Tag Archives: life

photon eyes

photon eyes

Why Losing a Dog Can Be Harder Than Losing a Relative or Friend | Alternet

Posted by Michele Kearney at 2:01 PM 

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You Are Not Your Brain 

By Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding

Overactive brain circuits can often lead to bad habits, compulsive actions, and anxieties. In this illuminating read, two neuroscience experts deliver a simple four-step method to overcome these destructive impulses and live a more fulfilling, well-balanced life.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9902541-you-are-not-your-brain 

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Hymns to the Silence 

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“… if you take the 14th verse out of each of John’s 21 chapters and string them together, you end up with a very interesting overview of the entire gospel–an overview that sort of rushes by you like a swift-running brook…..”

https://richardedmondson.net/2017/03/12/living-water-the-14sof-john/ 

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AFTER LAST WEEK’S VAULT 7 RELEASE

THIS MAY BE A BIT LATE

A hand-picked list of must-watch cybersecurity videos to help you learn the fundamentals of encryption, how hackers penetrate systems, and strong cyber-defense tactics for business.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/learn-cybersecurity-basics-with-these-essential-youtube-videos 

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This seems to be a particular popular post and so …

http://boydownthelane.com/2016/05/19/authentic-conversation/ 

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A recent writing prompt exercise built on the word “boat”

My legs are not sea legs. Looking back over seven decades from within the experience of hip arthritis, muscular issues that are related to a motor stroke and a weak heart that cause me to walk slowly and awkwardly, I think that sometimes it’s all because of an internal balance mechanism that was damaged by an inner ear infection as a child, or perhaps that time when I was six that I fell face first onto the edge of a concrete step, but my first realization that I was not going to be a boatsman was at camp when I flipped the canoe.  Flipped the canoe and the counselor too.

Luckily it was shallow, summertime, and he had long legs and some experience; I moved on to archery and capture-the-flag.

http://ir0.mobify.com/900/http://catchboynton.com/images/Boynton%20Harbor%20Marina/e6b24df417ad7ceb7a489b8a35382a8c_XL%20Medium.jpg

My second encounter with a boat was in Florida at the age of nine or so after my step-mother, brother and sister and I drove down to see some rich old distant relative about some family business and we got the treat of a sport fishing trip out of Boynton Beach, Florida. We were going to catch a boat load of swordfish and whatnot.

The rig we were on was bigger and heavier than a canoe and much more stable, and under the command of a bonafied cap’n with one name and some other fellow who handled the rods and the bait.  As the youngest, I waited and did what I was told, sat in the seat, buckled the belt, and watched the fellow put something on the hook.  He stuck the rod into a metal pipe that I straddled in my seat and out of the harbor we chugged on a cool sunny morning through the briny breezes out into the Gulf Stream. Big brother and sister were ready too, and Mom, and before you knew it, we were way out beyond the ability to see land, looking for fish.

As a nine-year-old, I had no clue about how to look for fish.  I could barely see over the side of the boat, the stern’s gunwale, and anyway the fish were in the water.

But someone could see the fish and knew where and how to find them and find them we did. Lots of them. Pointy sleek little buggers, not much to them… Not at all like those big spear-tipped things whose pictures you could see back at the dock with the lucky person who caught it, big smiles on both the man and the fish, though I couldn’t understand what the fish had to smile about.

http://www.onthewater.com/assets/Capt-Lou-and-Capt-Jack-Swordie-on-Scale-1.jpg

We were catching buckets of bonito.

At least they were.  I had one bite but not much more.

The one-named cap’n and his mate were cheering us on, telling the rest of my family that catching bonito was okay, that they could be sold for money at the dock, and that where there were bonito, there was gonna be a swordfish, or mackerel, or maybe barracuda.

They were capn’s and such, and they knew about these things, so I kept reeling and bobbing and getting a fierce sunburn.  We had four or five white buckets filled with bonito and some were flopping around on the decks wet with seawater and bait.

http://www.hooked-in.com/system/catch/photo/5827/days_catch.jpg?1348287743

Then we found ourselves in some waves. I don’t know what or where, but the cap’n was in charge and we drove on, up and down. Soon enough as the boat went up and down, so did my stomach, and breakfast came up when the boat went down, and whatever I had for legs turned into jell-o, and soon enough I was curled into a ball of seasickness and tucked back into a dark corner under an old blanket, to ride with the future catfood back into the harbor.  I was a complete wreck and had to be helped back to the car; they lay me down on the back seat and I woke up somewhere in North Carolina.

http://woodyboater.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Rochester-Chuckle.jpg

The next encounter with a boat was way up north.  We’d driven forever on some highways until, finally, we crested the hill and you could see — way down at the bottom of the hill — a river and a town. Soon enough, we were on the docks and getting on a polished mahogany “heavy cruiser”.  I was the guest of a classmate and his older sister, given the opportunity to spend a few days on an island in the middle of about a thousand other islands, some big, some small, some with glorious houses, this one a sizeable estate of a very wealthy family.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/4e/e5/1a/4ee51afef495722867ce3d4de848c778.jpg

We played stickball on the clay tennis courts in our bare feet and I ripped the toenail off my big toe trying to get to second base.  In the afternoon, we paired off in St. Lawrence skiffs. Everyone in the islands had one, or two, or three of these little boats, and afternoons up there in the summer were devoted to sailing and playing a game of shipboard tag.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1088/1133004983_706d9e316d.jpg

The skipper of the boat sat in the back and handled the rudder and the sail; the cap’n’s mate had three and a half tasks.  Being the landlubber with no experience, my responsibility was to pull the centerboard up or down according to the cap’n’s commands, to get out of the way of the boom by ducking under it, and to keep my weight (the ballast) tucked down into the well somewhere close to or ahead of the mast. Moving around to either side on the the cap’n’s commands was a secondary method by which he steered. He steered with several purposes. The first was not to get run over by the big freighters.

http://en.es-static.us/upl/2013/06/ship-st-lawrence-seaway-e1371685675461.jpg

Generally this was not a problem. They stayed in their lanes, and we stayed out of them.  But they couldn’t turn easily or stop suddenly, and they were a lot bigger.  In our little wooden boats, we theoretically could turn easily and, if the wind was right and the cap’n knew what he or she was doing, we could scoot to safety.

The second reason to steer was to avoid getting hit by the tennis balls.  All those old tennis balls from tennis and stickball went to use.

Each boat was given two of them, and a pole with a net. At the beginning of the inter-islands pre-teen pick-up regatta, called to order perhaps with a couple of blasts on an air horn by some grown-up in a motor boat at precisely (or approximately) 2 PM, one of the boats was designated “it”.

In this game, unlike tag on land, you want to be “it”, because when you were “it”, either the skipper or the mate inn other boats could stand up and throw one of their tennis balls at your sail. If they succeeded in hitting the sail, they were “it” and everyone would now aim for them.

But throwing a tennis ball with any kind of accuracy while you are standing and trying to maintain balance in a narrow boat is not an easy task.  You missed a lot. And you ran out of balls quickly.

No problem.  All those misses were bobbing in the water in their bright yellowness against the background of blue with white foam, just waiting for you (or perhaps the better, faster boat) to sail over there and scoop it out of the water with the net.

Sometimes if you were very lucky, you could stand up, avoid falling in, and use your net like a lacrosse goalie to fend off approaching yellow bomblets.

Remember, though, I had a balance problem, so I stayed pretty much safely tucked in under the boom, clutching the mast.  The waters were not choppy so there were no problems with nausea and vomiting; I just didn’t want to fall in.

Oh, I could swim, and we all had life-jackets anyway. But the skipper’s job of skipping is much more difficult when the ballast is floating overboard and he has to maneuver around so it can be recovered, losing precious time not spent throwing or retriving bobbing wet yellow rubbery furballs.

Now the object of the game, which was over when the air horn blasted again at precisely (or approximately) 4 PM, was to have collected the most tennis balls. The bottom of the winner’s boat was awash with bright yellowness. And everyone got a good suntan, and a lot of experience handling a sailing boat.  After dinner, everyone crowded into a motor boat and went over to another island to roast marshmallows and watch the Northern Lights.

http://www.visit1000islands.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Camping-1.jpg

The last encounter with a boat started back down in Florida. We’d won one of those quick out-and-back cruises because we said we’d sit still long enough to hear the sales pitch for a time-share. Weakly we finally succumbed and bought a week in October on the inner eastern edge of the Everglades; it took us close to two decades to finally dump the sucker, never once having been visited, traded, shared or even given away. It was like detaching a blood-sucking leech, but I digress.

We parked the car and grabbed the bags and smiled at the photographer on the gangplank.  We found the room with a small porthole, dropped the gear, and did the mandatory “abandon ship” drills.  Then we explored the boat.

As you probably know, cruises are mostly about eating, and so we ate and drank our way out to the Bahamas, never getting off or even seeing them in the dark, and then turning back in to the south.

In the morning, we awoke to a half-day onshore in Key West.  I spent a lot of time on deck.  Very stable, and slow… Pulling into port and docking was a trip.  We saw a bunch of islands owned by big-named celebrity types, did the tourist-y thing downtown, and passed the first test of not misssing the boat when it departed, again in a slow and stately fashion.  Then the cap’n picked up the pace and we waved at the Dry Tortugas on the right, Cuba way off to the left, and settled in as we drove deep into the Gulf (pre-Halliburton blowout and Corexit spray).  We had a day on Cozumel which we spent taking the bus down to Tulum and getting the full tour.

http://reviewscancun.com/wp-content/gallery/tulumruins/tulumruins.jpg

We experienced hot, several iguana, and a good dose of Mayan pride. The bus ride to and from was at least 90 minutes. The trip back to the dock in Cozumel to the mainland was aboard a fast catamaran that, despite its double-hulled stability, was a litle choppy. We got an evening to stroll around the tourist shops in Cozumel. The trip back on the cruise ship was a day of sunny delight.  After dinner, we turned in knowing that we’d be docking again in Fort Lauderdale in the morning. The big ship had massive hull stabilizers but we hit that same spot offshore where the bonito swam, and there was a spot of queasiness made worse if I peered out the little porthole.

http://www.hgifllairport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/bigstock-Cruise-ships-at-port-of-Miami-68539387_reduced.jpg

But we landed without incident, debarked, got our luggage loaded, and headed north in a nice stable wide-stance Pontiac TransAm. I got my backside into a bucket seat with a steering wheel in my hands and all was well. There was no motion sickness at 75 in the passing lane back then.

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http://writershelpingwriters.net/ 

offers up the opportunity to purchase

a unique set of articles, tools and more for writers.

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https://i0.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/friendorfoe3.jpg?resize=768%2C409&ssl=1

Friend of Foe?: A Lovely Illustrated Fable About Making Sense of Otherness

A playful illustrated inquiry into whether mutual attentiveness is enough to dissolve enmity into friendship.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/28/friend-of-foe? 

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Also from 

brainpickings.org 

“… Beloved Prophet is a gorgeous read in its totality. Complement this particular portion with Virginia Woolf on the epiphany in which she understood what it means to be an artist, then revisit Gibran on the seeming self vs. the authentic self and the difficult balance of intimacy and independence in love…..”

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The Awakening

Quantum Mechanics of the Human Brain & Consciousness

49:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2baCg8SHGM&t=6s 

Flash Quiz Tomorrow!

competence

 competence

“Practice, particularly practice that involves Samadhi  states, is often characterized by ritual. Ritual is a form of galumphing , in which a special ornament or elaborationmarks otherwise ordinary activity, rendering it separate and intensified, even sacred.

This dawned on me one day when I was first given the opportunity to play on a Stradivarius. I simply had to wash my hands beforehand even though they were already clean. The hand-washing was a context marker  – shifting from the 9-to-5 world into a sacred space defined by a beautiful and sacred implement. I learned from such experiences, and from the trouble I have gotten myself into by ignoring them, that much of the effectiveness of practice resides in the preparation . The specific preparations begin when I enter the temenos, the play space. [“A sacred circle where one can be himself without fear.”] In ancient Greek thought, the temenos  is a magic circle within which special rules apply and in which extraordinary events are free to occur…. To prepare the temenos  — to clear it, rearrange it, take extraneous objects out — is to clean and clear mind and body.”

“Mastery comes from practice; practice comes from playful, compulsive experimentation (the impish side of divine play) and from a sense of wonder (the godlike side of divine play). The athlete feels compelled to run around the track just one more time; the musician feels compelled to play that if you can just one more time; the potter wants to throw just one more pot before going to dinner. Then just another, please. The musician, the athlete, the dancer, move through their practice in spite of aching muscles and breathless exhaustion. This level of performance cannot be attained through some Calvinist demands of the superego, through the feelings of guilt or obligation. In practice, work is play, intrinsically rewarding. It is that feeling of our inner child wanting to play for just five minutes more.”

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9386.Free_Play

Page D-26, Summon The Magic

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 music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP2X9cJNyQ 

source for featured image:

http://amyjokim.com/blog/2014/07/24/empowering-mastery-the-golden-key-to-sustained-engagement/ 

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https://www.focus-education.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Mastery-four-stages-of-competence-700×495.png 

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Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment 

George Leonard, Penguin/Plume, New York, 1992

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0452267560/ 

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Self-Mastery is the practice of having supreme control over your thoughts, feelings and actions. Though it isn’t the most popular of practices in today’s world, it holds some of the greatest rewards.

It requires control over your perceptions, with much meditation and mindful practice. It is a life long discipline, but will eventually grant you a life of ease and simplicity.

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior” – Confucius

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsLzx5zk-OA 

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http://www.startofhappiness.com/wheel-of-life-a-self-assessment-tool/ 

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“What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures, but we do need to think realistically in terms of phasing out of such peoples. Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent.”

1/9/94, Newsday

 

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http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Jon_Rappoport 

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Investigative reporter Jon Rappoport warns of alarming future trends in the genetic engineering of human beings. Based on his contacts with several scientists over a period of 20 years, he’s concluded that human genetics research is basically a continuation of the Nazi eugenics program, and that medical research into genes as causes of human illness is simply a cover story.

Part of this secret agenda, he detailed, is to demonstrate that people have genetic predispositions to certain diseases like cancer, so in the case of lawsuits, this argument can be made rather than placing blame for illness on environmental factors like pollution. In citing the book Remaking Eden, Rappoport noted that author Lee Silver foresees a time when the “gen-rich” (genetically enhanced class) will account for 10% of the population, while “naturals” will work as low paid service providers/laborers.

Eventually, the gen-rich class and the naturals will become entirely separate species, with no ability to crossbreed, Silver continued, adding that the trend for genetic enhancement was inevitable. Rappoport had no doubt that some of this research was already underway, possibly under compartmentalized lab studies, so that scientists don’t even realize the significance of what they’re working on. “The best thing that could happen,” he stated, “is that recognized doctors and researchers stand up together, and say, this has to stop.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-blCkQ2gw&t=17s [two hours]

Coast-to-Coast radio with George Noory

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Center for Genetics and Society

http://www.geneticsandsociety.org 

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The Ownership of All Life: Notes on Scandals, Conspiracies and Coverups

by Jon Rappoport

Dave Sielaff (Editor), Erica McGrath (Photographer)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17019.The_Ownership_of_All_Life 

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Remaking Eden – Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World 

by Lee M Silver

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0297841351/ 

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https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/the-illusion-called-medical-journalism-the-deep-secret/ 

 

goulash

goulash

Want to make a sandwich?  Sure, of course you know how. You run to the fridge and pantry and you’ll be eating something within short order. (Pardon the pun.)

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4FPe7bUP64 

http://kirbiecravings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/grilled-macaroni-cheese-sandwich-18-620×706.jpg

But let’s say you want to entertain, or you need to make several sandwiches for several people, or your bridge club is due for lunch in an hour. Maybe you want to get creative; five of your closest and dearest friends are going to spend the afternoon on the patio.

There are five major steps or considerations for your endeavor. There’s bread, spread, meat, cheese and add-ons.

Choose the type of bread; choose the size or structure of the bread, and think about how you are going to prep the bread. Is this with crust or without?  A sub roll?  Flat bread of some sort? Are you going to toast it, or grill it?

Choose a meat; ham, turkey, chicken, pork, roast beef, or delicatessen variants. Bacon could be included, but I think of bacon as a topping. Tha’s not true in a BLT, of course.

Consider how you are going to prepare the bread with a spread. Choose a mayo, aioli, spreads, condiments. Make your own with things like avocado, aparagus, garlic, or some form of pepper. Then think about veggies (tomatoes, lettuce (which type?), bacon, peppers, etc.

Now go back and build your dream sandwich.

At a restaurant last year, I had the surprise of my life: a firm cup of bibb lettuce that fit in your hand, filled with a mix of chooped grilled chicken and salmon and a slaw made of snow peas.

https://shk-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/uploads/files/9156/large/201208Cucumbers-and-cheese-sandwiches.jpg

 

“Brain Pickings” continues to impress; Have you subscribed too? 

 

Make up your own dish of noodles or potatoes topped with a goulash of skillet-sauteed lamb, or pork, cooked, chilled, sliced, seasoned with paprika and pepper, mixed with chives, onions, scallions, cream, mayo, cheese, sour cream, and roasted peppers. Obviously you’re going to leave out one or two of those ingredients. You’re on your own.

In the other kitchen, you can borrow from others. Geoffrey Zakarian (self-described as a libertarian and at odds with The Donald), who grew up in a town not associated with the often-unpronounceable Worcestershire sauce, had an appearance recently on a morning show (Today) and spoke of preparing a dinner the nature of which had me immediately scambling for a memo pad and pen.

I’m a sucker for food, cooking shows, and learning how to prepare a simply great meal simply.

You don’t need a recipe or a degree from some culinary institute to succeed in this realm in your own kitchen.

He spoke briefly of a ribeye steak, which had been rubbed in spices and kept chilled overnight, and was brought to room temperatue over at least an hour and then seared on all four sides before grilling it. Aim for 3 to 5 ounces per serving depending on your guests. Meanwhile, onions, small potatoes and mushrooms were skewered, radishes and watercress prepped, and a vinaigrette made with anchovy paste, shallots, mustard, tarragon and red wine. If you need more of Geoffrey, go to http://www.geoffreyzakarian.com.

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http://www.russianschool.com/sites/default/files/board2.jpg

Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a father in a joint custody case in which the terms of the court specify that the mother retains sole right to make decisions regarding the child’s education while the father retains the obligation to make child care payments every month.  She is the daughter of a retired wealthy Chinese pathologist and dates a billionaire and lives in a tony neighborhood just outside Greater Boston where star athletes live.  She has a master’s degree; he didn’t quite finish his bachelor’s degree but holds down a corporate leadership job paying him six figures. 

Both parents attended the event where the first grader was tested for admission to an after-school program.  The father described the testing as simply the admissions test administrator pulling math problems out of a binder arranged for chronological cognitive development and asking the child to solve them.  

The seven-year-old child solved the first batch readily so the tester skipped up a section, then again the child performed exceptionally. After several minutes of this, the tester dove into the middle of the book and randomly pulled several problems for the kid to solve.  His father said they were algebraic in nature and both his Mom and his Dad had difficulties in seeing the solution readily.   When the nature of the problems were explained to me, I said that they sounded like stepping stones to computer languages; Dad called them advanced pattern recognition problems, and  “Russian math”.  

I never got much past introductory trigonometry.

So a little digging on the Internet showed that these after-school programs, increasingly available in certain communities, have a focus on logic and critical thinking.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_School_of_Mathematics 

A Russian solution to US problem

Emigres’ formula for math success pays off in Newton

By Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff, 5/7/2001

By Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff, 5/7/2001 

http://russian-math.com/about-us/ 

includes sample lessons

http://russian-math.com/grade-4/ 

The Development of Algebraic Thinking

A Vygotskian Perspective

http://www.russianschool.com/sites/default/files/pdf/zdm051a3.pdf 

 

Dad said the child passed the admissions test with flying colors. 

“Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy” said the kid.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-psN0iD7I0ZQ/UipLW8YS0GI/AAAAAAAABSs/5j4ll2uOfNs/s1600/OSensei-Correct-Mind.jpg

Longtime readers know of my attraction to and infatuation with the art and science of aikido. Since my hemiplegic motor stroke of 8 years ago, I’ve had to give up (or at least modify or postpone until the next reincarnation) my intent to practice seriously on the tatami. I’ve found myself becoming more and more a student of how aikido works in real life as a means to interpersonal interaction and for me, in my modified ambulatory style, to move back toward a sense of movement with grace.  In so doing, I’ve re-discovered a lot of things (or maybe I am just discovering them for the first time).

Among the many books on my bookshelf are two by Robert Dobson: Aikido in Everyday Life and It’s a Lot Like Dancing.

It is a lot like dancing.  You’ll see how and why in these video shorts:

Aikido Dancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAQ3-X3Ro

aisabaki – aikido – dance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H56n-DS8Ikg

Kaiten (dance – aikido) rehearsal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hnAqDlqceY

Principles of Circles & Spirals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdIg5lPeY1w
And in this series of videos, Robert Nadeau provides some lessons that improve functioning in everyday life, or “the aikido that cannot be seen with the human eye”. Consult that Wikipedia link for more information.

Some videos are by one of his students, Richard Moon the founder of http://extraordinarylistening.com (worthy of a side trip for the videos, the DVD’s, the seminars and the blog!)

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Strozzi-Heckler and http://tworockaikido.com/about/.

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: The Field Dances Us

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WObuWJqy9Ag

Moonsensei: Aikido and the Art of Awareness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tz29eBIgPs

Moonsensei: Aikido, Turning Fear into Power

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZhjRd5k8Y

O Sensei said, ” I feel what you feel that you call fear, but I call it a call to action.” My teacher Robet Nadeau studied with O Sensei. He paraphrased it, “Fear is the harbinger of power.”

moonsensei in maastricht: Aiki – Energy State

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MedDDBQHt6Y Energy State

Aiki Lab: Three Principles To Create an Aiki Resolution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKto4Xc9fV8

Aiki Taiso Conditioning Exercises

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q2Bmh35xEA

Aikido as Extraordinary Listening: Moonsensei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VZRuRWjzcU

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Opening or Learning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7xBmMc42w

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Space

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIY6AiDeiJs

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Frame and Flow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI5A8J4aEsI

Aikido Shihan Nadeau: Presence / Under Pressure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu0fmipoLRo

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Different Centers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiIEZwoVkj4

Aikido Shihan Nadeau: Balance as a Doorway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqhtqqmGrsw

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Base & Center The Next Level

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pirHByLum0

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Exploring O Sensei’s Cosmology (28 min.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya94jkaDTIk

Harald Ross, Aikikan: Aikido vs. Tango

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG_tnefyOcc

Taiko, Aikido & Modern Dance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qc6zCRkI8o

Energy Flow Demonstration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5EMD6N-cA

Aikido: The Art of Peace?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrEoYFgbQ08

invisible wisdom

invisible wisdom

Recently, I took a short mini-seminar in spirituality and writing with an articulate practitioner of same, with whom I will cross paths again soon.  

Serendipitously, two articles show up almost immediately, both book reviews and thus vehicles for discussion about that topic.  I’ve bought the second book; I’ll contemplate buying the first one. 

My own take on the topics of religion, spirituality et alia is that I was borne of a Presbyterian choir member, raised by a Menonnite, attended Methodist Sunday School, was trundled off to a Congregational/United Church of Christ house of worship in my adolescence at the base of Thoreau’s Mount Greylock  (broken by a year at Dwight L. Moody’s work camp in Northern Franklin county), married in multiple ways by multiple agents of God and the state, and worked for a while in Concord where I discovered Thoreau, Emerson and the fact that I was a cousin ten times removed of a noted transcendentalist by exposure and temperament if not by definition. 

I’ve had three sublime experiences within the confines of the Mount Greylock Reservation, which has been extended as part of a massive land/forest conservation effort to include the very “neighborhood” and acreage where I grew up. 

Recently, over at Occurrences, I noted my sense of what a confessional looks like

Click on image:

http://emilysquotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/EmilysQuotes.Com-Ancient-Chinese-Proverb-inspirational-life-wisdom-reason-encouraging-thread-time-positive-destiny.jpg 

Music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpjxL7sFU08 

The first article:

Existential Therapy from the Universe: Physicist Sean Carroll on How Poetic Naturalism Illuminates Our Human Search for Meaning

“The world is what exists and what happens, but we gain enormous insight by talking about it — telling its story — in different ways.”

BY MARIA POPOVA

“We are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious,” the poet Mark Strand marveled in his beautiful meditation on the artist’s task to bear witness to existence, adding: “We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself… It’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention.” Susan Sontag, at the end of her fully lived and intensely meaningful life, articulated the same idea in considering what it means to be a good human being: “To be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention.”

Scientists are rightfully reluctant to ascribe a purpose or meaning to the universe itself but, as physicist Lisa Randall has pointed out, “an unconcerned universe is not a bad thing — or a good one for that matter.” Where poets and scientists converge is the idea that while the universe itself isn’t inherently imbued with meaning, it is in this self-conscious human act of paying attention that meaning arises. [Editor’s purpleness]

Physicist Sean Carroll terms this view poetic naturalism and examines its rewards in The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (public library) — a nuanced inquiry into “how our desire to matter fits in with the nature of reality at its deepest levels,” in which Carroll offers an assuring dose of what he calls “existential therapy” reconciling the various and often seemingly contradictory dimensions of our experience.

A 1573 painting by Portuguese artist, historian, and philosopher Francisco de Holanda, a student of Michelangelo’s, found in Cosmigraphics by Michael Benson

With an eye to his life’s work of studying the nature of the universe — an expanse of space and time against the incomprehensibly enormous backdrop of which the dramas of a single human life claim no more than a photon of the spotlight — Carroll offers a counterpoint to our intuitive cowering before such magnitudes of matter and mattering:

I like to think that our lives do matter, even if the universe would trundle along without us.

[…]

I want to argue that, though we are part of a universe that runs according to impersonal underlying laws, we nevertheless matter. This isn’t a scientific question — there isn’t data we can collect by doing experiments that could possibly measure the extent to which a life matters. It’s at heart a philosophical problem, one that demands that we discard the way that we’ve been thinking about our lives and their meaning for thousands of years. By the old way of thinking, human life couldn’t possibly be meaningful if we are “just” collections of atoms moving around in accordance with the laws of physics. That’s exactly what we are, but it’s not the only way of thinking about what we are. We are collections of atoms, operating independently of any immaterial spirits or influences, and we are thinking and feeling people who bring meaning into existence by the way we live our lives.

Carroll’s captivating term poetic naturalism builds on a worldview that has been around for centuries, dating back at least to the Scottish philosopher David Hume. It fuses naturalism — the idea that the reality of the natural world is the only reality, that it operates according to consistent patterns, and that those patterns can be studied — with the poetic notion that there are multiple ways of talking about the world and of framing the questions that arise from nature’s elemental laws.

Echoing Nobel-winning physicist Frank Wilczek’s case for complementarity and Bertrand Russell’s insistence on “the will to doubt,” Carroll writes:

We have to be willing to accept uncertainty and incomplete knowledge, and always be ready to update our beliefs as new evidence comes in… Our best approach to describing the universe is not a single, unified story but an interconnected series of models appropriate at different levels. Each model has a domain in which it is applicable, and the ideas that appear as essential parts of each story have every right to be thought of as “real.” Our task is to assemble an interlocking set of descriptions, based on some fundamental ideas, that fit together to form a stable planet of belief.

Illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger for a special edition of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm

Carroll considers how poetic naturalism addresses the great paradox of the necessarily self-referential experience of selfhood unfolding within our creaturely materiality:

The most difficult problem is a philosophical one: how is it even possible that inner experience, the uniquely experiential aboutness of our lives inside our heads, can be reduced to mere matter in motion? Poetic naturalism suggests that we should think of “inner experiences” as part of a way of talking about what is happening in our brains. But ways of talking can be very real, even when it comes to our ability to make free choices as rational beings.

[…]

Poetic naturalism strikes a middle ground, accepting that values are human constructs, but denying that they are therefore illusory or meaningless.

In a sentiment that calls Strand’s poetic premise to mind, Carroll adds:

Life is a process, not a substance, and it is necessarily temporary. We are not the reason for the existence of the universe, but our ability for self-awareness and reflection makes us special within it.

[…]

Purpose and meaning in life arise through fundamentally human acts of creation, rather than being derived from anything outside ourselves.

Illustration by Soyeon Kim from Wild Ideas

Carroll argues that naturalism — “a philosophy of unity and patterns, describing all of reality as a seamless web” — is the organic byproduct of our expanding knowledge, advancing us toward simpler and more unified models of how the world works. (Stephen Hawking’s search for a theory of everything is perhaps the most famous culmination of that impulse.) Carroll peers toward the end point of this knowledge-trajectory:

How far will this process of unification and simplification go? It’s impossible to say for sure. But we have a reasonable guess, based on our progress thus far: it will go all the way. We will ultimately understand the world as a single, unified reality, not caused or sustained or influenced by anything outside itself.

That’s a big deal.

And yet, in a passage reminiscent of physicist and novelist Alan Lightman’s beautiful account of a transcendent experience, Carroll juxtaposes the central proposition of naturalism with some of the most familiar and universal intensities of being human:

Naturalism presents a hugely grandiose claim, and we have every right to be skeptical. When we look into the eyes of another person, it doesn’t seem like what we’re seeing is simply a collection of atoms, some sort of immensely complicated chemical reaction. We often feel connected to the universe in some way that transcends the merely physical, whether it’s a sense of awe when we contemplate the sea or sky, a trancelike reverie during meditation or prayer, or the feeling of love when we’re close to someone we care about. The difference between a living being and an inanimate object seems much more profound than the way certain molecules are arranged. Just looking around, the idea that everything we see and feel can somehow be explained by impersonal laws governing the motion of matter and energy seems preposterous.

Illustration by Sydney Smith from The White Cat and the Monk

Although naturalism has furnished our present understanding of how the world works, such skepticism of its completeness is reasonably grounded in its as-yet unfilled gaps. “This is the greatest damn thing about the universe,” Henry Miller exclaimed in contemplating the mystery of the universe and the meaning of existence at the end of his long life, “that we can know so much, recognize so much, dissect, do everything, and we can’t grasp it.” Generations later, Carroll writes:

We don’t know how the universe began, or if it’s the only universe. We don’t know the ultimate, complete laws of physics. We don’t know how life began, or how consciousness arose. And we certainly haven’t agreed on the best way to live in the world as good human beings.

Yet even so, Carroll is quick to remind, naturalism is “still by far the most likely framework” — of how the world works, that is, but it does little in the way of helping us discern how the world should work. That’s the domain of practical moral wisdom, which is where poetic naturalism can help. Carroll writes:

In some number of years I will be dead; some memory of my time here on Earth may linger, but I won’t be around to savor it. With that in mind, what kind of life is worth living? How should we balance family and career, fortune and pleasure, action and contemplation? The universe is large, and I am a tiny part of it, constructed of the same particles and forces as everything else: by itself, that tells us precisely nothing about how to answer such questions. We’re going to have to be both smart and courageous as we work to get this right.

The craftsmanship of meaning amid the unfeeling laws of nature invariably calls on us to use human tools like ethics and art to answer questions of what is right and beautiful. Saul Bellow captured this memorably in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “Only art penetrates … the seeming realities of this world. There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. This other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we can’t receive.” Indeed, Carroll argues that the meaning with which imbue reality — the personal, subjective reality of our human experience of life and self, not the universal reality of energy and matter — is largely contingent upon how we receive and articulate its signals. That reality, he argues, is shaped by how we talk about it:

Our fundamental ontology, the best way we have of talking about the world at the deepest level, is extremely sparse. But many concepts that are part of non-fundamental ways we have of talking about the world — useful ideas describing higher-level, macroscopic reality — deserve to be called “real.”

The key word there is “useful.” There are certainly non-useful ways of talking about the world. In scientific contexts, we refer to such non-useful ways as “wrong” or “false.” A way of talking isn’t just a list of concepts; it will generally include a set of rules for using them, and relationships among them. Every scientific theory is a way of talking about the world.

[…]

The world is what exists and what happens, but we gain enormous insight by talking about it — telling its story — in different ways.

One of Arthur Rackham’s pioneering 1917 illustrations for the Brothers Grimm fairy tales

Carroll’s poetic naturalism is braided of three storytelling strands — the description of the deepest, most fundamental nature of physical reality, accounting for even the most microscopic detail, which science is yet to fully discern; emergent descriptions that fully explain a narrow realm of reality; and higher-order values that offer a framework for concepts of right and wrong, shape our ideas about things like beauty and love, and address questions of existential purpose. He writes:

Poetic naturalism is a philosophy of freedom and responsibility. The raw materials of life are given to us by the natural world, and we must work to understand them and accept the consequences. The move from description to prescription, from saying what happens to passing judgment on what should happen, is a creative one, a fundamentally human act. The world is just the world, unfolding according to the patterns of nature, free of any judgmental attributes. The world exists; beauty and goodness are things that we bring to it.

Illustration by Dasha Tolstikova from A Year Without Mom

All of this, of course, brings up the inescapable question of free will. I’m reminded of Hannah Arendt’s exquisite treatise on the subject, in which she cautioned: “Before we raise such questions as What is happiness, what is justice, what is knowledge, and so on, we must have seen happy and unhappy people, witnessed just and unjust deeds, experienced the desire to know and its fulfillment or frustration.” Carroll considers this vitalizing role of willingness, or desire, in our freedom to find meaning amid a universe of fixed laws:

In human terms, the dynamic nature of life manifests itself as desire. There is always something we want, even if what we want is to break free of the bonds of desire… Curiosity is a form of desire.

[…]

Our instincts and unreflective desires aren’t all we have; they’re just a starting point for building something significant.

Human beings are not blank slates at birth, and our slates become increasingly rich and multidimensional as we grow and learn. We are bubbling cauldrons of preferences, wants, sentiments, aspirations, likes, feelings, attitudes, predilections, values, and devotions. We aren’t slaves to our desires; we have the capacity to reflect on them and strive to change them. But they make us who we are. It is from these inclinations within ourselves that we are able to construct purpose and meaning for our lives.

[…]

The personal desires and cares that we start with may be simple and self-regarding. But we can build on them to create values that look beyond ourselves, to the wider world. It’s our choice, and the choice we make can be to expand our horizons, to find meaning in something larger than ourselves.

Illustration by Bonnie Christensen from I, Galileo, a picture-book biography of Galileo

Reflecting on his own path from his childhood in a family of “regular churchgoers” to a thoroughly unreligious adult life as a scientist, Carroll considers what that “something larger” might be:

Everything we’ve experienced about the universe suggests that it is intelligible: if we try hard enough we can come to understand it. There is so much we still don’t know about how reality works, but at the same time there’s a great deal that we have figured out. Mysteries abound, but there’s no reason to worry (or hope) that any of them are unsolvable.

[…]

The important distinction is not between theists and naturalists; it’s between people who care enough about the universe to make a good-faith effort to understand it, and those who fit it into a predetermined box or simply take it for granted. The universe is much bigger than you or me, and the quest to figure it out unites people with a spectrum of substantive beliefs. It’s us against the mysteries of the universe; if we care about understanding, we’re on the same side.

Although I tend to prefer Henry Beston’s notion of whimsicality, for it dances with the language of fairy tales rather than that of religion, I appreciate Carroll’s endeavor to reclaim the notion of miraculousness from its antiscientific connotations:

The universe is not a miracle. It simply is, unguided and unsustained, manifesting the patterns of nature with scrupulous regularity. Over billions of years it has evolved naturally, from a state of low entropy toward increasing complexity, and it will eventually wind down to a featureless equilibrium. We are the miracle, we human beings. Not a break-the-laws-of-physics kind of miracle… It is wondrous and amazing how such complex, aware, creative, caring creatures could have arisen in perfect accordance with those laws. Our lives are finite, unpredictable, and immeasurably precious. Our emergence has brought meaning and mattering into the world.

With an urgent eye to the fact that the average human heart will beat three billion times over the course of a lifetime — a fact rooted in our biological materiality — Carroll encourages us to see this physical exigency as a mobilizing force for our metaphysical synthesis of meaning:

All lives are different, and some face hardships that others will never know. But we all share the same universe, the same laws of nature, and the same fundamental task of creating meaning and of mattering for ourselves and those around us in the brief amount of time we have in the world.

Three billion heartbeats. The clock is ticking.

In the remainder of The Big Picture, Carroll goes on to explore such centralities and subtleties of poetic naturalism as the perplexity of death, the wild possibilities of the quantum realm, and how the crucial difference between awe and wonder illuminates our relationship to mystery.

Complement it with Oliver Sacks’s lived testament to poetic naturalism as a gateway to meaning and legendary psychiatrist Irving D. Yalom on uncertainty and our search for meaning, then revisit this comparative inquiry into how art, science, and religion explain the universe.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/05/31/sean-carroll-the-big-picture/

[Ed.: I have not included the illustrations but you can see them at the link.]

http://38.media.tumblr.com/999e342c5a64ffb6ae0f9672a7e8052f/tumblr_n2dsxwi7iC1ralxhxo1_250.gif

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Quote du Jour

Catherine, Daily Musings on May 28, 2016 at 8:05 am

“That all things are shaped by fields that are beyond energy and matter is now what we must oxymoronically yet truthfully call “solid science.” As a result, in the realm of language the scientific facts of our physical situation are becoming impossible to express in spiritually neutral terms. Science has moved in a generation from the easily stated but mistaken claim that we are mortal matter, chemical compounds, and little more, to the inspiring but linguistically problematic claim that we are living repositories of the invisible wisdom of primordial electromagnetic and morphogenetic fields. Scientists who disdain religion seem horrified by the mounting pressure to deploy overtly spiritual terms such as Jager, Teilhard, and Schumacher use.. . . my advice to scientists with regard to all this is: relax. If unseen fields beyond literary or scientific expression lie at the root of all life-forms and matter— if these fields are invisible yet deducible, ineffable yet artful, evasive yet omnipresent, and if in the attempt to describe them science has never sounded so much like ancient myth or scripture—so be it. I realize that to many an old school scientist the words “ancient myth and scripture” translate to “superstitious pap”. But isn’t this mere arrogance? Ancient thought as expressed in Wisdom literature is unanswerably profound and poetic, and scientists who study the ancients know this. Cutting edge physicists have been pondering India’s five-thousand-year-old Upanishads for decades, stunned by its exacting observations of how unseen fields and mayavic forces create this world of forms.” . .”Is there anything we more experienced Uncomprehenders can do to help these scientists feel more comfortable with swimming in the end where you never touch bottom?”

~David James Duncan, God Laughs and Plays

Related reading:

David James Duncan on Wikipedia

God Laughs & Plays: Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right

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a thought provoking, medium-length visual narration documentary film by Max Igan of the Crow House exploring the nano-tech and transhumanist agenda currently being implemented globally.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/06/03/transhumanism-trance-formation-2012/ 

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UN ADOPTS “EDUCATION” PLAN TO INDOCTRINATE CHILDREN IN GLOBALISM

A United Nations summit in Korea this week adopted a global “action plan” demanding a planetary “education” regime to transform children around the world into social-justice warriors and sustainability-minded “global citizens.” Among other elements, that means the UN-directed global education must promote “integrated development” of the “whole person,” including the formation of their ethics, values, and spirituality, the final document declared. The global-citizenship programs, with definitions to be incorporated in curricula worldwide, should also indoctrinate children so that they understand their responsibilities to “protect the planet,” and promote what the UN and its member governments consider to be the “common good.”

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From the website:

Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

http://sites.sonypictures.com/risen/site/

link includes several trailers and other videos

Alignment of Purpose

The final part of an extended article entitled

Getting Beyond:

Finding Purpose and Vitality After Enduring Systemic Insult

The first three sections are here:

http://boydownthelane.com/2014/05/01/getting-beyond/ 

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2014/05/01/excerpts-deep-survival/

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2014/05/01/excerpts-surviving-survival/

 

Alignment of Purpose

 

 

What we tell ourselves,

in the quiet of our own mind,

is the key.

 

 

 

There is much yet to be said about this topic, which spreads across affirmations, self-talk, the nature of the music one listens to, and much much more. What do you feed your brain? You believe what you say to yourself for fairly obvious reasons, though a lot of people don’t “grok” the concepts very well.  First, your body/mind has been listening to your voice for a long time, and it recognizes and responds to that voice instinctively and instantaneously.  Second, the source of your voice is deeply embedded within your body; the vocal chords in your throat, the resonance of your abdominal expulsion of air, the rhythms and resonance vibrating directly through the boy jaw right into the bony stirrups of your ear and along the outside of your skull.

[For more, see  Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All In Your Head, Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, VA 1995. [The author is a nationally- recognized neuropsychologist and educator. This is a fascinating, very readable and important book on neuroscience, educational kinesiology and the brain/body connection as it affects us in learning, in performance, at work, and in society. It explains several basic BrainGym exercises, very simple techniques anyone can use to enhance their lives in innumerable ways.]

 

 

For further reflection:

“A fascinating corollary is [the] discovery that not only a lack of communication between individuals but the quality of that communication influences the cardiac system of the human being. Using state-of-the-art equipment to measure blood pressure surges during certain kinds of dialogue, Dr. Lynch has found that negative language – abusive, angry, loud, denigrating – when used repeatedly, and especially early in childhood, can have a devastating effect on the heart of the individual to whom it is directed. “Lethal talk”, Dr. Lynch posits, therefore can be just as much a factor in heart disease as exercise, diet, or cholesterol levels. Negative talk and loneliness, then, can negatively affect our health and, potentially, our lifespan as meaningful human relationships can in the opposite direction.

Although Dr. Lynch focuses on the psychological and emotional factors of loneliness and lethal talk and their relationship to cardiac health, he does not address the vibrational or resonance aspects of both physical proximity of electromagnetic fields and the sounds of conversation. Is it possible, for example, that when the energetic fields of two hearts are near one another that they actually entrain?

Rhythm entrainment, also known as sympathetic vibration, or simply resonance occurs when two wave-forms of similar frequency “lock into phase” with each other. The waves actually oscillate together at exactly the same rate. Two oscillating vibrations, if they are near enough to one another in frequency, will eventually entrain. An example of this is what happens when clocks in a clock store are wound, with their pendulums set in motion. At first the tick tock of the pendulums’ sway is just slightly off but eventually every clock falls into rhythm with the others as they become entrained.

This principle of rhythm entrainment can also occur with one wave triggering a vibration in a resting source such as when a violin string can be tuned to a certain pitch by playing another violin string set to the same pitch nearby. This is how tuning forks are used in remote control television units. The TV is remotely activated by pushing a button on the remote control unit which strikes a tone that entrains with a tone in the unit….

Have you ever felt the energy in the room shift when two or more individuals seem to be “on the same wavelength”?

http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/papers/levi_sentient.htm 

 

 

music video: 

I Can’t Get Started 

(Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

(“A Child’s Dance”) (Woody Shaw on trumpet) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97NGOo92Tak 

 

****

We are what we think. What we are (and what will we will become) starts from within our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create our reality. Virtually all of our behavioral patterns are generated from the unconscious naming or categorization of our prior experiences. Much of what we believe about ourselves is based upon erroneous conclusions we have drawn due to how subjectively we interpreted and experience. We prevent positive outcomes for ourselves because we imagine that we have been slighted, or judged, or doubted, or criticized, or been found to be deficient in some way. Repetitive experience of this type leaves traces upon our subconscious mind. If we tell ourselves frequently that we are worthy, or unattractive, or clumsy, or at fault, or any of a range of negative self-perceptions in a variety of forms, then we will form identifications with those characteristics.

Identifications (how we see ourselves) are etched into the subconscious.

At the core of every identification is a subjective belief.

Beliefs generate attitudes. Our experiences related to our beliefs

Attitudes generate feelings.

Feelings generate thoughts.

Thoughts generate action.

At the root of every identification is a belief. This is a statement of relative truth that generates a series of attitudes, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. The subconscious mind will hold onto pattern the programming and become locked in, seemingly inaccessible. We can and do believe something, or act a certain way , without a clue as to why. Our minds have a built in sentinel which guards the mental file cabinet where we store our identifications and beliefs. It acts as a filter so that nothing can be filed in that file cabinet that does not already conform with the identifications and beliefs there are ready there. (Psychologists call it “the critical factor”.)

You can gain access to your subconscious, to that file cabinet of core belief, when your mind’s filtering sentinel can be made to step aside through the use of effective progressive relaxation techniques. The identifications and beliefs that do not serve you can be overcome and replaced. You can choose to give yourself positive messages that will generate positive experience and reality.

See

Body Mind Mastery: Creating Success in Sport and Life, Dan Millman, New World Library, Novato, California, 1999. [Millman is a former world champion on the trampoline, a Hall of Fame gymnast, a coach and a university professor. This is a revision of his earlier book The Inner Athlete.]

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan, Jeremy Tarcher/G. P. Putnam Books, New York, 1992. [A path for uncovering or unblocking your innate creativity.]

This all has to do with the harmony within one’s self, as well as the harmony that can be extended to others, within community, and within nature and the cosmos.

 

****

 

“People appear to think in conjunction or partnership with others and with the help of culturally provided tools and implements. Cognitions, it would seem, are not content-free tools that are brought to bear on this or that problem; rather, they emerge in a situation tackled by teams of people and tools available to them… What characterizes such daily events of thinking is that the social and artifactual surrounds, alleged to be ‘outside’ the individual’s heads, not only are sources of stimulation and guidance but are actually vehicles of thought. Moreover, the arrangements, functions, and structures of these surrounds change in the process to become genuine parts of the learning that results from the cognitive partnership with them. In other words, it is not just the ‘person- solo’ who learns, but the ‘person-plus’, the whole system of interrelated factors.”

 

“No distribution without individual cognition: a dynamic interaction of view”, G. Salomon, in Distributed Cognitions — Psychological and Educational Considerations, Cambridge University Press, 1993 G. Salomon (ed.), as noted by Mark K. Smith, Learning and Organizations, at www.infed.org/biblio/organizational-learning.htm.

 

****

 

“… learning results in the construction of nodes and relations….”

How does this apply to (or how is it applied by) the super-empowered individual?

“Three types of learning are particularly interesting from an organizational perspective: communication-based, experience-based, and expectation- based.

In communication-based learning, individuals learn about tasks, people, organizations, etc. by observing or being told. The information garnered in this way is expected to be new or novel to the learner.

Experiential learning has its basis in task repetition and feedback. There are several sources for this experience: the communication of previous results, increased familiarity, increased physical skill, prior problem-solving.

Finally, expectation-based learning occurs when individuals engage in planning, thinking ahead about the future, and then use these expectations as a basis for future reasoning.

From a network perspective, learning results in the construction of nodes and relations.”

 

“On The Evolution of Social and Organizational Networks”, Kathleen M. Carley, Carnegie Mellon University, in Steven B. Andrews and David Knoke (eds.), Vol. 16 Special Issue of Research in the Sociology of Organizations on “Networks In and Around Organizations,”, JAI Press, Inc, Stamford, CT, pp. 3-20.

(http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/events/summer_institute/2001/reading_list/pdf/EvolutionofNetworks.pdf).

 

 

 

From Body-Mind Psychotherapy: Principles, Techniques & Practical Applications, Susan Aposhyan, W. W. Norton & Co., 2004:

“In my book Natural Intelligence,: body-mind immigration and human development (1998), I distilled six principles which underlie body-mind integration in any context. These principles are: respect, full participation, inclusivity, dialogue, sequencing, and development. [Otherwise] we are merely using our bodies to perform mechanical functions and thereby contributing to body-mind the synchronization.” [Page 15]

“Throughout the development of human cultures, as visions of how to live grew more complex in some parts of the world, in order to manifest those visions, industrialized nations came to dominate more of the natural world–including other humans. Body-minded dualism is part and parcel of this domination. In the act of dominating, we forgot our bodily connection with the other. In the act of being dominated, we became fragmented, losing touch with the vitality of our own subjectivity. This fragmentation increases cyclically; it is far easier to dominate a fragmented creature….” [Page 24]

“The development of modern mouth, teeth and tongue allowed us to articulate in so much detail and free up our hands even further. We could now speak and do at the same time….” [page 25]

“As cellular life evolved from colonies of cells to multicellular organisms, a new form of communication evolved–vascular communication. While still relying on chemical messengers, vascular systems provided organized, fluid channels of communication that both sped up and directed the communication process within within an organism (Margulis and Sagan, 1986). Our circulatory systems are still fundamental to communication within the human organism.” [Page 36]

The amygdala

“As we have come to understand the amygdala and its role in fear and other emotional reactions, we have recognized that it can receive and react to pertinent sensory data before the prefrontal lobe has had time to completely receive and process the input. In other words before we recognize the stick in our path as not being a snake, we have already jumped out of its way.  Our lower brain functions recognized that this stick could be a snake. It is adaptive to jump first, evaluate later. Not only does the prefrontal lobe receive and respond to the sensory data more slowly — as it is further way from the sensory input with many more synaptic connections to complete, it is also has a relatively weak ability to control the amygdala response. The prefrontal lobe has fewer and slower connections into the amygdala than the amygdala has to the prefrontal lobe. This makes the effect of the amygdala on the prefrontal lobe both quicker and stronger than the effect of the prefrontal lobe on the amygdala.

Understanding this brain circuitry helps explain why our emotional intensity can easily overcome our rational perspective. The degree to which this is true seems to vary with individuals and is a fundamental aspect of temperament.

Furthermore, this mechanism can be strengthened in either direction through practice and experience. This tendency for emotional intensity to overcome the rational frontal lobe is especially salient in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis, addictions, and adolescence. In these situations, the prefrontal lobe is already operating at a disadvantage. Thus, the emotional intensity generated by the amygdala can more easily overpowered.

Polyvagal theory

In the evolution of the motion, mammalian behavior is distinct due to the centrality of bonding and parental care. Some argue that this evolutionary legacy has placed relationality at the center of our emotional processing.   Stephen Porges (1995), director of the brain-body center at the University Illinois, has developed a poly-vagal theory of autonomic nervous system regulation that places the roots of social engagement in the brainstem, at the very foundation of our neurological regulation.

According to his theory, human autonomic regulation has 3 tiers of operations.” [They consist of immobilization; sympathetic arousal response of fight or flight; and, finally, the social engagement system. ]  “This system involves the ventral root of the vagus nerve as well as aspects of other cranial nerves. Together these nerves in their respective nuclei in the brainstem control bonding and engaging behaviors, such as facial expression, localization, listening, and sucking.

In a state of social engagement…, heart and respiratory rate vary…, [as does facial muscle tone which controls ears noses eyes and more, enabling] “the ability to respond with a variety of behaviors. This variability is essential to engagement. It could be seen as a fundamental aspect of responsivity or attunement….” [Pages 40-44]

 

 

And then, as if it were a coda, in response to a comment I’d made, Laurence Gonzales said I should check out “the polyvagal theory”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnfKmNRfLYU (2:27)

 

It turns out I’d heard of the theory before and even included it in a slice of my “Summon The Magic” material, replicated above.

And Gonzales was right again, I discovered, when I  re-examined Porges and his theory, this time in depth, and having a deeper understanding of what Porges means, what the theory is about, what it tells us about how we humans are constructed, and that it holds the key to our re-generation after trauma.

My return from West Virginia, my re-engagement with my wife and kids, my focusing on getting the “Summon The Magic” material in shape and online, and my looking for new ways to learn and get involved and engaged, are my examples. I got beyond the physical and emotional trauma of my dance with intensive care, my rehabilitative process, and found some answers to “What now?”.  I focused on restoring or keeping what health I had. WIth the kitchen empty and the wife still working 14-hour days, I focused on cooking. I bought an instructional cookbook from the Culinary Institute of America, watched cooking shows, and played in the kitchen as an artist in love. We got the kitchen re-modeled. I started to assemble some instructional tools on learning how to play the piano or electronic keyboard. I bought a new computer, got re-invested in blogging, and ended up transitioning my blog to a new host with a new approach. And I’ve put 9/11 and such things behind me, in the sense that I no longer feel obsessed, no longer have the need to chase down every detail, eliminate the doubts and variables in every piece of disinformation, or classify and categorize every one who posts on the Internet. I still watch and post about such things on the news,  obviously, but there are spaces and gaps now, places and times when I can turn away and invest my self in something else.

Each of us has to do this 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. 

Below the calligraphic break is a section devoted to Porges and his theory with more links for your exploration to the depth of your own interest.

 

In his article on love and our emergent autonomic nervous system

[ http://www.craniosacrale.it/pdf/dainfo/love_paper.pdf ],

Stephen Porges, Ph.D. explains our innate human neurobehavioral system and the way it promotes an alternative to the flight/fright mechanism by promoting social contact and communication.

His polyvagal theory describes the enervation of the branchiomeric muscles which control our facial expressions, listening and vocalization, our head tilts and all the  other very subtle elements that are intimately involved in the communication of affect.

These are the tools of engagement and interaction within the social environment (although these require face-to-face contact, not social media contact).

These same internal systems also communicate with our heart and with our gastro-intestinal system which are intimately connected with the brain, the heart and the body’s hormonal regulation mechanisms. This triad is inseparable and is deeply integrated with our abilities for cooperative and shared responsibilities of survival, the transmission of cultural values, and with physical safety.

Love, which is incompatible with fear, may have evolved to bypass slower, more tedious, and often unsuccessful processes of communication and social engagement.

For more, click on this pdf link: The Polyvagal Theory 

 

A Short Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGDMXvdwN5c (3:59)

 

ABC’s Sydney Lupkin calls it a “fake”, but maybe a placebo is a more correct term. 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/04/09/doves-latest-ad-entails-tricking-women-to-wear-fake-beauty-patches/ 

RumblePitch tweets — inside the story — that it’s degrading for all intelligent women but then, on the other hand, intelligent women would know how to use their own minds in a manner that improves their well-being and, maybe, just maybe, some people need to be educated about how that works.

This is what I’ve been trying to do with “Summon The Magic” and, while my own direct applications have been focused on helping one individual be able to hit home runs seemingly at will, and in another case helping a post-Olympic pitcher [Danielle “Harry” Henderson] get over the simple psychological hurdle of making an error every time the ball was hit back to her [“Thanks… it worked!”, she told me a year later], it’s simply about opening up the door to the idea that the power of the brain can be focused on any issue the brain’s owner wants it to be.

Here are chunks of the old e-book “Summon The Magic”:

the Bibliography pdf,

Mind Map 2013 pdf

ActionMapping pdf

Team Chemistry pdf

Get Going

 

 

The state of loneliness can be crippling, and though majority of people don’t find themselves consumed by it, they do feel its effects as their inner worlds shrink and dry up.

According to the 65-year-old Indian-born American physician, the only real answer to loneliness is to experience your own fullness, and only then can you be sure that you will not look inside one day to find holes, gaps, unanswered fears and a sense of lack.

A few steps that enable an individual to become true to themselves have also been given, the Huffington Post reported.

Step one is to have a vision that you devote time to every day – according to happiness experts, the best way to have a happy life is to have a happy day. Chopra has modified this a little bit and said that the best way to have a happy life is to have a happy day that looks forward to tomorrow as the future is something you build toward and the place where you build is inside yourself.

Step two consists of putting yourself in a context for fulfilment – the solitary life is suitable for very few people and the vast majority prefer social connections. We all have them if yours are the kind that doesn’t fulfil you emotionally, the whole value of relationship is being missed.

Proximity isn’t the same as bonding. There is a sliding scale for bonding, from least to most intimate, which is as follows:

Relationships exist for the purpose of mutual fulfillment, but if they exist for other reasons like status, financial security, feeling wanted or meeting the social norm, it’s not the same as being true to yourself deep down and allowing intimacy to move into the region of the soul.

Lastly, view your life as a process, a never-ending journey – as long as you live between the end points of birth and death, life is like a conveyor belt heading inexorably for a black tunnel. The only time that never ages is the present moment.

Living in the moment has become a spiritual cliche, but it isn’t always a useful one. The now becomes eternal only when it is full, when your being is enough to sustain you, complete fullness is at hand and when just being here elicits bliss, you are timeless.

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-deepak-chopra-reveals-how-to-fight-loneliness-1781879

 

Random Acts of Kindness caught on film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeph_eX_pVw&list=PLxr6alg-YpQYPINmZkZuGl8xxN1HDOOkz (5:27)

 

music video (must be watched for its explanatory graphics)

Oh Come, Emmanuel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozVmO5LHJ2k&list=PLxr6alg-YpQYPINmZkZuGl8xxN1HDOOkz (4:36)

 

 

From “Deep Survival”

The appendix of the book starting on page 278 offers up the condensed rules”.

 

The rules of adventure:

Perceive, believe, then act. Guess well. Avoid the “four poisons of the mind”: fear, confusion, hesitation, and surprise. Hesitation. [My sports psychology reading taught me a very simple mantra which continues to remain deeply embedded and yet available: “Don’t  discriminate in the midst of action”.] Stop, think, observe, plan, and then act.

Avoid impulsive behavior; don’t hurry.

Know your stuff.

Get the information.

Commune with the dead. “If you could collect the debt around you and sit by the campfire and listen to their tails, you might find yourself in the middle of the best survival school of all.”

Be humble.

When in doubt, bail out.

 

The rules of survival:

Number One: Perceive; believe (look, see, believe).

Number Two: Stay calm (use humor, use fear to focus).

Number Three: Think/analyze/plan (get organized; set up small, manageable tasks;).

Number Four: Take correct, decisive action (be bold and cautious while carrying out tasks).

Number Five: Celebrate your successes (take joy in completing tasks).

Number Six: Count your blessings (be grateful–you’re alive).

Number Seven: Play (sing, play mind games, recite poetry,  count anything, do mathematical problems in your head).

Number Eight: See the beauty (remember: it’s a vision quest).

Number Nine: Believe that you will succeed (develop a deep conviction that you make real).

Number Ten: Surrender (let go of your fear of dying; “put away the pain”).

Number Eleven: Do whatever is necessary (be determined; have the will and the skill).

Number Twelve: Never give up (let nothing break your spirit).

 

Mark Knopfler – True Love Will Never Fade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cDxnbDfgYA (4:28)

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[with a big tip of the cap to A. Peasant]

http://www.sott.net/article/142725-Limbic-Warfare-and-Martha-Stouts-Paranoia-Switch

http://www.c-span.org/video/?199990-1/book-discussion-paranoia-switch

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-374-22999-3

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“Life is precious and irreplaceable. Even severe incurable illness can often be temporarily fixed, moderated, or controlled…. In chess, to resign is to give up the game with pieces and options remaining.  My version of DNR is “Do Not Resign”.

Don’t give up on me if I can still think, communicate, create, and enjoy life. When taking care of me, take care of yourself as well, to make sure you don’t burn out by the time I need your optimism the most.

It’s so easy to let someone die, but it takes effort, determination, and stamina to help someone stay and feel alive.”

 

Boris Veysman, M.D. [ http://rwjms.rutgers.edu/emergency_medicine/faculty/profiles/veysmanb.html ], in the journal Health Affairs,

cited on page 207 of Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You http://www.amazon.com/Your-Medical-Mind-Decide-Right/dp/B00CVDO05U , Jerome Groopman, M.D., and Pamela Hartzband, M.D., Penguin 2012.

 

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From the Nag Hammadi library, the Book of Thomas, Christ tells us “For whoever does not know self does not know anything, but whoever knows self already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe”.

Compare this with a tract from the Upanishads, the Indian metaphysical treatise on self-realization:

“It is not by argument that the self is known…. Distinguish the self from the body and mind. The self, the atman, the highest refuge of all, pervades the Universe and dwells in the hearts of all. Those who are instructed in the self and who practice constant meditation attain that changeless and self-effulgent atman (spirit/self). Do Thou Likewise, for bliss eternal lies before you….”

http://www.sol.com.au/kor/8_01.htm 

****

 

http://snippits-and-slappits.blogspot.com/2014/04/18-things-highly-creative-people-do.html

 

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“…. for god’s sake, one can’t spend untold hours chewing blogospherical cud when there is a real life to be lived out there in the real world….”

Chris Floyd

 On Data Dumps, Death States and “Respectable” Dissent

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“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he ‘s no longer in your power–he’s free again.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

ATTRIBUTION DETAIL »

Read more at http://quotes.dictionary.com/source/bobynin_in_the_first_circle_1968?page=1#QogthHx4ItgqQg3o.99

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There is a tearsheet used as a bookmark in my copy of Civil Disobedience which notes an excerpt from the book The power highway: Saga of a desperate Southern gentleman, 1955-1967” (Dillard, 1997) (edited by Douglas Brinkley), and which reads, underneath the title in bold red

 “Fear and Loathing…”:

On the night of November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Hunter Thompson wrote to his friend William Kennedy from his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. The letter contains the earliest known use of his signature phrase “fear and loathing”. An excerpt follows.

….There is no human being within 500 miles to whom I can communicate anything–much less the fear and loathing that is on me after today’s burner….The killing has put me in a state of shock. The rages troubled….This is the end of reason, the dirtiest are in our time. I mean to come down from the hills and enter the fray….No more fair play. From now on it is dirty pool and judo in the clinches. The savage nuts have shattered the greatness of American decency. They can count me in – I feel ready for a dirty game….

****

 

The Sacred Ritual of Walking: Venkat Rao explains, for the benefit of us un-spiritual types, that sacred rituals are of four types: grounding, centring, connecting, and collecting. He then provides an intriguing exercise to assess which type most appeals to you.

When the Purpose of Meeting is Not to Agree on Actions: My friend Amanda Fenton summarizes some great thoughts on the value of conversation, connection and networking that yields no action plans, decisions or “solutions”. Sometimes, sharing and listening and learning is enough; sometimes, “the dialogue is the action”.

 

“Don’t turn your face away.

Once you’ve seen, you can no longer act like you don’t know.

Open your eyes to the truth. It’s all around you.

Don’t deny what the eyes to your soul have revealed to you.

Now that you know, you cannot feign ignorance.

Now that you’re aware of the problem, you cannot pretend you don’t care.

To be concerned is to be human.

To act is to care.”

― Vashti Quiroz-Vega

http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2014/01/28/ 

 

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Accepting reality

Americans’ Mental Health is Latest Victim of Changing Climate (Op-Ed)

An excerpt:

“When you have an environmental insult, the burden of mental health disease is far greater than the physical,” said Steven Shapiro, a Baltimore psychologist who directs the program on climate change, sustainability and psychology for the nonprofit Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR). “It has a much larger effect on the psyche. Survivors can have all sorts of issues: post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and academic issues among kids.”

 

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“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” 

Rumi 

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http://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/article-1338546439171-1366017e000005dc-116469_466x310.jpg 

In 2009, Rachel Weisz expressed her views on Botox to Harper’s Bazaar – “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen. Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?“[109]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Weisz

 

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http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3JIAsVgrwuo/UxreysiCZJI/AAAAAAAB0fY/NkO2xHQREaI/s1600/h60_n.jpg 

 

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There is no prosthetic for an amputated spirit.

Lt. Col. Frank Slade (blind from a foolish accident with a grenade)(From the movie “The Scent of a Woman”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN0rMmUxUMI (0:08)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2zTd_YwTvo (4:30)

****

“Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

John F. Kennedy, citing Plato

See also page 159

Your Unfinished Life: The Classic and Timeless Guide to Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness

by Lawrence J. Danks

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/your-unfinished-life-lawrence-j-danks/1014434870?ean=9780615242071 

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“… Only the wealthy can afford to have someone else fix their bicycle, walk and wash their dog, change the oil in their car, repair their house, etc. Practical skills enable an individual or household to lower the cost of living to the point that savings (capital accumulation) is possible. Practical skills are human capital, which is the means of production in a knowledge economy…..”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/losing-practical-life-skills.html 

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There are two books in my bibliography for the never-quite-got-off-the-ground effort I called “Summon The Magic” that I recommend first and foremost for students and parents, students for the obvious reason that they have evidenced some desire to learn something useful and parents in the hopes that they would buy one for their kids (and read it when the kid was doing something else).

One of those books has this description in my list:

The Everyday Work of Art: How Artistic Experience Can Transform Your Life, Eric Booth, Sourcebooks, Napierville, Illinois 1997. [At the foundation of Summon The Magic, the concepts in this book should be taught to every high school student; written by an individual who has achieved unparalleled success in the fields of music, the performing arts and business.] [Having been recognized by many educators as an outstanding book, it has been re-published by Authors’ Guild Back-in-Print (iUniverse.com) (ISBN 0-595-19380-3) with the new subtitle “Awakening the Extraordinary in Your Daily Life”.]

There are many rich tidbits to be drawn from this book. He talks about developing own’s own hall of masters, the select few with whom you’d like to have a conversation, a dinner, or some form of deeper relationship. [He’s on my list.]  The second is a little meme about a spectrum of curiosity, really a spiral that describes depths of attention.

He does a lot with etymology, which endears me to him, and he is the kind of fellow I very much wish I’d had an encounter decades ago; it would have changed and improved my life. If you’re not yet convinced of the need to part with some of your hard-earned cash for this man’s book, read this commencement address of his:

http://necmusic.edu/eric-booth-2012-commencement-speech 

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Healing the Traumatized Self

CONSCIOUSNESS, NEUROSCIENCE, TREATMENT

Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology

Paul Frewen (Author), Ruth Lanius (Author)

With a Foreword by Bessel van der Kolk, With a Foreword by David Spiegel

A neurobiological explanation of self-awareness and the states of mind of severely traumatized people.

Cultivation of emotional awareness is difficult, even for those of us not afflicted by serious mental illness. This book discusses the neurobiology behind emotional states and presents exercises for developing self awareness. Topics include mood (both unipolar and bipolar), anxiety (particularly PTSD), and dissociative disorders.  Frewen and Lanius comprehensively review psychological and neurobiological research, and explain how to use this research to become aware of emotional states within both normal and psychopathological functioning. Therapists will be able to help survivors of trauma, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and dissociative disorders develop emotional awareness. The book also includes case studies, detailed instructions for clinicians, and handouts ready for use in assessment/therapy with patients/clients.

BOOK DETAILS

  1. Hardcover
  2. Forthcoming July 2014
  3. ISBN 978-0-393-70551-5
  4. 6.1 × 9.3 in / 416 pages

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Healing-the-Traumatized-Self/

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Healing Trauma

Peter Levine, author of “Waking The Tiger”, has a book/CD package called “Healing Trauma” which detail a number of exercises built on Eugene Gendlin’s “Focusing” theories of “felt sense” (Somatic Experiencing).

“Levine’s psycho-physiological trauma theory is informed by what ethologists, or biologists who specialize in studying animal behavior in the wild, call the immobility response, a survival enhancing fixed action pattern evolved in prey animals which is triggered by the perceived imminence of being killed by a predator.”

Levine talks on Track Nine of the CD about somatic collapse as a result of trauma or having been shamed; one wonders if there is a parallel to social or cultural collapse. He talks about the exercise in which the client begins to re-stack their vertebra to come back to an upright and vertical alignment. On the tenth track, he discusses immobility as the pretended death of the predator’s victim, frightened by the aggression of the predator and giving up one’s own to feign death. On the eleventh track, he talks about looking around, or re-orienting, after waking up and shaking off the energy of the feigned death, or a natural built-in neurological system that [echoing Booth] allows for interest, curiosity and exploration. “It’s also the antidote for the trauma response. The nervous system cannot both be exploratory, curious, searching, looking and be traumatized.”  The “trauma response” cannot co-exist with those activities. And the activities of exploration create an urge to contact others who are similarly searching.  “It’s a natural response because, when we are not in the traumatized lockdown, our natural response is to reach out and make contact, both with our natural environment and any individual that we have a relationship with.”

Healing Trauma – Peter A. Levine

Waking the Tiger | Professional Training For Mental Health Professionals & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | Trauma Therapy Training

Peter A. Levine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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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. [Thick, thorough, penetrating, demanding: it will help you work through the issues of what your mission in life is, where to apply your talents, and how to accomplish the dreams and visions you have for your life in the world.]

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Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

by JEFFREY BILBRO on MARCH 10, 2014 · 6 COMMENTS

I’m going to have to think on a small-scale, I’m going to have to think little.  If you leave here today remembering one thing, let it be this paradox: to include everything in our work, we have to work on a small, local scale. This is why we all have to become like monks.

I’m going to argue that if we want to work well, we should seek to work in a local community, for a common purpose, and at a variety of tasks.

http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2014/03/imagining-healthy-work-become-monks/ 

A Way of Working

http://www.amazon.com/Way-Working-Spiritual-Dimension-Craft/dp/0930407016 

Laborare est orare.

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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 derived 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 and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey

****

To stay on track is hard. You have to want it really hard, and you have to get better every year. Why are you doing what you do? Is it instinct? Belief? The way in which you are different? A caring about what you do? The opportunity to be of influence, to give a gift of beauty and happiness to someone? It is a heroic endeavor to come to task with the demands of your inner gift or talent. What is the choice if you choose not to meet these demands? There are many professions and pursuits that will allow you to be average. But mediocrity is not acceptable in the many careers where you are constantly measured against the best, when the comparisons to the titans of the past are inevitable. Pursuing your life’s work is a kind of agony, and you have to be careful not to love the agony, but to use it. In the end, you have to break out by yourself.

From “Juilliard”, an American Masters production on PBS

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Angels don’t produce art. Neither do beasts….

You and I do, in response to the pain of being human—without a credential and without the approval of anybody.

http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2014/04/can-writing-be-taught/?mc_cid=fc7c5c4314&mc_eid=430d290bc7 

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▶ Cinema Paradiso – Yo-Yo Ma and Chris Botti – YouTube (8:16)

Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.

Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?

Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.

 

 

▶ David Crosby featuring Mark Knopfler – What’s Broken (2014) – YouTube

▶ David Crosby – Holding On To Nothing – YouTube (3:40)

▶ David Crosby – Time I Have – YouTube (3:43)