons Firing in a Barrel of Monkeys

It’s fairly common knowledge that research has been conducted with monkeys with the hopes of understanding Parkinson’s disease. For instance, one such study would squirt apple juice in a monkey’s mouths and observe a little surge in the dopamine neurons in their brains. After a few squirts, it was clearly noticeable that the dopamine neurons began to fire just before the juice arrived. Other experiments would first sound a tone and then deliver the juice. After just a few rounds of tests, the monkeys quickly figured out that the tone preceded or came before the juice. In other words, their neurons began to now fire at the sound of the tone and not with the delivery of the juice. The question and the point of this article is why didn’t the neurons simply respond to the actual reward (the juice)? Why didn’t the monkeys wait until consumption before getting excited both emotionally and physically?

It seems that God created our mental systems to be geared more toward predicting rewards than the rewards themselves.  This is simple to grasp but revolutionary in understanding why the scriptures encourage us that we all have the ability to spiritually prophesy in our physical DNA. Our minds are designed to create predictive models all day long. For example, a sound or tone led to the physical juice in the minds of the monkeys. When we accurately model in anticipation or before reality – the mind experiences a measure or surge of reward along with a reassuring feeling of comfort and peace. When our models contradict reality – tension, concern and a lack of peace will soon manifest. This is why prophesying outside of the leading and timing of the Holy Spirit is so detrimental to our lives.

I am convinced that a primary operation or function of the brain is dedicated to modeling. I realize that many in the scientific community may disagree and that’s okay. However, we must agree that as human beings, we are continually constructing anticipatory patterns in our brain to help us predict the future. In other words, if I put my hand here, then this will happen. Or, if I smile, then the person passing by will smile. If our inner models mesh or connects with what actually happened, we experience a sweet and subtle drop of affirmation and life purpose. If it doesn’t, then we experience a disconnect and a problem with the model, and thus, the brain has to learn what the glitch is and adjust the model.

Simply put, these brain functions are one of the fundamental elements and structure of “desire.” As we move through our days and experience life – the mind generates anticipatory patterns based on the models that we have experienced, constructed, and have chosen to store inside our consciousness. Oftentimes, there is tension between the inner models and the outer world model. It is within these tensions that we attempt to come up with concepts that will help us understand the world and most importantly – the spiritual world beyond. We naturally move into behavior patterns that will help or assist us to live in harmony with the reality of the natural world. The spiritual world and model is constructed when we realize that the natural models eventually fall short with its many unanswered questions. It’s difficult for me at this point to express what’s in my spirit, but I will say that it is within the tension between the inner models that we’ve constructed and the outer world that the battle of the mind rages. We must be able to differentiate between the two for both demand a particular anticipation and faith. Nonetheless, the concept is the same for both except those who have constructed a healthy spiritual model cannot help but overflow with neurons firing in anticipation of the rewards because they hear the sounds of the trumpets…They have already tasted that the Lord is good!

When we grasp a particular situation, or master some task, there’s a surge of pleasure that arises in our minds. However, it’s not living in perpetual harmony or pleasure that produces the surge as many snake oil salesmen under the guise of ministry would have us believe. If it were so, we’d be happy or content living on a tropical beach every moment of our lives. The truth is that the beach would get old and even miserable after a certain amount of time. It’s the moment when a particular tension is erased or conquered within our minds and a new model that constructed that reflects the perfection of God’s government that brings fullness to life. The abundant life has a recurring set of rhythms like a fine musical instrument and it moves from difficulty to harmony, difficulty to harmony, difficulty to harmony and difficulty to harmony as life goes on. As God’s creation, we are propelled, move, and desire spiritual equilibrium with the world around us. The abundant life and a mind of wholeness is obtained when moments arise in our lives when the inner and outer patterns we have ‘chosen’ to construct and store in our minds mesh. The Lord has designed us to not only desire Him (represented by the juice) but to also strongly desire, anticipate him; to be excited about him, and predict the future reward. These dynamics within our minds must be in place in our lives to truly understand the mind of Christ for he is the Spirit of prophecy and our fulfillment.

Thinning of the Veil – Redux (Resurgent).

With so many humanistic agendas formulated by the works of man which hinder us from entering the kingdom of God – Is it any wonder that the current state of religiosity has propagated a readily accepted and cynical statement: “God handed down the truth and the devil said, “let me organize it”.

Spiritual purpose and direction to the kingdom can be followed and obtained regardless of the obstacles and dogmatic barriers that have been erected by man over the generations. Once we stop seeking after mankind’s inventions of “god” – a different view of life begins to take shape which moves us into the power of what I will term: “spiritual transcendence”. I realize this statement may seem broad or even “New Age”…But hear me out. To “transcend” is not a weird pseudo term, but a means to go beyond our current state of natural being and natural awareness that are limited to the confines of the flesh. To simplify – we move from humanism into the kingdom order and government where our spirit-man and spiritual awareness takes precedent over the various circumstances and issues of natural life. We move or transition from proclaiming victory to living victory and experiencing life as more than conquerors.

When a 3 year old child throws a temper tantrum in the attempt to get his or her way, a normal parent or guardian does not sink down to the level of the child’s demands. The parent for example, knows that something else is at work in the child that requires mature guidance. The child is most likely tired, upset or anxious. The parent transcends the context of the situation or environment created by the tantrum and moves to a different level of experience and maturity in bringing peace and healthy growth to the child.

Christ reflected the same approach to a suffering, lost, angry, and bewildered humanity. He did not promote pleasure, comfort, ease or a financial based formula as a replacement for our various pains and needs. He pointed to natural and spiritual solutions which are only found by the leading of His Spirit and go far beyond the level of our problems and issues. Without transcendence, which is moving in alignment with the Lord through the Holy Spirit, our level of emotional needs, physical needs, spiritual needs and outlook on life will never change.

All around us lay infinite possibilities, destinies, and the abundant life which is separated from many by only the thinnest veil. The catch is that these veils are woven in our conscious behaviors from our past that are blocking or constricting our spiritual path to the kingdom. The veils of our past are not only the unnecessary guilt and fears that many carry, but also the unnecessary dogmas, habits or mind-sets that we refuse to let go of such as unhealthy diets and gossip which are just as powerful to hinder the presence of God as any other form of rebellion. It kind of reminds me as you drive west and approach the Rocky Mountains. The grandeur and awe of the tallest peaks are many times obstructed by a haze or a thin veil of clouds. Once the clouded veil has lifted by the warmth of the sun or is transcended as we move closer and closer – the majesty of what comes into view is exhilarating and life changing. The spiritual direction that the Lord is directing in this hour is about tearing, penetrating and moving beyond the veils that have been erected like ever-increasing rows of scaffolding in our lives whose foundation is pride, rebellion and fear (rejection).

In a remote town lived a gifted sculptor. His work decorated the town streets and parks and everyone agreed that it was extraordinarily beautiful. But the artist was reclusive and remained out of sight. One day a visitor arrived and so admired the statues that he insisted on meeting the sculptor. But no one could tell him how to find the artist he sought. In fact it turned out that none of the town’s people had actually met him and the sculptures had just miraculously appeared as if on their own one morning. Then an old man stepped forward and said that he had been fortunate enough to meet the elusive sculptor. How did you manage that; the visitor asked? The old man replied, “I stood before these wonderful works of art and kept admiring them. The more I gazed, the more I saw. There was intricacy and subtlety beyond anything that I had ever observed before and I couldn’t stop marveling what stood before me. Somehow the sculptor must have become aware of my rapture for to my astonishment he appeared by my side.” I said, “why did you pick me to show yourself to when no one else found you regardless of how hard they searched?” He said, “No creator can resist appearing when his work is loved as intensely as you love mine.”

I’m sure that most reading this understand that the greatest treasure and creation of God are not immaterial objects such as the statues created by the master sculptor in this story. God’s greatest design and treasure as a master sculptor is you and I – for we are created in his spiritual likeness and essence. God spoke everything in the universe into existence except man which he formed by his own hands like a master sculptor. When we, like the old man, move into a place where we can stand in awe and see how extraordinarily beautiful life is and how priceless that each souls of humanity is – it will be at time that the Lord will likewise not be able to resist appearing to you when his work (mankind) is viewed and loved as intensely.

Many have wondered through the ages why God has been so mysteriously distant or hard to find. The church constantly cries out for the Lord to show or to reveal himself with a curious lack of manifestation. Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t God hiding His image and essence (glory) from man. Maybe, the problem is the hiding of mankind’s love toward itself which is created in his image? If we cannot steward and comprehend the beauty of life and the glory and mankind…How could we possibly steward well the image and glory of it’s Creator?

FROM 2 CENTS TO NONSENSE

I submit this article with the purpose of expounding upon current market events of which I believe will bring clarity to the prophetic unfolding of tomorrow. So often, modern prophecy is veiled in mystical vagueness and highly non-relevant to people’s everyday life. This is unfortunate as many seem to desire earthly escapisms rather than to occupy with power and influence. This offering will provide some parallels of our current economic state and how it will interface and define the prophetic probabilities of tomorrow if the current road continues to be traveled.

Just a few years ago, a person’s (whose identity I will not mention) father was killed by an infection he caught while in the hospital. In trying to make sense of this unnecessary death, he began to read about the American healthcare system which reflects about a hundred thousand people killed annually by such accidental infections. He learned that the death-rate could be dramatically cut by two-thirds when hospitals follow a simple checklist of sanitary procedures. However, most hospitals to this day don’t adopt the checklist.

As a businessman and confessed liberal, he wondered how it was possible for any organization to pass up such a simple measure that reflected such massive payoffs. In the business world or marketplace, such inefficiencies would certainly lead to bankruptcy. As he learned more and more about the healthcare system and at the end of the day, he discovered just how bad things can become when products and services are provided without a properly functioning free market undergirded by democratic freedoms and liberties.

I would like to point out the absurdity of using insurance to pay for routine purchases in all aspects of life – even healthcare. I have previously stated in other articles my position that healthcare is a privilege and not right. We threaten to cross the threshold of tyranny anytime a skill or service is “demanded” from one man to be given to another. Normally, we buy insurance to cover the cost of a catastrophic loss. Essentially, we enter into an insurance pool with other people to spread the risk around. Typically, honest and productive people handle routine expenses themselves seeking out the highest quality for the lowest price. For example, we would never file a claim on our car insurance to pay for an oil change, radiator flush and a general tune-up. Yet, we have created a system and social culture that demands that the same “routine maintenance” for our vehicle of flesh be covered under health insurance.

The next time you visit a grocery store, take a good look at a can of green beans. It’s amazing to think that ore was mined on leased land for the aluminum alloy required to make a can by expensive heavy equipment. The ore was transported and cast into cans, labels were produced by a graphic arts company and the paper processed by the lumber industry. Large farms are plowed by heavy equipment and seed sown requiring fertilizers and more heavy equipment required for harvesting. The green beans are then processed, cleaned, packaged and finally transported to your grocer. Yet, all of this effort and investment costs less than a dollar! The value and point is that at every step of way, free and unhindered competition among suppliers in the marketplace rewarded those whose incentive for innovation continued to reduce the price of the can of green beans we realize today.

Suppose that we hypothetically spread chaos throughout the marketplace in the form of government control? Suppose that all prices are removed from all products in our grocery store? Suppose that all of the labels are removed except for a generic description of the contents so we can’t compare products from different companies? In essence, let’s just take whatever we want and as much as we want and bring it up to the cash register. A checkout person scans in our food insurance card and helps us fill out our itemized grocery claim. After that, we are charged a flat fee of $10.00 and go home with our load of groceries. Sounds great, right?

A month later, we get a bill in the mail informing us that our food insurance company will pay the grocery store for the majority of the purchase but we’ll have to send in a check for an additional $15.00 to cover what our grocery insurance did not pay for in its fine print stipulations. It might sound like a bargain to get a cart load of food for $25.00. However, forgotten in our grocery bliss is that we’re really paying our grocery bill every month when we fork over the $2000.00 required for our food insurance premium. Within this type of system, there little incentive to find innovative ways to reduce the cost of food or increase its quality such as the can of green beans we highlighted earlier. The grocery store gets paid by the insurers and the insurers get their premiums from you. But it’s not long before the cost of food insurance begins to raise as grocers stock only the foods that net them the highest insurance payments and not necessarily the foods that deliver health and nutritional value to you.

As the cost of food insurance rises, many people will soon find that they can no longer afford it. Liberal ideologies that are predicated under the guise of “social care” will naturally push for a new government program to buy food insurance for the poor and the elderly. Once the federal government becomes the primary purchaser of food – success in the grocery store business and food insurance industries depends primarily on maximizing yields from government payouts. Before you know it, the can of green beans that once cost the consumer in a free market economy under a dollar now costs the government $30.00 with all of us paying 25% of our paychecks in taxes just to cover the cost of buying groceries “for each other” at wildly inflated prices.

This is the situation we have begun creating for ourselves as Americans. As long as consumers are spared from taking price into account, that is, as long as someone else is always paying for your choices – all economies, whether the nuclear family, social and business; will certainly get worse. We can’t fix the problem by convening panels of grocery experts to set the maximum allowable price for a can of green beans. Only a working market can bring supply and demand and ingenuity together to provide healthcare as well as green beans at the lowest possible price.

The typically non-insured and free market for LASIK eye surgery which removes the need to wear glasses and contact lenses is a stark counterpoint. Doctors naturally compete with one another to attract customers and because the procedure is rarely covered by insurance – patients strongly take price and quality of service into account. The bottom line is that competition and innovation have driven down the price of LASIK eye surgery by almost 80% since it was first introduced to free market.

Economic order and genuine social gains will manifest when people are allowed to make their own choices and willing to take on the cost and benefits of those choices. We need to wake up and listen to our conscious and not settle within the comfortable confines of what is warmly familiar like a frog in a pot of water getting ready to be boiled to death. Pseudo- liberal care and compassion reflected by left-wing ideologies interferes within the workings of free markets resulting in extraordinary harm on a vast scale. On the other hand, the roll of governments and political institutions are to intervene to correct market distortions such as the over-printing of currency, unfair monopolies and business practices, supporting or enforcing private property and wise environmental regulations which fuels and protects the marketplace to work properly and for sustainability. American political liberals want to use government for so many purposes on top of the huge healthcare expenses which are crowding out all other possibilities of what our future state could be for our children and grandchildren. If you believe your local, state and federal governments are broke now – just wait until the baby-boom generation is fully retired!

I find it extraordinarily interesting that many American liberal thinkers and academic elitists embrace Darwin and reject “design” as the explanation for the design and adaptation of the natural world. Yet, they embrace design and adaptation in the economic world. It seems they oftentimes prefer the intelligent design of socialist based economies which “naturally” ends in disaster rather than the value of what evolves when markets possess natural selection for its citizens.

The introduction of the credit card planted the seed and beginnings of a cashless society. I believe that the past bio-chip implant discussions were erroneous, a waste of time and not likely to happen. The bio-chip method of payment for products and services was just too obvious and would be rejected by the majority even within an antichrist system. Fingerprint payment by scanning is much more socially tolerable, benign and is already making headway in many grocery stores around the U.S. (e.g. Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, Albertsons etc.) The sell and acceptance of this technology will be the elimination of credit card and internet fraud which is and will become more rampant as the cashless seed is beginning to bud. Fingerprint scanning will be very convenient for all purchases and a simple touch of the finger to a light-sensitive pad, patrons will be able to pay for their groceries, provided they have an account in the store’s system that can debited. The entire transaction would only take 10 seconds to OK a payment by fingerprint. The prophetic implications are that once you eliminate hard currency in its entirety; you also eliminate anonymity and provide a tracking footprint(or should I say: “fingerprint”)of all of your purchases. Ultimately, the government could eventually control food supplies just as it will for healthcare as the days unfold. With nothing concrete to show for your financial worth, you will be completely controlled by the cashless society grid.

I believe that the mark of the beast is not necessarily a branded number, biometric chip, a particular government or governmental system. I believe that as economies begin to falter under inflation and crumble under false and unwise “care” creating unsustainable debt – a cashless society will seem as the only plausible solution to control societal and economic chaos. Humanity will look toward government rather than within themselves in the free market for social, local and national solutions. It is within the governmental control of the future economic society (pure socialism) that will drive out free markets and drive people to do things that they normally would not have done. Desperation always leads to an altered state of action and in my opinion, this is the true accepting the “mark.” Accepting or not accepting the mark (the mark of our choices) will be humanity’s response to desperation within the mess that it created for itself.