Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Tour with MaAnna Stephenson - Continued

Again, I would like to Welcome MaAnna Stephenson to my blog. As you may know by now, MaAnna is the author of the Sage-Age - Blending Science With Intuitive Wisdom.

I guess I was a little early with my first post for MaAnna, and probably am a little earlier than I should be with my second post for MaAnna, but I hate being late. So today, I am posting an except from Chapter 5 of McAnna's Book THE SAGE AGE, and one from Chapter 10:

Intuitive Excerpt – Chapter 5 – Metaphysics – the Study of the Intangible World - Metaphysics...and Science Excerpt – Chapter 10 – Cosmology – The Study of the Infinitely Large

In recent years, the term “metaphysics” has become an umbrella for a multitude of investigations into nature and being-ness that lie outside the domain of the physical sciences, which concern themselves only with the tangible world, or that which can be directly observed or measured.

Historically in the West, the term metaphysics was first applied to a compilation of philosophical writings by Aristotle. Several centuries after his death, scholars at the library in Alexandria compiled and categorized some of Aristotle’s work into fourteen books, which were grouped by subject regardless of the order in which they may have actually been written. This collection was given the title After the Physics or meta-physics. It is historically unclear as to whether the scholars meant this to mean miscellaneous writings that did not fall into the same subject matter as Aristotle’s other treatises on the nature of the physical world or whether these writings referred to the nature of being and reality beyond the tangible world. Either way, this is believed to be the origin of the term “metaphysics.”

Aristotle himself called these writings “first philosophy.” This refers to the first cause of being. His comments on metaphysics concern an understanding of the nature of being for being’s sake, or simply because something exists regardless of cause. Aristotle’s view, much like ancient Eastern philosophy, states that wisdom requires knowledge gained beyond reason and sense experience. In other words, Aristotle expressed two sources of knowledge, both rational and intuitive. In these works he also discussed unity and dualism.

The study of metaphysics in ancient Greece predates the writings of Aristotle. It was considered the “Queen of Sciences” because its philosophy was at the core of all other sciences. But, it was generally agreed that the study of metaphysics should come after some knowledge of the physical world had been gained. Even though Aristotle called it “first philosophy,” he considered it to be a much more wholistic understanding of being. In other words, metaphysics encompassed the bigger picture which could only be considered after some understanding of many smaller concepts had been acquired.

Today, the term metaphysics has been applied to several disciplines including the study of the intangible world as the source of being of the physical world. This study also includes various philosophies concerning the fundamental basis of reality, being and knowing. As the science of quantum physics delves deeper into the nature of matter and energy, it seems to be blurring the line between the tangible and intangible world. While it seems to give a peek into the underpinnings of reality, physicists like David Bohm remind us that the real source of physical reality is ultimately non-measurable in physical terms.

Metaphysics, then, is the abstract philosophy which is best suited to deal with that which is just beyond the physical. But, because it is abstract, it is not completely bound by the constraints and limitations of reason and logic. And, there’s the rub that grates like sandpaper between the study of physics and the study of metaphysics. It is like the thinker thinking on thinking itself.

Plato described Knowledge as a subset of Truth and Belief, which was an idea still close to the common roots of philosophy shared with ancient Eastern traditions. Kant described knowledge as coming from two sources, the mental and the observed, which is the definition still used by modern Western societies. This presumption concerning knowledge led to a philosophical crisis in the early days of quantum physics. Since so many other modern sciences are now based on quantum principles, the same philosophical dilemmas hound them as well. In Philosophy of Science: an Introduction, author Paul Durbin states:

If we understand by metaphysics the belief in principles that are non-analytic, yet derive their validity from reason alone, modern science is anti-metaphysical. It has refused to recognize the authority of the philosopher who claims to know the truth from intuition, from insight into a world of ideas or into the nature of reason or the principles of being, or from whatever super-empirical source.1

We must accept that today’s scientists are actually metaphysicians whose knowledge is derived from their own unique subset of truth and belief as well as learning and experience, and include those who refuse to acknowledge the validity of metaphysical philosophy.

According to Plato, our beliefs impact what we can know as much as ultimate truth does. This radically impacts our knowledge concerning the nature of reality. In the next few sections we’ll explore the role of perception, conception and projection in how we come to understand reality. We’ll also explore modern ideas concerning the role of consciousness and how we view information.

Dualism - One Understanding Itself

The concept of dualism has been widely popularized in the symbolism of Yin Yang. It is a visually striking contrast of opposites that can be conceptualized without further explanation. But, as you begin asking questions about it, the depth and mystery encapsulated in the form becomes evident. Even the drawing of it seems to be a simple set of two dynamics. But, as it is with all symbolic concepts, the image is really a multi-dimensional system displayed in its most elementary form.
One of the basic concepts expressed by Yin Yang is that Light cannot be known without the presence of Dark. One cannot know itself without contrast. One cannot see itself from inside itself. One cannot grow without somehow becoming “different.” The urge to experience and learn, to expand, is the seed of dualism.

Science Excerpt – Chapter 10 – Cosmology – The Study of the Infinitely Large

Cosmology is the study of the physical universe and all that is in it. Branches of this field include astronomy, astrophysics, relativity, black holes, singularities, dark matter and dark energy. In this section, we will briefly explore these topics along with a few others. First, though, we’ll want to discuss what space is. At this time, the composition of the universe is considered to be made up of the following:

- Observable matter 4%
- Cold dark matter 22%
- Dark energy 74%

Observable matter consists of visible things like planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies. But some massive objects, like galaxy clusters, were found to be moving in such a way as to infer that there was some sort of invisible gravitational source influencing them. In 1933, astronomer Fritz Zwicky, a contemporary of Einstein, was the first to suggest the idea of unseen matter to account for the unusual movement of the galaxy cluster he was reviewing at the time. He called it the “virial theorem.” It was a mathematical tool which related the kinetic energy of a system to its potential energy. At first, no one took Zwicky seriously, but about four decades later, other astronomers noticed the same sort of movement among stars within galaxies and by using Zwicky’s theorem, they were able to verify that there was more matter in the system than could be accounted for by the luminosity it projected. In other words, this confirmed Zwicky was correct. Visible matter was not enough to account for the unusual movement of several stars under study. Some type of invisible matter had to be present.

In the early 1970s, two Princeton University professors, James Peeble and Jeremiah Ostriker, were using computers to model the universe. They built virtual galaxies and set them spinning to see what shape they would take over a few million years. But they found that every one eventually fell apart.
They concluded that the amount of gravity wrought by all of the visible mass in the universe was just not enough to hold a galaxy together. To account for the necessary gravity, Peeble and Ostriker came up with the idea of dark matter and that it had 10 times more mass than visible matter. Their ideas were not well received by the scientific community.

In the 1970s, Dr. Vera Rubin of the Carnegie Institute was studying galaxies as well. She was particularly interested in the rotational curves of the outer edges. She found that the stars near the edge were moving as fast as the ones near the center. This violated Newton’s gravitational laws which stated that the further an object was from the gravitational center, the slower its velocity should be. In our own solar system, Mercury’s rotation is very fast due to its nearness to the gravitational center of the system, which is our sun, while Pluto’s rotation rate is very slow. Her surprise findings of the outer edges of galaxies moving just as fast as the center helped to popularize and substantiate the idea of dark matter. This notion was further supported by Professor Riccardo Giovanelli of Cornell University. He used a radio telescope to detect hydrogen gas at the furthermost reaches of the universe where there were no stars and found that it too was orbiting just as fast as the inner stars. This finding also substantiated the idea that dark matter was present.

Since the very existence of dark matter is hypothetical at this point, no one knows exactly what comprises it. The suggestions range anywhere from newly discovered sub-atomic particles all the way up to collapsed, or otherwise invisible, planets and dwarf stars. One of the more interesting aspects of dark matter is that it has more mass than visible matter. In other words, something that we can’t see or directly detect weighs more than what we can see and detect.

The reason that it is called dark matter is because it does not emit or reflect light. Dark matter is thought to be invisible stuff that is in space, just like a planet or a sun is visible stuff in space. But it still only accounted for another 22% of the gravity necessary to hold a galaxy together and explain its outer rotation rate, so the idea of dark energy was conjured. Dark energy is thought to uniformly fill all of what is considered empty space, or space where there is an absence of matter whether it is dark or visible. It is not very dense and currently is impossible to detect in a laboratory environment. It is considered to be the fundamental energy of space and since we know that energy and mass are related through the equation E=mc2, dark matter also exerts a gravitational effect, just as all matter in the universe does. The gravitational effect of dark energy is very weak when compared to matter. This is how visible matter, dark matter and dark energy are related and constitute the makeup of the universe.

Dark energy also exerts negative pressure, which is thought to account for why the universe is expanding so rapidly. This may seem counter-intuitive because we generally think of positive pressure as providing the necessary energy to push something away. For example, take a new balloon and draw dots on it. Now, blow up the balloon. The air pushes against the balloon’s inside surface walls, expanding the fabric of the balloon ever outward. This is positive pressure. As the balloon’s surface expands, so do the dots. They expand in every direction away from each other.

Until recently, this was the same sort of model cosmologists used to show how the universe spread out after the Big Bang. Everything expanded in every direction away from everything else. It was thought that eventually, all of the mass in the universe, which exerts gravity on everything else, would eventually overcome the initial push of the Big Bang, and the universe would begin to collapse back in on itself. This is very much akin to what happens when you throw a rock up in the air. No matter how hard you throw it, the initially energy will be overcome by gravity and the rock will fall back to the ground. You would have to continually push on the rock to get it past the gravitational influence of the Earth. Since the Big Bang was a one-time event, there was no additional energy thought to be pushing on the matter in the universe, so it seemed natural to assume that it would eventually all come back together.

I am sure my readers have a lot of question to ask MaAnna, and she is willing to answer any and all that you have. Just ask your questions and MaAnna will be more than happy to respond.

To learn more about MaAnna Stephenson and The Sage Age, visit and you can subscribe to The Sage Age Newsletter while you are there.

For more tour information, visit

You can order your own copy of The Sage Age at

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blog Tour with MaAnna Stephenson

Today I'd like to Welcome MaAnna Stephenson to my blog. MaAnna is the author of the Sage Age - Blending Science With Intiutive Wisdom.

While currently known as a visionary thinker and new author, MaAnna Stephenson is a true Renaissance woman. From an early age she was exposed to a myriad of influences including her father's engineering and artistic endeavors, her maternal line of intuitives, and an intrinsic fascination with sound and music. Born in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee, MaAnna began her journey as the youngest of three children with a huge age gap between her siblings and herself. Constant inclusion in the world of adults led to an early maturity and perhaps a different view of the world than most children experience – especially with the special gifts of the adults in her family. None of it was lost on young MaAnna. "My mother was also an intuitive, as were all the women in my immediate family. Having psychic senses was quite normal and the information derived from these methods was respected and adhered to. I became accustomed quite early to the fact that there were things - forces and powers - which could not be measured with a ruler but were just as real as anything I could see or touch."

An additional gift was bestowed by her paternal grandmother – the gift of music. Time spent at the organ with her grandmother, who was well known for her passion for music, ignited a flame in MaAnna as well. By the time she was a teenager, she was already a multi-instrumentalist and composer, exploring sounds and techniques with special interest in how they affected listeners spiritually and emotionally. Her advanced education continued this line of exploration as she attended Jackson State Community College and Lambuth University concurrently, double majoring in Music and Acoustics with a special apprenticeship at a local recording studio as a sound engineer.

MaAnna transferred to Jackson Area Vocational and Technical School, acquiring a degree in Electronics. This led to a prestigious job offer and subsequent move to Dallas, TX in 1984. She continued her work in sound engineering and music with several international hits to her credit.

After a decade in the big city, she accepted a field assignment in Nashville, TN where she has resided since. It was in Nashville that she began her writing career with a short story triggering what she calls "soul memories." In response to her experience, MaAnna began her self-education in the fields of technical, scientific and New Age thought, exploring ancient mysticism and the rational sciences with equal emphasis. After a five-year preparation period, she was initiated as a shamanka. Her training for this initiation further contributed to her education process as she continued her studies in reconciling the rational sciences and the intuitive arts. This process has culminated in the writing of the newly released "The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive W

The Sage Age – Book Synopsis –

Combining the knowledge of physics with intuitive practice is no small task. The two disciplines often use the same words to mean entirely different things. Written for the seeker with more than a casual interest, The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom demystifies complex ideas with intelligent analogies and examples designed to appeal to both the scientist and the natural intuitive.

Four years in the writing, this expansive new work combines knowledge from the physical sciences and the intuitive arts to present a visionary perspective that harmonizes these diverse disciplines into one body of knowledge.

With a well-researched approach to its subjects, The Sage Age covers a broad range of material from ancient to modern thought, frontier science and current intuitive practice to deliver a depth and breadth of understanding that culminates in a holistic perspective for our time.

Living up to its mantra of "new models for new thought," The Sage Age is certain to be a catalyst for dialogue and is destined to be a major work in its field.

To learn more about MaAnna Stephenson and The Sage Age, visit and you can subscribe to The Sage Age Newsletter while you are there.

For more tour information, visit

Monday, October 13, 2008

My New Camera

Hi, Everyone!

I just purchased a new Canon digital camera. I have been thinking about a digital camera for a long time, but never got the urge to really pick one up and buy it. But last week, while shopping in Sears , I happened into the electronic section and lo and behold there were a line of digital cameras just waiting for me to check them out. My first pick was a Canon that was 7 mega-pixels, with a 4x optical lens, and thought that was a pretty good one to start with. Unfortunately, after reading the basic book and going on to the "advanced" manual, I still couldn't open the battery door to input the batteries and the memory card. Try as I might, it just wouldn't open. My daughter who has a digital camera and uses it quite often tried as well. One half hour later we both decided there was something wrong with the camera, so I decided to return it to Sears. My daughter suggested that as long as was returning that one, I really should pick up a camera that was 10 mega-pixels with a 4x optimal lens, which I did. (There was a reason behind her request. She wants to use it when she shoots her jewelry collection to post on her website.) When asked why was I returning the first camera, I told the salesman that the camera was defective, the door to the battery chamber wouldn't open. He didn't seem to know anymore about the camera than I did. Moments later, the salesman I bought the original camera from came by and took over the exchange. After I purchased the newer Power Shot Canon Camera, he asked me why I was returning the first one, I repeated my problem. He picked up the camera and with a flick of his finger had the door open. I asked him how he did it, and he showed me...It slid open it didn't work the way the book said it would. We laughed about it, but I still kept the newer camera.

Since purchasing my new Power Shot, I have taken over 150 pictures of the various trees, bushes, rocks and animals around my area. It's keep snapping pictures as if there is no tomorrow. My husband and I decided to take a ride down to the Ocean, and even though I couldn't see anything that I was shooting at (the Sun made looking through the LCD monitor impossible no matter which way I turned), the pictures came out better than I expected. I've discovered that I am really enjoying this camera, and as long as the batteries hold out, I will be shooting at everything and anything that passes my way.

Yes, I know after 300 or so pictures, the batteries have to be changed, but that's okay. What I love about this is that you can download the pictures into your computer and delete the memory card and reuse it over and over again. Isn't technology wonderful!