December 10, 2013
October 2, 2013
Intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
That’s quite a definition. Also known as a hunch, gut-feeling, and conscience, the information experience we call intuition is remarkable. That it exists is undeniable – everyone has hunches, even if not abided.
“Why did you take that way home?” “Something just told me too.” You know the experience. It seems as if some external voice or personage was providing guiding information or feelings which, if acknowledged, resulted in obtaining something good, or avoiding something unpleasant or even dangerous.
Okay, but whence intuition? Where does it come from? Some will chalk it up to angel whispers, which is a pleasant way of describing such otherworldly guidance. Some will minimize the experience as a “brain fart” or some chemical aberration in synapse firing or whatever – a side effect of some activity of the brain organ. Notice that hunches and gut feelings are, well, feelings – rather than conscious data processing via the brain.
I have a hunch that the experience called Intuition is a vestige of a more direct access to universal information. Where does knowledge come from? It is a fine distinction between intuition and an idea. “Where’d you come up with that idea?” “I don’t know, it just came to me.”
You keep looking at something. You don’t mean too, but for some reason, your attention is called over and over to something, say a desk drawer. Later, it’s time to go. OMG! I’ve lost my car keys! Guess where they are? You’ve had that experience in some form or other.
Where does such information come from? It’s not coincidence – it happens too often. It’s not accidental – the information is invariably correct. A sculpturer describes seeing the final work inside the raw stone. Now, what the heck is that? An artist gazes a blank canvas and envisions the scene. Einstein explores time-space perched on a beam of light. How’d he come up with that idea? You look at the phone an instant before it sounds. You think of someone just prior to their calling, sending an email, text (or, in the ancient times, a letter.) Or you call someone and they say “I was just thinking about you…” What’s going on here?
This is communication. It’s not language, it’s a knowing. It is a sense. I suppose it could be considered Extra-Sensory Perception, or ESP, although ESP is popularly considered mind-to-mind communication. Or, as the Baptist preacher said at the end of his sermon on the wickedness of such things as ESP, “Now, let us pray…”
It’s real, it’s universal – in that it “happens” to everyone, all the time, and, as Jiminy Cricket says “always let your conscience be your guide.” or, follow your intuition.
August 9, 2013
As is said, it’s the journey, not the destination, that’s the fun (and important.) Which is good – since each of us is on a journey, like it or not. Many people do not like their journey. Mischief ensues when they get the formula, the equation, for happiness, backwards.
It’s always useful to define the subject before discussion. So, what is happiness?
Feeling, showing, or expression JOY. We recognize JOY as the highest positive emotion in the emotional scale humans experience. So, we can speak of happiness as a synonym for Joy.
Is Happiness the emotion felt when a person sees someone else experiencing misery? Of course not. However, there are some people who are so unhappy, so miserable, that their definition of “happiness” is but another degree of misery.
There’s the old joke: A Russian, an Englishman and a Frenchman were walking along a county road one day when they spied a lamp in the ditch. The Frenchman retrieved it and cleaned it up. Poof! The Genie appeared. Grateful for her liberation she offered all one wish. The Frenchman said “Genie, I wish to be a famous movie star with beautiful women all around me.” POOF! He was a famous movie star.
The Englishman thought: “Genie – I wish to be a Lord over a grand estate with enormous revenues and a loving family.” POOF! He was now a wealthy Peer.
The Russian thought deeply about his situation. “Genie – my neighbor has a new car and I do not. Wreck my neighbors car!” POOF! His neighbor’s car was destroyed.
Which of the three experienced Happiness?
The Russian may have experienced a curious relief that his neighbor was now as miserable as he was, but is that happiness? Is that Joy?
That is getting the formula, the equation, for happiness backwards.
Emmet Fox summed it up: People are trying to change outer conditions but leaving their consciousness unchanged, and it cannot be done.
In the joke the Frenchman changed himself in order to have more joy; the same with the Englishman. The Russian wanted change in his neighbor’s status – an outer condition – to share the misery. Somehow, he imagined, his neighbor’s increased misery would lessen his own.
It is the essence of materialism that the environment – which means outer conditions. people around you, the “time” you live in, and such – is the primary influence, or cause, of your happiness or misery. Therefore, it is the environment (other people, situations, circumstances) that must change before you are able to experience relief and get on the journey to happiness. Much of history is the account of this effort. Too many lives, sadly, are stories of the effort.
Materialism, as a formula, is flawed as a personal approach for joyful living. It simply does not work; it does not produce the desire result. Never has. Never will. Why? The materialism formula is based on controlling other people, events, situations, and circumstances. That’s way too many moving parts to succeed. And, it’s impossible.
Why, you could go insane trying to corral all those people and situations into something you could live with. Come to think of it, isn’t that a definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result? Why is this? Because you cannot think for another person! You might bully, bribe or cajole them into temporarily acting in a way you want, but you have to keep at it. The instant you let up, they act like, well, they act like themselves.
No one can think your thoughts. You can, however, surrender your judgment to another’s thinking (the bully, bribe, cajole) – which may or may not end well for you. Your thoughts, your thinking, ARE you. The only force, authority, power, energy (use your favorite descriptor) that can re-direct your thinking is you. Period. End of formula. At the end of the day, your manner of thinking (a.k.a. your beliefs) determines how you experience your life on this marvelous planet.
There is remarkable resistance in many people to grasp that they hold the key to their personal comfort and delight. Much of this resistance is learned behavior, pounded in from day one (if not before). Indeed, for the infant, his/her survival and well-being is dependent on what others (mother especially) do. Childhood is a learning experience of family and social structures and “norms” that define approved behavior and behavior that is not approved (often labeled selfish.) Throw in contemporary technology and exposure to a theme of “you’re not important” and approval by others becomes a measure of success.
At some point many folks mentally step-back and assess their situation. Many times it is a variant of 1) Spending money I don’t have, to 2) buy things I don’t want, to 3) Impress people I don’t like.
The aha moment for some is when they realize that they’ve been working very hard for other people, and very little for themselves. Fully institutionalized it’s called slavery, and it’s still practiced these days. Once a sense of freedom is grasped – freedom to think for oneself and hence to determine what is best for oneself – then begins the pursuit of happiness. There is a sequence: Life, Liberty, Pursuit of happiness. It’s a powerful formula that works and has been proven over and over. And fought, over and over.
Entrenched materialism is opposed to individual freedom, since control is the soul of materialism. Individuals, freely thinking, are difficult to control. The history of Mankind is the record of this struggle of thinking.
This is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad. Such definitions are relative. They are the same thing, measured by degrees. Consider prohibiting by law a person’s possession of a 32 ounce soft drink. Is this good? Bad? Right? Wrong? For the person desiring a big, cold drink, it’s clearly a bad law and definitely wrong in that it prohibits freedom of choice. From a materialists perspective limiting the “right” of a person to indulge in what is decreed an illegal act is both good and right. What kind of environment is likely to result in a greater sense of happiness?
The Law of Attraction is universal. That which is like unto itself is attracted. This applies to things great and small, upon every degree of energy from dispersed to condensed, and very much to thoughts and their creative process – thinking.
You know this. There are places where you simply have no interest in going – or when near you get an intuition or hunch, that you shouldn’t be there. And visa versa. That doesn’t mean that other people aren’t going there – they are comfortable in such circumstances. Comfort doesn’t mean happy, just familiar and of similar frequency.
Some people are very comfortable in their misery and are very resistant to alternatives. They aren’t happy, but they are unable or unwilling to begin changing their thinking in order to introduce in their experience an improved feeling. The resistance is the manifestation of a belief that their wellbeing is dependent on circumstances, environment, other people’s behaviors, etc. – materialism. As long as that belief is active, then their experience IS dependent on external forces. Like attracts like. Unfettered. Belief in powerlessness results in lack of power – that’s the way it works! “I don’t believe in the law of attraction,” one may state. And the Law of Attraction will provide more evidence to that person that there is no law of attraction!
This is why changing thinking can be difficult. It’s a simple truth and process, but inertia, habit, and continual reinforcement of materialism weighs heavy. It can be subtle, however.
Years ago I met up with a high school pal living in another state. He was quite cheerful, as usual, and enjoying his life, wife, dog, and job (yes, in that order.) I inquired how he managed to remain so cheerful and he replied “I don’t watch the news, and don’t get involved in other people’s problems.” At the time I considered that to be selfish. (See, subtle!) Why was he avoiding his civic responsibility to keep up with the news and doing his part of make life better for others? He explained, in effect, that news (by this he meant newspapers and television – it was some time ago) was by design negative and depressing. Watching/reading about what’s wrong in the world, society, etc., made him feel bad. How could he be of any service to another (he was a social worker) if he felt miserable?
He had a point. It took a couple of years for his position to sink in – if I’m unhappy, how can I be of any assistance to another? I intellectually grasped the Law of Attraction but had yet to have it viscerally understood. The more I considered my friend’s decision, the more I understood its benefit. And the more sensitive I became to “news,” complaining, blaming and whining. Those frequencies on the scale of human feeling were a bit more distant and thus more discordant. The result was that unhappy people tended to recede in my experience and what I’d describe as more comfortable people showed up (or I engaged in activities that brought me near them.) That’s when Emmet Fox’s statement proved to be a formula, an equation.
Finding your point of attraction, the usual manner of thinking, is a good exercise. But, regardless, simply changing the focus of a thought will produce relief.
So, let us look closer at this universal constant – the Law of Attraction.
It is best described as the universal manager. It is the operation of all that is that allows, well, all that IS. It is not a matter of belief – it IS. Of course, as mentioned a moment ago, if you do not believe there is a Law of Attraction it will see to it that similar thoughts/experiences come to you that support your belief that there is no Law of Attraction.
We are energy Beings. At present conscious in a human form. Energy vibrates and the frequency of the vibration is what attracts. A fair analogy is broadcast television and radio. The music or program is issued at a certain frequency of vibration. That frequency will not interfere with other energies. There are hundreds of radio signals, television, cell phone, and all manner of radiation zipping through here at this moment. They don’t bother us nor we them because of the difference in frequency. But, with technology (machines) we can tune a radio to the specific frequency of the program we want, and, voila! We can hear it. In a sense we have “tuned in” to its frequency and thus its energy and offerings.
Consider then our daily experience as a radio. We are tuned into a certain energy frequency with the beliefs that we hold. A belief is a thought, an idea, held in mind over and over until it is automatic and becomes a default state of mind. This is often called our “disposition.”It is our state of mind that seeks, and is sought, by similar thought energy. This is the origin of “birds of a feather flock together.” So, in this cosmic sense, we influence what we experience by our primary thinking.
“Well, George,” I hear, “I’m not pleased with my situation so what about that? I wouldn’t wish to be unhappy!”
Of course not. Don’t forget our Russian friend who could only interpret his “happiness” in terms of misery for his neighbor. His thinking, thus his dominant vibration, was misery. And that’s what he continued to experience.
Dis-satisfaction indicates that you are ready to move your thinking up a notch (octave) in frequency. This is totally normal and natural. In Creation nothing is static, everything is in constant motion and motion is movement towards a higher frequency. So, to be aware that your situation isn’t all that you’d like is a good thing! It means that you are also AWARE that your Being is ready to increase your Life experience by raising your thinking, or consciousness as often called.
When you raise your thinking you access a greater vista. If your current experience is bumping around a mess of trees (in a forest you can’t see) then by literally raising your consciousness you become aware of the forest and – most exciting – the horizon. Your interests will quickly move beyond a bunch of trees and into a broader, more exciting, landscape.
Unhappiness is the result of having that discomfort with a circumstance but not knowing what to do about it. Doing the same old things – and thinking in the same old manner – will only recreate the same-old-same-old – that’s the Law! An improvement – the pursuit of Happiness – is all about changing thinking. Attracting a higher frequency of experience.
April 30, 2013
Actually, words don’t stand still. Words are symbols, accepted concepts which, when written or spoken, transfer information from one person to another. They can’t stand still. I stood still, or rather, gripped the steering wheel of my car as I groused very loudly, “what?”
I was listening to the radio when a well-meaning public service announcement asked people to donate their old cars to a charitable organization which, in turn, would sell the vehicles and use the proceeds to help “…the victims of homelessness.” What? Not homeless victims of mental illness, drug addiction, or disaster, but for victims of homelessness itself. One can be in a state of homelessness (be homeless, am homeless, are homeless), I thought, but cannot exist as a victim of homelessness.
Homelessness itself had suddenly become a primal force of nature. Some unsuspecting Fred and Jane might be out shopping when suddenly, without warning, the beast Homelessness could snatch them from the mall and do its worst.
The subtle mischief in the use of those words presents an image in the mind of the unsuspecting listener of a great danger racing throughout the land, wrenching innocent people from their pursuit of happiness. The mental seeds were being sown to institute homelessness as a causal force, rather than as a symptom or consequence of other factors.
For decades society has been concerned about the problem of teen pregnancy. I don’t know anyone who endorses children having children with the ensuing problems and burdens for all, especially for the truly innocent child, er baby. Yet there has been a consistent word play to redefine the “problem” of teen pregnancy from a case of immature sex, perhaps statutory rape, to a malevolent condition that lurks in the school hallways and on the streets, waiting to leap out and afflict some unsuspecting twelve year old. No child is safe.
Major efforts have been made in the social arena (a.k.a. Government funded) to solve the problem. Curiously absent in many of these is the question of barely pubescent girls engaging in sex with (usually) older males (a.k.a. predators.) No – teen pregnancy is considered, by many, as another childhood disease. Some kids get it, some don’t. It just an evil something that could happen, like HIV, to anyone.
Reflect on how this genuine social concern is addressed and treated in the media and government funded programs, especially school-based. The causal factors are minimized and the symptom/condition is given a disease-like status. The onset of the “disease” is capricious.
Like the proverbial Camel’s nose (if allowed to slip under your tent, it is followed by the rest of the smelly beast), words are the vanguard of political mischief. And, like the Camel, once the concept has been hammered enough and accepted by the rank and file, there will be a large and unsavory occupant in your once happy environment.
Dr. Josef Goebbels took this fundamental psychology of human behavior and institutionalized it – tell the big lie, over and over, in all places, in all forms, and after a while, the lie is accepted as a fact. It’s a playbook that has been used constantly. It’s called conditioning. It’s called propaganda. Whatever its form, it is not truth. But when the concept (the lie) is accepted as truth, then freedom is at risk. Did somebody say, Trojan Horse?
The biggest killers of the twentieth century were governments. More specifically, communism and fascism. Lenin, Stalin and Mao killed far more of their own people than any enemy in the dreadful wars of the late century. Yet preceding the carnage was the corruption of words and phrases. The propaganda, the social conditioning to cower and accept the killer Camels into life’s tent, always preceded the legal (unchallenged) genocide.
What? You dare speak outside the politically accepted mantra (which means you must think differently)? Only an insane person would do so, or something equally idiotic, such as smoke a cigarette, or sip a 32 ounce Coke. Off to the asylum, the political hospital (or Gulag, or Concentration camp) to be pumped full of drugs or hammered until you parroted the appropriate language. Get it right, and you can play ball, Comrade Rocker.
That’s why the day came when the words stood still. Stopped, in motion, for a critical examination of what was actually being communicated. History does repeat itself, but only because succeeding generations lose the ability to think about what is being said, and done, and why. In 1923 a young Hitler and the budding Nazi party attempted an armed takeover of the local government in the infamous Beer Hall Putsch. Herman Goering soothed the citizens saying they should not be concerned, after all, they had their beer, they had their sausages (while behind the doors guns were drawn and death threats made.)
The subtle seduction of the hammered word or phrase is the vanguard of the mischief. The remainder of this epistle looks at some words and phrases that have entered the lexicon and morphed into elements from the sinister playbook. The playbook works. For instance:
Pay for a tax cut. If that phrase makes sense, then already you’ve accepted this subtle demon. What store do you go in order to purchase a tax cut? I am baffled by the casual acceptance of this Camel’s nose on the part of the media, politicians on both sides of the aisle, and voters who should know better. The inference is that the government (federal, state or local) must pay for a tax reduction. Let me get this straight – the government takes your money then buys you a tax reduction. Not.
Lost in this concept is the fact that in the United States – by authority of the Constitution – government has no wealth other than what We the People (a nice phrase in the preamble to the Constitution) give it. It’s called taxes. Not donations, not contributions, not investments, but taxes. Unlike much of the world, and certainly in history, no armed warlord or dictator extorts the wealth you produce by your talent and energy under penalty of death
As a rational government “We the People” choose from amongst our selves those representatives whom we bestow the authority to take a portion of our personal property to use for the common good. It’s a Republic and it can work very well – we have a marvelous system of highways, a supremely effective military (at least for the moment), wondrous scientific and technological advances and a social safety net to boot. Great value!
But “pay” for a tax cut? Absurd! Government spending money to pay for a tax-cut? Ridiculous. Tax revenue is a future event. A tax repeal (like removing the telephone tax to finance the Spanish-American war) means only that “we the people” will surrender less of our wealth to the government. (Yet even the repeal of that tiny tax was vetoed by a previous President who, I presume, wished for citizens to pay for all times, that long settled conflict.)
The mischievous concept lurking behind “pay for a tax cut” is the conditioned acceptance that Government owns all wealth and benevolently dispenses it to the serfs (at least those who are behaving.) History is a terrible thing to waste. Unless, of course, those in power can manage to rewrite history into whatever track record is needed to maintain power. In our Republic, the national government derives power only from those matters the sovereign states have yielded it. The remainder, rests with We, the people. Unless, of course, most people can be conditioned to think otherwise.
Commercial sex workers. If you haven’t bumped into this phrase yet, you will. It is the politically correct replacement for that old word, prostitution. Consider the implied differences between the two. Both involve sex-for-hire, but a prostitute is engaging in a practice that is not condoned by history or religion. A commercial sex worker, on the other hand, is engaged in a commercial business, and, being a “worker” probably should be part of a union. To use and embrace the term Commercial Sex Workers is to legitimize sex-for-hire sans legislation (excepting, of course, Nevada.) As a libertarian, I have no issue with consenting adults engaging in any commercial enterprise. But that’s not what this is about.
The Camel’s nose of this phrase is the gradual inclusion of minors into this “legitimate” way of making money. Minors – you know, children. Do you think there is a market for sexually exploiting children? A “homeless” 14 year old boy or girl turns a few tricks per day or appears in a porn video to “survive.” How honorable.
“Commercial sex workers” seeks to remove any limits to sexual behavior. Watch this one.
Self-esteem. This venerable phrase has been long abused and is now void of any meaning. It means whatever the word is means. Originally, the phrase was applied to persons who didn’t have any, or very little, self-regard. It classed a group of people born into economic or social isolation who could not envision succeeding in life because of the accident of their birth. Great programs heaped lots of money in efforts to teach them self-esteem. Get some esteem, and get rich. Or, at least feel good about yourself.
Everyone and anyone can benefit from encouragement and each of us benefits from learning that in this nation a better life IS possible (although not guaranteed). Self-esteem was marketed and sold to the public with this in mind. Not any more. Self-esteem rode the Camel’s back of corruption to a new implication and manner of thought – feeling good about yourself regardless of what you do or do not do. Prisons are full of dangerous people who have high self-esteem.
Genuine self-esteem is not something that is taught, it is something that is garnered from experience – I met the challenge, faced it and succeeded (to some degree) – I have confidence of my ability to live my life. Once, it was synonymous with self-confidence. Regrettably, “low self-esteem” has devolved into another social disease. The Camel mischief is that vulnerable people are taught that they are forever bound to their miserable birth state with no real hope for improvement other than along the lines of a certain program or political action. Self-esteem no longer frees a person from a caste, but conditions him/her to accept it – and embrace whatever empowerment is dangled by the rulers of the public purse.
(My favorite Self-esteem moment was decades ago when I was invited as a Prevention professional to address the subject to the faculty of an area High School. Prior to the continuing education session, I asked the participating educators to write on a piece of paper their main issue with low self esteem. I managed to present the class as planned – ignoring the issues on the papers: Students lose their books, don’t do their homework, skip class, don’t respect the teacher – problems not of “self-esteem” but self-control.) Heck, if the teachers were clueless about “self-esteem” then no wonder the students were confused.
Gun violence. This is a fairly recent entry into the arena of corruption of language. Pay attention to how often you hear and read this term. What’s the problem here? Violence, of course, you think. We the People need to do something about violence, especially by youth. Wrong. The problem is the gun. By linking two words as one, and repeating them a zillion times, people begin spouting “gun violence” to describe assault. The solution? Remove the gun in gun violence and everyone lives happily thereafter. The recent Boston bombings give the lie to this.
Guns are not the problem in violence, people are the problem – the person who is convinced that he/she will not suffer any negative consequences by beating, shooting, stabbing, raping, and yes, bombing. Remember that most of the insidious conditioning phrases are founded in well meaning emotional responses. Personal belief and behavior is the real social problem. Does anyone support violence? (Careful now, you’d be surprised how many do support violence to improve their lives.) This Camel’s nose implants the idea that a person is not responsible for their violent behavior – that damned gun came along and made them do it. (Notice how avoidance of personal responsibility for personal decisions and behaviors links most of the nefarious words and phrases.)
How often do you see the headline “Gunfire erupts…” Or hear the news intro “Gunfire erupted today…” A new demon has been unleashed! Lord Gunfire. Presumably, Gunfire lurks deep in the fiery bowls of Earth, randomly bursting forth to the surface (hence, eruption) and spewing hot lead into innocents.
Angst causing as it may be for some, the reality is that a resting gun will not, on its own accord, fly around the neighborhood then randomly fire at someone. It’s a machine. It must have a human hand (and mind) to operate it. Guns are pointed and triggers are pulled. That is NOT random violence nor is it the evil appearance of Lord Gunfire. (Random violence – that’s another social disease in the works.) Want to get serious? Lose the guns component and deal with the personal notion that violence is acceptable – or has minimal negative consequences.
At-risk. The corruption of the original meaning of this phrase, a sibling of self-esteem, is sad. At-risk is a term prevalent in the context of youth born into situations where life’s deck of cards are stacked against them, and causing them to do drugs, shoot guns, get pregnant, steal, and commit all sorts of evils. Oops, I’m sorry, the bad hand makes them more vulnerable to eruptions of Lord Gunfire, sudden onset of pregnancy and… Tons of money has been poured into programs to help youth at-risk of bad behavior. Has it worked? Since the numbers of at-risk youth seem to grow, I guess not. (Did someone once say that throwing money at the problem is not a solution?) Of course, if the problem is kept alive, then the need to continue feeding solutions persists. One Wag remarked that, in many states, the number one industry is poverty. An industry that would collapse should there be no impoverished. The Wag further aggravated gentle souls by noting that 21st century “poverty” in the USA was a middle-class lifestyle in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s.
Like the other words and phrases, at-risk was sold to the public as a way to identify and help those kids needing help to rise above the insidious forces (and the new capricious social diseases and eruptions) rampant in their ideological ghetto. Although a family situation may be mentioned or even listed, little is done to address the causal factors. Family dysfunction, in this sense, stereotypes the single mother (a.k.a. never married) household where mom can’t or won’t do right by the kids. Junior shows up at school filthy and hungry, but mom has great nails and hair. Solutions can’t address mom’s choice to have children outside of marriage, nor her spending priorities, since to do so might damage her self-esteem. Don’t even think about discussing the missing father part of this failed equation. Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted quite some time ago the predictable effects of such welfare on families.
That’s the stereotype. The truth is that all youth are at-risk of getting sucked into the victim-me mentality of irresponsible behavior. More vulnerable than the scrappy youths from the barrio are the well-heeled youth of the monied class. The truly rich have always had the problem of bad-behaving Junior or Sis, so it’s not a case of environment or social status. It is, however, a case of corrupt values, decisions and consequences.
Tolerance – the capacity to endure pain or hardship – so says the 10th edition of Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. For all times people have tolerated conditions and situations that were painful and difficult. The key word is endure – to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding. Public education (in school, in media) promotes tolerance as a form of good citizenship. No longer does tolerance mean enduring some offensive circumstance, but accepting and condoning objectionable behavior by others.
Once upon a time a loud-mouthed, push-cart shoving bully in the super-market check-out line was looked upon with disdain, but tolerated, because sooner or later the offensive person would leave. Not anymore. In the politically correct world the obnoxious person has a right to do what he/she is doing and your job is to accommodate them (lest their self-esteem be damaged.) And don’t you dare express disdain (especially to writers for certain magazines.) As stated in these convoluted times, don’t bully the bully. Or, the anti-bully movement is to make sure you don’t object or resist your being bullied.
Co-dependency. Remember that wonderful term from the hey-day of the 70/80′s? Co-dependency is a descriptive word for a family/relationship dynamic associated with drug addiction. The co-dependent arrives at a state of thinking/feeling/behavior that is totally concerned with the behavior of a drug-addicted person. It is a legitimate condition that is destructive but that can respond to a re-ordering of thinking/feeling and behavior. The Camel’s nose snorted, however, that “it’s not my fault…I’m co-dependent.”
A clinical definition that just about anybody could embrace, once the syndrome was expanded beyond drug addiction to include just about anything. In fact, it reached the goofy proportion that if a person wasn’t co-dependent, then they were suspect! Emotional health was viewed with suspicion. Emotionally healthy people usually have high self-esteem/confidence, make decisions and accept the consequences, are tolerant but do not surrender their values to accommodate what they must tolerate. They are considered dangerous people in this politically correct era.
Addiction. What’s good for co-dependency is good for an addict. Addiction is a malignant disease characterized by an over-whelming obsession to continue using mind-altering drugs (or some other behavior) despite chronic, serious, negative consequences. It’s a nasty disease that is terminal and wildly destructive. Persons addicted to gambling kill themselves at a much higher rate than drug addicts. The Camel’s nose sniffed this and liked the sweet smell of “the devil made me do it.”
Once again, consequences were separated from decisions and behavior (which, by the way is the what enabling means – the chief perpetuating component of addiction.) It’s not my fault. So, now people are victims of their addiction to chocolate, television, computers, wrestling and ________(fill in the blank.) These are habits. Habituation is not addiction. The misuse of the word addiction makes it more difficult for those suffering to access relief.
Multi-culturalism – reflecting diverse cultures. A nice word that is as American apple pie. This is really a case of a good idea and good term gone to hell in a hand basket. Although the phrase has been around a while, it’s only in modern times become a movement. People travel, move around, and re-locate more than ever. Geography, whether national or neighborhood, no longer confines a particular race, culture or ideology. It is a small world. No longer do most people live and die within ten miles of the birth place. Cars, airplanes, ships, trains, telephones, internet, faxes, satellites – it’s not only foolish to promote mono-culturalism, it’s impossible. Competing ideas will get out, as in Tiananmen Square, Yeltsin on a tank , Matt Drudge, or #twitcher.
The United States is a nation of immigrants. Even the titled Native Americans themselves supplanted older cultures. Everyone came here from somewhere else, and everywhere else had a different culture and custom. The Constitution provided a government and society whose membership consisted only of obeying the common law. Commerce and social interaction would produce a “melting pot” to catalyze the best from the diverse. E Pluribus Unum –out of the many (states) one (nation.)
Multi-culturalism began as a movement to counter the narrow focus of ethnocentrism with an appreciation for the values and heritage of other citizens. Who would disagree? Nobody, really. Identity is not lost. In it’s genuine practice, multi-culturalism sparkled with just how much diverse people have in common and how that common enriched the society. Regrettably, this expansive and unifying concept is regarded as anathema by the Camel herders.
Multi-culturalism has devolved into a buzz word for mono-racial ideology. Rather than celebrating what is held in common, multi-culturalism demands “tolerance” of divisive cultural behaviors often disdained by others. Embedded in this is also the concept of “it’s not my fault.” This is the thinking that persists in seeking a “why” did the Boston bombers kill and maim people watching an exciting footrace?
Binge. For some reason the Camel leaders have slipped this word into the language regarding alcoholic beverages. Historically, a binge described the actions of a person who shirked his/her family, responsibilities, job, whatever, for a period of time – time devoted solely to doing drugs/alcohol/gambling. It’s not a pretty sight and often ended only when the person was too sick to continue or some other bad result. A binge was not a pretty picture.
The new “binge” refers to someone drinking a few drinks in one sitting, whether at a party or bar (sitting is often ill-defined – one hour, four hours, one day…). Granted, people can manage to get smashed mixing drugs and alcohol regularly enough and occasionally with fatal results. But that’s not what the new binge describes. Its purpose is to stigmatize people. It doesn’t matter that they haven’t vanished, dropped out of sight, neglected their families/jobs/studies/drive drunk/act stupid, they are viewed by the Camel as social outcasts. (Déjà vu – it’s the attack on “big tobacco” again!) Irresponsible drinking is one thing. A bona-fide binge is something else. Why the blur? Keep an eye (and nose) on this one.
Finally, let me revisit an old favorite.
Gender. Where biological creatures have a sex, language has gender. In certain languages words are masculine, feminine or neutral. Gender is not a biological identifier. Animals and humans have a sex – male or female. Yet the word is routinely used to identify the sex of a person. Why would anyone want to reference such a distinction as gender? Sniff…sniff…
Neutral? A neutral, or third sex? My neutered cat is listed “N” on its medical chart. Could this be? Could the Camel’s nose of years ago employed this subtle change to prepare public acceptance for a third sex? One replete with a new order of rights and protections? Naw, that’s just too preposterous – creating a new sexual identity by words alone?
Then again, what would be the consequences of striking out the word gender on a form, and writing in “sex” before answering it? Indeed, what would that do? Nothing. Unless there is mischief with the Camel’s nose.
November 6, 2012
Thanksgiving. How wonderful that we, the people, give thought each autumn to the prosperity and bounty in our lives. Thank = express gratitude. Thanksgiving = the act of giving thanks…a celebration of divine goodness.
On the grand scale of emotions, gratitude comes in just a bit below appreciation. Appreciation is a notch beneath love (in frequency.) Love (however experienced) is the pathway to Joy, the highest emotion we experience in 3-D. It is said that God is Love. Appreciation is kin to love and gratitude kin to appreciation. High energy thoughts, all.
The month of November is a time for appreciation, a season to look at what is right in our lives rather than what is lacking. It’s a time to focus on the bounty, thus making it more a part of our experience. It goes something like this: Gratitude – I am thankful to be free of the lack of ____(fill in the blank.) Gratitude still carries with it the concept of the lack. Appreciation – I appreciate all that is a part of my life. I am a child (thought) of God and all is wonderful. No lack or negative aspect embraced by appreciation. Love – I love myself and all that is. I am a part of this magnificent universe. Joy is my experience. Pretty close to God, Source, whatever name preferred.
Thanksgiving is a moment on this emotional scale. It’s an opportunity to shift focus, at least for a moment (and that’s often all it takes) to how much is good and wonderful. Gratitude, appreciation, love, joy – not a bad menu for a thanksgiving feast!
September 28, 2012
Just as there are only two emotions – good and bad – there are two ways of considering Universe. The first considers all that is as matter; life and the universe are material and by manipulating the material, improvements can be made so the brain can interpret the five senses as good. The second considers all that is as Conscious force using a meme of energy to create what is perceived as the material universe; thoughts are the creative energy that construct the three dimensional world the brain can interpret as good (or bad) from the senses.
As one wag put it, the first is an outside job, the latter an inside job.
Those who hold the materialistic construct have a belief that hard work, sweat, and a degree of suffering, is the only means of altering the material world for personal satisfaction (a good feeling.) This approach has been taught for untold generations – no pain, no gain. A classic example is JFK’s explanation of why the USA should go to the moon and return – “…because it’s hard…” This belief observes obstacles to a desired goal (a range of good feelings) and, like boulders, the obstacles must be moved, crushed, or otherwise manipulated. This is hard work. An outside job.
Those who hold Consciousness as force have the belief that thinking (thought selection) is the creative energy that determines the construct of the perceived universe. If the desire is to feel good, then thinking is directed (this is the consciousness element) to those similar energies and matter that the brain interprets, via senses, as good. For many people engaged in that great adventure of lunar exploration, the whole thing was fun – that is, the feeling of satisfaction, exhilaration, achievement (all degrees of good) that resulted in physically getting to the moon and back.
Granted, the lunar example is flawed because of so many moving parts, but JFK did clearly state it would be done because it was hard, not easy. On a daily level, the issue is to “do something” the hard way or the easy way. Well, of course if one opts for the “easy way” then somehow he/she is cheating, or taking a short cut, or some other diversion from doing the “hard work” that is required to earn (be worthy) the desired goal. At least that’s the way a materialistic thinker views it.
The distinguishing thoughts go something like this: 1) “I’ve got to make this happen,” 2) “What’s the best way to do this?” The former grits teeth and puts the shoulder of thinking against the challenge/obstacle. The latter relaxes and allows information to flow to reveal the solution.
Water doesn’t flow up hill. That’s the hard route to the ocean. Water lets gravity do the work and carry it to the desired result. Hence the wisdom of “go with the flow!”
Since humans are materialistically mostly water, then why not consider the wisdom of water and take the path of least resistance to the desire end?
Heck, even the dog gets it…
September 5, 2012
To tolerate, or not to tolerate, that is the question.
Well, yes it is a question. To tolerate means, in this sense, to endure and put up with someone/something (unhappily.) In effect, “I don’t like (it, you, them, etc., ) but I won’t (can’t) waste anymore of my time fussing with (it, you, them, etc., ) Toleration is a quantum improvement over attacking, fighting, resisting, against anything that displeases you, or is not aligned with your usual way of thinking (a.k.a. belief.)
It’s axiomatic that anything someone wants and does is rooted in an expectation that he/she will feel better for having it. There’s nothing complicated about this. How often have you had the thought “I’d be better off if only (it, you, them, etc.) would ________ (fill in the blank.) There’s a contradiction at play that cancels the desired good feeling – the focus on the mischief/mis-deed/whatever about (it, you, them, etc.,). Just as two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, it’s not possible for a good feeling and a negative (bad) feeling to occupy the same attention at the same time. Thus the problem with toleration.
Toleration is a good thing. It beats the heck out of a never-ending struggle and resentment towards (it, you, them, etc.,). Toleration creates literal time and energy for the pursuit of happiness. Think about it. For this reason, tolerance is considered a virtue, and it is, compared to ardent struggle. Becoming more tolerant results in greater physical relief, not to mention emotional and mental benefits. Note: Many people have a belief system that uses the word “forgiveness” in a similar vein as tolerance. Forgiveness works wonders provided it’s understood to benefit the forgiverand not something for (it, you, them, etc.,). Forgiveness, and tolerance, are often considered “letting (it, you, them, etc.,) get off of the hook, or getting away with something. Not at all. It’s a shift from giving attention to something disturbing to something preferred or desired. That shift in itself is quantum. It gets better.
There is a strata of perspective a notch above toleration. It’s called Allowing. Someone eaten up with resentment may, in a moment of frustration, comprehend the concept of toleration or forgiveness. It’s unlikely, however, they could grasp a concept of allowing at that moment. Someone who has developed the ability to tolerate (it, you, them, etc., ) may be able to catch a glimpse of allowing.
The difference between the two is subtle yet vast. Very similar to the subtle yet vast difference between a thought of that which is hateful to yourself do not unto another and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Toleration carries with it the idea, the memory, the picture of whatever it is about (it, you, them, etc., ) that offends/angers you. Allowing is free of that burden and (it, you, them, etc., ) are allowed to be what/who they are – sans judgment.
It’s the without judgment part that blocks access to this level of thought for many people. Allowing and judging cannot occupy the same mind at the same time. To judge is to seek and find fault, however defined. The solution is for the judged to correct the “fault.” For instance, in New York city there’s a ruckus over newborns having formula for food. Who decides if a newborn is breast fed or bottle? In this spat the judgment is from the state (city government) to force the mothers to breast feed by making formula very difficult to access in a city hospital. Is this justice? It is judgment.
So, the value of any judgment is relative to who/what is judging and who/what is judged. Floating just above that clamor is the old adage live and let live, which is an application of Allowing.
The subtle difference between tolerance and allowing is very similar to the distinction between being grateful for something and appreciating something.
The bottom line is that too many people deprive themselves of joy simply by the manner of their thinking.