End of the Season

December 1st, 2023

The last theory that Stephen Hawking was working on before he passed was a “Top-down cosmology for the universe in a holographic form.” (On the Origin of Time by Thomas Hertog).  You may recall, in quantum theory, an observer may influence energy to change it into a particle.  In this latest theory, life (on Earth) is the observer and the heart of design for the universe we inhabit.  A game changer and it will be fun to see how this plays out in cosmology.  Nice associated piece, not sure how relevant that is to philosophy or psychology but I have been teaching with that premise secured—we may influence our future.  An imagined design or concept in our three-dimensional space is a holographic form.

Life form adheres to the first law of thermodynamics, the law of conservation.  We humans store basic life lessons as patterns and only add minimal information to the basic patterns if an update is required.  We have learned to manage and survive with a minimal investment of energy.  That is the basis of limited consciousness and resistance to change, new ideas and implementation.

That said, we need a clear and open range to implement potential.  All our energy attention needs to focus and flow into that space to bring potential into structured form.  Our natural inclination is to move “everything” into the new space under the guise of improvement.  We bury our potential below our past to conserve.  The unknown you faced at birth is your gateway into potential.  Do you understand the merit of the old phrase, “born again?”

At birth you had very little history (in womb was a real experience) and your parents (family, culture, country) “demanded” a title and set of limitations for you to comply to that first law of thermodynamics—your name is the anchor.  Now we have a starting point conserved and a game.

Like any game, if you pay attention, you can navigate the game.  With a little attention (awareness) we could build a better birdhouse or implement numerous potential experiences in life.  More complexity requires more attention and questions defining where to focus attention.  The answers or information flows in packets or quanta of energy that I call clues.  As a metaphor, think of reading a novel.  You may have selected the book because of author, topic, or just the book cover.  Each chapter provides content and clues guiding you to the yet unrevealed conclusion.  Potential is an unknown chapter in your life.  The main difference is that with a book you can cheat and advance to the final chapter—not so with life.

The goal this year was to secure the open range you created last year with nothing but a statement of merit or value.  Empty space is a question that invites clues in compliance to your title of merit.  Do you get that space always evolves over time? I call this a set-up.  Your questions about clues will both inform and inspire you providing momentum evolving into a response.  Yes, the force of evolution will generate a response and your potential will be birthed.  This is the same process that you experienced with your physical birth anchored by name and culture.  Faster this time around because you are familiar and skilled with the set-up.


Selena Ingles
Illinois, US

The nemesis of the dark is the light. 
Dancing and prancing it weaves together a tapestry of
emotions, behavior and patterns.  Without the duality of
both dark and light one becomes their own worse nemesis
and fights to survive.  Residency in survival causes our true
selves to be oppressed.  We can not win for losing as both
sides collide.  Society draws a line in the sand and asks,
which will you decide?  Knowing good and well that it is
with these two sides aligned that we may find our light.
Finding balance in both, we find security and hope.  Hope is
a beautiful lie that we eat when our hearts sigh.  Grounding
deeply in between these two is the best thing for me and
you.  Together we can survive.  Unchained by words of men,
listening to the voice within.  You and me and them.  This
world is ours to take.  Let us each take each other by the
hand and work together for this land.
-A gift for a changing world.

Ten seconds to Balance

November 1st, 2023

Attention is the most difficult attribute for humans to develop.  I imagine the automatic “intuitive” safety-directed response that, by design (fast and no thinking required), disrupts the opportunity to consciously attend and generate a fully informed decision.  Over the years, I have developed and practice what I call the “10 second rule.”  I have trained to insert 10 seconds minimum attention to an intuitive response.  Obviously, a crisis will not afford you this opportunity and that is wise but most learned reactions will.  In 10 seconds, I demand an image of the outcome or I will halt the process.  I create a symbol external (think timer) to review options and make a conscious decision.  I accept the risk!  We might call this spiritual work—the theme or spirit of the work that is wise for me in the long run.  This is not about power or control, only the nature of influence.  Energy is equal to the relationship between mass and time (and now science deems there is no mass so time is important).  This is a possible influence because the system does not evolve backwards—evolution is a marker of time.

A few more points I have observed or learned about the integration of attention.  A caution should never be ignored.  If you are attending to anything with a caution employ “divide attention” and maintain equal attention to both the stimulus and the caution.  Not an easy form of attention but worth mastering.  A constant level of attention is critical to stay alert to changes in data in order to make safe choices.  A caution is not a demand to stop and it is not a distraction.  It is a communication that supports your safety in attending to your goal or task.  A caution is not limited to a hazard to life but could be an emotional or spiritual threat.

An emotional energy does not pose a caution but may be disabling.  The intensity of emotion (energy to support action) voids any chance of equal attention.  “Alternating attention” still supports your choices to influence but with emotion you need one more step to level the field.  Attend to the emotion and immediately notice that your presence is greater than the emotional energy (assuming you don’t become the emotion).  Notice the time absorbed in this step and switch your attention to task.  Attend equal time to your task and switch again back to emotion repeating this process until the task is completed or the emotional level recedes.  The trick here is to use time, an external reference, instead of the internal reference of your space (volume).

A small amount of emotional energy is often used as a switch to change states of being.  To attend to a task or stimulus you may need to be in the mood; a different state.  You will not notice the volume of emotional energy until you compare it to your presence.  If it proves to be manageable, match the energy and quickly switch your attention to the task or stimulus for an event.  Repeating this process quickly will bond the energy to the task and support your attention.

The default for humans is focus of attention but that is a filter and not a choice.  When there are multiple stimuli, as in thoughts, fully attend to one at a time and choose not to continue the attention.  As that stimulus diminishes quickly move to the next and repeat.  Remember to fully attend to each stimulus and choice to dismiss.  You select what you wish to attend to and your influence is expressed in choice.  All the above skills may be developed through meditation—a focus of attention.


Review of Attention

October 1st, 2023

I suggested last month that we consider a statement of “merit” to prepare our new range as a space to integrate potential.  Do you get how attention to this statement—the “merit” as a subject—is transposed into an object for design and development?  Attention is referred to as the allocation of processing resources and it is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience.  People are not born with the skill of attention.  Like many human skills it has to be developed.  Its development and training start from a very early age.  We try to grab the attention of a baby by making strange noises.  Later we focus the attention of the child by reading them stories.  As the children grow up, they are required to concentrate on whatever they study or read.  All of these activities help to some extent to develop and focus attention but concurrently also focus on distraction.  Both attention and distraction are developed simultaneously; the seed of free choice.

The two primary things we need to develop to expand the potential of human life are a relationship with influence and expanded attention.  The relationship with influence is simply operating consciously with a definition of you contained.  Attention is a lot more complex.  Attention is closely related to consciousness.  Both are integrative and yet also selective.  Indeed, so close is this relationship that models of attention are asserted also to provide, through the corollary discharge of the attention control signals, two important aspects of consciousness; the sense of ownership of the conscious experience and its immunity to error though misidentification.

Attention is usually conceptualized as the boosting of signal-to-noise ratio both through inhibition of processing of unattended stimuli and through enhanced processing of attended stimuli.  Consciousness refers primarily to phenomenal experience itself, and secondarily to aspects of that experience such as its wholeness, its feeling of self-ownership (first-person ontogeny), the ability to report its contents verbally or in other ways, and the awareness of being conscious (meta-consciousness).

Lack of attention is the largest issue that a human will face seeking potential.  I will expand more on this topic next month—attention is required to form wise questions and delve into the unknown future.  We have just been through and are still in tough economic times.  I want to remind you to keep your attention on your priorities, they deserve your attention; in fact, they feed on it.  When the moment, or a solution to a problem, is counter-intuitive you will surprise yourself more often than not by acting outside your normal patterns and in your own best interest.  Enjoy yourself, as entertainment, anytime you leave the present to lean on the past or wonder about the future.  Now is your best friend.

Steps to consider:

  1. Get grounded-feel what is real
  2. Adding energy before you start reduces effort
  3. Mindful helps you be present
  4. Own what you are doing or don’t do it
  5. Don’t watch the time but watch the flow
  6. When you are done be done in every way


Define the Path

September 1st, 2023

Before we start the task of designing a new range, we should entertain a metaphor for the difference between a range and a state.  Water traditionally has three states with science now possibly adding a fourth (H3O2).  The original three were liquid, vapor and ice.  Oxygen has other ranges and with Carbon that starts with CO2 (carbon dioxide).  And Hydrogen also shares a range with Carbon as in Hydrocarbons (HGLs) in many forms.  In fact, all the elements on the atomic table are a state of energy expressed in form (pattern) and most combine to generate different ranges.  Lots of repetition in all the systems of our world.

My interpretation of ranges and their potential is inspired by Robert Kegan’s work on what he calls “Orders of Mind”.  Lots of complexity and biology contributes to these maturing levels of range, especially with the first two in the series.  I imagine that most of you have seen “adults” that act very juvenile a majority of the time confirming that biological age is not a predominate influence.  That said, most of you reading this blog are in level three, some in level four, seeking entry into the next potential range.  Kegan professes that an “order” or range is a subject that you may imagine, talk about and even plan for.  Transition of this concept of potential from being a subject into an object is elevated by your attendance, your presence of being in this new range of potential.  For example, you can plan a trip to Disneyland and research all possible adventures offered but that is never the same as the experience of being there.  Lots of information available that you must assume to be true yet unknown.  Post visit you become the person that knows and that level of information secures this change.

In philosophy the first order to establish a new range is to form a moral statement.  In my teachings, I call it defining a value.  Moral feels like a religious idea, but today, value feels like profit.  For now, try to imagine you having merit for your participation in life moving forward.  Counter to the consequence of dragging your present range of potential into this new expanse—everything would lose merit. 

I wasted a lot of time in my first transition by taking classes, joining organizations, hours of meditation and seeking guidance from people with a better story.  All I created was a lot of demand and some depression that led me to feeling exhausted most of the time.  I disassociated with everything but my job and created (imagined) a new range in the manner offered in last years series of blogs.  If you recall, it takes attention to clues and self-directed questions.  In a short time, my job space got easier and my field of attention expanded.  I became aware of the range offering and contemplated how to active this terrain.  Sitting on my apartment roof each night and watching the fireworks from Disneyland inspired me.  Those small rockets, when ignited, make a very massive and beautiful demonstration.  My statement, “In my spare time, I will influence people in a positive manner.”  Two weeks later I started teaching in my spare time.   


Face the Risk

August 1st, 2023

It is a phenomenon that once a person becomes accomplished, say, as an athlete, musician, or most any professional, they may quickly obtain the same high levels with a second professional endeavor.  A related field of course is most productive for such change but evidence documents that all types of career redirects are possible to expedite.  This is one of the reasons why we created more range.  This month we will look at a less obvious influence that supports this effect.

Your first range for a potential for being an expression in form initiates at birth, or at least some yet undetermined moment before or during the term.  How many years, carefully coached by parents, family and culture, did it take to develop you into a competent adult human?  Your frontal brain lobes for decision making don’t kick in until you are around 25 years old and you never obtain more than seven to nine bits of consciousness to work with.  A challenge and there are more limits that are less obvious.  

You are instructed how to walk, talk, eat, sleep and behave and you do an amazing job learning.  You are also informed not to touch hot ovens, sharp objects, electrical outlets, play in the street or drink unknown substances.  It is a dangerous world and the most important lessons are to keep you safe and alive.  But all this information is not stored in a manual.  It is totally integrated into patterns, most of which are unconscious; we are not yet sure where they are stored in your body but you can access this data at near the speed of light and your conscious thinking brain does not need to be involved—it is too slow.  Call it intuition if you like; it integrates risk with stored familiar information and defensive movement into an action faster than your brain can think.  Now that is wise!  Your early teachers and learning experience do affect it to some degree but it will implement action with the goal to protect you.

Congratulations, if you are reading this blog, you were successful with your first range of potential.  If you have been following this stream of blogs you have created space for a second range of potential for you.  Now here is the caveat — your first range is secured as risk-aversion.  Unknown potential is always a risk.  Have you ever had trouble implementing a new and improved (increased potential) version of you into the range you were birthed into?  We have some great success if the avenue is aligned with family and culture (part of first range) or as some change in state for you.  For example, as a promotion in a job or field that coincides with your family and cultural considerations.  Do you understand why only around 3% of folks can secure a major desired change in behavior into their life?  Never wise to abandon your first range (protection) but don’t attempt to integrate it with your new range.  Next month we will start to set up your new range for risk with a new potential.


Attention Required

July 1st, 2023

You now have a larger range, and perhaps many more arrays for potential to develop.  That was our goal with our work in 2022 and you may now be streaming new ideas with plans unfolding.  If you still feel overwhelmed with tasks with never enough time to complete, you may have “chunked-up” the size of everything on your to-do list.  Literally made every undertaking “larger” to fill the extra range and create a change in state known as “same, same.”  Time is a relationship with mass; how fast you can move anything from point A to B as a distance or complete redundant events.  Practice finds a balance point between your inspiration and the perceived value of it in the world (return for investment).  When you chunk-up you gain nothing in value, and in fact often realize less return.  Mass is not a thing but a rate of energy expenditure (referenced by Higgs field).  Potential flows the energy to create and if you attempt to manage that extra energy you will get very stressed.  Balance is achieved by allocating some measure of time to attend to all the distinguished elements—not to complete them.  Attention is an element in the structured world and it will develop a new configuration.  Driven by the influx of energy it will facilitate a more effective schedule.  You may have to generate a few questions to stay on track but don’t try to control the process.  

I see each year some organization evaluates which nation is the “friendliest.”  My question is what constitutes friendliness?  Turns out there are a lot of markers all analyzed from surveys.  What I found most interesting is the disproportionate relationship between “trust” and “talkativeness.”  People living in countries with very stable government and high levels of accountability don’t like to chat.  They may be friendly to everyone and polite but find no need for long conversations.  This may appear a little odd, but folks in very unstable countries and with high crime love to converse.  Yes, they are wary and cautious about what they say but still very verbose.

Do you see the correlation for how uncertain times, growth, corruption, deception, etc. induces more guarded conversation with a large need to play out in dialog all the variables?  Yes, we even prefer to chat on line which is less personal because it presents our human drama as a pattern and not a choice.  Conspirators, like politicians, are defending their view and not creating a conversation.  Don’t take change personal!  Who may you trust today in our world?  I would be delighted, as a retired teacher, to answer any questions but I cannot resolve your growth.  Do you understand why I retired?  My advice is to pay attention, lots of attention, and form great questions.  Don’t trust me or anyone in our uncertain times.  If you ask me a question, I will give you an answer to redirect your question to your act of creation—your potential.  Everything needed to drive perspective is contained within the creation; energy, clues, and a grand vision.  You just need to map the path through structure to generate a “truth” for you.


Where is the Truth?

June 1st, 2023

We are lied to all the time.  We sometimes perceive this as deception; less so if we generated the “falsehood.”  Is the human race made of mis-truths?  I think it is more of a problem with our limited range of perception.  Novel thinkers like Pythagoras, Galileo, Newton and many more were thought of as genius in their day.  The fact is that some of their ideas were a little crazy, some just didn’t work but they still hold credit for the theories that proved correct, at least on some levels. 

Human survival is greater than random because we preference what action worked safely moving forward.  This is the closest we have to truth but counter to potential and change.  Yes, we would like to avoid death but it would be nice to experience the potential that we may imagine.  The root of the word nice (remember symbols) is “ignorant” but gliding over time to agreeable and even pleasing.  However, my computer reveals some interesting “truths.”  There are two meanings of lie.  Lay means “to place something down flat,” while lie means “to be in a flat position on a surface.” The key difference is that lay is transitive and requires an object to act upon, and lie is intransitive, describing something moving on its own or already in position.  The answer to the question is that there is no absolute truth and potential requires that you pick the correct form of lie.  It takes a lot of courage.  Movement is a clue.

For all of you that fancy yourself as intuitive, I have suggested you attend to symbols (pictures) that suggest a potential for movement or change for you to follow.  The old truth was stationary (unchanging and laying around) and the new lie directed toward potential and in motion.  Change is a risk but a trail of breadcrumbs is a clue for movement.  Somebody or something had to walk the path and leave them.  The second offer was to check out some groups, go to meetings, talk to people doing anything and find a clue for your potential or quit and test out another.  I could not even begin to guess how many groups and talks I have been to over the last 60 years and left.  Disassociation is easy and safe when there are no moving parts to bump into.  

You are on a journey, perhaps with a map that may not be correct, or just pursuing a clue.  Everything is in motion and nothing is permanent or final.  The path to potential for you by definition may never end.  You may stop for a time and entertain the lie that you have reached your potential.  Be carful and wise, the end of potential for a human is death.  I believe when you arrive at a moment where you feel the energy flowing and your imagination soars you hit a marker.  A reference that feels solid and life starts to simply unfold.  Stay for a time and ride the wind of change.  Potential is not a location but a state of being.


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.