Monthly Archives: July 2014

whirling into harmony


“Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art of Aikdo, defined misogi as a washing away of all defilements, a removal of obstacles, a separation from disorder, an abstention from negative thoughts, a radiant state of unadorned purity, the accomplishment of all things, a condition of lofty virtue and a spotless environment. In misofi, one returns to the very beginning, where one is at harmony with the universe.

The sword (ken) is transformed through misogi from a weapon of destruction into a tool of purification. The purpose of misogi no ken is to cut through the ties that restrict us — anger, bewilderment, depression, illusion and doubt — and to remove the obstacles that block our way — sorrow, grief, regret, and distress.

Similarly, in misogi, the staff (jo) becomes a vehicle of intuition and freedom.  Spnning the four directions, misgi no jo links between heaven and earth, revealing realms of the manifest, hidden and divine.”

From the back panel of the box for the DVD Misogi: Purification of Mind and Body by John Stevens  (90 minutes, produced by Aikido Today Magazine ( in which he demonstrates misogi no ken, misogi no jo and other forms. The DVD also includes rare photos of Ueshiba O-Sensei, rare footage of Shirata Sensei, and sections on misogi of the mind and misgogi of speech.

A second DVD Takemusu Aiki features Shihan Mitsugi Saotome explains a higher level in which attention shifts away from the technique during conflict and toward the moment of vulnerability or “risk points” through which one “develops the ability to perceive other people clearly and to respond to their movements with definite and appropriate decisions.

Highlights from the Aikido demonstration and lecture at the O’Sensei’s Life and Message event. One of the demonstrators was Dr. Rober Frager, founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

The lecturer, John Stevens, is an internationally acclaimed Aikidoka and one of the foremost authorities on Aikido and Buddhist studies. Professor Stevens taught Eastern Philosophy at Tohoku Fukushi University in Japan for 35 years and has written over thirty books on Aikido, Buddhism and Asian culture.

Robert Frager has been training in the martial arts for over 50 years, and practicing Aikido since 1964.

He personally trained with Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei, the founder of Aikido, while living in Tokyo, Japan in the mid sixties. He currently holds the rank of 7th dan.

Dr. Frager is renowned for his pioneering work in the field of transpersonal psychology and for his role in establishing an educational institution dedicated to this emerging field of research and practice.

Robert Frager is a Harvard-trained psychologist, the past president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he is Director of the Spiritual Guidance program and professor of Psychology.

He is also a Sufi teacher, or sheikh, in the Halveti-Jerrahi Order, in which he was initiated by Muzaffer Ozak. He currently leads a dergah in Redwood City, California as Sheikh Ragip al-Jerrahi.

He attended Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA, from 1957-1961, and earned a B.A. in Psychology.

Robert Frager went to Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, from 1961-1967, and earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.

He became a fellow of the East-West Center, Honolulu, from 1963-1965, and a research fellow of Keio University, Tokyo, from 1967-1968.

Morihei Ueshiba developed the martial art of Aikido from his combat studies of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu with Sokaku Takeda, and his spiritual studies with the Omoto Kyo and Onisaburi Deguchi.

Aikido Success Blueprint is a massive 7 ebook and 2 video collection of unique knowledge. It shows you how to speed up your learning and develop your skills at a faster rate. Plus Key Action Steps for results!

– See more at: or

The Three Pillars of a Transpersonal Education (3:26)

Practice, Praxis and Theory

Dr. Robert Frager discusses Aikido in ITP’s curriculum (5:14)

The Seven Sufi Stages of the Self

Robert Frager

December 23, 2013

The update from the battlefront at Sofia University is as follows as this concerns all martial artists in the Greater Bay Area:

-On Thursday Robert Frager and a group of faculty members, staff and students held a protest outside Sofia University. The result was King Neal fired Frager from the school he founded as well as additional core faculty and staff members.

-All the locks have been changed at the school effectively locking out faculty and staff and students. Key faculty and administration members have been escorted from the school by security guards attempting to retrieve personal items from their offices.

-As a result, students have lost their faculty advisor(s); the Chair of their dissertation(s); Head(s) of their Departments and their Professors. In essence, King’s action now may threaten the school’s accreditation.

-The “Board” of 2 members appointed a new president, who apparently has a similar if not identical history and background as King with secrecy, financial irregularities and behind the scenes power moves . More on this later…

-PALO ALTO ON-LINE has posted this update here.

The blog LIBERATE has this interesting back story on Neal King and his history of previously perpetrating this same scenario at his previous employment here.

–Speaking with Frager this morning, he stated again that he is still using his Aikido skills to blend with the situation. However, additional atemi are now in the works.

Instructional video with Doug Wedell, Chief Instructor of Seidokan Aikido of South Carolina, discussing and demonstrating the chanting and breathing sequences of misogi barai. This video was filmed during a five day seminar sponsored by Mt. Scopus Aikido, Jerusalem, Israel in May of 2011. (9:13)


Instructional video with Doug Wedell, Chief Instructor of Seidokan Aikido of South Carolina, demonstrating a sequence of 7 breath exercises coordinated with movement and ki flow, filmed December 11, 2010 in Columbia, SC. (9:00)

Mori Shihan (19:55)

[written by one of Frager’s aikido students: ]

June 14, 2014

David Lukoff, featured here before, recently had a situation arrive in his professional life where he was able to put his Aikido skills to the test off the mat.

But first, a little background about David. He is shodan who trains at Two Rock Aikido where he has been a student of Ricahrd Strozzi-Heckler, 6th dan for over twenty years. David also trains with Robert Frager, 7th dan, at the Western Aikido Association’s home dojo at Sofia University during the months he teaches there. He is an internationally respected expert on spirituality as it intersects psychotherapy. He studied at the University of Chicago (Don Levine, the Founder of Aiki Extensions was his Professor there). He is a Professor of Psychology at Sofia University.

David also teaches courses and workshops with other experts and teachers in the field of spirituality, meditation and mindfulness. For many of these courses, he arranges continued education credits for those seeking this for their own professional careers. A little over a year ago, he received a notice that these courses, specifically one with a widely respect Qigong teacher, was under question.

Not only was it under question, his ability to give continuing education to all of his programs would have been withdrawn. The argument thrown at David was that Qigong was a religion and therefore not a valid area of study within the field of psychology.

To defend himself, David need to hire an attorney (this was just like a trial in a court case) and amass as much data as possible to support the position that Qigong was not a religion and the person he was sponsoring the workshop with was not doing this as an adherent of a religion. In addition, almost like the Inquisition, David had to present his case but up until the last moment he was not privy to the “charges” again him.

It all came down to a hearing. David and his attorney were attending via a conference call. The other parties included the attorney for this professional body questioning him, and a group of his peers who would render judgment.

Here in David’s own words is how his day began:

“So [in the] morning 5 am, I packed up all the appeals materials into my father’s old Mexican leather briefcase (May 12 actually being his birthday), drove to Ocean Beach by Golden Gate Park, and jogged for 40′ stopping to do some Qigong along the beach, [and] then parked in the Sofia [University] parking lot with my papers spread around the van and me on a headset starting 9 am, [making myself] quite comfortable for 2 hours. On the call APA (American Psychological Association] had 2 lawyers and 6 members of the Continuing Education staff, there were 3 appeal committee members, me, my lawyer and a colleague who I invited as part of my ‘legal team’ as a researcher and expert on spirituality in psychology.”

And here’s what David said afterward:

“I do feel I got my ‘speaking truth to power’ moment. As I had planned, much of the appeal time was spent on the issue of Qigong and of joy as appropriate topics for ce [Continued Education] programs for psychologists. After I spent 20 min[utes] establishing the validity of Qigong as a form of traditional Chinese medicine and a mindfulness technique, I read quotes on Qigong from the denial letter that were pretty derogatory toward this empirically supported form of complementary and alternative medicine (as acupuncture yoga etc. are considered). The denial letter described Qigong as a “religious practice” and described the Qigong teacher as having ‘religious training’ and in another place ‘theological training.’ What he actually has is decades of training including at a famous Qigong ‘medicine-less hospital’ in China where Qigong is viewed as a science. He has absolutely no theological training. His cv [Curriculum Vitae] was submitted to the [American Psychological Association] as part of my original application, so I asked the appeal committee to pull out and review his [C.V.] with me which was in their packet.”

David later said it was like a randori. He just had to stay centered and focused and not lose your balance as the attacks came in. And he also said he remembered to breath.

David was told her would hear back after a decision was made. Well, this week David heard back. The verdict was in his favor!

Here is the official response:

“While the CEC [Continuing Education Committee], in its response to the sponsor’s appeal, expressed concern that the instructor had religious or theological training, the training entails application of healthcare practice widely used in Eastern medicine and throughout China. As the field of Psychology expands to incorporate Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Practices, Master Trainers for these practices may be appropriate trainers for Psychology CE. The practice of pairing a Master Trainer with a psychologist for the offerings intended for the professional Continuing Education of psychologists is a good one and we encourage the Sponsor to continue this practice… the information provided in Section D of the application provide a sound basis for offering this CAM training to psychologists as a continuing education offering.”

I think if David had become adversarial the outcome would have been different. But by staying centered, he was able to maintain calm and focused and blend with what has happening.

This incident in David’s professional life is a perfect example of how one can use what they are learning on the map in a crisis situation.

Thank you David for setting this wonderful example for all of us. 

Aikido in Action with David Lukoff: An addendum to his encounter with the APA

June 26, 2014

David emailed me a few days later. He decided to flesh out the story and give additional background information that he thought was important as this all unfolded.

In reading what David wrote, it became clear to me that there was much more at stake and involved many important people, centers of learning and martial artists in the Greater Bay Area community.

David wrote,

“The decision of the American Psychological Association (APA) to withdraw the approval of the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC–the name of my continuing education business) was based on SCRC cosponsoring the Embodying Joy workshop with the internationally renowned qigong instructor Mingtong Gu and Debra Chamberlin-Taylor in December 2012 at Spirit Rock.

“For the past 10 years, SCRC has also been cosponsoring programs with the San Francisco Zen Center, San Francisco Shambhala Institute, Institute for Health & Healing at the California Pacific Medical Center, Marin Mindfulness Institute, Mindful Education Institute—about 20 different centers mostly in the SF Bay Area–with presenters including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Rick Hanson, Tara Brach, Mark Epstein, and Sylvia Boorstein. The loss of their ability to provide CE credits for their programs would have been devastating to these mindfulness centers, which is why I felt it was important to mount such a strong defense of these practices.”

And here is something I know Aikido and other martial arts traditions have run into from time to time. One recent occasion occurred with a workshop being held at a summer retreat camp owned by the conservative Protestant denomination. Someone observed the group bowing in and out and decided that this was a religious practice. The group was uninvited the next year. In essence the complaint was that what is being practiced was a religion.

David continues,

“The charge that qigong involves ‘theological or religious teaching’ was due to their uninformed view of qigong as a religious practice rather than as Chinese Medical Qigong which is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has a strong evidence base. During the appeal I cited several meta-analytic reviews that confirmed the anti-depressant benefits of qigong.

“My aikido practice provided me the grounding to go through this 14 month ordeal which involved hiring a lawyer, compiling the evidence-base of research on qigong, and presenting my case in a 2 hour adversarial appeals process to a committee. I adopted George Leonard’s maxim ‘Take the hit as a gift.’ From 24 years of training with Richard Strozzi-Heckler Sensei, I had learned and did practices for staying centered and facing the source of conflict that were invaluable throughout the 14 months. On my Ocean Beach jog at 6 am before the appeal hearing, I faced into the brisk ocean breeze in a hanmi position and let the universe in. Then knowing I would be defending this ancient practice, I did some qigong. All I can say is that I felt the lineage showing up in my body to guide me in this encounter.”

This is such a great example of tapping into to something bigger and bringing that energy forward into the moment. Something we all work on doing daily in our own lives as we bring that ki that happens on the mat into who and what we are in our daily lives. What David did was perfect.

“From Robert Frager Sensei, I knew how to come to a conflict from my heart and not create any enemies. Despite this protracted conflict with the APA, I am still active in the association and have received invitations to present at the annual conference and to write an article for their new journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice—while this conflict was in full swing. In both the article coming out in July and in my presentation at the conference in Washington DC in August, I will address the issue of using qigong and other complementary and alternative techniques in psychotherapy. Last year I presented at the APA conference on incorporating aikido into psychotherapy training.”

And here’s the core learning in my opinion of David’s experience. That he was able to view this conflict from his heart and not from a position of anger of it being adversarial. I think O Sensei and the other great teachers on The Path would all smilingly nod their heads in unison with what he did.

David concludes,

“I don’t consider myself a qigong teacher but took my first course 40 years ago, and teach mindfulness practices including qigong, aikido, and walking meditation in my graduate psychology courses, and believe embodied mindfulness practices such as tai chi, qigong, yoga and aikido will be the next wave of mindfulness interventions to be widely adopted as mental health interventions. So my hope is that the reinstatement of the SCRC will promote continued training and exploration of these embodied practices. Stay tuned to this column to learn about the next Aikido and Psychotherapy workshop!”

Thank you David for making a difference and speaking and acting from both your center, and perhaps more importantly, from your heart.

“Modern psychology and contemporary coaching models have taken us to a certain threshold of insight and ‘knowing,’ but they have failed to teach us how to discover satisfaction and meaning as we evolve through different shapes of living, and therefore different perspectives, throughout a lifetime.”

The author continues:

“Insight has a place, but it’s a mistake to think that if we change our minds, different behaviors will follow. (my italics) To simply have a good idea about something is not enough. To change how we are means changing how we act; it means functioning differently. It requires a different way of organizing how we feel, act, sense and perceive.”

A review in two parts of 

The Art of Somatic Coaching – Embodying Skillful Action, Wisdom and Compassion” by Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA $18.95 ISBN 978-1-58394-673-2

“… Before you can move from a position that has met or created opposition you have to let go. …” 

robotic answers to kids’ questions 

The first part is re-posted from 

U.S. Government Invests in Robot Personal Trainers for Children

Saturday, July 26, 2014 9:34

(Before It’s News)

Nicholas West
Activist Post

The evolution of humanoid robots continues to quicken with greater strides being made toward applying artificial intelligence to create emotional robots.

The commitment to reverse engineer the human brain coupled with the exponential increase in computing power is now forcing the discussion toward the social impact robotics is beginning to have as humans and robots begin interacting with greater frequency.

Consequently, newer robots are being produced with the intention of manipulating emotional triggers that guide human-to-human interaction. It’s all part of a move to make robots seem less creepy and more like real members of society. Researchers are taking multiple angles to establish these connections. The U.S. government is now getting involved with a $10 million investment into developing robots that can serve as personal trainers for children with the stated intention to “influence their behavior and eating habits.”

In loco parentis (in the place of a parent) – the legal charge given to educators when you hand over your children to school – might take on a strange new meaning. A 5-year, multi-university project is being led by Yale and includes researchers from MIT, Stanford and the University of Southern California; it is funded by the National Science Foundation, which has fallen under the umbrella of the federal BRAIN neuroscience initiative.

The ultimate goal of the “Robots Helping Kids” project is to send robots into homes and schools to provide children with education as well as fitness. This comes at a time when we have witnessed a push by America’s first lady toward controlling what children eat as well as introducing her concept of fitness; the results have been underwhelming to say the least.

A Yale press release doesn’t hide the fact that they are looking to robots for additional help with social engineering:

A Yale-led research team will spend the next five years developing a new breed of sophisticated “socially assistive” robots for helping young children learn to read, appreciate physical fitness, overcome cognitive disabilities, and perform physical exercises.

The purpose of the $10 million, federally funded effort, announced April 3, is to create self-adapting machines capable of cultivating long-term interpersonal relationships and assisting pre-school-age children with educational and therapeutic goals.

“The big idea is that we’re building robots to help kids,” said Brian Scassellati, the Yale computer scientist who is leading the intensive, multi-university project. “At the end of five years we’d like to have robots that can guide a child toward long-term educational goals, be customized for the particular needs of that child, and basically grow and develop with the child. We want the robot to be the equivalent of a good personal trainer. (3:11)

The language used here is disturbing. While at once it is claimed that these robots will only augment the instruction of parents, trained educators, and therapists, the targeting of pre-school-age children for “cultivating long-term personal relationships” to “motivate individuals toward a specific goal” while the robots “guide the  child toward a behavior we desire” clearly opens the door for more training than merely the physical.

As if government-run school isn’t brainwashing enough, now a literal programmed entity filled with all of the indoctrination of that system will be able to devote full-time – in school and at home – to ensure whatever it is the programmers wish to send their way.

What could possibly go wrong?




[Apparently Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street weren’t good enough….] 




So here is today’s quiz (my answers will follow below):

  1. Name the top three people who were responsible for your personal skill development and education/training or who were instrumental in your emergence as a functional human being. Stick with those who knew or worked closely with you through the sixth grade.
  2. Name the top three robots you can think of.  You can cheat and use movie figures or actual androids. But go with your immediate answers.
  3. Name 5-10 top educators you learned about much later in life that you’d now like to invite to join you for an extended period of time at a relaxed environment and for a nice meal and then a two-hour after-dinner discussion.  Describe their impact on you.  Note two questions for each one of these people you’d like to ask them.


Here’s today’s open book take-home essay questions:  In 50-100 words, describe Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan as a robot.


For extra credit (but you don’t have to “turn it in”) compare all the people you name in questions #1 and #3 to the best teaching machines you know or can conceive of.


My answers:

  1. Mrs. Helming, Miss Watson, Miss Dale. (Honorary fourth place: Evelyn Shade Shaner.) Mrs. Helming was the Mennonite nanny who took care of me from birth through about age 4.  My birth mother died from complications of my childbirth, and Mrs. Helming loved me and nurtured me in a way I can only guess at. When I went away to college, she sent me the only picture of my mother I’ve ever seen. Miss Watson — I am guessing here or assigning her the role played by others — chided me to sit up and pay attention (caling me ‘jellyfish’) but probably also did the basic educational testing that got me into a much smaller and much more accelerated educational setting.  Evelyn Shade Shaner gets an honorary vote because, as my step-mother, she went to work as a secretary to the principal at that school so they could afford to send me. Miss Dale — whose water color of the distant mountain named Cadillac hangs in my bedroom— was the prototypical ramrod-straight “brooks-no-excuses” schoolmarm spinster who taught English, grammar and Latin to me in fifth and sixth grade.
  2. R2D2 , Yoda  and Andrew. I don’t own or use a “smart phone”.
  3. Guy Dushanek, Ted Nielsen, Eric Booth, Richard Strozzi Heckler, Ken Ravizza, Tim Gallwey and Eliot Levine.  Guy (Duke) Dushanek and Ted Nielsen are both dead, so I’m gonna have to wait to ask them my questions, or have one of those deeply-meditative “visitations”.  The first was my high school AP English teacher and gave to me (after Miss Dale) my skills at writing. He had me fired up for the long haul when he went positively apoplectic over my effective choice of the word “jaded” in some long forgotten essay. He extended my love of reading. There are two questions I’d ask: why he never leaned on my parents to let me play sports (he was the high school baseball coach and had hands like mitts because he was a damn good catcher), and — more importantly — why he never leaned harder on me to get me to go to North Adams State Teachers College, where he taught too. Ted’s dead too; he was my college professor for film production, TV production and broadcast news and public affairs. I’d ask him about the state of affairs in today’s media, and ask him how we could best learn and apply skills in today’s world of social media and digital media to break the monopolistic control on information. The remaining five are alive and have links and books and other media that you can find to learn more about them; all of them were leading figures in my auto-didactic study of performance psychology and have prominent places on the bibliography I mention frequently. Eric Booth’s book “The Everyday Work of Art” sits at the top of all the books I’ve read and recommend. I’ve actually met Ken Ravizza twice at post-graduate seminars, and have read several of his books. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading consultants in performance psychology.  He wrote his masters thesis on peak experience. Richard Strozzi Heckler’s curriculm vitae is stunning. I own and have read six of his eight books. He is listed as one of the top 50 executive coaches in the world. W. Timothy Gallwey “has written a series of books in which he has set forth a new methodology for coaching and for the development of personal and professional excellence in a variety of fields, that he calls ‘The Inner Game.’” “Tim Gallwey’s work went on to found the current movement in business coaching, life coaching and executive coaching.” Eliot Levine wrote a book called “One Kid at a Time”.  “Any one interested in creating an education system that is child centered, flexible and interesting should read this book.” “Imagine a high school where there are no classes, grades, or tests; where each teacher is responsible for only 14 students, and students stay with the same teacher all four years; where the learning style of each student is accommodated; and where students complete internships in the real world based on their interests. This is the concept practiced at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (the Met), a public high school in Providence, RI. Students are selected from a lottery of applicants and come from a variety of economic and academic backgrounds. Levine, who immersed himself in the Met for two years, describes the school’s first four years. It’s to be expected that such a unique school would have its critics, but few could argue with the school’s successes. Even its creators say that it’s not the answer to all that ails American education, but they believe that it holds many of those answers among them, small, personalized schools, teachers and administrators who know the students well, and a focus on learning through the students’ interests. Levine succeeds in bringing the Met to life for readers. Most libraries will welcome this volume into their collection.”  It would be real nice if I could somehow conjure up Mr. Dushanek for that conference; he was thrilled, as was the principal and the superintendent, with the impromptu surprise of a scripted and improvised skit that I wrote and which was acted out by me and Ron Lanoue and Steve Moitozo which featured Walter Crankit and Harry Unreasonable interviewing Nanook of the North, dressed in fur coat, mukluks and carrying his spear. But for the five living folks, I’d have two questions which I’d ask them to answer individually and as a group (after having asked and received permission to record their answers). A) What do you think about the current situation in America?  B) What can we do about it?    Booth’s answer will be along these lines: And check this out:   Gallwey’s inner game approach [There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How you play this game usually makes the difference between success and failure.” ] has lots of public offerings. Heckler will probably draw from his book The Art of Somatic Coaching: Embodying Skillful Action, Wisdom, and Compassion.  And I know you’d really love to hear Guy Dushanek’s answers… 



Oh, and we have a surprise sixth guest…! Rafe Esquith. 

His book is called “Real Talk For Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: ‘No Retreat, No Surrender!,‘ ”

“If my kids are learning about baseball and you ask them what they are doing, they will say they are working on concentration. You can’t throw a baseball without focus. And I say to them, ‘When in real life do you have to have focus: Well, if you drive a car or do surgery, you have to have focus.’ This is meaningful to teachers. So that’s what the book is about.”  [Ken Ravizza would understand this and applaud.]

“I was at a school were only 32 percent of the students finished high school. That’s when I saw the tragedy of all. Shakespeare says that tragedy isn’t just bad. It’s something that could have been good that goes bad. I got angry.” [Eliot Levine would understand and add more insights.]

Q) What is different about public education today versus when you started?
A) The obsession with testing. We always gave tests, but basically now it’s the entire day. Basically if it’s not on the test don’t teach it. Teachers spend hours and hours and hours trying to figure out what’s going to be on the test. They will teach that there are four chambers of the heart, but not why we have a heart or why it works…. “ [I would understand….]

“If you want to be a guitarist it takes thousands and thousands of hours of disciplined practice. You don’t’ get to be Eric Clapton in a week. []  But it’s ironic that an organization that believes there are no shortcuts trains teachers in five weeks.”



Hey, to be honest, I pooped out by the time I got around to the open book take-home essay question about describing Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan as a robot. The sun is about to come up, the Down Easter express just came through, and I’m gonna have to crash soon. Esquith talks about the need for sleep, and I’m gonna get me some soon.

But here’s what I’ll do to make your own efforts at that open book take-home essay question a little easier.

First, here are two copies or versions of the script from the movie “The Miracle Worker”:,-The.html 

They should give you some fodder for your questions.


Secondly, there are four AI bots I found and you can do some sampling to come up with the best and worst examples of how a robot might respond to Helen Keller.

In alphabetical order, they are:


Cleve R. Bot: use with discretion and at YOUR OWN RISK and, if you are a minor,  use ONLY WITH OVERSIGHT




Have fun, don’t stay up too late, and keep a diary about what you learn from it.

And you can do some further research here:




Synchronization, coherence and life’s challenges 

Trying to bring the world to a clear state of awareness

about the sources of inhumanity 

seems a bit like saying 

“You can win the The Claret Jug 

if you can hit the 1.68-inch wide, 1.20 ounce white dimpled ball

into 72 successive devilishly-entrapped holes

with any of these 14 Golf clubs 

fewer times than anyone else”


Both likely require multiple steps, some (and probably lots) of learning,  commitment, practice, time, and some awareness of your own ’hamartia’.


“Golf is a game to teach you about the messages from within, about the subtle voices of the body-mind. And once you understand them you can more clearly see your ‘hamartia,’ the ways in which your approach to the game [<YouTube link] reflects your entire life. Nowhere does a man go so naked.”

Michael Murphy (author of “Golf in the Kingdom”)

Now, I can hear people saying, “what in hell does playing golf have to do with stopping covert ops and hidden government, false flags, falsely-engendered wars, brutal dictatorship, surveillance, genocide, pedophilia, and Satanism?”


Nothing, and everything. 


There is a book I’ve read (and given away to someone who just came in second in his club member championship) entitled On The Sweet Spot: Effortless Action in Golf

It’s written by a clinical psychologist and lifelong golfer who conferred with a friend, a dying radiologist, who’d been conducting research on the human brain.

Publishers Weekly calls it “half sports coaching tome and half medical research”. 

The link at Barnes and Noble above says:


“… Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.
All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states).”


There’s an academic paper that cites Keefe, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University Medical Center, entitled Synchronization and Coherence as an Organizing Principle in the Organism, Social Interaction, and Consciousness that notes American-turned-Israeli medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky’s theory that a “sense of coherence” as a personality trait or psychological condition, preserves, promotes health and protects against illness.  This “sense” is defined “as a pervasive, enduring though dynamic feeling of confidence” one one’s ability to cope with the challenges, stressors and pathogenic influences and rise to their demands for increased effort and engagement. 


“… In his formulation, the sense of coherence has three components:

Comprehensibility: a belief that things happen in an orderly and predictable fashion and a sense that you can understand events in your life and reasonably predict what will happen in the future.

Manageability: a belief that you have the skills or ability, the support, the help, or the resources necessary to take care of things, and that things are manageable and within your control.

Meaningfulness: a belief that things in life are interesting and a source of satisfaction, that things are really worthwhile and that there is good reason or purpose to care about what happens.

According to Antonovsky, the third element is the most important. If a person believes there is no reason to persist and survive and confront challenges, if they have no sense of meaning, then they will have no motivation to comprehend and manage events…..” 

Source of image: 


“… Keefe draws from new brain research, sports psychology and ancient spiritual traditions to explain how we can use such techniques as visualization and imagery, meditation and conscious breathing to reach our full potential. He explains how understanding and practicing these mental processes can enable us to recreate them at will. The result, he believes, is the ability to focus more effectively on whatever activity we are engaged in. As he writes, we learn “to pay attention to what matters and ignore what doesn’t matter.”

Keefe believes that learning to control mental techniques will enhance our performance not only in sports, but in other aspects of our lives. “There’s no reason to only limit these sports psychology techniques like visualization to sports,” he says.

“For most of us, sports are a recreational activity,” says Keefe. “What’s really more important to us is our work, our relationships and other parts of our lives. There are all kinds of ways in which this approach can enrich your everyday life as well.”



So whose gonna qualify for the world all-star team

in stopping false flags, falsely-engendered wars,

brutal dictatorship, surveillance, genocide,

pedophilia, and Satanism?



Once there was a master craftsman who made such beautiful things out of wood that the King demanded to know the secret of his art.  “Your Highness”, said the carpenter, “There is no secret.  But there is something.  This is how I begin:

When I am about to make a table, I first collect my energies and bring my mind to absolute quietness.  I become oblivious of any reward to be gained or any fame to be acquired. When I am free from the influences of all such outer considerations, I can listen to the inner voice which tells me clearly what I have to do.

When my skill is thus concentrated, I take up my ax; I make sure that it is perfectly sharp, that it fits my hand and swings with my arm. Then I enter the forest.

I look for the right tree, the tree that is waiting to become my table.  And when I find it, I ask “What have I for you, and what have you for me?’ Then I cut down the tree and set to work. I remember how my masters taught me to bring my skill and my thought into relation with the natural qualities of the wood.”

The King said, “When the table is finished, it has a magical effect upon me; I cannot treat it as I would any other table. What is the nature of this magic?”

“Your Majesty”, said the carpenter, “what you call magic comes only from what I have told you.”

In A Way of Working, ed. E.D. Dooling. Anchor Books, 1979, 

from the original by Chuang-Tzu.

And, after all, what’s more important?  


People, children, lives, livelihoods, sustenance, or a silly game that costs hundreds of dollars a month to play?

“Life itself is always a trial. In training, you must polish yourself to face the great challenges of life. Transcend the realm of life and death, and then you will be able to make your way calmly and safely through any crisis that confronts you.”

Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace 

(translated and edited by John Stevens)

(Shambhala Publications, Boston 2002).

What can we do? (Part Three)

What can we do? (Part Three)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the father of positive psychology, outlined three platforms for happiness in a recent TEDx talk in Chicago. They included pleasure, engagement and meaning. His research has determined that the MOST predictive element of happiness is ENGAGEMENT or the ability to enter into a state of ‘flow’.




“… The Self-aware human being is intelligent because their mind is integrated. In contrast, an ‘intelligent’ individual who is unSelf-aware, because their mind is disintegrated, might engage in activities that are destructive of our species and the planet. I am sure that you can think of many examples. If you wish to join the worldwide movement to end all violence and to create Self-aware individuals, you can sign online ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’….”

 Robert J. Burrowes 


“… Each of us has to do this [getting involved and getting engaged]  in his or her own way, when we are ready… again not for the sake of letting go of our awareness and activism, but in harnessing it to better ends with better tools and in learning to live a life in our own way that is contrapuntal and antithetical to “the evilarchy” that has brought us to the cliffside of brutal totalitarianism, economic collapse, and world war. …” 


People talk about Heaven in the temporal proximity of a loved one’s death, and if when they say ‘we’ll all meet up later there’, they can simply build the place if they discover it isn’t there when they arrive.

The down-side of this is expressed in this song;

the upside is expressed in The Gospel According To Thomas (113)


“… What is required to live the truth? First, an individual must realize that truth does not come from outside as an ideology or from other people; it exists within as a realization that comes from experience, reason, and a sense of humanity. Second, freedom rests on a recognition of the inextinguishable dignity of every individual. Third, it requires courage. Each person must stand up and claim their own power even if it is expressed in seemingly small ways. Because there is no such thing as a small step toward freedom. The first step, however small, is the one that matters most.”  – See more at:

But what are we to do when the “inextinguishable dignity” of individuals manifests itself in the psycho-socio-pathologies of exceptionalism, racism, supremacism, eugenics, hatred and violence??!


Sun Tzu said: “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

P.19 – “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.

Ueshiba constructed an international network of people that taught how to position one’s self and move in such a way that the opponent had no choice but to submit.

Perhaps we cannot reach the hateful, the supremacists, the war-mongers? Then teach your children well


  It seems to me that we must improve and enhance our command of the social media, and we must figure out how to penetrate the walls dividing us from the mainstream media. There is no question — especially after the recent performance by Diane Sawyer — that the MSM is owned and operated by the elite oligarchy. But it is not ABC-TV News we should be targeting; it is the local TV news markets, their operations, their anchor desk personnel, and the humans who function at that level, the small guys and gals. Nor do I suggest that we play within the worlds of Twitter, Facebook, and the like, since they too are obviously compromised. We have to invent — aikido style — an approach that circumvents them.

I remember the concept of Lawrence Halprin’s RSVP cycle:

If you can put people into positions in which they share

an experience – experience on a deep level – that in itself

is the most powerful form of common language I can

possibly imagine.

  “The Real Meaning of Communication”, in Communications in the 21st Century, edited by Robert Haigh, George Gerbner and Richard Byrne, John Wiley and Sons, New York 1981.   And I wonder how it is that one can effectively, without risk or harm, induce in one’s self or in someone else (let alone how it could be accomplished en masse) that kind of epiphany that can come through meditation, or an out-of-body experience, or a near-death experience (all of which I have personally had)… you know, the kind of thing that parts the curtain and hits you over the head with a sudden awareness of the quantum/spiritual sense of oneness. One thinks immediately of entheogenic drugs, but lots of people won’t go near them.  I’ve done some of those but argue that that is not the only path. Numerous books have been written about meditation, but reading is not having the experience. Induction of experience brings to mind an encounter group, or at least some other form of experiential learning.  Some people see those kinds as having been created by the very same enlightened crudite that are reigning havoc upon the world and, in some cases, they can prove their case. “… Our world suffers from terminal normality…..” I am a graduate of three tiers of Actualizations and I don’t appear to be worse off than I was, or controlled, or robotic, or supportive of (or indifferent to) the creation of havoc, death and destruction, or in hot pursuit of hedonism and wealth-beyond-measure. It seems to me that our challenge is to harness the tools we have [damn, look at that!… it’s as if we’d engaged in mental telepathy], and creates new ones and new approaches in their use, so that we can bring people to an experiential understanding. But how will that work across cultures and languages, across space and time?  Face-to-face meetings with people not inclined to meet can’t work. Coordinated effort in a world thick with surveillance and COINTELPRO-like infiltration seems doomed. We are homo habilis, now advanced, the kinds of beings who can fashion new tools, who make things, who can and have made enormous strides in our ability and means to communicate.  We are artists who can and have mastered the ability to write, produce and disseminate art, music, plays, movies, videos, blogs, CD’s, DVD’s. Architect For Learning: Utilizing The Internet as an Effective Educational Environment is a book/CD [and here is where you can download a related PowerPoint]. From the Amazon description: “This is a book [published in 2000] about the future of education. If you are an educator who uses the Internet, “Architect for Learning” will remind you of what you already know and suggest how to adapt it to the potential of the network. If you are a New Media professional, this book will outline how design skills and technical knowledge can be used to propel a passion for learning. Principles and practical examples demonstrate how classical philosophy and electronic gaming are allies in developing compelling environments in which each learner can discover purpose and meaning. Beginning with a philosophy of education, then scanning cognitive theories and psychology, “Architect for Learning” points the way to how the network can be a powerful tool for individualizing education. An accompanying multimedia CD-ROM provides a helpful overview and examples of key concepts which are more deeply engaged throughout the book. Whether the educational potential of the network is achieved or not will depend largely on a genesis generation of network based learning architects. This new profession is emerging spontaneously in response to opportunity and demand. This book is a primer on how the lessons of a few millenia of human experience might best be applied to a new millenia of learning. About the authors: Philip J. Palin is a Senior Architect and Chief Executive Officer of Teleologic Learning Company. He has designed network based learning on behalf of Asymetrix Corporation, The Laurasian Institution, the National Foreign Language Center, Corporate Executive Information System, Tricare Management Activity-Information Management, the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Bristol-Myers-Squibb Corporation, and others. Mr. Palin is also a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Defense Education and Analysis of the Naval Postgraduate School where he specializes in strategic planning for the design of very large network based learning systems. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Wisdom@Work, Arista Knowledge Systems, Saint John’s Wood Corporation, and the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education. Kari Sandhaas is a Senior Architect with the Teleologic Learning Company and Creative Director for The Laurasian Institution. Ms. Sandhaas utilizes a cross-discipline approach combining conceptual, artistic, and education expertise to develop effective design for today’s web environment. She has been instrumental in the development of basic design principles for network based learning, emphasizing aesthetics, effective communication, and a purposeful use of symbol integrating image, text, and the dynamic environment of the web. She has directed the creative aspects of on-line learning environments and modules on behalf of The Institute for Defense Education and Analysis, The Corporate Executive Information System, Tricare Management Activity-Information Management, The Laurasian Institution, The University of Richmond Internet Based Learning Initiative, and others.   From page 112, as the book comes to a close: Education has its origins in the individual’s search for purpose and meaning. [An extension of the flow theory…!] When this ultimate aim is forgotten, or put aside for the moment, the ultimate aim is forgotten, or put aside for the moment, the educational process will necessarily suffer.… [The learner must remain engaged, and this is the responsibility of both teacher and learner.] The experience of satisfaction or flow or resolution… is a profoundly human desire. As Rollo May wrote, The test and possibility of the human being is to move from his original situation as an unthinking and unfree part of the mass … to ever-widening consciousness of himself and thus ever-widening freedom and responsibility  to higher levels of differentiation in which he progressively integrates himself with others in freely chosen love and creative work. What Whitehead called satisfaction and what Abraham Maslow called self-actualization is what Aristotle might have called eudaimonia…., a profound happiness … achieved by actively fulfilling our distance function (ergon)…. “… Aristotle asks what the ergon (“function,” “task,” “work”) of a human being is, and argues that it consists in activity of the rational part of the soul in accordance with virtue… The good of a human being must have something to do with being human; and what sets humanity off from other species, giving us the potential to live a better life, is our capacity to guide ourselves by using reason. If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in. Doing anything well requires virtue or excellence, and therefore living well consists in activities caused by the rational soul in accordance with virtue or excellence…..” “… In order to apply that general understanding to particular cases, we must acquire, through proper upbringing and habits, the ability to see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by reasons. Therefore practical wisdom, as he conceives it, cannot be acquired solely by learning general rules. We must also acquire, through practice, those deliberative, emotional, and social skills that enable us to put our general understanding of well-being into practice in ways that are suitable to each occasion.” When the very act of problem-solving has value in itself, and when our purpose transcends our self, then our aim is fine, noble, beautiful, what Aristotle called kalon.” Later, on page 117 (“Praxis”): “… The architect of learning will conceive and design environments and processes in which the learner is encouraged to develop the practical wisdom that is distinctively human….. The learning must reasonably advance the learner’s achievement of eudaimonia…. Moreover, the learner must facilitate the learners practical application of its lessons, for as Nancy Sherman has written, “eudaimonia is eupraxia — good activity”.  [Read her Wikipedia entry and see for an interview about her book “The Untold War”.] Now surely some readers are going to raise their eyebrows, having read of Nancy and even the backgrounds of the authors of “Architect of Learning”. [I can hear the muscles moving in your foreheads.] But remember the lessons from aikido no kokoro about disarming an opponent, and that “non-contention means to deflate the aggressive, combative instincts within a person and to channel them into the power of creative love.” Isn’t aikido almost like the whirling of a dervish?

One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace.

Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train. 

— Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace



Music video:

Ascetic Journey (9:01)

  **** Here’s a quote which could describe the contemporary multi-seeker going from technique to technique, tradition to tradition, teacher to teacher, experience to experience:

“You are scrabbling about in the sand, attracted by pieces of mica to knit together and make a window, not realizing that the sand itself is capable of being transformed into the purest glass.”

This weekend, as I was finishing this piece, a book  that I’d ordered arrived. It’s available online: Note that the publisher — at that first link — also offers books by Idries Shah, as well as books on early christian history, Sufism, and the topic of ‘brain, mind and consciousness’ (recommended for your browsing).   I am somewhat familiar with Shah’s “The Commanding Self”, though it is heavy sledding, for reasons that are amply described in LeFort’s search for the teachers of Gurdjieff.  This too is not without controversy (check the Wikipedia entry for the book). See also as well as and Well, of course the subject of how best to develop one’s own spiritual awareness, soul, cosmic understanding or world-view is going to generate a little friction.  It’s been that way for millennia and will probably continue that way for whatever eternity is left for us even if we are forced to kneel submissively before armed and violent types who have and wield the power of surveillance, torture, crucifixion and worse.   I don’t get up in arms about Gurdjieff except simply by noting that Keith Jarrett has recorded his Sacred Hymns Here’s The Story of the Resurrection of Christ performed by Jarrett.    Here’s Prayer and Despair as performed by Lola Totsiou. You can read or download an academic paper [“Music, Aesthetics and Legitimation: Keith Jarrett and the ‘Fourth Way’] that discusses the influence of Western Esotericist G.I. Gurdjieff on the music of noted jazz and classical pianist Keith Jarrett here. I’m not here to proselytize; I’m hear to wonder, and to learn.  Here are some of the parts that resonated with me:     ‘How does a pupil get accepted into such a course?’   ‘By being in contact with the teaching and, after being approved, by being passed along… or by needing the teaching himself and having the capacity to use it, even unconsciously, for the benefit of the community.’   ‘Why are the pupils required to learn [a variety of skills]?’   ‘It is not that they are learning specific skills in order to master them.  It is usually so that they learn something from each teacher and at the same time a skill which may stand them in good stead if they are sent somewhere to set up an outpost through which the Teaching goes on….’   [snip]   ‘How were the texts studied?’   ‘By constant reading so that the different levels of meaning should be absorbed gradually. They were not read to be “understood” as you understand the term but to be absorbed into the very texture of your conscious being and your inner self…..’   [Pages 52-53]     ‘… I taught Gudjieff to breathe. I say this and you burst into a flood of how’s, why’s and if’s and but’s and can I teach you? The answer is, I can but I will not,’   ‘May I ask, Sheikh, why only breathing?’   ‘Only! Only! Stupid question! More stupid than to have asked why or how.  Do you think that to learn to breath correctly is easy?’…. [Page 58]   “… the deadly serious business of nourishing the inner consciousness flows over your head, bent as it is over physiology, psychology, causative phenomena, theoretic ecstasies. You blind yourself; life does not blind you. You call out in your pitiful arrogance for enlightenment, you claim your right to it as a birthright. [No]. You earn it, my friend, you earn it by dedication, toil and discipline…..’ [Page 59]   “… you want to use what you call the “process of thought or logic” to pick over the whole and eat the parts that you consider nourishing. At best your thought processes are surface reactions, at worst you cannot absorb a reaction or a though before it is fallen upon, diluted, dissected and malformed by the infernal process you call academic reasoning. Reason, you call it! Do you call it reasonable to gulp down great pieces of wisdom and regurgitate them in the form of theory, the speech and drivelings of a raw mind? The Age of Reason in Europe produced less reason, leads real intellectual progress, than one day’s activities by a developed man. You aspire, you dream, but you do not do, Tenacity is replaced by hair-splitting, courage by bluster, and disciplined thought by narrow, pedantic attempts at reason. Bend what little you have left of your intellect to practical activity, realizing your severe shortcomings. Cease your diabolic “examination of self”. Who am I? How many I’s do I have? You have not the capacity at all to understand the concept of true self-examination.  Follow a valid philosophy or condemn yourself to join the the generations who have drowned themselves in the stagnant pools of slime that they call the reservoirs of reason and intellect!….: [Page 60]   “Western scholarship has canonized its own saints, elevated its own self-perpetuating hierarchy of high priests, not having the critical faculty of being able to examine their qualifications. So you are stuck with them. If you overturn them now, you have a pogrom and a burning of the books, with whom will you replace them? Whole schools of thought have been built on one man’s aberration. You may say that this is the way that scholarship operates in the West. You call it theory leading to a basis of understanding…..” [page 62]   ‘… To know how little you know is the first step…. Discipline I know to be a whole-hearted desire and an identification with that with which one has allied oneself….. You can afford to suppress your much-vaunted “critical faculty” when you are receiving instruction from someone who really knows what he is doing and to whom only what he is teaching is important…. thus the director of the activity must be constantly in touch with the main plan of the activity…’ [Page 91]   ‘… You have a place in your family and in society which you cannot escape in order to sit in a cave and meditate. You have responsibilities which you cannot slough off. Meditation, after all, can occupy twenty-five seconds as well as twenty-five years. If your system is so ineffective and inefficient that you have to meditate for twenty-five years, then something is very wrong with you or the system or perhaps both…..’ [page 93]   ‘You are scrabbling about in the sand, attracted by pieces of mica to knit together and make a window, not realizing that the sand itself is capable of being transformed into the purest glass. Do not concern yourself with personalities, or with events that happened in a time sphere not relative to your present situation and not capable of being understood or applied now. Certain literature is based on experience and activities in the past and lives only in the lifetime of the teacher whose duty it was to produce a certain impact upon a limited segment of humanity.   Ask yourself how, then, this information can have any developmental validity when the circumstances, time and people involved are no longer the same. You delude yourself in giving such matters any importance and you delude others by your popularizing of it….’ [Pages 92-93]   “… The West encouraged and popularized the cult of the semi-literate gurus whose sole claim to fame was a seat under a peepul tree and a yen to use the navel as a sort of anatomical crystal ball. Oh yes, the West has ever sought the “wisdom of the East”, but never in the right places. Always the colorful, the faintly erotic, but never the hard reality. Western thought never recovered from the dead hand of the organized church although it had aided and abetted the monopoly of that church by never challenging its right. Any hint that the organized church did not contain the esoteric content one might have hoped for was met with a stake. I am as much a Christina as was Jesus, but I am not the type of Christian you find in the present-day fathers of the established church…..’ [Page 94]   ‘… if you want real progress with disciplined hard work, then get out of your pattern thinking and overseeing pride, and confidence in the breadth of your “intellect”, and experience that which only can be experienced….’ [Page 95]   “Do you not realize that a sophisticated path of development keeps pace with the requirements of the present day? … If you have enough skill you can actually harness the negative forces to serve you… but you must have enough skill.” [pages 100-101]   ‘Man has always claimed ‘intellectual freedom’, meaning the right to defect at any time from anything in hwihc he has a diminishing interest in favor of something more exciting….’ [Page 130]     Music video (watch it!): Dhafer Youssef: Whirling Birds Ceremony (4:47)

“…. I have a small question about working with books by I. Shah. Can it be said that there are certain keys for perceiving the meaning of any (or most) of the parables? For example, one can consider everything happening in the parable as processes happening inside a person (microcosmic key) or consider the same parable within the scope of the whole Earth, or, say, a School. Some esoteric sources speak about existence of such keys. Could you please clarify this matter?” 

What we can do is to keep learning.  This comes from LeFort’s story about Gurdjieff and elsewhere.  We can learn about consciousness (see Zimmerman, Burrowes and Le Fanu et alia). 

We can gravitate toward truth, at least our truth

We can practice alignment

We can engage in harmony during conflict (see Ueshiba).  We can become better at and practice more frequently the arts and sciences of interaction, enounter, and face-to-face communications (see Keltner).  We can master social media (see the books mentioned above, and others, and Standage).  We can create community (see Corbett).  We can become leaders of our communities, if only through the above steps.  We can teach our truth (see “Architect for Learning”).  We can engage with the dominant mainstream media more effectively, and we can create new media   We can create.  We can touch people.  We can move people. We can love. 

Stop pretending that you don’t want whatever it is that you want, and take action.In every case, the remedy is to take action. 

Get clear about exactly what it is that you need to learn and exactly which you need to do to learn it. 

Getting clear kills fear.

Zen and The Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design, Laurence G. Boldt, Arkana/Penguin Books, 1993.

*** *** *** ***

Please note that some discussion ensues here: 

What can we do? (Part Two)

What can we do? (Part Two)


Empathy:  When you are not you, but that which you wish to understand

For historians, empathizing means being able to see the world through other people’s eyes. Biographers “get into the minds of their subjects–their thoughts, emotions and even body feelings”. You’re beginning to understand someone you have come to know when you can accurately predict their next expression.

Kan Is a difficult-to-translate Japanese term meaning something akin to a combination of empathizing and kinesthetic thinking–becoming one with the music and the instrument producing it.  C.P.E. Bach argued that “a musician cannot move others unless he too was moved. He must feel all the emotions that he hopes to rise in his audience.” Dance, music and some athletic maneuvers must simulate an empathy within the bodies of onlookers, creating within them the desire to move. A choreographer must have empathy for his or her dancers, who are the raw material from which the dances made. The choreographer, wrote Doris Humphrey, “must have a high regard for their individuality, remember that they are not like himself, and bring all of his intelligence to bear on the problem of understanding them, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Many choreographic failures are due to an insensitivity to people”. Empathizing is “a key skill for the practice of any helping relationship”.

The entire philosophy of Zen Buddhism is inextricably bound up with the idea that a person must become one with the objects of meditation, to lose his or her sense of self in order to comprehend the otherness of things as if they were not other. Thus all of the arts associated with Zen–the landscapes, rock gardens, paintings, drawings, architecture, tea ceremonies and other rituals–require the ability to empathize with nature. Buck Branneman, the trainer who inspired the novel and movie The Horse Whisperer, uses the horse’s own language of subtle body movements and gestures. “There’s no secret to this”, he says. “I just know what we need to do in order for both of us to speak the same language and dance the dance.” Jane Goodall, who has worked with chimpanzees in the wild, notes that “subtle communication cues denoting slight changes in mood or attitude toward other chimpanzees are more readily detected once empathy has been established.” In A River Runs Through It, the story of 2 sons of a Presbyterian minister, all dedicated fly fisherman, the older son achieves a strong sense of the river, its eddies and currents, the environment in which the fish hides. He says “I’m pretty good with a rod, but I need 3 more years before I can think like a fish.” The younger son, a master fisherman, responds “But you’re the know how to think like a dead stone fly.” Thomas Eisner pioneered the study of the chemical defense and communications systems of insects, and would dream of talking to ants in Spanish. Once he dreamed he was an insect talking to insects and telling them that he had dreamed he was a human. Of the oldest and best preserved tricks in the hunter’s repertoire is to throw the skin of an animal he is caught over his own body in order to blend with his prey. To be successful, you must learn to act and think like that animal. What better way then to take on the role of the hunted, to imagine how the creature will respond? A hunt is a battle of wits, and the avid hunter soon develops a deep sense of respect for his prey.

The eminent philosopher Sir Karl Popper said “you should enter into your problem situation in such a way the almost become part of it.” Charles Ketterling, the long-term director of research at General Motors, would often reprimand engineers who got lost in complex calculation by saying something like “yes, but do you know what it feels like to be a piston in an engine?” Alexander Graham Bell became the systems he studied. While he was working on new ways to educate the deaf and mute, he mentally became deaf and mute, and figuratively vanished from his family. Computer programmers and designers have walked around inside their microchips in programs like characters sucked into the world of electronic micro circuitry (see the movie Tron).

These people not only know their subjects objectively, they know them subjectively. But how can you practice empathizing? Practice inner attention, which centers on things we can see, hear, touch and feel in real and imaginary circumstances. Observe your own responses to the world. Remember physical and emotional memories of your responses. Practice external attention to people and things outside yourself. Observe how they respond and react to particular situations or stimuli. Imagine what the object of your external attention is sensing and feeling. Pretend that its world is your world. How would you respond if you were it? Find connections to sensations and emotions that exist in  yourself. Act out the part of a component within the system.

Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1999. [The primary tools are observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing and dimensional thinking; the integrative tools are modeling, playing, transforming and synthesizing.]





Be sure to finish reading Zimmerman’s treatise, esp. pages 15ff, as well as Napi in the new age, and then

skip on to The Defense Intelligence Agency and Shamanism

and its embedded story about “The Stick Game”.


Ron uses the Wu Wei theme at WordPress. I am beginning to like this man’s sense of cosmic wit. I’ve never met the man in the flesh but I betcha there’s a certain kind of gleam in his eye.  It’s bright, which may be why he’s always wearing those sunglasses: he doesn’t want to blind you at first glance.


The principle of least action (or stationary action) seen in the previous entry Noether’s Theorem immediately makes me think of the Taoist concept of wu wei – literally no action or effortless action. It consists of knowing when to act and knowing when not to act (or perhaps even not knowing to act). It also means natural action, or the action of natural physical or biological systems. In Western culture, such action is considered bad and “mechanical” because physical systems are thought to be like clockwork, but in Eastern culture, it is sagelike and enlightened, harmonious. Very often intention, or conscious action, gets in the way and impedes our effort.

Another example that comes to mind is the short story “On the Marionette Theatre” by Heinrich von Kleist. In the story, one of the characters comment that marionettes possess a grace humans do not, a view which contradicts ordinary aesthetics. It is claimed that our consciousness and capacity for reflection cause us to doubt ourselves or become self-conscious, and prevent us from acting with the singlemindedness and purity of an animal or a puppet. For example, a bear in the story is able to successfully fence with the narrator, by deflecting every thrust towards him seemingly without effort. And all feints are ignored, as if the bear is reading the narrator’s mind or knowing the future before it happens. 

[Does that sound like aikido?]



Find those who will walk right next to you through the orchards and the grain, someone who won’t give up in the frozen rain.




“The truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.”



The first thing that must be in place in any approach to preparing for the future is to insure that there is sufficient love, laughter, good fun, music, good food, friends and family. No one could be wrong concentrating on those qualities or insuring their presence.

Creativity has not only made the human species unique in Nature; what is more important for the individual, it gives value and purpose to human existence.

Creativity requires more than technical skills and logical thought; it also needs the cultivation and collaboration of the appositional mind. If the constraint of an intellectual ideal can make man a unilateral being, physiologically underdeveloped, a better informed and foresighted community will strive toward a more harmonious development of the organism by assuring an appropriate training and a greater consideration for the other side of the brain. 



My reflections on physicians I have known

Further Prescriptions





Is all this an antidote for 

the perfect storm of amnesty of hyperinflation, food riots and race wars?


No.  But it’s of value when combined with a totality of effort, including divestiture, self-excision from the system as much as possible, and the development of what Catherine Austin Fitts used to talk about (and probably still does) — the popsicle index, “a map, a plan, and allies”, and mapping your community for money and power.  It probably includes “prepping”, some sound thinking and planning, and more. 

We’re better learn quickly how to find proper leadership who has a thorough understanding of how to get the most out of others. 


I’ve been a fan of the role of games and gaming in dialogue for some time: 

“The true value of serious simulation games and the range of other digital learning tools can best be judged by the extent to which they bring people to a higher level of dialogue, discovery, research, learning and collaboration after the game or learning encounter has ended.”


See this  (not the first time I’ve encountered mention of the board game Carcassone) and figure out where your people should place their next tile.


And after all that work is done, then the love, laughter, good food, good music and good interaction will send the message about what really works. 


“… Using children, especially those living in deplorable conditions, for the purpose of a long term destructive agenda has to be considered evil beyond words. Isn’t it? ….

I’m always seeing where folks have good ideas of what must happen to stop the madness. What needs to be done, what doing this, what doing that will accomplish to achieve peace and prosperity and end the rule of the few crazies. What’s missing is the implementation. How we get there? We would like it to be without violence. I’ll have to admit that I don’t know and that is exactly the position that the powers that think they are want us in. Maybe you have some thoughts?”

Posted by kenny at 7:13 PM

Masters of Love is about research into how couples stay together. Failed couples exist in fight-or-flight mode, “prepared to attack and be attacked.” Successful couples create “a climate of trust and intimacy.” They do this by “scanning the social environment for things they can appreciate,” while failed couples are scanning for things to criticize.

I have two more thoughts. First, people who consistently get in bad relationships might enjoy the stimulation of fight-or-flight mode, and seek out partners who make them feel on edge. Second, I think these principles also apply to your relationship with the world, and with yourself. If you’re appreciating little things that go your way, or little things that you do right, you are living better than someone who gets worked up over things that go wrong. Of course it’s still necessary, when things do go wrong, to see them clearly. 

Thus we come back to Jane Addams and Seymour Melman.  Their positive vision of a peaceful nation, caring society, and independently skilled work force is fading in memory by the day.  Unless we stand up and hold these images of a kinder and more sustainable society in a public way they will be lost to the future generations.

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

posted by Bruce K. Gagnon | 11:33 AM | 1 comments


“As we can see from simply looking at a flower, nature knows how to organize itself,” Marianne Williamson wrote recently. “And this same force would organize human affairs if we would allow it to. This allowance occurs whenever we place our minds in correct alignment with the laws of the universe — through prayer, meditation, forgiveness and compassion. Until we do this, we will continue to manifest a world that destroys rather than heals itself. Iraq is a perfect example.” [journalistic malfeasance of the highest order]



Catherine Austin Fiits, at , says:

We are not crazy. We are not black sheep. I declare that the time to serve as sin eaters for our families is over. In fact, the time has come for us to lead.

I have members in my family who have spent a life time sucking up to the rich and famous. They are on a hunt for “pet treats” – small amounts of prestige and money for which they will do mind boggling things.

That is their choice – they make their own choices. Our values take us in different directions. So be it.

We each serve our divine purpose. Be proud of it. If you love your family, allow your courage and your intelligence to support them where their matrix-hugging now puts them at risk.

Love them, but do not permit their embrace of incoherence to pressure you to pretend that it is you who are somehow incoherent.




Keith Jarrett Everything that lives, laments (10:03)



“music is simple

 just sing your heart out

it’s over all too soon, as you well know

 and don’t forget to do a little jig !”

— Est


Could This Be The End of E-Mail Overload? (3:41)


The Jew and the Other: Alain Soral & Gilad Atzmon in Lyon


This lecture appeared on the net 24 hours ago. In spite of its length and depth, it attracted 40.000 viewers in such a short time. The meaning of it is simple:

1. we are a mass movement

2. the future of intellectual exchange is out of the Zionised academia that is suffocated with marginal ‘studies’ that detach humans from questions to do with Being & Time.


The late Lynn Margulis

a three-day scientific-philosophical meeting on the Darwinian-evolutionary view of life

The far-more-difficult science-education problem:

The persistent problem is how to wake up public awareness, especially in the global scientifically literate public, of the overwhelming evidence that the three buildings collapsed by controlled demolition. (Much has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, see Ch. 4 of The Mysterious Collapse). We, on the basis of hard evidence, must conclude that the petroleum fires related to the aircraft crashes were irrelevant (except perhaps as a cover story).We citizens of Earth within and beyond the boundaries of the United States who demand detailed evidence for extraordinary claims agree with Griffin: the rapid destruction of New York skyscrapers on September 11, 2001 was planned and executed by people inside the US government. 



I believe it’s up to each and every one of us to contribute our own special talents to make this world a better place for all of us.




Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature.  She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. — Ralph Waldo Emerson




“[Flight attendant Jan] Brown liked everything to be perfect on her flights and lost no opportunity to make it so.  If she was serving passengers in first class, she would write a personal note to each one and tuck it inside the white linen napkin on the service tray. She always called her work “the service”, a nearly religious experience….”

Laurence Gonzales, Page 11, “Flight 232” 


Laborare est orare. 

In this enriching collection of eleven interrelated essays, A Way of Working explores the ancient relationship of art, order, and craft. Craft is considered as a “sort of ark” for the transmission of real knowledge about being, and about our deep creative aspirations. The book includes contributions from D. M. Dooling, Joseph Cary, Paul Jordan-Smith, Michael Donner, Harry Remde, Jean Kinkead Martine, Jean Sulzberger, Chanit Roston, and P. L. Travers. This group of authors write not as individuals but as members of a community — a guild effort. As one chapter heading put it: the alchemy of craft.



Face-to-face communications substantially increases levels of cooperation. Indeed, in experimental work done using games that mimics social dilemmas, no other variable appears to have as consistent and strong effect. Even when passing messages via computer terminals, the levels of cooperation are far below those seen in the game played with face-to-face communication. As Elinor Ahlstrom puts it, “exchanging mutual commitment, increasing trust, creating and reinforcing norms, and developing a group identity appeared to be the most important processes that make communication efficacious.” Why? We are wired that way, culturally, genetically and neurologically. Cooperative behavior promotes survival of the gene pool. Large brains, extended families, and community ties mutually embraced one another.


Liars, Lovers and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are, Steven R. Quartz, Ph.D. and Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., HarperCollins/Wm. Morrow, New York 2002, which notes, in turn:

Marwell and Ames (1979): “experiments on the provision of public goods I:  resources, interest, group size, and the free-rider problem”, American Journal of Sociology 84:1335-60.;

Ledyard, J.  (1995): “Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research”, in Handbook of Experiential Economics, edited by Kagel and Roth, Princeton University Press, pp. 111-94;

Dawes, McTavish and Shaklee (1977): “Behavior, communication and assumptions about other people’s behavior in a common dilemma situation, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35: 1-11;

Sally, D. (1995):  “Conservation, Cooperation and Social Dilemmas: A meta-analysis  of experiments from 1958 to 1992”, Rationality and Society 7:58-92;

Ostrom, E. (1998): “ a behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action”, presidential address, American Political Science Association, American Political Science Review 92:1-21.



The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model

of group development’s_stages_of_group_development 




Organizational learning: how a team learns to win


A learning organization is one in which people continuously expand their capacity to create the results they desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.

Most of us at one time or another been part of a great “team”, a group of people who functioned together in an extraordinary way–who trusted one another, who complemented each other’s strengths and compensated for each other’s limitations, who had common goals that were larger than individual goals, and who produced extraordinary results.

I have met many people who have experienced this sort of profound teamwork–in sports, or in the performing arts, or in business. Many say that they have spent much of their life looking for that experience again. What they experienced was a learning organization. The team that became great didn’t start off great–it learned how to produce extraordinary results.


The five disciplines of a learning organization:


Systems thinking: Events, however distant in time and space, are connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, an influence that is usually hidden from view. We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get solved.


Personal mastery: People with a high level of mastery are able to consistently realize the results that matter most deeply to them by becoming committed to their own lifelong learning. Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively. As such, it is an essential cornerstone of the learning organization–it is the learning organization’s spiritual foundation.


Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behavior. Many insights fail to get put into practice because they conflict with powerful, tacit mental models. “The discipline of working with mental models starts with turning the mirror inward; learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world, to bring them to the surface and to hold them rigorously to scrutiny. It also includes the ability to carry on “learningful” conversation that balance inquiry and advocacy, where people expose their own thinking effectively and make their thinking open to the influence of others.


Building shared vision: Few organizations have sustained some measure of greatness in the absence of goals, values and missions that had become deeply shared throughout the organization. “When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-too-familiar “vision statement”), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to. But many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanize an organization. All too often, the team’s vision has revolved around the charisma of a leader, or around a crisis that galvanized everyone temporarily. What has been lacking is a discipline for translating individual vision into shared vision–not a “cookbook” but a set of principles and guiding practices. The practice of shared vision involves the skills of unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance. In mastering this discipline, readers learn how counterproductive it is to dictate a vision, no matter how heartfelt.


Team learning: The discipline of team learning starts with “dialogue”, the capacity of members of the team system to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together”. To the Greeks, dia-logos meant a free-flowing of meeting throughout a group, allowing the group to discover insights not attainable individually. Dialogue differs from the more common “discussion”, which has its roots with “percussion” and “concussion”, really a heaving of ideas back-and-forth in a winner-takes-all competition. The discipline of dialogue also involves learning how to recognize the patterns of interaction in teams that undermine learning. The patterns of defensiveness are often deeply ingrained in how a team operates. If unrecognized, they undermine learning. If recognized and surfaced creatively, they can actually accelerate learning.

“By discipline”, I do not mean an “enforced order” or “means of punishment”, but a body of theory and technique that must be studied and mastered to be put into practice. A discipline is a developmental path for acquiring skill or competency. Practicing a discipline is different from practicing a discipline is different from emulating “a model”. All too often, innovations are described in terms of the “best practices”. Such descriptions can often do more harm than good, leading to piecemeal copying or playing catch-up. No great team is ever been built trying to emulate another one; individual greatness is not achieved by trying to copy another “great person”.

When you ask people about what it is being like part of a great team, what is most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience. People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being generative. It becomes quite clear that, for many, their experiences as part of truly great teams stand out as singular periods of life lived to the fullest. Some spent the rest of their lives trying to recapture that spirit.

Learning has become synonymous with “taking in information”, which is only distantly related to real learning. It would be silly to say “I just read a great book about bicycle riding–now I can ride a bike”. Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Through learning we re-create ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something were never able to do. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of a Learning Organization, Peter Senge, Doubleday/Currency, New York, 1990. [This is not a particularly easy book to read or understand but, for the individual involved in leading organizations, it has some powerful and wonderfully unsettling ideas. See also The Fifth Discipline Workbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Peter Senge et al, Doubleday/Currency, New York. 1994.]



The coxswain voices perceptions but not judgments. By giving feedback about how the boat feels in a tone that is engaged but neutral, the coxswain hands the rowers a problem and lets them find a solution. The crew will learn at its fastest rate if it can perform its athletic experiments without the emotional noise of criticism. As in any science, the work goes best when the experimenters fix their attention on the lab bench rather than on their opinions of themselves and each other.

Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing, Craig Lambert,
Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1998.


Mobility and Alignment of Purpose

One’s true capacity for moving, or being moved, can be achieved only when one’s commitment to others is in fact connected to and derives from his primary commitment to himself.

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose, there is a harmony of motivation that can provide the fuel in clarity overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of great challenge.


The Inner Game of Work, W. Timothy Gallwey, Random House, 2000. [Aimed at the corporate / management market, its sections on coaching are exceptional for their insights on how to empower others.]


A leader is best

when people barely know that he exists,

not so good when people obey him and acclaim him,

worst when they despise him.


If you fail to honor people, they will fail to honor you.

But of a good leader, who boasts little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

they will all saywe did this ourselves’.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching



kennyJuly 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM


“In the sixth century BC, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu identified the world’s biggest problem. Individuals viewed themselves as powerless. The burden of impotence made them resent others and fear life, which, in turn, led them to seek power through controlling others. The quest was not an expression of authority, but one of aggression. Lao Tzu rooted most of social problems in the individual’s sense of paralysis.”

The Power of the Powerlesst

from a comment at the article…

“It is consent, withdrawal of consent that tyrants are afraid of. Our own government see’s peoples withdrawal of their consent as the existential threat to the state, its power, and those running it.

Indeed, the truth sets one free in every myriad way, it is Liberty, it is the utmost in legitimacy of people.

It is upstream of tyranny and tyrants.

The truth reveals the illegitimacy of those in power and their lawlessness.”

[I have problems with strategies and online kibitzers who lobby for giving “The State” a few more shoves down the road toward collapse without a concerted and detailed discussion about how massive amounts of people (locally or globally) will manage to function well enough to survive, let alone thrive, or without any discussion of the types of socio-governmental approaches will prevent further violence and destruction. Sacrificing life, liberty and the pursuit of eudaimonia won’t prevent anything except life, liberty and Eudaimonia.]


What can we do?


What can we do?


Music audio:

Dhafer Youssef & Hüsnü Şenlendirici 

‘dance of the invisible dervishes’ 

19.07.2012 Istanbul 


“What can we do?” is an attempt to answer the question for myself and perhaps for others “what we can doin the face of rampant, nearly-unstoppable psychopathological evil taking form in genocide, endless war, total surveillance, advancing militarization, and near-complete totalitarianism.

I apologize for the length of this entry (100 pages). Brevity has never been my strong suit.  But I am learning and trying. (Mrs. Blogger brought home from the book store two more books: “Born to Blog” and “Twitter for Dummies”. Mastery of the latter requires brevity and it will also help the former.)

I have broken the piece down into three chunks, and I will provide a summary/abstract follows and is repeated at the conclusion. See the tag cloud above.

The whole thing contains 78 links, seven pdf’s, five videos totaling 19 minutes, and nine pieces of music totaling 93 minutes.

It is an opinion, a POV, a synthesis that contains some thoughts about self-awareness, the use of the metaphor of aikido in communications and relationships, the story about Gurdjieff’s teachers by LeFort, the book “Born to be Good” by Keltner (about the facial muscles and communications, and more), a book by Standage about social media as practiced for two millennia, some thoughts about physicians entailed “Further Prescriptions”, and a book by a physician entitled “Why Us?”.

Indeed, why us?

It is broken into three parts.

Part One, including this summary or abstract, runs about 20 pages and includes the introductory thoughts, a four-page pdf intro to Dacher Keltner’s “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life”,  a 4-page pdf sidebar on verbal aikido and the use of aikido concepts in situations of conflict (and there are other books by Dobson, Heckler, et al), some thoughts on awareness, an intro to LeFanu’s book “Why Us?” and a 15-page pdf of excerpts, some thoughts on conflict, and catharsis, a link to a major article on planetary consciousness, another on native American perspectives, and a short look at my own orientation to mountains.

Part Two focuses on empathy, the concept of wu wei, creativity, contains a 14-page look at my orientation to physicians, has a further focus on children, relationships, society, alignment, leadership, the failure of science in a specific case as noted by a highly-recognized-and-honored scientist, more on face-to-face communication, and a short précis on organizational learning.

Part Three looks at happiness, self-awareness, Heaven, truth, conflict, some further personal expressions on what we can do, a look at Rafael LeFort’s story about his search for the teachers of Gurdjieff (as well as links to articles that have an opposing POV) and an academic paper on the influence of Gurdjieff on noted jazz pianist Keith Jarrett).

What we can do is to keep learning.  This comes from LeFort’s story about Gurdjieff and elsewhere. 

We can learn about consciousness (see Zimmerman, Burrowes, Le Fanu et al, and consult your own mind). 

We can gravitate toward truth, at least our truth

We can practice alignment

We can engage in harmony during conflict (see Ueshiba). 

We can become better at and practice more frequently the arts and sciences of interaction, encounter, and face-to-face communications (see Keltner). 

We can master social media (see the books mentioned above, and others, and Standage). 

We can create community (see Corbett). 

We can become leaders of our communities, if only through the above steps. 

We can teach our truth (see “Architect for Learning”). 

We can engage with the dominant mainstream media more effectively, and we can create new media

We can create. 

We can touch people. 

We can move people.

We can love. 


Comments are welcome through the contact page.  I will assemble the best and most articulate, and post them.



What can we do? (Part One)

I awoke one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago with a lot on my mind.  

Perhaps it was remnants of a dream, or more likely the mental dust from having browsed a few books lying around on my bed and bedside table.

Right now, my reading has been somewhat discombobulated; I’m jumping around.

I jump from book to book, and personal problem or encounterto another of a different type, and then back to a book after extended reading on the world wide web.

Sometimes synthesis emerges from this.

I decided I’ll give it a try here.

My biases, I noted to myself, are that I come from

  • an autodidactic study of positive/performance psychology with a minor sub-branch in cognitive science that seeks to empower individuals,
  • from a lifetime of focus on emergency service, and
  • from the combination of those two in teamwork and leadership.

Pressing on the corpus callosum of synthesis: the recent expressions of frustration and despair I’ve seen on the net which join my own.

I speak of Kenny and Noor, specifically, though they are only representative of a much larger group.

“In my travels this week it has been both discouraging and disappointing to find that although there are many willing to talk about what’s going on in Iraq and the Middle East, there are few who understand what is really happening. That’s not to say I have it all correct but most regurgitate the mainstream slop as reality and it means the propaganda is working. A calm mention of false flags and hired deviant Wahhabi terrorists or wars for empire and Israel are met with odd looks. Americans are so slow to catch on and admit they have been deceived. Awareness is a first line defense. Unfortunately it is in short supply.”

Posted by kenny at 12:02 PM

We all ask what is it that we can do….

“Your contribution can be as simple as making changes in your personal life and aligning yourself with right principles and truth. It may be as big as speaking out on important issues and spreading ideas for change.…”

A number of pictures serve as the backdrop; all of them feature children. The best of us think of the children we know and how we can care for them, guide them, nurture them. (How can you not cry when you read of Namous?)  

[Shirley Horn sings in the background …. “Why Didn’t I See?”

Earlier, she asked  “Where Do You Start?” ]

(Music informs our personal and interpersonal synthesis.) 

Israeli airstrike creates a pond in Gaza City



I read about the world and the current turns of events; all I want to do is weep.

Iraq again? I am speechless at what these demons do to work their evil on Russia and China via Iran via Iraq. Iraq was Balkanized for the creation of just such regional wars as we see today ~ all goes according to plan.

I read about the nuclear depopulation programme in place and feel so helpless ~ there is so much to Iraq and DU and Fukushima and Chernobyl ~ it is overwhelming. But, I digress, back to Iraq.

What plan? Any plan. They have created so many stewpots of division and hatred around the globe that there is no shortage of plans to fall back on. Anywhere.

That hatred we work so hard to keep under wraps is giving me a tough time. Hatred is such an easy fix but giving in to hatred means one has given up all hope. It concedes defeat. It is a weakness to be exploited since hatred seems to warp all focus. So I cry a lot it seems. Listen to a lot of music, stare out the window and think. That light at the end of the tunnel seems to get further and further away.

Our losses seem to keep mounting up, like the Canadian Federal Government approving the Enron pipeline this week.   Yet they have the nerve to brag about Canada’s environmental record! No one wants this development although it is already far more along than most people are aware. Construction preparation is well underway. It makes me truly want to vomit.

Posted by Noor al Haqiqa at 11:54 PM


All this has, of course, intensified as a result of the events in the Ukraine and the continued and escalated genocidal attacks on the people — especially the children — inside the open-air concentration camp known as Gaza. These are modern-day technological advances on the occupation of Native American lands and the actions at Wounded Knee et al.

The books include Dacher Kelter’s “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life” [see], started in seriousness, with highlighter as bookmark, before I got distracted with having to pack everything and hump it all down a flight of stairs. In my case, a lot of the heavy lifting got done by family. I hit a rut when he got to the part about coding facial displays and understanding the emotional controls through the vagus nerve. I stopped at the the facial muscular vocabulary and the choreography of “smile”, and have yet to tackle the parallel material dealing with “laughter”, “tease”, “touch”, “love”, “compassion”, “awe” and “reverence”.

Because I tend to jump around, I did highlight a small piece on page 226 which read as follows:

Flight/fight tendencies of self-preservation are continually at odds with tendencies to care in the electro-chemical flow of our nervous systems. The content of the mind shifts between the press of self-interest and the push of compassion. The ebb and flow of marriages, families, friends, and workplaces track a dynamic tension between these two great forces — raw self-interest and a devotion of the welfare of the other. The study of emotion is experiencing its own “sympathy breakthrough” thanks to recent studies of compassion, which are revealing this care taking emotion to be built into our nervous systems. The study of this emotion holds new clues about the health of marriages, families, and communities.


I’ve picked Born To Be Good back up now and you can follow along: see the sidebar in pdf format here.     Dacher Keltner Jen

Is this a suggestion for the value of face-to-face interaction in a world heavily given to faceless social media? Yes.

How do we encounter people halfway across the globe and who speak a different language?

Is the emerging technology of online collaboration viable?



I’ve all-but-finished Tom Standage’s “Writing on the Wall” [ writing-on-the-wall ], a chronology of media since the days of the Roman Empire; I’m the 20th century and moving toward the 21st. I’m at the part where he describes the development of “webs” of communication among the telegraph operators (foreshadowing “Mr. Tom” and his friends who used listserv mechanisms among computer operators before the Internet was formalized.) [Today you can build a private discussion board for invited guests only or fashion a Twitter network.] There are some good thoughts about the press and the social media which make me, a blogger by choice, reflect. I’ll have to finish his section on radio and its use as a means of propaganda dissemination; today we have podcasting. And I haven’t yet delved into his discussion of television, “the drug of the nation”. But then I already have a degree in communications studies and I have blogged about these for years.

I’ve watched/listened to James Corbett’s podcast/video which promises and delivers free and critical thinking; as a blogger, I’m certainly an alternative and have left the MSM/TV world except as momentary entertainment or glimpse into the world to which I am opposed. [They’re watching us so intensively that we need to keep an eye on them to know what they’re doing, capable of, and planning.]

I’m working on and thinking a lot about verbal aikido, or the application of the lessons of the Shintoism-oriented shaman I know as O Sensei, that little man who took the violence that he found and transformed it into an effective tool of defense and simultaneously a tool of teaching, enlightenment and love.

He reminds me of Derrick Jensen in his transmutation of hate and violence into teaching and activism [see “A Language Older Than Words” et alia].

I write a lot about aikido, not because I progressed far in the discipline but because it fascinates me and I’ve read a lot about it.  [I did progress far enough to peer through the rip in the curtain.]  Again, see the sidebar on aikido below.



aikido and relationships 

I mentioned my fascination with what aikido has to teach us about relationships and the fact that it might inform someone close to me about whom I care deeply (both parties in the conflict) in a short e-mail to a new contact; he’s a fellow who has had significant contact with the world of military intelligence but left it and explored the world of Native Americans.

He sent me

Being Nature’s Mind: Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Planetary Consciousness [ ]as well as a link to his own work:

Napi in the new age (on quantum mechanics and the Native American).

What jump-started this thought process was having leafed through some sections of James Le Fanu’s “Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered The Mystery of Ourselves”:

Le Fanu is an open critic of materialism and Darwinism.[4] He is the author of the controversial book Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves, in which he claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution is a materialistic theory that fails to explain consciousness and the experience of the human being.[4] He states that it is not enough to conjure the wonder of the human experience from the study of bones, genes and brains alone.[7] According to a review of his book by the New Scientist, Le Fanu argues for the existence of an immaterial “life force”.[8] Le Fanu is not a creationist and does not argue for God, instead he argues for a non-physical cosmic force which he claims could explain where consciousness originates from; he also claims it may explain many of the other mysteries unexplained by material science.[9][10]


For more on this book and author, see the sidebar below entitled “Why Should We Be Different?”

Why Should We Be So Different?


I’ve spoken of the need to find or form an association of bloggers — perhaps this feeds into Corbett’s thoughts on alternative media — and Ron said he wanted to know what I’d found, or join in.  [He’s already done so with his contributions here.]

James speaks of empaths [I hope I am one] and psychopaths [I’ve met more than a few and hope that I am not one of their peers.].

James says “It is a fundamental mistake to battle your opponent using their weapon of choice”, an interesting variation of the aikido lessons about disarming an opponent.

But how do you disarm an opponent that is armed to the teeth? 

The picture is reminiscent of the staves carried by the residents of Worcester County as described in Ray Raphael’s “First American Revolution”.

Taking the weapon away from the opponent:

You must take a position in which you are facing the same direction or “seeing things” the way your opponent does… you must get close to him in order to control him and his weapon. (2:32) (1:56)

Compare this to the infiltrative techniques practiced and taught by neoconservative Jewish intellectualism and the theories espoused by Edward Luttwak in his book Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook

What is the effective counter-move? 

If the truest, most honorable warriors were willing to risk their lives to count coup on an opponent without intention of harming that opponent, we can only marvel at the nonviolent psychology and wonder where it might have gone.

Brad J. Bushman published “Does Venting Anger Feed or Extinguish the Flame?” (PSPB, Vol. 28 No. 6, June 2002 724-731) which demonstrates that “catharsis” is not effective in reducing anger or aggressiveness. While expressing emotion is healthy, it does not extinguish the source of the emotion. Learning to kick, punch, or be “powerful” doesn’t deal with the issue causing negative emotion and this study demonstrates that individuals who depend on cathartic behaviors tend to be more reactive in future moments of stress, anxiety, and conflict.

Zimmerman’s treatise on indigenous and Native American spirituality, sent on by Ron, talks about unbridgeable chasms between culture, methods by which we can “finally begin to see into another way of being and other ways of knowing”, and introduces the topic of child-rearing. The hand that rocks the cradle, and the involvement of the village, and other theories not withstanding, Zimmerman, George Lakoff, and Ron approach the issue from the perspective of “dialogue at the meta-level”.

Mary Jane Zimmerman’s goal “is to help readers from any culture begin to become aware of how deeply embedded our cultural modes of perceiving are and how different they may be from those of other cultures. This type of self-reflexive awareness is necessary for true dialogue and can also be facilitated by dialogue.”

“It is now crucial for members of the dominant Western culture to begin to see how current global environmental, social, and political problems have sprung from the Western tendency to think in terms of discrete units and how we have largely lost the ability to see connected, interwoven patterns of motion.”

I’m not going to try to characterize Ron’s perspective. I’ve just begun to get to know and read this fellow and I am struck by the depth of his experience and perception. We share some common experiences and interests, but probably in the way that an apple and a banana both share a peel. I urge you to begin to read his blog. I have much to learn. I also urge you to read Mary Jane Zimmerman’s work on planetary consciousness

“… everything in the cosmos is connected and that all physical bodies and all minds are expressions of a deeper spiritual essence “(Begay and Maryboy 277)….

“The human is closely related to the mountain because both exist at the center between Mother Earth and Father Sky.”

The Native American and the Taoist — connected through a land bridge— both understand this.  The Shintoist Morihei Ueshiba understands this and brings it to the art and discipline of aikido. There’s an understanding of quantum physics buried in all of this too. It is spoken of as “a participatory understanding of reality. If we see the world as a place of gift, where the earth and the beings on the earth are fond of humans and want to help them, we will experience its abundance; we will be able to ‘participate in the conversation of the Gift’.”

My own relationship with mountains includes Greylock and Cadillac. I have chunks of granite and marble from each as desktop talismans. I’ve seen the sunrises and sunsets off both, have camped on or near them, but these are not uncommon experiences. Nor, I hope, are the ones I’ve had throughout New England in moments of deep meditation.

Greylock is one of the rare and southern-most taigaboreal forests in New England.  I spent a decade living in the lower mouth of the glacial cirque at its Western base; that location is hidden, at virtual dead center in the photo. The Taconic range stands behind to the west.  The estate belonging to a Rockefeller and her husband and devoted to the genetic betterment of farm livestock sprawled across one of its ridges. [How is is that we are interested in breeding better cows and chickens at the same time we bomb wheat fields?]

The origin of the present name of Greylock and its association with the mountain is unclear. It first appeared in print about 1819, and came into popular use by the 1830s. It may be in reference to its appearance, as it often has a gray cloud, or lock of gray mist upon his head, or in tribute to a legendary Native American chief, Gray Lock.[18] Gray Lock (c. 1670-1750) was a Western Abenaki Missisquoi chief of Woronoco-Pocomtuc ancestry, born near Westfield, Massachusetts. Gray Lock distinguished himself by conducting guerrilla raids into Vermont and western Massachusetts.[19]

Derrick Jensen’s works speak of forging an orientation to and awareness of the indigenous people who once occupied the land you occupy.

The Mahican people were closely associated with this region, and it was easy for a child weaned on “Light in the Forest” to imagine himself a Mahican as he walked, ran and sat in contemplation.

One day when I was about 12, I set on my haunches on the edge of a brook, lost in the thoughts facilitated by the continuous burble of the run-off from the rain forest.

A bobcat came down the to the edge of the stream to drink its fill.

I wasn’t afraid. It looked up at me suddenly when it discovered that I was there too, but I instantly and silently telegraphed a message that I meant it no harm. It turned back to its satiation, and then disappeared as suddenly and quietly as it came.

Years later, I sat with my back against the warm granite shelving of Pemaquid Point and listened to the waves as I basked in the sun. I think the expression “lost in reverie” is appropriate; I was on the way home from a three-day honeymoon trip up the coast of Maine to Acadia and back. I’d shown the future mother/grandmother the loveliness of Mount Desert Island.  I still kick myself when I think about the fact that we couldn’t find the way to buy that 10-acre plot of land at the northern-most tip of Somes Sound. But coastal Maine has lots of magic to be found in it, and that afternoon it sent me a message. I’ve written about that moment several times. It was an epiphany.

The message I got in an instant, downloaded at quantum speed, was that I was part of it all, and I was it, and that it was me, and that I was “here” for it, and that it was “here” for me.

“Rupert Ross, a Canadian lawyer who has worked most of his life on the northern reserves in Ontario, also writes about the sensitivity and open attitude required to learn what he calls “pattern-thought,” the ability to take in vast amounts of information from the natural world (70).”

Derrick Jensen has written an entire book on this called “Listening to the Land”, “conversations with environmentalists, theologians, Native Americans, psychologists, and feminists, engaging some of our best minds in an exploration of more peaceful ways to live on Earth.”

Michael Murphy and others have delved deeply into the ways in which the human mind can connect with the cosmos; I think in particular of “In The Zone” and The Future of the Body, “a massive historical and cross-cultural collection of documentation of various occurrences of extraordinary human functioning such as healing, hypnosis, martial arts, yogic techniques, telepathy, clairvoyance, and feats of superhuman strength. Rather than presenting such documentation as scientific proof, he presents it as a body of evidence to motivate further investigation.”  [ ]

Ron sent me something on remote viewing, too.

dizziness and neuropathy

It’s been an interesting and essentially unproductive three days but then — every once in a while — one needs to slow down, look around, and take stock of the world around you. 

I woke up Sunday morning, munched a hard-boiled egg, gulped down a coffee, took my morning diuretic and that super-critical medication that alters time (it prolongs both the PR interval and the QT interval), ran through the shower, and packed the over-heated car with my grandson’s birthday gifts, the chips and dips, and the usual personal baggage and hopped in the car with the wife. We turned on the A/C, grabbed iced coffees at the local Carlyle Group drive-through and headed south. 

8 miles south, I had the sudden onset of a bout of dizziness and immediately slowed and pulled the car to a stop in the breakdown lane. 

After some time to see if if would pass (it didn’t) and to allow traffic to lighten up enough so I could drive down to the next exit, traffic being too intense and fast to allow me to switch sides with my wife, we pulled into the parking lot across the street from the now-closed 6-theatre entertainment complex and switched sides. The dizziness persisted. After some discussion with my wife, the nurse who just retired from a four-decade career, we deduced it would be prudent to go to the hospital. 

There I had a typical encounter with the medical system of the US and stayed three days before they finally let me go home. I had had a CT scan of  the brain in the ED (no issues), round-the-clock heart monitoring and then, finally, on Wednesday morning, an echocardiogram (no problems seen), and a complete “data dump” and “interrogation” of my pacemaker/defibrillator with the St. Jude’s suitcase, the near-instant analysis showing that the device had been working perfectly and recorded no anomalies and that my heart was working well. 

The nurse on duty on the second day failed to know — or acknowledge or ascertain with me or the doctor or the ward secretary or anyone else — that my doctor had indeed been in to see me at 11:00 AM and had written orders to discharge after the tests if they showed nothing (as they eventually did). She didn’t discover these written orders by the doctor until 4:30 PM, long after the technicians would have gone home for the day. 

So I stayed an extra night with my roommate, an Hispanic real testate agent who’d suffered a transient ischemic attack after his surgery for placement of a penile transplant device. [In a semiprivate room — where the clock was nine minutes slow and the calendar device on the white board designed to keep patients oriented was one day ahead HIPPA rules can’t be maintained by a cloth curtain with ventilation holes at the top.]  

I was able to watch the first FIFA semi-final match during which the German team engineered a blitzkrieg on the pitch with precision passing.  They obeyed the rule taught to teams in all sports from the ninth grade on: don’t be selfish; make the extra pass to insure defenders can’t react quickly. The local paper brought with breakfast the next day featured a cartoon showing the metaphorical US citizen putting away a box labeled “interest in soccer”.

But my roommate got his Dilaudid, had an overnight phone call with someone in Spanish which led one of them to either religious or sexual ecstasy (I was unable to discern which or whom, but I did hear a lot of mi dios, sanctus, and other sotto voce Moanin’). 

Eventually I got my freedom to return home.

When I awoke the next day, my son called with the reports from his visit to the neurologist for a mysterious tingling and minor numbness in his face, hands and feet he’d been suffering since spring.  The neurologist and a specialist in MS he’d called in both did separate and parallel exams including extensive tuning fork sensory testing and ruled out MS and other really nasty possible causes but ruled in — for future study with EMG tests — the obscure hereditary neuropathy indicated by his suddenly-developed high arches.

So while the my wife the nurse ran errands, I Googled and printed three top references from a Google search; they are listed below, along with some other links that indicate my own working theory for both his and my own medical presentations. (Note that the third link is from a company that carries the name of the German who once edited the Harvard Lampoon, headed up the famous pharmaceutical company (in business since 1668 in the capital of Hesse), and initiated the US biological weapons program:  George Wilhelm Herman Emanuel Merck.) 


My son travels to San Diego and stays there for days at a time.



Oops! Vials of Smallpox Virus Found in Unapproved Maryland Lab –‘At the end of the day, we don’t know why [the vials] showed up.’ 08 Jul 2014 Vials of the virus that causes smallpox were found in a National Institutes of Health research building that was unequipped and unapproved to handle the deadly pathogen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it’s so infectious, the smallpox virus is considered a bioterrorism threat and is only permitted in two labs in the world: One at the CDC’s Atlanta headquarters and another at the VECTOR Institute in Russia. The newly discovered vials violate an international agreement reached in 1979 aimed at keeping the virus eradicated while allowing some scientists to continue studying it. The vials were found in a cold storage room in the Bethesda, Maryland, research building.

#*  #update:  7/25/2014

My eyesight has been thoroughly checked and my optometrist assures me that any dizziness I experienced does not come from a problem with vision.  My insurance company and case management oversight process prompted me to ask my doctor(s) whether a specific medication was necessary at the dose I was taking it, and suggested I do some research on side-effects. Prominently listed on the main one was the side-effect of dizziness and also another I’ve been experiencing. A follow-up visit with my primary care physician (who is also my first-line local cardiologist) raised the question and he checked with his “upline” tertiary-level electrophysiologist (who first prescribed it).  Within 48 hours, the dosage was increased on one pharmaceutical and put into a twice-a-day status, and the dosage of a second pharmaceutical was halved. Tweaking and observation works.

The new pills arrived today. Tonight’s challenge — and I’m a bright buy with a nurse for a wife — was keeping them all straight, especially since the two of them look alike.  A magnifying glass and extra prolonged attention during the switch-out was required. Imagine what that’s like for people without the medical background and support I have, or with impaired vision, or cognition, or who lack the social support systems. Just another reason to praise the Lord and re-double my efforts at being of some value in serving others.


My son awaits the test results for heavy metal exposure.