April 27th, 2016
We define objects that we encounter in life by our reaction to them. Our reaction may include size, weight, location, density and any other perceivable attribute that we associate with the objects. This is an attempt to make the objects consistent, predictable and thus real even thou cognitively we understand that nothing is really as stable as we perceive it to be. We report our reactions with phrases like: look out for the low ceiling, watch your step, this is heavy, the table is too big, this shirt is too small, etc. We often layer this reaction template on other humans as in: she is overweight, he is very tall, they are loud and obnoxious, etc. We accept these perceptions as truth and call them reality.
Any point of reference is just a point within a range of possible points. We may believe “our point” is absolute or the true correct perception but all that is only a preference. A larger sample in agreement weighs a preference but it is still just a point in a range. Zoomed in on a range we may see our point as truth but if you allow the range to broaden you discover choice. Truth is a point in a range of possible that we fully identify with as our true preference—only a choice. When the range becomes greater than our span of attention we are forced to choose a point and a period of time to attend. This step leads to new levels of discernment and the possibility that our truth may just be a limitation of possible and nothing more. With new levels of discernment we can pick a reference point that is useful now and that is the nature of what we call respect. If the range expands more we may feel the overwhelm and filter out the extra stimulus. With the focus on the most familiar we gain an unchallenged perspective that is very peaceful. Culture is a designed guiding system that offers truth, respect, and/or peace. This does offer a relationship to the flow of reactions by wise choices and perfect timing but this level of conscious attention feels like a lot of effort and tons of deadlines (familiar to some).
Author A. Miller, in his famous psychology paper “7 plus or minus two” , recommends that we attend to the stimulus instead of the reaction. If you pause for a moment and attend to the stimulus, options start to be revealed. Attention to your reaction reveals only urgency because its draw on time is limited by a shallow perception of value—no solution. What if a stimulus was an opportunity to select a different state of being? Be someone different and not the same person defined by the same reaction. The new state of you would emanate from the inspiration of discovery and you would be living the solution.
We cannot avoid our learned reactions but we can pause and move our focus of attention to the stimulus. It will take some practice to identify the stimulus and hold our attention on it until it starts to reveal and inspire. Habit is our strongest distraction and the results predictable—objectified life is the drama of objects bumping into other objects. Saying no to taking events personal is difficult but conscious attendance to what triggered the events offers a refresh to the personal and the creation of a new you now. Welcome to the act of creation.
March 26th, 2016
When you are in reaction to anything you lose the power to imagine it a different way. When you are not aware, not present for an event, you lack the vote to experience the moment differently. A rote response does not require you to wake-up and assess the event you are experiencing. We conserve energy and recall an experience from our past that is similar to our present experience and play the re-run. We do such a great job that we may even invoke emotion and movement and yet never fully wake-up. You may have talked to someone and later remember meeting them but fail to recall the content of the conversation. You in fact store the encounter as a locational reference and not as content in a discussion. Like “day-dreaming” or wandering around in a trance, this human state is titled the shadow; only the shadow of your presence. The shadow is a space without your energy presence, or at least an adequate flow of energy.
I suspect that we harbor this trance or day-dreaming state because it may be a possible “useful” maneuver to de-program an undesirable learned response. We like to avoid work, accountability, and any other form of discipline to generate a desired change. It is possible you create the shadow state as a way to turn off a learned reaction. The shadow is what we blame for not being present but in that space we escape reaction and we may trust the shadow for that duty—nothing there is created or reacted to. You convert a learned reaction-to- an-event into a reaction to nothing. The shadow is where we dump stuff we are done with and by design in the shadow it will not be transformed into anything else.
The consequences from not responding to a stimulus could be substantial but with interpersonal events most of the time we “write-off” non-responsiveness from both friends and strangers; at least for a time within existential patterns (i.e., duration, frequency, tempo, proximity, intensity). Have you ever been queried by a parent or someone of authority as to your reason for your performance? There were occasions I stood silent starring into space, thinking (my story) it wiser to be silent than my normal cavalier response. With other occurrences I questioned why I didn’t react to an event. In my mind, I would normally act in a somewhat predictable way to certain events or stimulus. A few instances I was rewarded later with the insight that such a reaction would not have been appropriate in that incident but rarely were such insights forthcoming. Is this another automatic tool for our maturing process?
Still, the prevalent experience of being in a shadow state is a product of our bottleneck issue with short term memory. We get so over stimulated that we lose the reference for us in the experience along with the conscious managing input. “We” fail because there is no conscious personal self to direct our action and, on the surface, it seems like a very poor design piece. Or is this a demonstration of wisdom in design—we need training and discipline to be present, attention to be accountable and maturity to act appropriate instead of “familiar.” I invite you to reflect in meditation and explore your design potentials.
March 11th, 2016
Kathy Peterman of Portland, OR has a great new service for women that I highly recommend. She has titled it “My Best Year” and has combined her skill with webinars and on line conversations to accomplish for participants the opportunity for their best year. Kathy is a friend and long time student and she privileged me with an invitation to join her in one of the recent webinars. Below is a link to that talk and Kathy’s site is at the link above. At her site click on the “project” pictures to find information on how to create your best year.
February 26th, 2016
Have you ever implemented a plan you had vested hours in just to have it go wrong? Usually the plan is lacking in information or not enough time in the strategy stage. Wise to search out all relevant data and resources before orchestrating a next step. I know, time is usually the problem but “trial and error” is a big waste of time. After we have all the attainable data we need to spend adequate time with deliberation. Yes, dealing again with that wisp of passing time. We are all aware of the commitment if we are anticipating a successful outcome for our events. This is perhaps why we are fond of our stories about instant inspirations, mysterious intuitive hits or unsought champions that come to our rescue. This is a clue for the method I discovered years ago and use.
This most everyday process of managing life and its outcomes reeks of effort—especially the word deliberation. I reframed the term and steps as “revealing.” I have prepared and presented over two hundred workshops, wrote seven training programs and taught over a thousand classes. I just enjoyed attending to a subject until all the data magically appeared and the necessary resources revealed. Doesn’t that sound easy and fun? As the plans unfolded I discovered the purpose, focus, and approach for presentation. Yes, I took all the credit and taunted the “long hours I spent over a hot computer” preparing the material. Truth is, it was all great fun and I have learned a new respect for time.
The time in the universe is based on movement of planets (or decaying radioactive material) and it seldom accommodates human requirements for feelings and movements at a human metabolic rate. Human health depends on this along with success for human endeavors. To ignore this organic time requirement and attempting to expedite a project based on external universe time is a set-up for failure. And the bonus for attending to the proper time to initiate an event is that the justification for any time adjustment is also usually revealed.
At first I struggled with this process and made many changes in scheduling. I knew that any novel approach called for some mixture of additional courage, patience and/or trust. I switched from scheduling events three months out to one year and the need for calendar adjustments vanished. This was a big leap of faith but I don’t believe humans were designed to be perfect. You may get stuck for a short time but please—pause—attend to the “time” that stuck you. Attention always reveals and you will discover. Dedicate yourself to discovering how to live and work at your time. Enough for this time.
January 21st, 2016
How many times have you seen or heard the phrase “go to the light”? What is at the light?
Did you know that somewhere in South India over 2,000 years ago a “holy man” in meditation discovered a light somewhere external and labeled it the absolute moment of creation? He marked it in external time somewhere past because he had no awareness of the light out of trance. The foundation of religious stories to date—the presence of an absolute. Also created the need for a past and future.
How many times have you seen or heard the phrase “I know I’m here for a special reason”? Obviously, we humans reserve the task to discover “value.”
I teach that a human is a design produced by references in space (compressed nothing—no value). We map movement and sensory data in form and personality in mind. Our sense of individuality indicates unique personal mapping. Individual development to be functional would require independent time and some type of guideline structure or direction for movement. What if there were markers or a “flow” along the path for the first few to discover? The rest of us follow well. This concept is called a meme and the gravity of it tugs on us all.
The universe and everything in it evolves. Change is evident. What doesn’t change becomes existent. This affects humankind as a group; because of the conscious of self piece, we are afforded the privilege to develop at independent rates. Not sure if some force holds our group accountable to keep pace but the memes set the tempo and direction for movement.
Infinity reflects on the size of the container. Infinity for a one gallon container would be one gallon. What would be infinity for any human potential if we, the space designers, could continue to update the container or allow our assessment to mature (reveal)?
What we attend to reveals, at a pace, all that is contained within it. We can reassemble the pieces and produce both a re-framed whole and a different demonstration (healing). We can move any subjective concepts and a few not so heavy objective chunks. Bump into a box often and we move it out of the way. May we move the pretense of “the time” for the light of creation out of the past and into the moment now? Leave it external but reference it in a far more useful way. Do you recall the design pattern that incorporates proximity, frequency, duration, intensity or tempo? We could have a new fun game.
The above is what I call a stream and the nature of advanced work. Not advanced as superior but advanced as a “larger view of potential.” The above is a list of assertions in the objective world but the subjective world is all assertions. Potential is unknown but asserted possible. Not for everyone but the level I choice to teach at post retired.
December 25th, 2015
Thirty days in India was most certainly an adventure. India is a “two star” country and if you believe you purchased any higher level of service you either feel disappointed or “ripped-off”. The people are very open and warm but the country is very dirty and polluted. High population density, crazy road and foot traffic conditions, low quality food and intense air pollution in all the cities we visited. The countryside was breathtaking, but, again, no infrastructure to dispose of trash. All the businesses were very professional and honest but burdened with antiquated paper work and poor un-craftsman repairs. I was impressed that anything worked but the India people are very industrious and hard working. This report sounds like an oxymoron but is that not the nature, if you understand Spiral Dynamics, of the move from the blue meme to orange. I would not consider a return visit but I had fun and enjoyed contact with all the folks I encountered in India.
I got asked often if our reason for the trip was spiritual. Not sure how most folks define spiritual but I assume they are focused on the great spiritual tradition. Once a powerful training for awakened states but what I witnessed during the trip was a very commercial enterprise today. I cannot comment on the teachings but I would never return to any of the centers I visited.
The true spiritual value for me was to visit the country that implemented the concept of “absolute”. The oldest record of a “0” being used is from Indian roots. Our math and computer science would be lost without the place holder. And the marked absolute moment of time—creation occurred the moment Vishnu awoke—concept of an absolute is the base for most all religions. Creation being at an absolute moment in time past producing an absolute power or being and an absolute truth. To engage in what is often called the blue or religious meme you need to polarize truth and lies; right and wrong; good and bad; and be prepared to judge anyone that doesn’t accept your assessment (meme membership). You would also need to account for your past from creation until present and produce a future to map your path to the one polarized truth. Sounds like a lot of work but we have all been there and done that.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Can you envision moving this “absolute moment” to the moment in time now? Imagine, that would make creation now and your life a creation and not an effort. You could drop your Facebook page and your Christmas card list. You would discover your future as a process of creating one day at a time. What would a life feel like without a past to justify and a future to chase? Big questions to look at but if you do anything rash you will get judged. But we are already being judged. Have fun.
November 22nd, 2015
I doubt if there is such a thing as absolute time; like absolute truth it would simply be a bias. The absolute act of creation would need to be void of time and truth. There is an expression of time in our universe that is based on movement of planets or perhaps updated now to decaying radioactive material (still movement of stuff). But in the human package the marker for time is metabolic and not the same for every person. To be healthy you need to honor the internal clock in your body but to be externally accepted you may need to show up on time. The imbalance between the demand from the internal human clock for wellness and the demand from the external clock of accountability is labeled stress. Not easy to find a balance when our judge is in the external world.
In 1882 philosopher E.R. Clay introduced the term specious present for the duration of time a state of consciousness is experienced as being in the present. William James defined the specious present to be “the prototype of all conceived times…the short duration of which we are immediately and incessantly sensible”. David Eagleman and his research lab inform us that different types of sensory data (auditory, tactile, visual, etc.) are processed in the brain at different speeds. The brain learns to overcome these speed disparities to create a temporally unified representation of the external world. The brain coordinates among different senses and sensory modalities. To get events time-wise the brain may need to wait for the slowest information to arrive. The disadvantage here is pushing perception into the past. The tenth-of-a-second window may be the smallest delay that allows higher areas of the brain to account for the delays created in the system while still operating near the border of the present. I don’t believe life revolves around the function of the brain but its mapping is a great marker.
Emotions also change our perception of time. When in awe by an insight or an immense perceptual vastness the perception of time slows down. When we entrain or just “hang out” with a person that is incredibly slower in any way our internal clock may slow down. A threatening situation may increase the internal clock rate and time perception may speed up as body temperature rises, and slow down as body temperature lowers. Lots of variables affect our perception of time.
We know that the experience of life occurs in the present moment. Any past event may be remembered but it is an “object” and not an experience even if it invokes emotion. Same may be said for perception of anticipated future events. The power to change, choose or direct an experience requires that you be present (conscious and aware). Our internal clock is far from consistent and therefore being present now may be a state of being and not a perception of time. I invite you to spend some time with this idea.
October 2nd, 2015
If you compress “nothing” into something (a space) and leave it alone it will decompress at a rate (time) back to “nothing” again. The nature of a space/time continuum. The nothing could be a potential and the compression could be invoking energy into the potential to produce a demonstration. The potential releases the energy instilled in the act of decompression; the demonstration could be perceived as becoming a past event. Now we have a time experience. You could say the Universe as a chaotic system is a state of selecting potentials to compress and allow them in turn to decompress. This of course would be going on continually producing the perception of a consistent space/time package. Now we have a playing field for a time with the habit of change but with the illusion of being permanent.
In the act of compression the system would induce spin to code the potential and direct the activity of demonstration. In any cycle a given potential with a different spin rate could produce a uniquely different demonstration. Now we have a game with the power of choice expressed in spin rate. We have also created a future as a choice for potential.
You would think the system would just be random but chaotic systems generate strange attractors that sort the potential. Because there is a sorting agent and a future we would have a potential preference. The system would of course preference what selections supported its continued existence or it would show signs of entropy. Ah, a timeless process creating the illusion of a progressing space/time experience. Any potential uncompressed would have near infinite energy but compressed would expend energy in activity. However the activity would quickly become past and the level of energy in the potential would return to near infinite. Near infinite because of the small amount of energy used for creation of spin for coding activity.
Therefore we have a universe that is a chaotic system, self organizing and conserving but conscious of survival enough to code activity. Any element in the system would be supported if it was useful to the continuation of the system. However, any part that was conscious of its participation in the system would also be part of its conscious of self feature. These elements may not be able to control the system but could on some level be able to influence the system by their participation in choice. And now we have the potential for a human experience.
This may not be your story and this may not even be correct but it has potential and a giant view. If you can envision the usefulness in this story join us next year in one of our meditation retreats. Looking forward to your potential.
September 2nd, 2015
We all have had the pleasure to meet people that “know they are special” or “have been chosen”. They are “spiritual”; “they know their body”; “they have the gift of intuition” and a giant story to justify their view. The rest of us humans are aware of around nine percent of our ambient world and we lock two or three of those percents into fabricating a story that inserts a “conscious of self” piece into that awareness package. Not sure where the idea of “self” comes from when only ten percent of our body is human cells, less than one-tenth of a percent unique genes and all those special thoughts are just a shared stream with the world. I suppose that if you can produce a ubiquitous self from such little resource you could qualify your story by quoting something your mother said to you; or God, your angel or a guide spoke to you. Nice to have a report that someone or something found that elusive self to confer with and produce a story we should all believe in. Perhaps a clue why I retired from facilitating entry level classes.
The only thing to work with in the previous paragraph is the story. What if self is just an imagined story? Yes, the world is full of stuff but we are talking about the
potential of who you are and not the stuff of you. If you “imagine” a story that supports you entertaining an activity that produces a demonstration in life (an event) that is congruent with the real world (world of stuff) your story would be valid. Valid meaning the imagined self is real by virtue of association with everything else that appears real. Crazy doesn’t matter if we are all crazy and we get along most of the time. If we could become disciplined enough to attend to what or how we wish to be in the world we would discover steps or a path to the demonstration. We would need to be willing to lose our story quickly and create a new informed one to meet the designed set-up. We all do design set-ups unconsciously all the time—look at culture, fashion, advertising, social media, etc. And the good news is that if we pull this off two or more times as valid in the world we secure the process—we feel confident (trust our story making).
When you become adept at change and secure in “self” you are ready for what I refer to as higher level training. Not more difficult but rather concepts instead of tasks or abstract techniques. A task is “What do I have to do?”, whereas a state is “Who do I need to be?” The training is to guide you around unconscious speed bumps and release the effort in the demonstration. A task will need effort to accomplish but a state is just a change in definition—a better story. Not after the fact justifying story on how great you are but a story that consistently produce validation in the world. To improve your state you need to redefine as the new potential of you. Thoughts and tasks don’t count here. Not hard but there is a learning curve and a guide proves useful. I’m a guide and the tool is meditation.
August 12th, 2015
Have you ever seen spiders interlock webs? Not be close but attach to each other’s webs. David Abram in his book, The spell of the sensuous, reports witnessing three spiders building interlocking webs in a cave opening in Bali. I don’t believe I have ever noticed connected spider webs. In July there are a lot of spiders seeking a warm lunch on our property. On break from facilitating the new Path of the Mystic retreat, I scouted our garden for joined webs to no avail. This retreat is “in the female voice”, a teaching style not different audio or gender. This change in style along with the content of David’s book inspired me to ask a spider. Now, I didn’t expect the spider to chat with me, less yet preference a male or female reply, but I got an “inspired” answer. The “spider” said that in the opening of a cave there would be nothing else to anchor with except the angle of another web. A larger web would yield more success for all.
The Path of the Mystic is a meditation style retreat dealing with the Shadow. A large part of the resolve for the shadow issue in this format is working with human interconnectedness. You don’t need to know more answers but a moment of connecting with another human enriches your human “intuitive” data-base. The ranges that your intuition uses to compare data with familiar to provide quick choices. The Shadow is just a shadow of a potential piece of data but not supported; not familiar from your personal experience and not grounded or secured as valid normal human activity. A good hunch but more fantasy than real and the choice lacks success as a result.
Asking a question of a spider is very similar to a Google search. I don’t believe my computer is talking or writing to me. We know today that even thoughts are not personal but a shared stream for which you may have added threads which is why it sometimes feels personal. Information from both above sources is impersonal but logical potential data that may prove useful, inspiring or just more human trivia. Potential is a better interface with the experience of life that may produce a better demonstration. Being able to access a more diverse range is a wise set-up for a better quality life-style. Better choices come from better potential data to choose from.
The other Shadow retreat I facilitate, Falling into Grace, incorporates working with higher brain states. Also very useful but more elements to manage and the outcome appears quite different. In this retreat you become a resource for other humans and that connects you. Both share the concept of becoming whole as a community of humans (all potential)rather that the person with the biggest brain. Perhaps a larger web would yield more success for all.