Tag Archives: music

stellar emanation

stellar emanation

https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/as-american-as-cricket.jpg 

This weekend, when the grandkids couldn’t come by, I found a chunk of time in which, with the help of YouTube, I educated myself about the game of cricket and the sport of curling. 

Turns out I can watch some cricket just a few towns away in one direction, and take up curling in two towns, one to the West and one to the southeast.  

Playing cricket is out of the question at my age, and the cost of curling has yet to be determined, but I got a decent introduction to the mechanics of throwing the stone. 

http://volumeone.org/uploads/image/event/119/995/119995/header_giant/119995_35384_67883f34f38f1221371a1654ab0aa6e8.jpg 

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Read more:

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2017/02/20/10-daily-life-habits-of-happy-and-successful-people/ 

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http://www.wcvb.com/article/google-ceo-responds-to-7-year-olds-letter-asking-for-a-job/8951806 

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https://www.motivationalmemo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/nobody-but-yourself-world-which-large-msg-1294346681691.jpg 

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https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-S5pUMJxHDZ4/WKd2imXU9wI/AAAAAAACeZU/9nMWoIBhArYtTQ4cBXtblXOKimsgAsTTgCLcB/s1600/trump%2Bmexico%2Bukoo1_1280.jpg 

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“… Scientists are starting to realize that the rabbit hole between our conscious and unconscious worlds is more deeply connected than previously assumed….”

‘… The rabbit hole … turns out to be the lucid dream, where people become aware that they are dreaming and can influence what happens within their self-generated world.’

http://themindunleashed.com/2017/02/easily-create-lucid-dreams-things.html 

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https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PDOdA9dPU7s/WKd2iNbRnHI/AAAAAAACeZQ/t_dqRZfW0ZkDzyOy0uW1To0S_KJr8eyMQCLcB/s640/trump%2Bjudge558.png 

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Stewart Emery (I was once a three-level student in his Actualizations seminar process), among other things that he did for me, introduced to me the famously-hidden game people play of “how I got them to do it to me”.

http://www.stewartemery.com/books/ 

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https://www.insidescience.org/sites/default/files/quartet-top.jpg 

How Musicians Adjust to Each Other

https://www.insidescience.org/news/how-musicians-prevent-chaos-string-quartet 

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Music and control of chaos in the brain

ABSTRACT

Recent researches revealed that music tends to reduce the degree of chaos in brain waves. For some epilepsy patients music triggers their seizures. Loskutov, Hubler, and others carried out a series of studies concerning control of deterministic chaotic systems. It turned out, that carefully chosen tiny perturbation could stabilize any of unstable periodic orbits making up a strange attractor. Computer experiments have shown a possibility to control a chaotic behavior in neural network by external periodic pulsed force or sinusoidal force. One may propose that the aim of this control is to establish coherent behavior in the brain, because many cognitive functions of the brain are related to a temporal coherence.

https://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/phycon/2003/7939/02/79390497-abs.html 

[For God’s sake, don’t tell the neo-cons, but it’s Russian!]

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https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lB4tUtDQ_2g/WKd2FHCVl6I/AAAAAAACeYQ/JgtdQ9-mih4wTltG1LwKCo9iK3cv1rQHwCLcB/s640/trump%2Bgarden%2Babc4e526f1d3982ac626.jpg 

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http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-12sbjkcEFVY/Uoaq3NbQ6EI/AAAAAAAAWAY/xJyV1-XwYYc/s1600/images24.jpeg 

“… the individual.

“Without him, there is no meaning to civilization or the future.

“It was once established that society and civilization existed to liberate him, to remove the shackles of the State from him, so he could pursue his own destiny. This victory was massively opposed by combines, monopolies, and cartels, who seek control over populations.

“It is now up to the individual to stake out his own territory, his own power, his own virtue.

“In doing so, he can settle on little ambitions or great ones. He can develop his mind as a seeking instrument of penetration, or he can absorb himself in shallow ideas. He can make his way along huge trails of adventure, or he can occupy himself with ordinary details of a huddled and mundane life.

“To say these choices are his is obvious. But he has to make them.

“He can imagine and envision tiny advances, or he can view great ascendance.

“He can go down with any number of small ships, or he can build a vessel for himself that will take him across an ocean of invention.

“He can discover what he already knows, or he can create new knowledge.

“He is building the reach of his own spirit, or he is living in a welfare state of mind.

“He is discovering the immortal impulses that reside beyond the language of the crowd, or he is trapping himself in the crowd.”

[snip]

PROSECUTOR: I recommend a life sentence for the defendant.

JUDGE: A life of silence in an institution. It is so ordered.

PROSECUTOR: Perhaps we could turn him.

JUDGE: Make him into a double agent? I’ll leave that to the psychiatrists. If they believe they can achieve it, they could set him adrift in our cities and let him attract others to his cause. He could help us identify enemies…..”

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/the-individual-on-trial/ 

Google image search for “the+individual+and+society” 

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/influence

AI for bipeds

AI for bipeds

Google has released a handful of AI experiments that tap into advances in machine learning in creative ways.

They include Quick, Draw!, a game in which an algorithm tries to guess what you’re sketching, A.I. Duet, which lets you compose pieces of music with a creative computer, and ways to visualize how neural networks represent information and see the world.

The projects show off some new AI features Google has built into an overhauled cloud computing platform. But they also help make AI less mysterious, and hint at ways in which the technology may become more accessible to all of us.

Take Quick, Draw!, for example. You have 20 seconds to draw six simple objects, and a computer tries to guess what you’re working on in the allotted time. Under the hood, the game runs a learning system that Google uses for character recognition. The system analyzes not only the shape, but also the strokes you used to draw it. It’s a neat way to understand a machine-learning approach that’s used by millions on their smartphones. It’s also quite addictive, even if it always seems to mistake my ducks for potatoes.

In in A.I. Duets, you get to make music with an algorithm. Through an effort called Project Magenta, Google researchers are exploring ways of using neural networks to mimic human creativity. The results are fascinating, especially because how musical creativity works remains rather mysterious. Part of the motivation for Google’s project, indeed, is exploring human intelligence by copying its musicality.

Among the projects aimed at elucidating the inner workings of neural networks is one called Visualizing High Dimensional Space. Created by several experts in data visualization, this effort shows how a large neural network stores and draws connections between different pieces of data.

The results are often beautiful, but they also highlight one way that we might be able to understand powerful machine-learning systems that would normally be inscrutable.

This could be pretty important for everyone. Imagine, for example, an algorithm that just flagged an apparently healthy patient as likely to develop a particular disease. The ability to inspect a network’s inner connections could make that decision less difficult to understand, and make treatment easier to justify.

So if you want to understand the revolution in machine intelligence that’s upending just about every industry, Google’s online AI laboratory is well worth a visit.

(Read more: A.I. Experiments, Silicon Angle, “OK, Computer, Write Me A Song,” “The Hit Charade,” “AI’s Language Problem”)

by Will Knight November 18, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602941/want-to-understand-ai-try-sketching-a-duck-for-a-neural-network/MIT 

Learn more about artificial intelligence at EmTech Digital 2017.

Register now 

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source of featured image

http://www.pcmag.com/news/347944/salesforce-brings-artificial-intelligence-to-crm-with-einste 

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

On September 20, 2016, Accenture Strategy presented Symphonologie: The Music of Business debuted at the Louvre Museum in Paris. This unique sensory experience featured a full orchestra performing a 3-movement symphony inspired by the top stories of business and technology and interpreted though artificial intelligence. Symphonologie was brought to life by a team of strategists, creative technologists and musicians, and designed to reveal how strategy and technology together can unlock a new way to view the world. Learn more at http://www.symphonologie.com/

See also http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orchestra-music-symphonologie-by-artificial-intelligence-human-composers/

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http://www.learnartificialneuralnetworks.com/ai.html 

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You can have a conversation with an AI bot here: http://alice.pandorabots.com 

 

 

http://www.chatterbotcollection.com/images/FakeCaptainKirk.jpg

Here was my conversation with Captain Kirk:

 

Lieutenant: I am a bosun’s mate in training 

James T. Kirk: I know you are. 

Lieutenant: how long will my training take> 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: It is difficult to learn this material about AI. 

James T. Kirk: I don’t see the difficulty. 

Lieutenant: That’s because you have graduated and you are the Captain. 

James T. Kirk: Explain.. Lieutenant, our heading takes us near the Ceti Alpha star system.. Not necessarily, Lieutenant. I’ve heard of the theoretical possibility of life based on silicon. A silicon-based life would be of an entirely different order. It’s possible that our phasers might not affect it. 

Lieutenant: How long will that journey take? 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: You ave a sly sense of humor. 

James T. Kirk: I can’t quite place him, but. What about Miss Hedford? 

Lieutenant: I should have typed “You have a sly sense of humor.” 

James T. Kirk: Perhaps you were. Both Nancy and Crater went out of their way to mention one item they needed. 

Lieutenant: Who are Nancy and Crater? 

James T. Kirk: Too much recursion in AIML.

Perhaps some form of mediation can be helpful in your difficulties. The Federation Bureau of Industrialisation may be of aid to you.

 

For more of this kind of thing, go here:

http://www.a-i.com 

 

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Very highly recommended, especially for the graphics, and purchasable in pdf format

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html 

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html 

 

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The modern definition of artificial intelligence (or AI) is “the study and design of intelligent agents” where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximizes its chances of success.[1] John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956,[2] defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”[3] Other names for the field have been proposed, such as computational intelligence,[4] synthetic intelligence[4][5] or computational rationality.[6] The term artificial intelligence is also used to describe a property of machines or programs: the intelligence that the system demonstrates.

AI research uses tools and insights from many fields, including computer science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics, control theory, probability, optimization and logic.[7] AI research also overlaps with tasks such as robotics, control systems, scheduling, data mining, logistics, speech recognition, facial recognition and many others.[8]

Much much more here: 

http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Artificial_intelligence 

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“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg/220px-Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg 

A philosopher worries about computers’ ever accelerating abilities to outpace human skills

By Christof Koch on September 1, 2015
“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

Christof Koch is president and chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. He serves on Scientific American Mind’s board of advisers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-artificial-intelligence-surpass-our-own/ 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superintelligence:_Paths,_Dangers,_Strategies 

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“… This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.”

amazon.com

http://www.kurzweilai.net/superintelligence-paths-dangers-strategies 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Nf3TcMiHo 

 [Nick Bostrom’s TED Talk on “a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and cloning long before they became mainstream concerns. Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, bioethics and probability.” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOhb7wkyMVo [107] [Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence]

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How artificial intelligence is changing economic theory

July 17, 2015 by Leah Burrows

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-artificial-intelligence-economic-theory.html 

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The Three Breakthroughs that Have Unleased AI

https://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/ 

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“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science and a set of computational technologies that are inspired by—but typically operate quite differently from—the ways people use their nervous systems and bodies to sense, learn, reason, and take action. While the rate of progress in AI has been patchy and unpredictable, there have been significant advances since the field’s inception sixty years ago. Once a mostly academic area of study, twenty-first century AI enables a constellation of mainstream technologies that are having a substantial impact on everyday lives…..”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND LIFE IN 2030

ONE HUNDRED YEAR STUDY ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE |

REPORT OF THE 2015 STUDY PANEL | SEPTEMBER 2016

The Stanford 100 Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)

https://ai100.stanford.edu/2016-report 

https://ai100.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ai100report10032016fnl_singles.pdf 

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“The human brain has many interesting properties. Raj Reddy speculated that there are about one hundred billion neural cells in the human brain and the brain might be performing 200 trillion operations per second if not faster than that [12]. In problem domains such as vision, speech and motor processes, “it is more powerful than 1,000 supercomputers; however, for simple tasks such as multiplication, it is less powerful than a four bit microprocessor” [12]. These processing events taking place in the brain require little conscious effort and awareness on the part of humans and they are extremely difficult for machines to emulate. Conversely, machines can excel in some processes that are difficult if not impossible to a human being. Reddy went on to argue that silicon-based intelligence, if it’s ever achieved, might just have different attributes after all.”

[12]. Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. Reddy, R. Winter, 1988, AI Magazine, p. 9.  

The History of Artificial Intelligence, p. 15

full pdf here:

 http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/csep590/06au/projects/history-ai.pdf

 

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Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Executive Office of the President

National Science and Technology Council

Committee on Technology

October 2016

58-page pdf: preparing_for_the_future_of_ai 

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A tutorial on AI and video games

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/video-games-and-artificial-intelligence/ 

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http://www.mbchapel.org/site/images/video_library.jpg 

President Barack Obama on How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Jobs | WIRED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgL32wtgeXQ

[10 minutes]

See also 

The White House today release a report on the future of artificial intelligence. The document covered a number of concerns. Perhaps the shortest major section was “AI, Automation, and the Economy.”

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/ 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/whitehouse_files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/preparing_for_the_future_of_ai.pdf 

 

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Other Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TRv0cXUVQw

An 8-minute video primer on AI

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Artificial Intelligence and the Future

Deep Mind’s Demis Hassabis at the Royal Society of the Arts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEL4iR-d4L8

[48 minutes]

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Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2016

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

[50 minutes]

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Blurring the Lines Between Humans and Machines

Speakers

Pascale Fung, Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics; Chief Scientist, Aidyia Ltd.

Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corp.; Chairman, Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft

Filmed Sept 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko5rvfiK5vM

[60 minutes]

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OpenAI – Deep Learning for Computer Vision

Andrej Karpathy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_njYDK9Frpg 

[85 minutes]

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THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

http://www.aaai.org/home.html 

A major source for symposia, conferences and a magazine

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Journals and Books

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See the bibliography here

http://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/computers-and-electrical-engineering/computers-and-computing/artificial 

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Artificial Intelligence, which commenced publication in 1970, is now the generally accepted premier international forum for the publication of results of current research in this field.

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/artificial-intelligence/

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Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

(Third edition) by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig

The leading textbook in Artificial Intelligence.

Used in over 1300 universities in over 110 countries.

The 22nd most cited computer science publication on Citeseer (and 4th most cited publication of this century).

http://aima.cs.berkeley.edu 

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Ai4u: Mind-1.1 Programmer s Manual (Paperback)

Arthur T Murray

Published by iUniverse, United States (2002)

ISBN 10: 0595259227 ISBN 13: 9780595259229

New Paperback

Item Description: iUniverse, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 215 x 172 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. AI4U: Mind-1.1 Programer s Manual has the following positive and negative points. + It describes the rapidly evolving AI Minds on the Web. – It quickly becomes obsolete as the AI hyper-evolves. + On-demand publishing (ODP) makes for quick updates. – The Mentifex project is considered oddball on the Net. + You ve got the first book about the first real AI Mind. – There are other, better, more authoritative AI textbooks. + AI4U makes a good supplement for actually coding AI. – Artificial intelligence is too hard to understand. + AI4U describes the AI while it is still easy to learn. – I would rather build robots than study AI programming. + If you want to build a smart robot, then AI4U is for you. – I m only a high school student/teacher; what s the use? + This book will challenge even the most gifted student. – I am not a programmer and so I can t code AI. + AI4U teaches you how to operate an AI, not just code it. – I just want to do Web design, not artificial intelligence. + AI4U provides an AI that you may install on your website. – I am more interested in neuroscience and/or psychology. + AI4U teaches a theory of how the brain works psychologically. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780595259229

http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/arthur-t-murray/ 

See also:

https://bytes.com/topic/c/answers/62154-c-ai-blog 

http://www.nothingisreal.com/mentifex_faq.html 

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https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-artificial-intelligence–cs271 

[four-month self-paced nanodegree]

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BI-AA979_AI_G_20150506144558.jpg 

source of image:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/12/03/artificial-intelligence-ethics-a-new-focus-at-cambridge-university/ 

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/artificial-intelligence-rankings  

MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

https://www.csail.mit.edu 

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-034-artificial-intelligence-fall-2010/lecture-videos/ [open courseware at MIT]

https://www.edx.org/course/artificial-intelligence-uc-berkeleyx-cs188-1x [free course at Berkeley]

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-825-techniques-in-artificial-intelligence-sma-5504-fall-2002/lecture-notes/Lecture1Final.pdf 

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click on large image

http://www.legaltechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Artificial-Intelligence-AI-larger-graphic.png 

Artificial Intelligence in Law – The State of Play in 2015?

Added on the 3rd Nov 2015 at 12:17 pm

by Michael Mills, the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic Inc., developers of a no-code software platform with which non-programmers can build expert systems to automate advice, documents, and processes.

http://www.legaltechnology.com/latest-news/artificial-intelligence-in-law-the-state-of-play-in-2015/ 

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On the validity of the Turing Test

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/ai/turing.html 

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms are at the heart of an emerging digital world.

That was one of the chiefs components of Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research opening remarks at today’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo show in Orlando.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the center,” Sondergaard said told a crowd of more than 8,000 CIOs and IT leaders. “The new competitive differentiator is understanding the customer’s intent through advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence. Creating new experiences that solve problems customers didn’t realize they had.”

Gartner says “advanced machine learning algorithms are composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing), used in unsupervised and supervised learning, that operate guided by lessons from existing information.”

Advanced machine learning not only enables a smart machine to understand concepts in the environment, but enables it to learn. Through machine learning, a smart machine can change its future behavior. For example, by analyzing vast databases of medical case histories, “learning” machines can reveal previously unknown insights in treatment effectiveness. This area is evolving quickly, and organizations must assess how they can apply these technologies to gain competitive advantage, Gartner said last Fall in presenting trends for 2016.

Gartner says artificial intelligence “is technology that appears to emulate human performance typically by learning, coming to its own conclusions, appearing to understand complex content, engaging in natural dialogs with people, enhancing human cognitive performance (also known as cognitive computing) or replacing people on execution of nonroutine tasks. Applications include autonomous vehicles, automatic speech recognition and generation and detecting novel concepts and abstractions (useful for detecting potential new risks and aiding humans quickly understand very large bodies of ever changing information).”

“We are building machines that learn from experience and produce outcomes their designers did not explicitly envision. Systems that can experience and adapt to the world via the data they collect,” Sondergaard said. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3132006/data-center/gartner-artificial-intelligence-algorithms-and-smart-software-at-the-heart-of-big-network-changes.html 

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How smart is today’s artificial intelligence?

multi-media (video, audio and text) from PBS

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/smart-todays-artificial-intelligence/ 

[with 54 comments]

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“… In response to AIs rapid developments, more than 8,000 leading researchers and scientists — including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking — have signed an open letter alluding to AI’s potential pitfalls and possible detriment to humanity. Their main concern is that an existential risk faces humanity: an AI in control of autonomous weapons.

The letter goes on to state that autonomous weapons are quickly becoming the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms, and that AI researchers must focus their research on what is beneficial for humanity, and not just what is profitable. However, much of what is researched with AI may not be public knowledge, and is likely internal research that’s closely held by just a few very wealthy corporations. How can the public make informed decisions about something that is kept secret?….”

https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/23/advancements-in-artificial-intelligence-should-be-kept-in-the-public-eye/ 

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Artificial intelligence researchers have developed software that is capable of making complex decisions to accurately predict the outcome of human rights trials.

The AI “judge” was developed by computer scientists at University College London (UCL), the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania using an algorithm that analyzed the text of cases at the European Court of Human Rights.

Judicial decisions from the court were predicted with 79 percent accuracy by the machine learning algorithm.

“Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgments have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court,” said Vasileios Lampos, co-author of the research.

More: http://www.newsweek.com/ethical-artificial-intelligence-judge-predicts-human-rights-trials-513012 

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Artificial intelligence-powered malware is coming, and it’s going to be terrifying

http://www.businessinsider.com/darktrace-dave-palmer-artificial-intelligence-powered-malware-hacks-interview-2016-10 

The future is on its way, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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How to Hold Algorithms Accountable

“… algorithms fed by big data can also amplify structural discrimination, produce errors that deny services to individuals, or even seduce an electorate into a false sense of security. Indeed, there is growing awareness that the public should be wary of the societal risks posed by over-reliance on these systems and work to hold themaccountable…..”

Algorithmic systems have a way of making mistakes or leading to undesired consequences. Here are five principles to help technologists deal with that.

November 17, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602933/how-to-hold-algorithms-accountable/MIT 

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The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think 

Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great.

 http://freakonomics.com/podcast/future-probably-isnt-scary-think/

A Great Teacher

I’ve been a fan of Wynton Marsalis’ work for some time. We know him as a trumpet player; I routinely find him with his Lincoln Center Orchestra; his session with Eric Clapton is as good as it gets, and the tribute to Dave Brubeck, a personal musical talisman in my life, is wonderful.

But it was as a teacher that I first discovered him; several of his quotes from an old PBS show on Juilliard made it into my “Summon The Magic” e-book. I also discovered Eric Booth, also a teacher at Juilliard.

I could learn something from world-class experts brought in to teach someone trying to be their best at their chosen field of expression. Wynton is one of those; he loves what he does, and he loves his art form.

Here is an appearance, an hour on tape, he made at an event in Louisville.

Internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, Wynton Marsalis talks about music, his mentors and the irreplaceable role of art and creativity in American culture. Part question and answer, part meditation on life, it was part of the IdeaFestival® 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUaLc1zabVo

 

http://www.ideafestival.com/

 

http://www.readingeagle.com/storyimage/RE/20150411/LIFE/304119911/EP/1/9/EP-304119911.jpg&exactH=300&Q=80&exactFit=crop&RCRadius=10

 

Listen closely from 11:50 on, as Wynton talks about the exponential power of coming together, in which one’s own potential grows when paired with someone else’s knowledge and abilities. He goes on to explain how this works in a jazz group and in real life.

And listen to the question and answer on technology at about the 47-minute market, about how we can carry our complete CD collection in our pocket. We all have something to learn from this great human being. (And maybe someone can send this link to our political leadership.)

And if you’ve been one who has enjoyed to some depth the e-book I’ve put up on how to use your mind to become a better whatever-it-is-that-you-are-striving-for, then you’ll resonate with me on the last comment by the host.

 

http://www.biography.com/people/wynton-marsalis-9399922#synopsis 

 

Marsalis’ ranking as #39 on Fortune’s list of 50 Greatest Leaders is based on his leadership in thought, composition, snd education. 

 

 

When did we begin to lose faith in our ability to effect change?

We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation.

There are forces all around you who wish to exploit division, rob you of your freedom, and tell you what to think. But young folks can rekindle the weary spirit of a slumbering nation.

You need a team. You need people to push you. You need opponents.

The best way to be, is to do.

There really have only ever been a few people in each generation who step out, are willing to put themselves on the line, and risk everything for their beliefs.

The young very seldom lead anything in our country today. It’s been quite some time since a younger generation pushed an older one to a higher standard.

http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/author/Wynton_Marsalis/

 

 

And, finally, here’s 47 minutes of Marsalis on trumpet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6R5j3EgES0 

The Spirit of the Game

photography courtesy of http://reagentx.net/new/tag/astrophotography/

The tenth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… is actually one of my two most favorite chapters.  (Those two speak to me, and they ended up being assigned the letter E and the letter J.  Funny thing how those things work out, huh?)

It’s entitled The Spirit of the Game and, while it is laden with concepts of spirituality, it doesn’t attempt to proselytize. Parker Palmer (Footnote 111 on page 55) gives as good a defintion of spiritual as I could find.

There are references from within religion’s expressions, but spirit includes them all, allows you to parse and understand them if you desire to do so, and ultimately it transcends them.

The Spirit of the Game ranges across the topics of prayer, intention, attention, life alignment, love, mastery, presence, soul, music, movement, ex-stase, awe, connectedness, the sweet spot in time, gnosis, peak experience, yoga, samadhi, behavior, discipline, intent, will, performance, creativity, energy and grace.

It will bring you to James Neill’s http://www.wilderdom.com.

It will bring you to the web site of a dojo called www.bodymindandmodem.com.

There’s a quote in there from the fellow whose insights were the key that unlocked the door to the creation of this e-book.

It was in the middle of the explosion of the decades of research into the brain through the use of functional MRI studies and Roland Perlmutter, M.D. (neuroradiologist, Duke University Medical Center) is the individual quoted from within the book On The Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present.

It’s not that quote (footnote #24) that quickened me.

The one that made we sit upright, that confirmed my interest, my work, the value of these concepts beyond sports, and the value of sharing this material shows up near the end of my e-book.

But here’s a better expression of all of that from an old blog of mine (circa August 21st, 2013).  I’d been reading a Sports Illustrated in a medical waiting room and encountered a letter to the editor that was “surely of interest to the father of a professional fast-pitch softball player whose hand was broken by [Jennie] Finch when she stepped on it during a pick-off attempt at first. Was Finch mad at her because she not only did not strike out but managed to draw couple of walks against her and made one of them stand up for a win? The bone was broken above the knuckles, making it impossible to hold or swing a bat, but a visualization process I designed on the basis of my readings [actually, it was an audio tape from Lydia Ievleva; see this] and which she implemented which came to fruition in front of the orthopod ten days later and got her a clearance to return when the doctor said said “I’ve never seen a bone heal so quickly”. The bone and the body that it belonged to went on to earn a Second Team All-American slot in the ASA Majors division.”

Back then in 2013, I referenced the book On The Sweet Spot and my own e-book Summon The Magic and the applicability of what I have come to understand about the human mind/body/spirit as an antidote to the oppressive wars, narcissistic psychopathology of leadership, and the failure of the average human being — especially the dormant American ones — to wake up and effect some change.

From the description found at the Amazon link (but the emphases are mine):

“… as Richard Keefe, the director of the sport psychology program at Duke University, looked deeper into the nature of his experience, he found profound links to the spirit, the brain, perhaps even the soul.

Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.

All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states)…..”

That’s what summoning the magic is all about.

If a mind can heal its own fractured hand, why can’t many minds heal a fractured world?”

 

And, oh look, that calligraphic expression I mentioned back in healing a sick world shows up on page 75.

(So that’s where I put it..!)

 

Even Caitlyn Jenner makes an appearance in a potent retrospective.

 

But speaking of sports (and there are plenty of sporting references in The Spirit of the Game), last Monday’s news had an example (and there are plenty of them every day) of attempts to “psych out” an opponent — to take them off their game. My exact reference is to the US/Australia women’s 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match in soccer and the re-surrection or re-mindfulness of the US keeper’s legal difficulties. I take no position on the keeper or her history. In fact, I raise the point because, in all my research and other encounters, I have never met a performance psychologist who embraced or helped someone else “hone” the art of dissing.

You see a lot of it in pro sports. Larry Bird and some others have shown that, if you’re going to get into “trash talk”, you’d better be able to back it up.

The entire discipline of sports/performance psychology would suggest that you expend your energy focusing on your own game, that your attention to your opponent’s game in an attempt to create an advantage more often backfires than not. There’s a book listed in my bibliography that comes so dangerously close to taking the wrong approach that I won’t even identify it for you.

Refefence has already been made to bringing the best you can bring to the exchange as an ideal way to respect both the game and one’s opponent. Pre-game, in-game and post-game “trash talk” is trash and doesn’t fall within The Spirit of the Game.

Julia Cameron would understand. On Monday, her book “The Well of Creativity” got packaged with two of her earliest books, The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, and shipped off to a friend.  I had thought “The Well of Creativity” was the one actually I received today (more dementia, or lack of focus) but the recipient is a close friend so it’ll all come out in the wash.

Arriving today was Supplies, which Cameron describes as good, plain water for those thirsty aspiring or working people who are busy making things — “books, musicals, movies, plays. board games, computer programs, sculptures, watercolors, greeting cards, effective aprons, better lives”.

The second page reminds us all of an “extremely effective technique” a lot of us have forgotten, or dismissed, or turned our noses up at beause it seemes so juvenile.

Several more pages in, and I had to put the book down; I was hooked. It’s serious shee-it. (I’ll report back on it in good time, but it’s a workbook and I’ve got to do the work.)

So, here you have it:

Tab J (The Spirit of the Game)

I hope that it will make your performance and creativity soar.

Je Ne Sais Quoi # last

Je Ne Sais Quoi Day Number Final

Eric Booth

http://teachingartistsguild.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Eric-Booth-Headshot.jpg 

As an actor, Eric Booth performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the country, playing over 23 Shakespearean roles (Hamlet three times), and winning “Best Actor” awards on both coasts. Throughout 1981, he performed the American tour of Alec McCowen’s one-man play St. Mark’s Gospel. He has performed many times on television, directed five productions, and produced two plays in New York.

As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles and publishing newsletters, books, and reports. He became a major figure in trend analysis, frequently quoted by the major media.…

As an author, he has had five books published. The Everyday Work of Art won three awards and was a Book of the Month Club selection. He has written three dozen magazine articles, was the Founding Editor of the Teaching Artist Journal, and his latest book The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible was published by Oxford University Press in 2009. Recently, he has placed articles in the Harvard Education Review/Focus Issue on Arts Education (Spring 2013), in the special creativity focus issue of Educational Leadership (February 2013), and in the upcoming book Routledge Handbook on Arts Education.

In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 26 years), and The Kennedy Center (14 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America), and held one of six chairs on The College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee for seven years. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities, states and businesses around the country, including six of the ten largest orchestras in America, and five national service organizations. He consults with arts organizations, businesses, boards of directors, state arts and education agencies, national arts organizations and occasionally to high tech and medical firms on their innovation work.

He is widely referred to as one of the nation’s most creative teachers and as the father of the teaching artist profession, and this is one of many topics he consults on. Formerly the Founding Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center, he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. He delivered the closing keynote speech to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006), and to UNESCO’s 2014 World Culture Conference (Seoul), and he gave the keynote speech to the first world conference on orchestras’ connections to communities (Glasgow 2007). He completed a six-week speaking tour of Scotland and Australia, speaking to over 40 organizations, government agencies, and universities about creativity and teaching artistry. He was the Senior Advisor to the Music National Service initiative (lead trainer and training designer for the launch of MusicianCorps). He is a senior advisor to the movement developing El Sistema-inspired sites around the U.S. and world. He is the co-founder and co-leader of the Orchestra Engagement Lab (including its Teaching Artist Academy), a national co-commissioning project which weaves the development of new orchestral works with bold community engagement design and practice, comprised of a summer intensive in a Vermont retreat, and a year of coaching to use the project as a catalyst for organizational change.

He is the first person to receive an honorary doctoral degree (New England Conservatory, 2012) for teaching artistry.

You’ll find his commencement address in both transcript and video format here.  Read and/or watch the whole thing, and especially pay attention to the one word he focuses on in closing.

I first encountered Eric Booth when I stumbled upon the first edition of his first book, since re-published; it ranks as the number one book I recommend when I talk to parents and others.  I find it to be mandatory reading, although the reader will want to have the kind of introduction to scaffolding awarenesses like the ones you’ve just had here. 

****

 

A pdf of excerpts from Booth’s book “The Everyday Work of Art”

%22Everyday Work of Art%22 excerpts

 

****

 

Breakout:  Making Creative Connections, Active Listening and Reflection (seven minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyT9dWTWzq8 

Breakout:

80% of What You Teach is Who You Are

http://motivational-speakers-review.com/eric-booth-speaks-directly-to-professional-motivational-speakers/ 

Breakout:   http://ericbooth.net/videos/

[six short videos addressing key questions of teaching artistry]

****

On Noticing

The word “notice” was born in the Latin “noscere”, which gives it powerful sister-words like “knowing” and “cognizance”. To know – this enormous human capacity and mystery – is the subterranean aquifer from which noticing springs.

“Attention” comes from Latin, meaning “to stretch out”; attending is the active effort to stretch out of oneself. This effort costs us something, which is why we must “pay” attention.

Noticing is not a single kind of act. A range of noticing goes on constantly, beneath our level of awareness.

We put out a low level scan for danger: erratic driver up ahead, weird color on that piece of chicken.

Sometimes this effort doesn’t even make it to awareness, we just monitor: the sounds around the house to make sure there is nothing amiss while we read in bed, sounds from the children’s bedrooms even while we sleep.

We have automatic pilot noticing: driving lost in thought” for three minutes on the highway.

We have trigger noticing: wake when the baby coughs, attend to a vague new pain somewhere near the lung.

We have anomalies-attending: sensing something odd about a person we see every day.

We have shelved noticing: specifics we did not notice at the time, but pull off the shelf to consider later in hindsight.

We have evidence-gathering noticing: “Are they thinking about changing my job?”; “Am I gaining weight?”

We have neurotic noticing: “She looked at me in a funny way”; “I’m fatter than three people in this room”.

All of these are manifestations of noticing carrying on beneath awareness, all the time.

Additionally, there is the noticing we are all aware of. We notice the obvious: Elaine looks great in her prom dress; the wall needs painting; what a gorgeous day.

There is entertainment noticing, for pleasure: following the garden year’s progression, repeating the words of a favorite song.

There is more intentional noticing when we are in some sort of dialogue: making a quick sketch of a flower, chatting amiably with Peter while we try to figure out what is bothering him.

There is engaged noticing: deep in one of those “great conversations” with Isabelle, or when completely engrossed in work.

Eric Booth, The Everyday Work of Art: Awakening the Extraordinary in Your Daily Life, Authors Guild BackinPrint.com/iUniverse.com, Inc., Lincoln, NE 2001.

****

Breakout: “… just a nod and a look. The power of the human spirit to connect so quickly. It happened because I was as open as an artist to the creative opportunity of the moment….”  http://ericbooth.net/maeve/ 

Breakout essay: “… Community engagement used to be about “teaching” the public; ironically, it has now become about necessary “learning from” the public. Exploratory, in-depth partnership work also feels good to people in the arts, once they get past the sometimes awkward, creaky feel of getting started…..”

http://ericbooth.net/the-changing-grammar-of-community-engagement-past-imperfect-present-future/ !!!

Breakout: The Citizen-Artist: A Revolution of the Heart Within the Arts

“… A revolution of the heart is a paradigm shift in which our collective deck, our consensus model of the world, gets reshuffled, changing the story for everyone. In a revolution of the heart, those who have put themselves to sleep awaken, and healing begins to emerge where there has been harm. Such a revolution infuses the spirit of the times, so that even those unaware of precisely what is happening are able to sense that something new and important is unfolding….”

http://ericbooth.net/the-citizen-%C2%ADartist-a-revolution-of-the-heart-within-the-arts/

****

Resource: http://ericbooth.net/the-ten-fundamentals-of-el-sistema/ 

Resource: A series of short articles in the Arts Journal on arts education: http://www.artsjournal.com/artsed/author/eric_booth/ 

Breakout:

13+ pages on the Open Secrets of El Systema 

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/sites/default/files/media/pdfs/shared/education/yola/essay_eric_booth.pdf 

Major Essay:

http://ericbooth.net/expanding-the-range-of-essential-skills-of-21st-century-artists/ 

Breakout: Eric Booth talks with the UW-Madison Arts Enterprise course via Skype on how artistic and entrepreneurial enterprises can coexist and, in fact, thrive together. https://vimeo.com/35806427 (13 minute video)

Breakout: Playful Brainstorming and Creative Experimentation (4:06)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mly_OTeLchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mly_OTeLcc 

****

From The Everyday Work of Art:

“We can skillfully manage our lifelong learning in a sustainable pattern in three ways: by instruction, by experience, and by uncovering what we don’t know.

The basic dynamic of instruction is that someone who “knows” tells or shows someone who “doesn’t know”, and the not-knower tries to learn it — which usually means to repeat it on demand.  This dynamic applies in classes, personal interaction, books and the other media of instruction.  In many circumstances, this is efficient and effective.  However, it also has its limitations.  It tends toward exchange on the surface of things, requires that the learner apply tremendous energy to turn the lesson into real understanding, and requires the learner to want to learn.

We trust people with experience.  Learning in the artistic disciplines, apprenticeships and the school of hard knocks relies heavily on this approach.  The root of the words “experience” and “experiment” are the same. An expert is good at experiencing a particular situation.

What we don’t know includes most everything. Uncovering what we don’t know is the most powerful learning; it goes deep and resonates for a long time. This critical but often overlooked approach to learning plays havoc with learning systems and institutions.  It cannot be programmed; the best we can do is prepare and provoke.

Of the three ways of learning, instruction is the easiest to manage, the most orderly.

Experience is the most powerful place to enter the three, with the greatest pull toward personal involvement. Uncovering what we don’t know leads to the greatest change and forward movement.  

The best learning does not emphasize one approach over the others but slips fluidly among all three.  Yearning is essential to all real learning.  Most instructional systems do not develop a hunger to learn; in fact, they seem diabolically designed to squelch the idiosyncratic love of learning.  Yearning does evolve to some degree incidentally through interaction with parents, teachers and through hodgepodge experience.  But to develop a sustaining lifelong passion for learning we must become our own learning coaches, because institutions rarely provide them.

What nurtures a natural desire to learn? 

Hands-on engagement in an effort to create or accomplish something worthwhile.”

http://images.clipartpanda.com/taking-notes-clipart-take_notes.png 

Musical Interlude for Notes:

Koto Song, Brubeck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvB_ZNtOb4E (9:50)

The End, Beatles (deconstructed)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P68IF-90WWU (10:20)

 

 

http://www.treanorarchitects.com/static/media/versions/photos/img_9388_news_item_version.jpg

“What struck me was that it wasn’t discussed like it was a goal, but rather an expectation,” Porcello wrote

Thanksgiving,  George Winston

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RiI9yoiP14https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RiI9yoiP14 (4:08)

A parting gift for your journey 

What can we do? (Part Two)

What can we do? (Part Two)

 

http://www.shalinibosbyshell.com/images/frame_empathy.jpg

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

http://valme.io/content/images/user/3/images/business/Emotional%20Empathy%20Cartoon.jpg

 

 

 

 

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

skip on to The Defense Intelligence Agency and Shamanism

and its embedded story about “The Stick Game”.

 

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

 

http://equivalentexchange.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/wu_wei.jpg?w=450&h=337

 

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

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

 

http://equivalentexchange.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/wu-wei-or-natural-action/ 

[Does that sound like aikido?]

 

 

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VmZcnWfN6s

 

 

http://www.motivationalquotesabout.com/images/quotes/why-are-you-unhappy-wei-wu-wei.jpg

 

 

 

 

http://daohead.com/images/meditation-full.png

http://daohead.com

 

 

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

Wei-Wu-Wei

 

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

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

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

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~jbogen/text/OSOB_3.html 

 

“FURTHER PRESCRIPTIONS”

My reflections on physicians I have known

Further Prescriptions

 

 

 

 

Is all this an antidote for 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Posted by kenny at 7:13 PM

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

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

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/lack+of+empathy+you+have.+enjoy_cc15d2_4332556.jpg 

http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Jeremy-Rifkin.htm 

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

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

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

 

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

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38928.htm [journalistic malfeasance of the highest order]

 

 

Catherine Austin Fiits, at https://solari.com/blog , says:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Keith Jarrett Everything that lives, laments 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C049aW6B0I (10:03)

 

 

“music is simple

 just sing your heart out

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

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

— Est

 

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

 

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

•Tags: ISRAEL

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

1. we are a mass movement

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

 

The late Lynn Margulis

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

The far-more-difficult science-education problem:

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

http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie 

 

JODY PAULSON

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

Laurence Gonzales, Page 11, “Flight 232”

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Flight-232/ 

 

Laborare est orare. 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-way-of-working-d-m-dooling/1110887921?ean=9780930407018 

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

****

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model

of group development 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckman’s_stages_of_group_development 

 

****

 

Organizational learning: how a team learns to win

 

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

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

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

 

The five disciplines of a learning organization:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

****

 

http://img.nauticexpo.com/images_ne/photo-g/rowing-shell-competition-octuple-scull-with-coxswain-22350-320831.jpg 

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

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

****

Mobility and Alignment of Purpose

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

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

 

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

****

A leader is best

when people barely know that he exists,

not so good when people obey him and acclaim him,

worst when they despise him.

 

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

But of a good leader, who boasts little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

they will all saywe did this ourselves’.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

****

kennyJuly 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

 

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

The Power of the Powerlesst

from a comment at the article…

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

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

It is upstream of tyranny and tyrants.

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

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

 

What can we do?

 

What can we do?

 

Music audio:

Dhafer Youssef & Hüsnü Şenlendirici 

‘dance of the invisible dervishes’ 

19.07.2012 Istanbul

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8n24hAhmEM 

(36:50)

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed, why us?

It is broken into three parts.

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

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

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

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

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

We can gravitate toward truth, at least our truth

We can practice alignment

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

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

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

We can create community (see Corbett). 

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

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

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

We can create. 

We can touch people. 

We can move people.

We can love. 

 

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

 

 

What can we do? (Part One)

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

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

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

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

Sometimes synthesis emerges from this.

I decided I’ll give it a try here.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by kenny at 12:02 PM

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

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

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/rogue-government-prepares-heated-conflict-historical-cycles-point-coming-clash.html

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

 

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/75588000/jpg/_75588871_022736352-1.jpg  

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

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

(Music informs our personal and interpersonal synthesis.)

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aA7CSWXN7cE/U6Q_og6xOCI/AAAAAAAAEr0/M3lDi9IYbDY/s1600/gaza+city.jpg 

Israeli airstrike creates a pond in Gaza City

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Noor al Haqiqa at 11:54 PM

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Is the emerging technology of online collaboration viable?

Online_Collabloration_Paper

 

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

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

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dJz4fO4BnGs/U6Ui5TduEvI/AAAAAAAB9Ag/Lpn_kJc8Rsw/s1600/Calvin-Louv.jpg

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

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

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

 

 

aikido and relationships 

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

He sent me

Being Nature’s Mind: Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Planetary Consciousness [ delvingdeeper.org/being.pdf ]as well as a link to his own work:

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

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

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/why-us-james-le-fanu/1112946548?ean=9780307378071.

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

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

.http://www.worldmag.com/media/images/content/348_348_/lefanu.jpg

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

Why Should We Be So Different?

 

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

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

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

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

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID24575/images/Kobudo2.JPG 

http://www.examiner.com/article/weapons-as-part-of-your-training 

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

Taking the weapon away from the opponent:

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVaC2UY1vRA (2:32)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrJ5Y6tuNj8 (1:56)

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

What is the effective counter-move? 

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

http://hastingsnonviolence.blogspot.com/2010/10/counting-coup-and-evolution-of-conflict.html

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

http://www.searchofpeace.com/blog/2014/07/09/letting-off-steam-is-not-the-ki/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Mount_Greylock_Massive.JPG/569px-Mount_Greylock_Massive.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/graphics/lynx5.jpg

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

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

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

http://www.apertureofmysoul.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Pemaquidlongviewrockssmall.jpg

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

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

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

Ron sent me something on remote viewing, too.

Getting Beyond

Getting Beyond:

Finding Purpose and Vitality After Enduring Systemic Insult

 

 

▶ David Crosby – Dangerous Night (Special) – YouTube

 

“Getting Beyond” consists of a hopefully-well-integrated series that totals over 200 pages but which is broken up for better digestion in the following manner: This is the main body of 45 pages with small inserts in pdf format.  It is dominantly my experience, thus deeply personal. It is followed by two sections of quoted excerpts from two books: “Deep Survival” and “Surviving Survival”, with two intervening and following sections on Tavistock, and on Porges’ polyvagal theory, the first short, the second one long. Links and videos are embedded throughout. These will be posted at

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

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

The final section is called “Alignment of Purpose”, which will follow in six hours here:

http://boydownthelane.com/2014/05/01/alignment-purpose/ ‎ 

https://www.aamc.org/linkableblob/326256-1/data/stress200-data.jpg

source of image: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/getting-beyond-the-narcissismadvertising-complex/

  Preface and Acknowledgement Laurence Gonzalez is a journalist recognized for his  insights into the mind under duress that are “accurate, accessible, up-to-date and insightful”. The very first story in his book I’ve credited online with helping save my life is about the mental and emotional glidepath markers of landing a Navy combat airplane on the pitching decks of an aircraft carrier at night. I trust that this distinguished author will understand why I have excerpted more than is usual and customary  for a review in an attempt to get you the reader to go out and buy the books, read them, and apply them to your own life. The second book, the impetus for this piece, has been called  a “realistic,and accessible self-help book on the potential of growth from suffering” and “an education for those wishing to be of use in a stressful, often frightening world”.

 

I’ve been suggesting that people buy and read books to learn more about how their mind/body/spirit unit works for two decades now. Gonzalez will then hopefully appreciate the line from that graceful old powerhouse of an intellect I met at the very end of her career — retired Admiral Grace Hopper — who said, clutching her handful of nanoseconds, “It’s easier to apologize than it is to ask permission”.  I’ve taken great liberties with his work without expressed permission, but it is laden with such insight and understanding that I make no apologies.

 

I must acknowledge “my funny valentine”. We’d been through some difficult back country, and we’re still hiking. There are bears on the trail, and wildcats, but she’s a trauma nurse and knows something about survival herself. I met her almost 40 years ago a few days before Valentine’s Day; she forgave me, and love still abounds. ▶ Pat Metheny Trio & Nils Landgren “My funny Valentine” – YouTube 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdDJ0XwlJyM (7:51)

 

I acknowledge as well the small army of medical professionals with whom I have worked through the spectrum of discovery, testing, coordination, action, trial, error, support, rehabilitation, release, and follow-up. There are too many of them to be named, but they include cardiologists, experts in electrophysiology at three tiers, physical and occupational therapists, dozens of nurses, and Gene the equipment man, a pastor and jazz afficianado.

I acknowledge “Gabriel”, without whose care, attention and love I would probably be dead, or broken.  I offered to re-pay the $15K she coughed up to cover my expenses at a time when I had nothing.

She told me to “pay it forward”.

This is one of the payments.

 

The calligraphic art used as textual separators are the Chinese symbols for resilience.

I received an e-mail a few months ago from an author; it arrived out of the blue. But it was properly titled so I’d open it and it came from a name I recognized immediately: Laurence Gonzalez. I’d written to him a long time ago. I’d read his book Deep Survival years back and, after some reflection and recovery, credited him, in a review at Amazon [ Permalink ] and in direct correspondence to him, with having assisted me in my own survival. In the e-mail, he thanked me again and told me about his new book “Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience”. I  bought it immediately. There ought to be a copy of these two books -– dog-eared, highlighted -–with accompanying materials -– in every high school guidance counselor’s office, three or four copies in the executive suites of every insurance company, one each in every hospital medical library and medical staff break room, and certainly one in every mental health, social and other counselor’s offices. I’’ll be buying a copy of the new book he’s sending to press now for publication in July :

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294978729

I’d already given copies of “Deep Survival” to both my adult children and to my wife. I had to search around for my own copy… I’d already “let it go”, having mined it, having added it to my Bibliography pdf of performance psychology titles. But I knew instantly there was still something to be learned from this fellow (I’ve already invited him to dinner if he ever comes my way).

And I suspected strongly and correctly that what he had to teach me was also applicable to those of us who still harbor the occasional moments of melancholy, depression, despair, etc., having suffered through the purposeful repeated traumatization of 9/11 and its related sequelae.  

“The collapse of a Tower in a dream can represent a severe psychological break.”

Aangirfan: CONTROLLING YOU THROUGH SYMBOLS

Frank Culbertson was aboard the International Space Station that morning and shot footage of the attack. The next day, he wrote a letter and said “Other than the emotional impact of our country being attacked and thousands of our citizens and maybe some friends being killed, the most overwhelming feeling being where I am is one of isolation.”   “But as the September 11 attacks turned into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a number of researchers at universities across the US have warned that media consumers who repeatedly expose themselves to such gruesome images could be putting themselves at risk of psychological damage.

Roxanne Cohen Silver, a professor of psychology and social behavior at UC Irvine, said that people who spent four hours or more soaking up 9/11 or Iraq War coverage were more likely to experience acute stress.

The results suggest that exposure to graphic media images may be an important mechanism through which the impact of collective trauma is dispersed widely,” Silver said, as quoted by the university’s website. “Our findings are both relevant and timely as vivid images reach larger audiences than ever before through YouTube, social media and smartphones.”

http://rt.com/usa/video-911-attack-space-broadcast-290/

“Don’t feed your amygdala any scary raw data.” 

[Page 241, Surviving Survival]

Some of the people I know of or read on the Internet are more closely attuned or connected to the degradations of the neo-conservative-Zionist-US war of terror against the peoples in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, the Balkans, and perhaps elsewhere. Some are the victims of those warsszs, and some are the warriors. Surviving Survival has a great story of one warrior, the one who crossed a bridge. I’ll use the great big lump of 9/11 as a metaphor, since that event was used as the precursor and progenitor of so much about which we despair, including the degradation of the political processes and the Constitution. Equally, the civilian victims and the soldiers whose boots were on the ground have had to re-build their lives and their bodies, and in some cases their minds and their souls. And at least a few people have recognized the short-term and long-term genesis of the war of terror: the political and psychological leanings of Freud, Bernays and others that have emanated out of the Tavistock Institute. “Ah, conspiracy theories” comes the echo, but more than a few people have spent the time and done the research and the reading. Personally, I became a full-fledged information warrior sometime back in 2004, after the discussion board that grew out of John Kerry’s campaign morphed into a free, open and not-so-disconnected discussion board that had thousands of active members, dozens of sayanim and trolls, and a few moderators with subtly-hidden agendas. By the time the discussion board was closed because most people had left behind the nasty battles, I was ranked among the top 20 contributors and had become one of the leading people to openly question “the official story.” This naturally made me a target, and I re-traumatized myself again and again watching videos, reading articles, etc. And I did some “post-graduate research” in which I was — all at the same time — a goat, a hero, a victim. [Steven Pressfield speaks of the triad of interacting selves as

“victim, perpetrator, rescuer”: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2014/04/the-victim-the-perpetrator-and-the-rescuer/;

yTkbBRGTE

I’ve been oriented to “rescue” for most of my adult life and was given the derogatory appellation of “Mr. Band-Aid” by someone I tried to help. I affixed a Band-Aid to my refrigerator as a daily reminder to understand and connect more deeply.]

As someone with a degree in media and political science and an orientation to news, I’ve long been at least tangentially involved and aware, but I’ll have to confess to having fallen back asleep after the Gulf of Tonkin affair. I had turned away from any further involvement with the military after one year in the all-volunteer Bay State Special Forces. I’d learned where to place the explosives underneath a bridge, how to kill someone with my bare hands, and how not to survive when thrown in the water with my hands tied behind my back and to my feet. [They had to jump in and fish me out.]  (I heard distant echoes of this when I was force-fed oxygen in an attempt to rehabilitate my lungs after having been on a heart-lung machine.) I got out of a weak college major in English and jumped with both feet into the world of news and communications studies. Career and marriage soon took over.  I took a sharp turn at the end of college and started specializing in saving lives. I did re-awaken when my kids were just getting into their teens; a fresh new investigation into the assassination of JFK took me deep into four or five books. But marriage, kids and the hunt for legal tender keep us all occupied enough to prevent us from getting beyond the smokescreen of diversion and propaganda until we finally set aside the time or are forced to look more deeply.  By 2004, I was chronically unemployed, pissed off enough about the Bush administration, and able to spend the time and some money pursuing some deeper interests. And my kids had finished college, moved out of the house, and my wife and I were beginning to become estranged.

It was, at first, a case of transition, of empty nest syndrome, of unemployment, of depression.  And I was isolated as an individual who spent time online reading non-mainstream sources. [Today, they call people like me mentally ill, or a terrorist. ]  On the famous scale that measures stressors due to life changes, I had a number of serious markers and operated regularly with a score at around 200 or more.  I lived with and thus was at times a caregiver for an individual who required a lot of energy; in Julia Cameron’s terminology, she was a “crazymaker”.  I was alternately unemployed or under-employed or ecstatically employed. My spouse’s nose and the grindstone were on intimate terms. My kids were out of college and on their own, and my involvement in their lives as a “sports parent” had chunked down several gears.  I got involved with umpiring fast-pitch softball in order to give something back to a game that had given much, and I took up aikido.  I was still learning and reading performance psychology, but frankly no one else was interested in what I had unearthed: the key to the mind and its effective application by its owner. I wasn’t really aware of the depression; I regarded it as minor and essentially a normal part of life’s ups and downs. I could and did “pick myself up” without much difficulty.  I never needed any pills; other than a rare exception dealing with marital matters, I’d never saw any psychologists or counselors. I’d been a graduate of three tiers of “Actualizations” with Stewart Emery. ▶ Human potential – Steward Emery – YouTube (22:00).

Mastering the Moment 

You can achieve a state of being by what you are doing. Yet getting to a place of being by way of something you are doing is a very long way around and, more importantly, it is rarely more than temporary. Most people do not put on a piece of soft music and remain calm the rest of their lives. Most people do not pray and continue to be at peace every succeeding moment. You can completely shift the axis of your experience by your decision to come from a state of being, rather than to try to get to one. It turns everything around. This decision of yours places the source of what you desire within you, rather than outside of you. That makes it accessible to you at all times and in all places. At present, most of your states of being are “reactions”. They do not have to be this. You can make them “creations”. When you move into any moment, you rarely do so with your ‘state of being’ determined ahead of time. You wait until you see what the moment contains and provides, and then you respond by being something. Perhaps you wind up being sad, or happy, or disappointed, or elated.  But… Suppose you decided beforehand how you were going to be when you moved into that moment, no matter how that moment showed up.  Do you think it would make any difference in the way that you experienced the moment itself? This is genuine power, the kind of power that changes lives…. This level of being can be reached in a single moment. It can also take a lifetime. Everything depends on you, on how deeply you desire it. You may achieve any inner state of being you wish by simply choosing it and calling it forth.  When you decide how you are going to show up before the moment itself shows up, you have begun to move toward mastery. You have learned to master the moment. When you decide ahead of time what your inner state of being is going to be, then no matter what any outer moment brings, the outer world loses its power over you. In fact, the wonderful irony of this is that what the outer world is doing will very often be affected by what you are being.

My wife was wrapped up heavily in her work, and she had the primary responsibility of dealing with her mother, with whom we lived. Her mother was chronically ill with cardiac and spinal problems, as well as having been plagued by continuing mental health issues. She’d had several hospitalizations, was diagnosed as a narcissistic schizophrenic (R. D. Laing’s “Sanity, Madness and the Family” just arrived several days ago).  She’d had a couple of nervous breakdowns over the years; my wife had began “nursing” her through her migraines when she was a 12-year old girl. The child grew up to become a twice-specialty-certified nurse with a stellar career; ‘mother’  had had three ECT treatments, multiple heart procedures and back surgeries. During one critical period, she was hospitalized, often with 911 emergency response to our living room, forty times in five years. And her presence and style was abusive. This I recognized because I grew up in a dysfunctional household with two abusive parents (one through absenteeism and the other physically and psychologically). My ears can still remember their being grasped and twisted; forced labor in a rural environment was a norm; and there’s more. Hidden rage is an ugly thing. So in 2001, in a household centered on a very ill woman who choked off dialogue with a glance, my own stress meter was bouncing off the far-right red zone.  I was professionally oriented towards emergency management and was able to follow the “blinking red” run-up to that “severe clear” day in September quite closely, and I was screaming and teeming enough that I sent an e-mail of warning and hope to my daughter, then in grad school in Queens, the night before. It was her e-mail the next morning that alerted me to events in Manhattan. I’d been involved in early efforts in the development of online discussion and dialogue. I dabbled in a few progenitors of the online learning movement. I volunteered for a task force at learningtimes.net where I met the fellow who developed the interactive “Game of Games” and became one of his beta testers. By 2004 I was in full florid online discussion with a bunch of people who were actively denying that there was anything amiss. I’d devised a “game engine” for a desktop simulation system that forced discovery through dialogue. And slowly and subtly I started to fall into a trap. It was a cosmic turbulence, a wilderness of rapid change. During this same period of time, I’d become interested and involved with the binaural beats audio meditation system known as Holosync, developed by the Centrepointe Institute and described in great detail, with scientific explanation and the supporting research, in the book Thresholds of the Mind. [A Google search will turn up lots of information, including reviews, scribd and pdf files, and more.] Holosync was, at first, simply an escape, a proven way to relax. As I progressed more deeply into the program, especially when I got to “The Dive” and “Immersion”, I could feel the waves of stress flowing off my body. I felt more rested and my experience was wholly consistent with expected results. And I began to notice changes I couldn’t explain, but only experience and explore. It played an integral role in my experience, in my health. I began to have increasingly one-on-one and private discussions with one of the women in this discussion group of 2,000. She had an interest in the noetic sciences, and I had a flourishing interest in sports and performance psychology. I wanted to find a way to make that interest come to life in a job of some sort; my wife suggested I find a psychologist or psychiatrist under whose umbrella I could continue to learn and work. The online dialogue continued to the point where we decided to actually talk on the phone. My wife would come home from work and a long commute and, very tired, do psychological battle at the dinner table with her mother (who was quite adept at dividing the two of us– see Pressfield above), and I couldn’t bear to see what she was doing to her daughter. [It was a living seminar in the triangular nature of family dynamics.] But her daughter refused to counter the abuse, and took her bottle of fortified wine upstairs to the bedroom, closed the door, and fell asleep in front of repeated episodes of “Law and Order”.  I did the dinner dishes and went down cellar into my office to my laptop and online connection where, soon enough, I had installed Skype. I was three floors away from the other two who were asleep. Did I fall into a honey trap?  It may have been one, but only in the sense that Little League is like AA ball.  At one point, I likened it to the experience when two comets cross paths, coming in to orbit from another distant place, a gravitational pull that allowed each to affect the other, and then to shoot back off into space, “spinning unheard in the dark of the sky”. I struck up the conversation. The lady “down South” was troubled, and lacking in confidence. She informed me she had to open up her own practice in a couple of weeks. “Practice?” said the man who had a library of understanding about sports practice, motivation, belief, and performance psychology. “What kind of practice?” “I finish my residency program in two weeks and will be going into practice.” “Residency program?” “Yes.” “You’re a doctor?” “Yes.”  (Light bulb goes on. No wonder she’s so intelligent. I need intelligent people in my life around me.) “What kind of doctor?” “A psychiatrist.” “Oh….   Well, I might have something that could be of help to you. You’ve been preparing to go into practice now for years.” ‘   What can you offer?’ was the unspoken response. So I told her about all the reading I’d done, my e-book called Summon The Magic, and the fact that my two children had been practicing too…where the material had come from, their accomplishments with it, and the fact that the material had been made available to top-flight elite athletes with similar effect.  (I once did a successful intervention with a pitcher who owned a gold medal from the Olympics and the NCAA strike-out record.)  (I posted “If You Want to Achieve Excellence” on the chain-link fence next to the dugout at UHartford and the ‘adept’ went three-for-three with three home runs, one to each field.) Same thing… Walk up to the plate (the door of her practice) and hit a home run. So she asked for more, and I offered up the table of contents, and she said “Send me the 5th, 9th, 12th and 14th chapters.” “Well,” I proffered, “usually people read them in order, but if you’ve gotten yourself through medical school and a psychiatric residency, you can read them in any order you want.” She read them by the side of the pool at the country club. And we talked about the issues and problems. We talked about her five-year old daughter, the product of a failed relationship with a Turkish diplomat assigned at the time to a well-known Mediterranean country and with whom she visited Istanbul. She refused his offer of marriage and was frightened for her child and herself in the middle of a well-armed cadre of protective guards. She returned home to finish medical school and he married a pediatrician he’d met when he was assigned to Moldova. [Check the map and the current news.] And, at the end of the summer, Katrina happened, and we talked some more, and I talked her out of rushing off willy-nilly to New Orleans to offer her services by explaining the term dysfunctional mass convergence, and she motivated me to spell out and publish my understanding of the dynamics of emergency response. I wrote a draft (“This is crap”, she said),  and then took three months to research and write a 57-page paper. “How will people learn about and read this?”, she prompted me to get it published…  internationally [http://www.iaem.com/documents/SimsandVCOPs1.pdf ]. And she’d started her practice. As we talked, it became obvious that she had some kind of sleep disorder, and it occurred to me that she was exhibiting some signs of dissociative personality disorder. I’d done some reading about MK-Ultra and the long-term effects of sexual abuse and, at one point in a conversation during which we had become particularly close, I asked her if she’d been sexually abused. “How did you know? I never told you that.” Well, she owned up to the fact that her father, a physician himself who was a sub-contractor for the CIA as a reserve officer in the USAF, did in fact sexually abuse her when she was 9, and it continued until she was 15. Or so she said… But she did have the symptoms. Or was she play-acting? Well, she acted suicidal on more than one occasion, and asked me to continue to talk to her through the wee hours of the night until either she or her daughter fell asleep. She fed the child Benadryl and herself Ambien, and waited for what my broadcasting professor called my “bedroom voice” to put her to sleep. And, to make a long story shorter, I fell in love with her. She kept coming around singing me up. And I became addicted. On one occasion, we agreed to meet in person  and when she sent me her picture, I fell off the chair.  She was stunningly beautiful.  And smart. And, I thought, needed someone.  And I felt unneeded. And she called or e-mailed every day, more often than not two or three times a day. Every night’s telephone conversation was something we both looked forward to. I had, it seemed, something she needed or wanted. Months went by. And then she “diagnosed” my medical problem. Well, “diagnosis” is perhaps too strong a word, but unquestionably her trained ear heard something in my voice and she insisted, forcefully, that I seek medical attention ASAP. She wanted me to hang up the phone and go wake up my wife and tell her to call the ambulance. “No”, I said, “that’s not going to happen.” I wasn’t going to march upstairs and wake up my wife and tell her the woman I’d irrationally fallen in love said I was having a stroke. But I did promise her I’d make an appointment with a doctor. Three days later, the 6’4” Czechoslovakian cardiologist leaned back from having auscultated my chest and asked “Has anyone ever told you you have a heart murmur?” No one had, and no one had previously told me I needed to have an echocardiogram and a catheterization and a stress test. But I did.   Findings: Moderate-to-severe aortic stenosis due to a damaged aortic valve. Now, I had been in touch with my brother… my long-lost brother … [that’s a whole ‘nuther story]… and he called out of concern and asked my wife, whom I had not told about the medical tests, how I’d made out at the hospital.

http://www.clanimalzoo.com/Kats/Cat%20in%20bag1.jpg

  Music video: Chris Botti, Someone To Watch Over Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eC_Qm78Gkg (9:30)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Someone_to_Watch_Over_Me_(song

http://www.lyrics007.com/Ella%20Fitzgerald%20Lyrics/Someone%20to%20Watch%20over%20Me%20Lyrics.html  

And so the situation unraveled and, as had been hastily planned after the psychiatrist had been informed of the cardiologist’s findings, the old ’99 black Pontiac Trans-Am was packed with clothing, books and music… a great car on the open road across the top of Western Maryland and down the backside of the Appalachian ridge.

Music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0WDS-EQoIM (4:36)

The cardiologist had said “No, I won’t refer you to a surgeon to have the valve replaced because your heart isn’t strong enough to undergo the surgery”, and I was now under the care of a psychiatrist who lived 800 miles away. There may be a book written about the 15-month-long experience. I’ve at least written a prose poem [Eros and Psyche] in which each word and each phrase is a cryptogram of memory. I met the psychiatrist’s mother (once), who threw me out of her house before I was two steps into her kitchen. [Her daughter then ‘keyed’ her car when we left.] Even over the phone, I’d watched a horrible relationship between her and her daughter that also affected a five-year-old grand-daughter. I thought I could offer some sanctuary. [I had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Laurence Gonzalez can explain why I was not aware of the fact that I was doing so.] I sat in the passenger seat with the child in the back seat as the shrink followed her mother bumper-to-bumper in their matching Toyota Camrys over three laps of a winding circuit across the urban center and the suburban hills while they talked on the cell phone, child screaming in the back seat. I accompanied doctor and daughter to the movies one night in a moment that will forever live in my memory; doctor sat entranced through great parts of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”. I’d already heard about the extreme fiscal situation the doctor was in, and her binge online shopping.  Previously, she’d told me on the phone that when she got home from rounds there was nothing to eat in the house; she said she couldn’t afford to use her credit card and order up a pizza delivery. When I worked in her office, I watched the doctor’s accountant manage her practice finances and, perhaps, her mind. [He was a Disciple of Christ too.] I watched her male medical partner (formerly with the Secret Service) have (and end) a relationship with his male office clerk, the same fellow who circulated nude pictures of patients among other patients in the waiting room of the medical practice, the same fellow whose job I took for eight weeks when I convinced my friend the lady psychiatrist to insist that he be fired immediately. (Among other things, I did the patient intake, took the vital signs, kept the charts in order, and helped set up the Suboxone program.) The lady psychiatrist passed her boards with flying colors on the first try without any help from me and was a specialist in psychopharmacology. She had taken me in the same way she took in the puppy dog one of her patients had left in her office. A pet store found a new home for the dog. I eventually found a new home in a rehab hospital.

Given to me by the psychiatrist from “down South”: My Voice Will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton G. Erickson (edited and with commentary bny Sidney Rosen), W.W. Norton & Co., 1982. Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton Erickson, M.D. (Volume One), Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Grinder & Associates 1975. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Marsha M. Linehan, Guilford Press 1993. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Marsha Linehan, Guilford Press 1993. Conversational Hypnosis: A Manual of Indirect Suggestion (Examples, Induction Scripts, Pre-Session Talks), Carol Sommer, 1992. The Art of Political Warfare, John J. Pitney Jr., University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. Given to me to read but retained in her possession:

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

by Kay Redfield Jamison

Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

by Kay Redfield Jamison

 Eight weeks into the period in which  I had ‘gone south’, she invited me — knowing it was expressly against the wishes of her mother — to visit her at her own little bungalow on the family compound. Everything there is all up and down,; literally your neighbor can be 500 feet above you or below you. (Good exercise to make my heart stronger, at least.) I lived in a condo that was about 500 feet higher than and about a three quarters-of-a-mile away from her, high up in the clouds and fog over the river.  Mother was all ready to have me arrested for trespassing the moment I arrived.  I had previously stifled her assumptions about my being a pedophile by offering to present myself to the local WV State police barracks and have them deliver their full report on my legal and moral transgressions directly to her.  I had already explained to the daughter that, as a tenant, she had a right to invite whomever she pleased.) So the tableau was set. Previously, on Thanksgiving, I’d made myself familiar with the area by strolling around the rim of the “holler” in which this family resided.  It was a special section of the land they had owned on the maternal side of things for generations as a giant pig farm, but they leased the land to a series of shopping centers built around a new four-lane road for 10% of the proceeds (or so I was told). During that walk, I was surprised to see a man perched with a high-powered hunting rifle high up in a pine tree that towered over the holler from the edge of its rim in the back of a church parking lot. Deer abounded in the neighborhood and a 10-point buck had once sauntered onto the deck around my condo as I sat in the kitchen with my coffee. Perhaps that image of the man with a .30-06 flashed through my subconsciousness as I walked out the door and started down the hill. Perhaps I went into florid pleural edema as a physical reaction to that part of my Stream, as Gonzalez calls it. Perhaps I had the subconscious sense I was being set up. [See Candace Pert on the molecules of emotion.: Pert Molecules.]

Now it’s a moot point; I turned around and struggled against the advancing tide of water in my lungs to get back to my condo. The Stream had turned into a flood. I walked in and hunched over the kitchen sink where I spit up some pink blood, a sign I immediately recognized and interpreted correctly; I’m a former EMT. And then, as I noted to Gonzalez years later, I grabbed my car keys, hung up the phone without comment when the doctor’s mother called to ask where I was, as the cops were on the way, and — disdaining 9/11 — I got in my car and drove down the hill to the nearest emergency room where the shrink was on staff.   I arrived in time to be able to throw my car keys to an EMT in the parking lot, asking him to ask hospital security to secure the car, and I went into the emergency room and puked all over the floor, and then blacked out. When I awoke moments later, I called the lady psychiatrist, and told her I now had some “skin in the game”.

[See a slice of the prose poem I wrote as an outline for the book here: http://boydownthelane.com/2013/11/27/reverse-911-a-remembrance-of-thanks/ ]

The emergency room staff got me stabilized, took the medical history, and put me in the ICU for the weekend. The cardiologist got the complete history and gave me a chemical stress test on Monday morning; as he advanced the plunger of the needle, I began to black out and told him to stop, and fell on the floor in cardiac arrest.

He revived me, rushed me back to the ICU, asked me if I had “seen the light” of an NDE [I hadn’t], and made arrangements for emergency open heart surgery and valve replacement downtown in the morning. I called my wife and son, and they made  arrangements to fly in. [My wife hates flying; have you ever hopped that old Saab bucket of bolts out of Detroit and landed on top of a mountain?] The next morning, after being asked if I were afraid (I wasn’t), I was wheeled through the doors of the OR and given a Versed and propafol IV cocktail that knocked me out in two seconds and made me unaware of having my sternum split, my heart stopped, an artery patched after they put in a new bovine valve — and then, hours later, being mooved back to the special ICU in the special heart surgery unit. My family arrived while I was in surgery.

There was one small problem… They left a “bleeder”.

I’m unconscious, my wife is in the waiting room with the heart surgeon and my friend the psychiatrist (whom she’d never met face-to-face or even talked to) to whom I had signed away power of attorney.

I’m glad I’d been unconscious.

I was unconsciously having an “Isn’t It Ironic?” moment, as I was fully aware of the fellow at the University of Virginia Medical School who was a performance psychologist (Doug Newburg) working with cardio-thoracic surgical teams to promote excellence under pressure.

Gonzales talks about surrender. I gave it over to people who cared about me, an ICU nurse named Pascha, and God. [Everyone of them came through for me.]

Four units of transfused blood later, someone finally figured out what the problem was and they wheeled me back to the OR, where the surgical team repaired the bleeding artery, but some arterial plaque “jumped” free and floated off to my brain, giving me a multiplex hemiplegic stroke that left my left leg totally immobilized, my left arm mostly immobilized, and my heart wafting in and out of atrial fibrillation. [No physicians have been sued in the telling of this story.  I knew about the risk going in and had no choice but to go in, without fear.]

Whenever it was that I finally awoke, days later, I was told I had a stroke. Totally numbed out by the depth of the experience, having hallucinated several times, still under the influence of whatever meds they were pushing along with the feeding tube in my right arm, I was fixed to the mattress. I needed help for the slightest of movements and mostly wafted in and out of various mental states of quasi-psycho-spiritual hypnogogic and hypnagoggic and hallucinatory restorative grace.

Well, the story trends with me getting superior cardiological care, 8 weeks of in-patient rehabilitation, moving my residence again [nine times in eleven months], having the lady doctor support me financially throughout the entire process, having her actively working to nurse me back on my feet (at one point  when I had an infection at the site of my feeding IV, she was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor with disinfectant). She visited regularly, marshaled support and human resources, and provided a good deal of spirit, the sunshine of her presence,  and oversight of the medical care.

On a snowy day, she borrowed an old battered pick-up truck and personally hauled what little belongings and furniture I had out of the four-story condo atop the hill to the new place, stopping by the hospital long enough to throw me into the front right seat. She negotiated with the building supervisor and we got me installed into a cold apartment in mid-February.  The next morning, I grabbed a cab and went back and retrieved my car from the deep parking zone by the hospital where my son had left it when he grabbed his launch out of Yeager. It was an adventure to drive after I’d been immobilized in a bed for ten weeks, a lesson in how automaticity works and doesn’t work. I took it nice and s-l-o-w. The building super got the heat fixed and the lady shrink would come by to check on me and spend some time sharing the tales of her day, and I’d read sections of a book out loud I’d found on medical diagnosis and problem-solving (it was like playing “House”).   I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day she talked about tradecraft as she got ready to do “rounds”.

She played a supportive and perhaps major role (but I suspect not the final critical one, that having perhaps been given over to political influence called in by the psychiatrist’s mother) in getting my Social Security Disability application approved five months later.  I’d moved into an extended outpatient recovery with leg brace, walker and wheelchair in a hastily-rented small apartment in a building with an elevator, and gotten a pacemaker put in to keep my heart on the straight-and-narrow.

I never did find the key to the doorway she’d built and locked in front of her own heart/mind/spirit unit, though she clearly was having more and more problems. At one point, I remember asking that building super if he knew of a book that would help me understand women, and he replied “Ain’t been written yet.” She had what I can only, in my limited knowledge, call a psychotic break due to her mother’s harping or perhaps induced in other ways by others, and the several visits during which she somewhat vividly worked on getting me to end any thoughts of a continued relationship or an extended stay in her neighborhood by relapsing into a vicious alcoholism, asking me if I didn’t want to beat her up, and offering to join hands and fly off the 9th floor balcony (both of us kept our heads and our feet on the ground, and I kept my fists open and soft). I urged her to get formal help; how do you ask a psychiatrist who is an expert in psychopharmacology that she needs to see a psychiatrist? She told me she hoped to go to a hospital near Blacksburg, VA and get some ECT treatments. She did end up working with a psychiatrist and a psychologist on a personal basis. I am told she’s married, went through some serious abdominal surgery herself, and is back at work.

▶ Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris – If this is goodbye [Bingolotto -06] – YouTube

 She did make a trip to see a Russian psychiatrist in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and I held my breath for about ten days. She returned and took a weekend to travel out to Nag’s Head [have you read JFK and the Unspeakable?] and sit on the dunes; she came back with a bumper sticker that said “Life is good”, but her resolve to be rid of me was now more stabilized and certain.

I’d seen both poles of her disorder; when she was at the right end of the dipole, she was one of the more powerful, super-intelligent and focused people I’d ever met. When she was at the wrong end, she was a mess. But it was clear that there was little I could do because I wasn’t going to be given the chance, the right, the role, to be of any assistance.

Eros and Psyche

Music video:

Notting Hillbillies Feel Like Going Home – YouTube 

 I negotiated, with the help of my son, a return back to Massachusetts and entrance into a successful re-establishment of a relationship with my wife.  I drove back on Thanksgiving, arriving on a wing and a prayer at the front end of a very tired caravan of driver/Pontiac/U-Haul negotiating the snowstorm, and the curves and hills of about 800 miles of Interstate highway, in time to surprise wife and daughter and to get a piece of pie. [Delicious baked humble pie.]

Relationships were tentative at first, for obvious reasons; I made apologies, and was forgiven.  I lived in a spartan, drafty four-room flat in between the rail line and the airport in a decaying industrial town near my daughter so I could perhaps be of some value to some one. Many months later, I walked my daughter down the aisle and handed her off to an environmental engineer who’s a D-I-Y kind of fellow; they have two delightful kids. My son gave me another grandkid in between those two, and the pictures of the three populate the wall space at home. My son and my daughter were the witnesses in the private ceremony in which my wife and I exchanged new vows we’d written in the middle of a garden labyrinth we found. I had been given a Clew.   Music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j-VHVIQZSg (2:57)

  I registered with all the right doctors and eventually got my old pacemaker installed correctly [yes, that same surgeon screwed that up too] and I’m on a small list of chronic meds with attendant side-effects. I got myself onto a regular system of treadmills and exercise bikes [http://www2.keiser.com/en/ ] and a Keiser weight system and exacerbated an old lacrosse injury to my hips and spine, went to the chiropractor for a year, had to stop the exercise regime, fired her, put on a lot of weight, but have been managing otherwise pretty well despite chronic leg numbness, an ever-present threat of another stroke, and the need to manage myself and ten medications along the thin ledge of homeostasis. Things are much much better now that wife has seen some things differently, as have I, and due in great part to the fact that her mother has been placed permanently in a nursing home, no longer able to care for herself in any meaningful way. And my wife recently retired so we have the place to ourselves (except when the grandkids visit). I did continue with my regime of Holosync-driven binaural beat meditation and then discovered, in the appendix of Izthak Bentov’s Stalking the Wild Pendulum, his theory that kundalini meditation dumped stress out through the aortic valve. When I asked my electrophysiologist about this, he answered “What do you care? You survived, didn’t you?” He tells me I may no longer go to the gym; I am limited to walking. We recently added the diagnosis of paroxysmal atrial flutter. And the aging progress continues….

“This is a very unusual area of medicine,” said Ann Webster, Ph.D., director of the Program for Successful Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine. “These are things people can do for themselves.” [ http://annwebsterphd.com/home.html ]

It was at the Benson-Henry Institute that the term “relaxation response” was first coined. It’s an actual physiologic state of deep rest that’s the opposite of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.

“This is a time when you restore energy to every cell in your body, and this is also a time when healing can take place,” said Webster.

Watch Report

It may sound far-fetched, but they say it’s grounded in real, cutting-edge science and proven to help people avoid high blood pressure,  pain syndromes and even rheumatoid arthritis.

“Take in a deep breath. Hold it … a few seconds, and then let it go,” said Webster. “By the end of the third breath, they’ve already quieted down.”

To turn on the relaxation response, Webster suggests meditation coupled with deep breathing every day for at least 20 minutes, along with:

  • Staying fit and eating right
  • Keeping a gratitude journal
  • Social support
  • Staying engaged in life even after retirement
  • Getting quality sleep

According to Webster, the number No. 1 barrier to successful aging is obesity.

http://www.wcvb.com/health/mindbody-medicine-helping-patients-live-longer-stronger/24528140#!DUC6O 

 

http://www.massgeneral.org/bhi/assets/pdfs/Successful%20Aging.pdf 

 

  My story isn’t as exciting or as vibrant a recovery as that of people who have battled mountain lions, sharks, bears, improvised explosive devices or breast cancer.  But my wife went through chemotherapy, radiation and an elective bilateral radical mastectomy when she developed breast cancer for the second time one year after I returned.  I was there to play a supporting role.

My own recovery from survival has been helped by Gonzalez’ second book, if only by recognition of the process. It was there, in his discussion about The Stream, through which I realized the true reason I was able to save my own life as I approached the threats in the holler. That realization precipitated the heart problems and the heart attack in an already-weakened heart and lead to the surgery in which I also almost lost my life twice, and then I had to look forward to the recovery of the rehabilitation and the long trail afterwords, which continues today, as I battle small and minor residua and wonder what to do with my survival. I have annoying loss of strength and dexterity in my left hand, gait problems exacerbated by an old minor hip-back injury in college, and a generalized clumsiness that belies a different self, but these pale and are inconsequential when compared to the problems of others with brain injury, overwhelming disfigurement on the surface and the interior, or other sets of circumstances that are far worse.

I consider myself immensely lucky, and I am glad that I went through the trouble.

One of the promises I made myself as I stared at the ceiling hour after hour and listened to the assembled music CD’s and summoned up bits of energy with which to try to tackle the strenuous physical and occupational therapy sessions thrown at me two and three times a day — the hardest work I’ve ever had to do, and I loved every minute of it, and I loved the professionals who cared for me, including the psychiatrist — was to survive long enough to be able to get back to the computer and online in order to post and share the assembled tome of excerpts from my performance psychology research. I had managed to save most of it across those many residential transitions despite several technological breakdowns and losses of computer capability but finally I started up a blog at Google in which the bulk of it was laid down for others to read. No one seemed much interested, to be frank, a disappointing reality due in great part to how I presented it, perhaps, but the events of the day and my returning anger about what was happening in the world — and the failure of many people (including my own family) to understand them, their causes, their consequences, and the meaning of all of that to their lives — gradually brought me back to an old orientation to the news and a blogging focus that was more dissident.

Most Americans seem unaware and unaffected by what is happening in America and the world, while the rest of the world waits for us to begin our recovery.

But I did save most of those performance psychology excerpts.

As I noted at the top, there are some who are in despair, or who find their way back to that state of despondency or depression or anomie, and it is them to whom Gonzalez’ book “Surviving Survival” should speak.

Music video: Let Down (Christopher O’Reilly)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZtLXmVstjY (5:33)

http://oneinabillionblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/concept-resilience.gif

See Excerpts from “Deep Survival” and “Surviving Survival” here:

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

The 10 Big Ideas 

from the book “Deep Survival”

http://joshkaufman.net/deep-survival/ 

[This is a podcast interview with the author and is an outstanding (and portable) introduction to him, his books and how they apply to you. 

http://www.aaronmchugh.com/2013/10/30/18-survival-resilience-laurence-gonzales-podcast/ ]

Here, if it is more suitable to you, is a PowerPoint presentation done for a conference of social workers.

Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience (1

naswilmeets.org/wp-content/…/SurvivingSurvivalNASWConf20131.pptx

Surviving Survival: the Art and Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales; Personal characteristics; Successful vs. ineffective strategies for surviving the …

 

This is the hour-long keynote address by Laurence Gonzalez at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) in 2013. 

http://vimeo.com/84254950 

Are we at risk and existing in a wilderness?

Episode 39 – Laurence Gonzales 

http://podbay.fm/show/409450648/e/1321823159?autostart=1