Explore an Idea

May 1st, 2023

What I define as a range could be instead termed a new theory, a new friend, organization, sport, game or a belief system (aka, religion).  My use of the term range is from the context of an increase in potential that would be outside of what you now know and do—an extension or a new territory.  I operated a center for over fourteen years and presented a hodgepodge of different concepts, techniques and protocols to explore.  I used to tell students that, “I was trying to build a better birdhouse.”  In fact, I was introducing ranges for students to explore—their next step, “healing” or answer to their “meaning of life.”  There is an old saying, “To grow a forest you need to plant a lot of trees” and I was spreading seeds. 

While young I got in the habit of chasing rainbows.  I asked a lot of questions only to discover more questions.  The popular logic was that there was a correct answer or absolute truth but the muse that inspired me was in a poem by Robert Frost: 

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Most people are looking for something to secure into, expand and grow with and I believe that is wise.  Uniting bonds have supported human life for many centuries and those paths formed the patterns for life today.  It is also a fact that explorers have contributed vastly to this process by mapping unchartered terrain.  I find great joy in walking with friends and loved ones but I keep my compass close by.

A word is a logical structure in sound and form that depicts a symbol.  A symbol is a sensory perception.  I grew up attending to symbols (pictures or images) rather than translating them into language.  For me, symbols continue to reveal but words leave me with a definition.  I used to instruct my intuition students to just describe the picture they witnessed for the client and not create a story.  For this reason, I presented last month a tool for exploring new areas with symbols. 

I was headed to a local park one summer as a teen and spotted an older lady scanning the street both directions at a crosswalk.  I stepped up next to her and offered my hand and walked her across the intersection.  At the other side she said “thank you” and then asked a bewildering question.  “Why did you bring me across the street when I was waiting for the bus?”  My bad, misread that picture!  Of course, I walked her back to the corner bus stop and waited with her to safely get on her ride.  Seeing the details as potential (a question) is not always so simple.  Sometimes you have to walk with someone for a time.  If symbols are not your thing, join a group, one with a sound theory and make some friends.  Trust someone to take your hand and guide you safely to your next stage.  I believe that all the people on this planet can find unity but that their paths and goals may be very different.  United means connected and not identical.


Bridge with a Symbol

April 1st, 2023

What I have experienced personally, and observed in others, is that the concept or feeling of a potential is an “internal phenomena.”  It absolutely could and often is, triggered by an “external” stimulus; an observation, a shared conversation, a suggestion or even a criticism.  You may be compelled to jot it down or relate it to a friend but the inspiration shapes somewhere inside you.  It may be fleeting or something that tumbles around within for a time—may become an obsession.  Some report is as a flash of light and others something discovered in deep recesses.  I label all such phenomena as a gateway or an invitation into a range of potential that you have not fully explored.  If you follow my blogs, we sought out new ranges this past year.  Now it is time to secure those efforts and start the process of exploration (a process sometimes referred to as “ownership”). 

The Universe that we inhabit, or at least our small section, is made up of structure (thank you Albert Einstein) and to move (essential for life) we need to navigate through all the stuff.  If we wake up to a potential, we could entertain that this state of awareness is an offer to develop said insight.  For that opportunity we need to map out room, somewhere in a range of space, between all the structure or in affinity with the structure to implement said potential.  This is what I refer to as a game (something you get in a box that has rules) and we humans love the illusion that we can beat the game.  It may be fleeting but it does encourage us to take the risk.  We can imagine this insight as a truth.  I define truth (anything certain for a time) as a consequence of a decision or a failed decision. 

Make the decision to find the truth and move that “internal” muse “external.”  Over the next few blogs, we’ll explore several possible ways to enact this goal.  I incur a lot of one side printed pages from on-line orders, research or just short-term reminders.  I fold them longwise with the clean side out and save them for tasks like this.  With an inspiration in mind, grab one of these long note sheets from your newly created pile.  Leave space at the top for a “drawing” and note a general title of your brainstorm below the space.  You don’t need to be an artist, have a lot of space or waste a lot of time with perfection.  A symbol is the clue for the introduction of a concept into form.  Scribble anything inspired in the saved space.  You just created a bridge from internal processing to external and packaged the complete concept as a symbol.  I prefer to note the date starting this activity at the bottom of each sheet to manage my investment of time.  I have a stack and attempt to look at each sheet once a day.  I just jot notes, ideas, crazy thoughts or a link to something I just discovered that may be associated.  When I notice that I’m not adding additional comments I cross out the “general title” and just re-enter it as a list item.  After a few days, if the above action did not induce activity I start with a new sheet and a new drawing—listing everything else below from the old sheet and destroy the original sheet.  If the new drawing fails to inspire ideas, say in a week, toss the project.  Clutter does not support creativity.


The Unknown

March 1st, 2023

Here is a very famous quote on the “unknown” by Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense for the US.

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.  We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.  But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.  And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.”

It may at first sound like gibberish but I think he makes a good point for levels of unknown.  Perhaps only standard thinking in national security and intelligence where analysts often use something called the Johari window to take stock of situations.  Perhaps wise to review the four questions that the Johari puts forth.

  1. What’s the part of us that we see, and that others, see?
  2. What’s the part of us the others see, but we’re ignorant of?
  3. What’s the part of us that we intentionally hide from others?
  4. What’s the part of us that we’re not aware of—and neither is anyone else?

These questions are steps to divert attention into the larger range that house potential but most folks don’t attend to this relatively unknow territory.  Yes, we celebrate explorers and welcome their reports but prefer, for ourselves, to stay safe within reach of our blanket.  Encouragement to take the risk is very counterintuitive.  We humans are very effectively wired to our redundant proven habit for safety within a small defined range of movement and thinking.  

What we know of early human type people is that life span in the beginning (and for many years after) was very short; perhaps 30 years or less.  But we are social creatures and lived in groups, families or tribes so that association offered a better than random chance to survive.  We learned, even with that original small brain, and applied knowledge to weapons, team skills, and improving relationships.  Don’t discount this success, because we still struggle with the difference, for example, safety or health as value versus potential.

What we learn and integrate becomes our habit for success and survival tomorrow.  At times those big lessons are gained from wars, famines and/or diseases.  The “rule” of evolution is that if you can’t change, learn to adjust for change or excel ahead of the current state of change, you are history.


Attention First

February 1st, 2023

Our first task to launch this year’s work is to review our human operating system.  When exposed to a new range or any type of diversity in thinking it is wise to recall that by design, we have what psychologists’ term “loss aversion” or “risk aversion.”  Any feeling of threat or loss outweighs any potential gain.  We humans are very prone to panic that leads to polarization.  Silly!  Research reveals that our senses report to our brain data about our environment presents only 20% of the information from external contacts.  The other 80% is from a stored database or fabricated.  And this activates faster than our ability to form a single thought so commit now to the concept of doing research to develop better questions about potential for you in our changing times.

Over the years I have done numerous blogs and workshops on both “attention” and “questions.”  I think this is the first time I have married the two elements together and this should be a fun quest.  As an example, imagine you have a problem in life.  For most the question that comes to mind is “how do I solve this problem?”  As noted above, your automatic system will offer the best possible solution long before any type of analysis is elicited.  It will back this offer with several less likely to succeed strategies.  All of this with confidence because it worked once before; before the present changes yet not integrated into the database.  We have similar problems showing up today with algorithms.  It seems that a very large database can offset new updates that may be essential to modernize and link to new thinking and developed skills.

The average human span of attention is less than one and a half minutes.  We need to attend to any issue for a longer duration to override the subconscious offerings and focus for potential (usually processed internal) and for utility (usually processed external).  Yes, we operate from several approaches that may or may not coincide.  For example, you feel that your body needs some exercise because you have been sitting around in the house all day.  Non movement negates potential; doing nothing.  You head for the door only to discover that it is now raining outside.  You may need to move but little value in getting drenched and perhaps ill.  Get it?

I will offer techniques, stories and updated information as we explore paths to obtain balance in our changing world each month.  This month I request you play with “adding attention” to every aware thought.  I’m not talking about decision making; only attending longer to move those traditional poles or edges that you have secured over the years to reveal some of that new range you increased last year.  Another example, when I sit down to dinner, I look at the ingredients and try to imagine another way to prepare another dish with the same components, especially when I prepared the dish.  Not to find fault with what is presented but to associate other ideas for a wider database.  Huge increase in culinary range potential applying a little creative thinking with every meal.


Below is the link to Dr. Lemmon’s talk for February. This talk is a continuation about the reactions from students from learning something or some idea different than what they believed to be a “truth.” First step to learning is to come from a place of not knowing. You can not learn defending your view but you can debate your point and expand range (of thinking) to adjust, change or secure your point. All have value in our external work (this is what I know to do) and some may inspire potential in your internal world (I feel I have potential).


Next Step

January 1st, 2023

If you followed along with my blog progression last year you should now be in possession of an increase in ranges, and hopefully, they are dispersed over many topics or themes of interest.  Below is a bullet list of where you may have deposited and how you may have titled these ranges: 

  • the scope of a person’s knowledge or abilities
  • the extent of time covered by something such as a forecast
  • the area or extent covered by or included in something
  • a set of different things of the same general type
  • the distance within which something can be reached or perceived
  • vary or extend between specified limits
  • place or arrange in a row or rows or in a specified order or manner
  • run or extend in a line in a particular direction

Gazing over this list should offer some clues why after creating the concept of “you”, the next most important task is range—the potentials in space for the expression of self.  By design, we are influenced by family and culture; our first teachers and their efforts are often perceived as demands rather than offerings.  I recognize the temptation to blame our unskilled teachers but instead I believe the process of learning how to operate the body mass creates the feeling of demand.  You may be able to imagine a beautiful perfect rose but growing that rose in your backyard garden is not as simple.  Yes, operating the body in a healthy fashion (or unhealthy) feels like a demand until we mature a database for logical thinking in our developing brain.  At that point (or age) we deviate between the demand to know and the offer of potential.  Sadly, we are placed into an educational system that supports the concept of “I know” as the wiser choice and as a demand (graded as pass or fail).  I also believe that all those unconscious and subconscious patterns stored (directions in mapping and stories) can be rectified but we will reserve that process for a later exploration.

The important issue for this year is what do we do with the ranges.  The secret is to weave each year of training and exploration between the Phenomena System (creativity) and the Logical System (the world of form we inhabit).  I have done a lot of blogs and classes on the elements that help make up the logical system but this year we will combine two of the main elements to manage and direct our newly obtained ranges.  Attention offers an opportunity to unmask information that exists in form.  Remember from your days of demand to know (education); time is a product of mass in motion.  Combine this with questions about what you don’t yet know and the flow of information will open gateways for improving potential for your newly acquired ranges.  This is not a demand but a request for you to attend long enough (time) to notice clues for questions that will reveal a stream of potential—something you do not now know.  New game for 2023!


Link below for January 2023 YouTube lecture by Dr. Lemmon:


Potential For You is a Range

December 6th, 2022

For a human, preconception would be the one chance to experience the largest perspective range for a self ever.  Bringing a creation into structured form necessitates a lot of movement conforming to developing patterns.  I would assume it is a very “noisy” environment for a brain (a network of budding capacity) embracing a limited range of potential as self-coming into configuration.  Here the relationship to the concept labeled “no” would define as “not that way”—a consequence of directions.  Culture via traditional family have taught the meaning of no as “you may not.”  Perhaps not the first demand an aspiring human might encounter.  The fact is that for all life forms death is a demand.  Movement in balance is what we consider as time (speed of movement).  The “time” between the endpoints in the game are marked by value, accomplishments in balance and not perfection or volume.  I’m suggesting balance is realized by converting demands to requests—a position where a human could activate a choice as “not that way.”

As a fun comparison look at an electron, one of our smallest demonstrations of form that we know of.  As energy it moves at the “speed of light” which means it will never age, or perhaps even die.  It does blink in and out of form to support the structure of an atom similar to everything with form—for a time.  Obviously, it has value as one of the building blocks of all structure in form; and perhaps a usefully source of energy.  A very interesting game that we are engaged in.

An electron may experience some state of uncertainty as it vacillates between energy and form but I’m not sure how we could measure that.  History reveals that we humans most certainly do.  I have suggested and have promoted embracing a larger range to counter the uncertain times we humans are now facing these past few years in my blogs and teachings.  Imagine an analogy with being lost in the woods.  Finding high ground and gaining a view of the terrain may help you navigate to safety. 

However, range may provide information but alone it will not generate balance in movement.  Next year my blogs will start to promote elements of attention and questions from the logical system of life.  By attending to the information and asking questions you develop a mapping for navigating and that will be our next step toward life as a balanced happening.  I know we have visited both “attention” and “questions” many times over the years but this round will focus on teaming the elements to obtain balance. 

To mark this present season, end of a cycle, I suggest you connect to friends and family.  Share your insights learned from exploring ranges to help reduce the polarization that birthed from the uncertainty.  Health is atoned to balance and we all need to revisit that reference and update it from our gain in range.  A blessing is a suggestion to find balance.


Value of Range

November 1st, 2022

Range is one of the aspects of the energy phenomena that creates the potential for life in our logical structured form.  The range for all potential (in a state of balance) could be divided into a range for each potential and probability amalgamated by a set of ranges defined as time.  The two influences would generate cycles, redundance and evolution in patterns (symbols) as they form into an expression of every possible potential.  A game or an adventure as long as the energy state is in balance. 

Of course, life in our universe; all patterns, forms, knowledge and languages are logical structures.  We can make metaphors for non-logical concepts but never fully integrate the information into our logical database.  In fact, humankind (and to some degree all animals) utilize stories, reflections and empathy to generate concept of self.  We employ such applications to imagine who we are.  You are reading these words with an expectation that some of these explanations will support the personal and cultural changes you are experiencing in a positive way.  I’m writing them with a similar vision in mind.

Balance is the key and usually found in the center of a range.  Good and/or bad are polarized experiences—not in balance.  If you are on the “right side” or do anything the “right way” you will need to deal with the wrong side or wrong way as a possible condemnation.  What a fun game and it makes judgment so simple.

And yes, you can be out of balance with ranges.  Imagine a large city like New York.  Say you have a detailed stack of maps—one for every city block.  All the information and details available contained in each map for their depicted area.  Can you imagine how difficult it would be with those maps for you to transgress this city from end to end?  Such a collection would be a large handicap for a stranger to the city.  But a taxi driver with 20 years’ experience may have all that data stored somewhere in memory.  All stored into memory over time and the data integrates with cross-indexing proving efficiency for sorting and recall. 

Now here is the caveat discovered in research.  If our New York City taxi driver had worked for enough time in a different field to develop some skill (enough data to integrate) there is a good probability that he would learn all those city routings faster, maintain the data longer and integrate updated data easier.  Skill may be in any field, related or not in this case to cabbing (i.e., car repair, musician, educator and even sports).  The level of mastery in any endeavor may be enhanced by exploration into any multitude of information from a diversity of ranges.  Most of us have encountered workers that may be competent but only know one way to perform their service.  I believe the gift from all the change we are undergoing today is to expedite integration of information.  Explore those new ranges!


Review of the Power of Range

September 30th, 2022

What I label as expanding ranges science might reference as diversifying.  Research indicates that an experience outside the realm of “normality” may help people see the world in multiple ways.  “Cognitive flexibility” is needed for coming up with creative ideas.  An upbeat mood can apparently turn a once familiar idea, and even a confusing idea, into a very interesting idea.  Novelty is threatening only when people are in a defensive state of mind (polarized).  By rebranding failure and confusion as merely lacking diversity can alter emotional attitude toward uncertainty (an influence). 

People that are bilingual have an advantage for creativity.  They experience the world from two distinct forms of reference.  And immigrants demonstrate greater upward mobility here in the US than citizens that have similar cultural background but have been here for generations.  Tons of indicators for the advantage to broader ranges.  Keep reading novel topics and exploring range so you may avoid the pitfalls of polarization.

Parts of your brain function similar to today’s computers.  Initiate a question or topic and it uploads responses (intuition, sub-conscious programs, etc.).  But other parts of our brain have a network that cross-indexes or integrates.  Here the responses may be innovative and creative concepts.  Could be, at least, the structural component to what we refer to as intelligence or consciousness.  Marcello Massimini, Giulio Tononi and a world-wide group of researchers have put together the Integrated Information Theory (IIT).  I see this as a strong component here to support being a global individual.  Check out their little book, Sizing Up Consciousness, and build some intriguing range.

As many of you may recall, I see phenomena as a separate stream of the energy of life with elements that are not logical by design.  In fact, range is one of the gateways to access phonological experience.  For example, most folks believe knowing everything about a subject makes you an expert.  That is true for a limited time.  Research proves that a highly knowledgeable person with a diverse range of skills maintains their level of mastery for a longer period of time.  It offers perhaps a broader stroke of energy to sustain the level of skill longer.  In our logical system, not all things are possible.  Everything has to conform to logical structure.  Therefore, the range of all possible is not logical but would be a phenomenon.  

The basic premise of the scientific method is that nature is objective and not projective.  Perhaps originated from the ancient Greek requirement that a concept in math science had to produce a proof to be a truth.  Today’s quantum physics with all its uncertainty and entanglement is seen as logical because we can calculate a range for the uncertainty, of course employing imaginary numbers.  But people praying (imagining the possibility) for a friend to recover from illness is not a logical influence.  Not part of scientific method but a phenomenon that folk who bear witness believe as a truth.  You may avoid this offer to polarize (define one view as correct) if you consider the presence of two different ranges or systems where only one is logical.  My creative ideas are not mostly logical but after I tumble them around for a time a few mature as good practical logical solutions.  I believe creativity is birthed in the phenomena range or system but that is not logical; or it could transform into one of those missing logical puzzle pieces.  What is possible?


Uncertain Times

September 1st, 2022

I know I call this time of uncertainty that we are all living in a time of evolutionary change.  All those evolutionary psychology books I read may have influenced my terminology.  Climate change is without a doubt a huge problem and it’s not getting any better.  Our fateful virus is real and dangerous and does not seem to be retreating.  When it first struck late in 2019, I was reading a report on-line that 2.2 million Americans are without access to running water or basic plumbing in their homes.  According to the WHO, now waterborne disease is the world’s leading killer.  More than 3.4 million people die as a result of water-related diseases.  Most of the victims are young children.  I don’t think we should polarize (narrow the range) to a single threat to life.  I wouldn’t have a clue which hazard is the most aggressive or dangerous.  Historically, when a group, tribe or culture of people are beset with an array of threats they grow wiser and stronger.  Most animals become extinct as a species under such conditions but humans develop.  I recommend a wider range to find the clues for needed change to activate our power to develop innovation—new and better ways for humans to live together on this globe.

My array of research books report that people at times of uncertainty narrow their ranges of thinking, polarize within a narrow view and make quick decisions that, in their estimate, have to be made.  A zoom in to look at statistics after unexpected disasters like the San Francisco quakes, hurricanes Katrina and Hugo, the Tsunami in Japan and many others report a large increase in marriages, divorces and birth rates.  It appears that making a decision that you feel you will need to make at some future time reduces the feeling of uncertainty by acting on it now.  Feeling threatened is often all it takes to raise our desire for certainty.  But an event doesn’t have to be dangerous to increase that need.  It merely has to challenge how we see the world.

Researchers even created tests for a person’s need for closure.  Search on-line under Arie W. Kruglanski, University of Maryland and Alain Van Hiel, Ghent University.  Download the PDF and you can take the test.  Much cheaper than getting married or divorced to settle your uncertainty.

And some interesting research at Northwestern University by Bobby Cheon.  The need for closure has a genetic component.  An allele of a gene associated with greater discomfort with ambiguity is called 5-HTTLPR.

If you’ll recall, my goal in life was to learn how I get influenced and how I can influence another.  As a verb, influence typically means “to affect or change someone or something in an indirect but usually important way.”  No magic tricks but I have sat in front of a lot of individuals with overwhelming issues and was able to produce some influence with most in a positive direction.  This to me is the only way I have found to start to understand what has influenced me in life and a direction or movement toward restoration.  We need to support each other but it should be a choice and not a demand.  How and what influences self can make it a demand (if you can’t say no).  A bigger range (more information) supports wisdom in decision making and not just reactions to an out-of-date standard or behavior.  Now is the time to develop a course to connect and support with our evolving and uncertain transformation.


Old Range

August 1st, 2022

My father died when I was around two with no other siblings until after my mother remarried and I was fourteen.  Back when I was a young child most families had 3 to 5 children with a few bigger families pushing up into the teens.  The curious thing I recall is that in most family groups there were one or more children that looked and/or acted as if they were not part of that package.  I thought it odd and no answer emerged from my wondering; the standard adult retort, “Gods will.” 

Growing-up provides lots of opportunities to encounter observations and experiences that are void of clear and precise answers.  I got used to it for a time but tension built when I found myself going off to college with no true clue what I wanted from the experience.  I had been working out in a gym last year of high school and also taking Karate lessons.  To add to my confusion the gym made me a trainer and my Karate school elevated me to beginning instructor.  At the same time, I got a parttime paid job and moved into a rented house with some friends.  We formed a band and got gigs to play.  I signed up for classes in hypnosis hoping to find some inklings to what I was doing and why.   

When I was accepted to my college fencing team, I dropped the gym and Karate.  I discovered that living with a girl was less stressful than the “band house” although the women did rotate.  My parttime job became fulltime with a promotion to assistant manager and I married one of the ladies.  I went to school parttime and to a different college when I changed my major from engineering to psychology.  Perhaps the hypnosis training did have an influence or my observation of human characteristic was an early calling.

Different schools, jobs, wives, life experiences and a couple of amazing children and I still held sacred my curious nature to what and how influences are produced.  Busy, busy, busy until I bumped into a health challenge.  The logical procedure would have been to cut back on work hours and attend to health.  Now that I recognize as an influence.  Instead, I opened a center and started working with people with emotional and physical health problems every day after my normal job.  I began teaching weekends with programs that I scripted from psychology and dressed-up to market as something new and special.  I think it worked well and we all got to explore new potentials and have fun. 

Fourteen years later I started to feel the wind of change.  Found a special lady and married again closing the center and going on the road.  We found a place to settle and wait for this force of change to reveal itself.  In truth, the new normal will appear a couple hundred years after everyone alive forgets the old normal.  That is a bridge I may not live to cross but I’m not done exploring the nature of influence, the value for life and creating a human story we can all follow into potential.  

I’m seeking a range to roam, explore and share without threats and control.  This is not about a promised land or a logical story.  This is about becoming aware of what is influencing me and tasting it long enough to make a decision to follow a thread leading to a now unknown potential for becoming.  There are no directions or maps and the death toll is 100%.  I believe that once you feel it you may pursue the path with both caution and enthusiasm.

I’ve been around for so long that I now know a little bit about a lot of different topics.  I’m willing to discuss or debate any one of them but I don’t see any of my points as absolute truths.  Have you noticed, some processes that we used to be able to rely on are now faltering?  I trust moving forward into the unknown, with caution of course.  I do like a sense of confidence but new learning is useful and a great tradeoff.  Both these options are really amazing influences.  This is the year for expanding range and discovering what unknown is in the fringe or shadow at the former edge of yesterday’s range.