A Chat with Gaia

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From the files:

It seemed appropriate for Earth Day 2015 to post an interview with Earth herself, Gaia.  I didn’t realize that such interviews are quite rare and was a bit surprised that I couldn’t speak with her.  But, as it happens, the inscrutable Thomas Albert Snead spoke with Gaia only a few weeks ago.  Snead has provided excerpts from his conversation for posting.  Once again Snead pops up where others simply cannot go.  Thus, thanks to T.A. Snead and Gaia.


Snead: It is indeed a pleasure to meet with you, Mother Earth.

Gaia:    Gaia.  You may call me Gaia.

Snead: A first name basis with the planet, that’s something extraordinary.

Gaia:    Not at all.  We’re very intimate.  I love you.

Snead: I love you too.  Every day I proclaim my love for Earth and Life.

Gaia:    I am Life, yes.  You wanted to ask me some questions?

Snead: I’ve read several times in various publications, and have heard knowledgeable people state, that you are dying.  Are you dying?

Gaia:    What?  Do I look ill?

Snead: No, you’re radiant.

Gaia:    The people who make these proclamations do not see the whole, they see only what they don’t like.  I always make sure that they see more of what they give their attention.

Snead:  I think they mean that the climate is changing for the worse because of what people are doing to you.

Gaia:    I, who create worlds, bullied by people?  Nonsense.

Snead: So, climate change, global warming or cooling, isn’t real?

Gaia:    Of course it’s real.  It’s called weather.  I am always in motion, nothing is still or stagnant.

Snead: Are you upset that humans are putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere?  That’s  the big cause of global warming, which is melting the glaciers and ice caps.

Gaia:    Plants must have carbon dioxide to thrive.  Why starve plants?  Plants are a source of oxygen that you must have to live.  Not a problem.  I store any surplus.

Snead:  Fossil fuels – oil, coal, gas – our use of these foul substances is killing you.  I’m told.

Gaia:    You are fueled by the sun, which for your purposes, is infinite.  In order for you to participate with me, you have to have a certain form.  It took a while for me to get you right, but you are designed to thrive.  Yet using direct energy from the sun would make you a different Life expression.  So I had the plants and minerals store the sun’s energy for your use.  It’s all the same energy, just in different storage forms.  You are welcome to it.  I want you to be happy.

Snead:  It’s difficult for some people to be happy when they see the glaciers melting.

Gaia:  I thought humans said they needed more fresh water.  I could, I suppose, bring in another comet, but I don’t think that’s what you want.

Snead:  But the melting means that the temperature is going up and that has a bad effect on the eco system.

Gaia:  I am eco system.   Glaciers melting is a good thing.  Can you say Great Lakes?

Snead:  Can we discuss evolution?

Gaia:  We already have.  Everything is in motion, nothing is static.

Snead:  I mean, how species develop.

Gaia:  Every thought, ever thought, still exists.  Life is constantly adding to itself.  This is how any form evolves.

Snead:  That’s a different way of thinking about it.

Gaia:  Thinking is what humans do best, even when they aren’t aware of it.

Snead:  Are we hurting other species with our technology and actions?

Gaia:  How many swallows and bats thrive beneath your bridges?  Ever try to count the number of birds perched on your power lines?

Snead:  Okay, they adapt.  As do we.  Constant motion, change, evolution.  So, over all, you’re not angry with us?

Gaia:  I love you.

Snead:  That’s good to know.

Gaia:  One last question.

Snead:  What’s the deal with squirrels?

Gaia:  Even humans have their jesters.


That’s all that Snead provided.  Happy Earth Day!

Thoughts on Thinking

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The Thinking Place recognizes thinking as the important activity of Mankind.  Thinking is important because nothing can occur prior to a thought.   Thinking is the activity of consciousness.  I think, therefore I am; I am, therefore I think.  Well, yes.

In the most basic structure, things not thought never come to pass.  The flip side, of course, is the belief that “all that is” is the result of random movements of particles in a capricious universe.   Because of the Law of Attraction, either belief is valid – the thinker will experience the results of such belief.  The difference is between living a managed life and one bouncing around the chaos of other peoples thinking, i.e., victim of external forces.

Is it safe to assume (risking ass-you-me!)  that any person, anywhere, anytime, prefers to feel good rather than feel bad?  Good is relative, granted, and the range of  a “good” feeling is vast.  Someone’s “good” feeling may be witnessing another suffer.  That’s hardly the same “good” feeling of someone providing assistance to another.  There are degrees of every feeling and experience.  The Life experience is about moving to a better feeling existence.  A mental move to a better feeling experience is not an accident.  It is a choice – a decision, a thought, an expectation.

Nothing can improve without a thought for improvement.  Some people understand that.  Some don’t.  One of my favorite thinkers, Emmet Fox, noted that People are trying to change outer conditions but leaving their consciousness unchanged, and it cannot be done.  I think Fox was emphasizing that until consciousness changes it’s not possible for anything else to change.  Consciousness is an awareness of thinking and there are degrees of consciousness as with everything.  The higher degree is characterized by a greater frequency or vibration.  Higher frequencies, in a word, rule over lower frequencies.

Contemporary with Fox was Charles Fillmore, who summed up the mental process:  If you’re unhappy with your life, change you thinking.  In essence, it’s not possible to “fix” your life until you are able to “change” your thinking.

Yet how do you change thinking?  Simply by giving attention to something else that evokes an improved feeling.  Simple is not synonymous with easy.  Many of us aren’t aware that we’re thinking, let alone how we’re thinking.  As one wag noted, consciousness is a terrible thing to waste.

Quick check:  On most days are you planning your activities/experiences?  Or, are you reacting to whatever you’re sensing around you – 24 hours news, FB, other people’s opinions, etc.?  Many people bounce around their thinking, reacting to what they see and experience going on around them.  They give attention to the news, gossip, what others say and do, and make note of the differences between people (especially themselves.)   They focus on every injustice when the “bad guys” get away with it.   Or, when some people have all the luck (leaving less “luck” available for others!)

A change in consciousness is not necessarily a Road to Damascus moment with blinding Light and Voices from the Cosmos.  Most often an elevation of consciousness (thinking on a higher frequency) is more a “Eureka!” or “Aha!” moment when something is suddenly clear.  “I get that!” is often a response.  Finally learning to “follow” your hunch/instinct is a good sign.

Perhaps the finest illustration of a change in consciousness involves a very old and very widespread teaching about humans relating to one another:

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.  Buddhism.

This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do

            unto you.  Hinduism.

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.  Judaism.

The teaching is direct – don’t inflict on others what you don’t want to experience yourself.  We’ve got a long history of showing that this guiding principle is effective.

Take a look at the essence of the thought:  What’s emphasized?  Something painful or undesirable.  “I don’t want this to happen to me.”  Therefore, I won’t inflict this on someone else (and maybe they won’t do it to me.)  It is a sort of truce among people – let’s agree not to harm each other.  The agreement works very well.  Over time it becomes codified and passed along to each generation.  It is a belief, a faith, if you will.  It becomes a state of consciousness – individual and collective.

Take a look at the general concept expressed on a higher level of consciousness:

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them.

However one may consider Jesus, he is first a profound teacher, guiding consciousness with a shift in perspective.  This application, known as the Golden Rule, puts attention on what you desire – how you wish to be treated.  And places the responsibility for that desire on you!  Treat others as you want to be treated.  That’s a significant evolution from the old teaching.  Now as over 2,000 years ago, not everyone “gets it.”

“I’ll be nice to you, IF you’re nice to me first.”

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“I’ll be nice to you if you’re nice to me first.”  “How I treat you depends on how you treat me.”  “I’m not supposed to like you, so I don’t have to be nice to you.”  There’s a lot of deep rooted beliefs in those mental statements.


If those sentiments ring familiar, then it’s possible that the principle teaching of the Great Master known as Jesus is not grasped, understood, let alone utilized.  That principle, known as the Golden Rule, is simply to treat others in the same manner which you would wish to be treated.  Those who get it, get it.  Those who don’t, can’t.


One of the profound effects of that teaching is that it is not about other people.  It is a formula for personal happiness.  The Golden Rule is all about you.  Everyone wants to be happy, to feel better in the moment.  Some succeed, many don’t.  Those that don’t likely think to themselves  “I’ll be nice to you IF you are nice to me first.”  The key point of the teaching is missed.  The “action” or energy element is placed on the other person.  You “react” to what this other person does, or does not do.  And if the other person isn’t “nice” to you, then you cannot be “nice” to him.  This creates antagonism and a struggle results.  Listen to others and note how people describe their daily experience as a struggle.  It’s not fate, or the gods, or capricious forces causing their struggle, but a deep seated belief that drives their thinking.


The Golden Rule is neutral.  It is the Law of Attraction applied to personal happiness.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Works great, unless you think that you are a worthless, no good, S.O. B., who has sinned, and deserves to be punished.  It you harbor a belief that you should suffer, then you will attract those who will help you fulfill your belief.  That’s how it works.  Until the belief changes, nothing else can.  And, that’s why there was (and remains) so much resistance to the Master’s teaching.  Changing a belief can be very difficult.  My favorite quote is from John Maynard Keynes:  “When someone convinces me that I am wrong, I change my mind.  What do you do?”  If thinking differently (which is what changing belief is) is terrifying, then cognitive dissonance occurs – that miserable state of being when undeniable “facts” challenge entrenched beliefs.  Something has to give – either re-write the facts or change belief.  Changing facts is a time consuming theatre.  Changing one’s thinking is often scary (venturing into the unknown, so to speak.)  How do you feel?  That’s a good indicator of how effectively the Golden Rule formula is being practiced.  Is there a sense of relief when an attitude is changed?


For the Golden Rule to be effectively applied, the fundamental question must be answered:  Who am I and why am I alive?  (There are many variations of the question, but you get the gist.)  It’s important because you cannot treat anyone else better than you treat yourself.  If you believe that you are created free and with a desire to be happy, then you convey that state of freedom and pursuit of happiness to others.  In return, you attract people and situations that affirm your freedom and happiness.   The Golden Rule in action.  Yet if the answer is oppressed “I was created to serve the tribe (hive, etc.)” then that is the manner you convey to others – who are fellow servants, suppressing individualism.  It takes a lot of effort to suppress innate identity.  History recounts the massive efforts to do that by institutions, ruling class, religions, and so forth.  Simply, if you can’t believe that you deserve or should be happy, then there’s no way you can.  The Golden Rule will make no sense.  You will treat others in the manner you perceive them treating you.  Reaction rather than action.


One of the reasons the teaching was so revolutionary is that it presented a way to create a happier life experience as opposed to merely avoiding more suffering and misery.  Same coin, two sides.  The more dominant “philosophy” of that era was do not do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.  In effect, don’t steal unless you want be stolen from, and so forth.  Frankly, not a bad governing approach for a society.  There is an enormous shift in consciousness with the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  One is to reduce/avoid pain and misery.  The other is to create more happiness by deliberate thinking.  A lot of folks at the time “got it.”  People still do, to this day.


The “problem” with Jesus’ teaching, was that it had no need for any institution or external force, to bring about a better life for the individual.  A lot of investment had gone into religion, priesthood, social expectations, family obligations and so forth – a powerful shared belief that a  “good” life was possible only by following the rules of others.  Ignore and suppress intuition and yield to the herd.


How entrenched is the momentum of the belief that it takes an intercession from someone or something in order for a person to earn, or be worthy, of a good life?  Martin Luther had some thoughts on the matter – long after the time of Jesus – when the Church became the only way to salvation or a better life.  The whole Protest was for direct personal access to God, via the Bible.  No institution or priesthood was necessary.  The mass media of the day, the printing press, allowed courageous individuals to get the Bible translated into common language, printed, and made available to the “common man.”


It can be hard to imagine, now, what a huge deal that was.  So, we can get an idea of the level of angst resulting from the Golden Rule at the time.


What is “wrong” with individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness that so threatens many?  Nothing is wrong with it.  So, practice the Golden Rule.  Use the Magic Word, Ashali, it’s a good tool for directing thinking to what is truly desired.  You’ll feel better.  And, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Accept Your Good!

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Your Good is at hand.  Accept it and be happy.  Right now, this instant, you can begin creating a wonderful life, if you’re not already.  What?  You’re not having a wonderful life?  How can that be?

I haven’t earned it, yet
I don’t deserve it, yet
I haven’t suffered enough, yet

Nope.  That’s not why.

“But George, in the real world there is no gain without pain.  If you don’t sacrifice and give up what you desire, then you won’t get anything, and, besides, I must prove myself worthy of having good in my life.”

Say’s who?  Who, or what, demands that you deny your Good?  Seriously, who?  God?  Source?  The All? Who?  What? Who/what limits the good you experience right now?

Would YOU want to inflict suffering on your child?  Of course not.  So, what keeps you from accepting your Good Life, here and now?  There is an answer:  It is your mental attention on the lack or absence of your Good.

It’s been long taught that “there are two sides to everything.”  Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has a pair of opposites; like and unlike; wanted, unwanted; positive, negative divided into countless degrees.  This is a fundamental structure of the universe.  When we understand this structure, law if you will, we are able to gain more control over our experience.

Everything is in motion, nothing in the universe is static.  Everything vibrates and has a frequency – a rate of vibration.  It is the range of frequencies along a vibrational scale that creates the polarity – up/down; high/low; hot/cold; in/out; joy/despair.  It is the same thing but at different degrees, such as hot-cold.

Your world, your momentary experience, is determined by your focus – your attention to a particular frequency of something.  Where your attention is, is where you are.  This is why Jesus taught that the “poor” will be around always.  Jesus didn’t mean “poor” as an economic term or degree of material possession, but rather the perception and perspective such a person has regarding self and relationship to other frequencies.  In effect, such people give their attention to what they “lack” rather than practicing their thinking higher on that scale towards “desire”.

Why do you enjoy being around certain people?  You know, you feel good when they’re around.  There’s more energy and delight when they’re around.  The sensation is evident, but what’s going on?


c: the process by which an electrical conductor becomes electrified when near a charged body, by which a magnetizable body becomes magnetized when in a magnetic field or in the magnetic flux set up by a magnetomotive force, or by which an electromotive force is produced in a circuit by varying the magnetic field linked with the circuit.  (Merriam-Webster)

The operative phrase is near a charged body.  Electrical induction describes a process of transference of energy or force through space.  This principle holds vast promise for accessing electricity.  Even more important, it helps explain such elusive phenomena as “mental telepathy,” the healing factor of “prayer,” as well as the sensation felt when in the presence of a charged personality.

Presumptions include

·         Energy is a vibration

·         Thought is energy

·         Vibration has a frequency

·         Energy can be transmitted

The bottom line is that we are vibrational beings and, being such, participate in induction.  There is value in feeling good – it has an effect on others.  In a sense, the best thing you can do for someone is enjoy yourself.  The reverse is also true – that you can be influenced by the frequencies emitted by others.  This is the sensation of entering a building, a room, a structure and having a “sense” of it – either pleasant or dismal.  Literally, it is vibrating, the vibrations at least in part the result of induction from other people.  Now, this gets to be fun when we realize this means we have a degree, perhaps a lot, of control over our experience.

Thought is the most inherent component of ourselves and we have the ability to chose, select if you will, how we think.  The way we think affects our interpretation of what we sense around us and how we project to others.   The implications are marvelous.

We help others through induction.  Induction charges, affects vibration.  The higher the frequency in a given subject, the better the experience.  By changing our vibration, and we do that firstly by changing our thoughts, we attract experiences of a similar vibration.  The better it gets, the better it gets.  The worse it gets, the worse it gets.  It’s the vibration that’s the key.

Think of everything as a SCALE.  This is my polarity stick.  It has four sides, representing Direction, Temperature, and Emotions.  There’s North/South, Hot/Cold, Love/Hate, and Joy/Despair.

Imagine that we are all at the North Pole.  But, it’s time to move on.  Someone plans to go to New York.  Someone plans to go to London.  Someone plans to go to Bossier City.  Someone intends to go to Saigon.  What direction does each person go?  South.  They arrive in different places, but all head in the same direction.

Hot and Cold.  Same thing, just a matter of degree.  For our senses, “hot” might be the vibrational point that causes water molecules to separate.  “Cold” might be the point where water molecules crystalize.  We set the standard for these “extremes” these two aspects of the same thing.

Love and Hate are the same thing, just different expressions of frequency.  Which one is more pleasant?  Certainly love.  However, if a person has experienced despair for a long time, a feeling of “hate” is an improvement.  There is no right or wrong along any scale.  It is what it is.  We have the ability, with thought, to move our frequency closer to that which we wish to experience.

For many of us, that would be Joy.  But we can’t be on the same frequency as joy if our attention is on something that distresses us.  To be more joyful means that we give our attention to joy; to choose to focus on the Good in our immediate moment.

So, what do we have?

There is ONE universe.  The Universe is a mental creation of that we call God (capital G).  All is in motion – energy vibrates and the frequency determines its nature.

We think with our Mind.  Thoughts are not products of the brain, a physical organ.  Our Mind attracts thoughts based on our attention.  This is great!  We have the ability, and the authority, to give our attention to any and every thing that we desire.

Uh, what if we’re clueless to what we desire?  Not an unusual situation, actually.  Think polarity – even if you don’t know what you want, you most certainly are aware of what you don’t want.  What you want is the other end of the scale.

Recognizing that prayer and healthy vibrations are received by others is important.  Some folks, very well intentioned but not understanding how things work, might hold such erroneous beliefs that any time they feel good, someone somewhere must feel bad.  Or that if they prosper, then someone somewhere is denied prosperity.

Nonsense.  You can test this.  If you believe that having Good means that someone else is denied their good, then go home and get very sick.  Become very ill.  Suffer greatly.  By doing so someone, somewhere will suddenly enjoy health.  Of course it doesn’t work that way.  If you want to assist someone in poor  physical health, be healthy  yourself – project to them a higher vibration; when you give such person your attention, behold them with love and health, perceiving them as they truly are.

Another thing is to follow your Intuition.  It’s YOU communicating with You.  It is your Higher Self sending guidance.

The higher frequency rules the lower.  The only way to “get rid” of a thing or a thought is to give your attention to something else.  By “getting rid” of something your attention is on the thing you want to be rid of, which attracts more of the same.

What?  You “got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?  Okay.  Take a moment, take a breath, relax, now mentally get up on the right side of the bed.  You can do this now!  There is no reason to give your attention to anything that distresses you.  You can ALWAYS think of something else, something higher on the scale.  And that’s the way you get there.

Charles Fillmore got it right:  If you’re unhappy with your life, change your thinking.


Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night – the Summary

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So, What Do You Have?
• There is a real, physical, sensation which accompanies change. Fear and anxiety may result when you are not aware of what is occurring.
• People are able to habituate. This frees the conscious mind for creative pursuits.
• Habits of activity, thinking, and feeling are created. Habits can be positive, negative, good, or bad. The process is neutral.
• Patterns are the cyclical events which are driven by the collected habits over time. Patterns may be difficult to notice at first—similar to not seeing the forest for the trees.
• Managing fear results in a positive experience. It’s true. Learning how to manage fear, even if not overcoming it, enhances self confidence. Fear never completely exits your life, for no other reason than there are always shadowy corners in life, and you don’t know what’s on the other side. It’s a great motivator.
• Expectations are created when thinking habits meld with feeling habits over time. Expectations are extremely powerful. In a battle of what one expects versus what one desires, expectation wins.
• People are created free and instinctively resist being forced to do something. The more free a person, the greater the sense of identity. The greater the sense of identity, the greater the demand for freedom. Sadly, the converse is also true.
• Words are important. Using the correct word, when you speak and think to yourself, is vital to avoid creating unnecessary internal conflicts. You listen and respond to your own thoughts. Become your “best friend” and not your “worst enemy.”
• Time will pass. Use it, it’s your friend. A part of human growth and development is to look back in time and assess your life. Perspective.
• If you know what is important, the rest is simple.
• Simple does not equal easy.

Useful Tools in your Personal TOOL BOX:

• HANDS. When in doubt, clasp your hands one way, then the other. It’s a good reminder that much discomfort and unease is a result of some re-arrangement, or change in your life.
• The Problem is not the Solution. If the problem never seems to go away, or if nothing really changes despite your hard work, then mentally step back and see if you are, in fact, wanting the problem to stop being a problem. Especially if the problem is a person.
• An irrational idea, passionately held, is still an irrational idea. Use this tool often. Are you demanding that people, or the world, get its act together in order for you to feel good? This is a path to insane behavior.
• Do I want to wreck my neighbor’s car? A handy thought to use whenever you feel angry or resentful. What do you want? Happiness for you, or for others to suffer? The two are not synonymous. Your energy should benefit you, not the S.O.B.s out there.

There are a number of ideas that go well with sticky notes on your refrigerator, computer monitor, or other special places:

• Habituation occurs whether you are aware or not.
• Stubborn is not a virtue.
• Don’t break a habit; replace it.
• Words mean things.
• The freedom of the word “choose.”
• Good Grief—using the spiral of time for healing.
• An irrational idea, passionately held, can cause weird behavior.
• Strong emotions are associated with memory. Forget about being able to forget.
• Perspective—cause and effect and delayed gratification.
• Don’t try, do something. Or don’t do it.
• Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste.
• Worry feeds on indecision.

Tried and True

Don’t discount the rich cultural history and wisdom that has been passed along as adages. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel of knowledge.

• Humans are creatures of habit.
• Birds of a feather really do flock together.
• You really can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
• A stitch in time saves nine.
• Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

The Bottom Line: Power.

The concepts and tools presented in this book can help you develop a greater sense of personal freedom and confidence. This is achieved by learning to become more aware of what you think, how you feel, and what you are doing right now. You may have developed a habit of not paying attention to these matters.

Your power to change is in this moment. Time won’t back up for you. It will not skip forward so you can see the results of today’s decisions and behavior. Of course you can devote your time and energy in those attempts. But why?

Nobody says that you must continue living with habits and patterns that no longer work for you. You have the power to choose what you do. The only obstacle to gaining more control over your life may be a reluctance to invest the time and energy to make a change. Perception is reality.

In every situation, at any instant, you can ask three questions:

• What am I thinking, right now?
• How am I feeling, right now?
• What am I doing, right now?

Once those are answered, ask three more questions:

• Am I thinking the way I want to think?
• Am I feeling the way I want to feel?
• Am I acting the way I want to act?

If the answer to any of the above is no, don’t fret. Right now, this moment, you have the power and the ability to change the thought. Change the feeling, or at least manage the way you respond to the feeling. Change the behavior, or at least stop acting in a way you do not like. You can do something to manage your life.

You can practice asking those questions several times a day. It’s okay to leave yourself sticky notes. It’s not necessary to rely on your memory to do this, because much of that is already a habit. Use reminders in whatever manner works for you. The important thing is to do it.

The only way to get rid of an unwanted habit is to replace it with another one. You simply can’t jerk a habit out of your experience— nature abhors a vacuum! That’s the same thing as “trying to break” a habit. Unproductive habits need to be replaced. There is no shortcut. Once you are aware of the habituated activity you can, at that instant, replace it. The new action won’t stick immediately, of course, it’s not yet a habit. But with practice and persistence, it will.

If the idea of replacing a habit is a little scary, then use another term. Supplant means for one thing to gradually take the place of another. Supplant is a gentle process. No sudden shocks, no dramatic shifts, just quiet, steady, consistent work, with a minimal of “Hands” type of discomfort. If you are prone to break habits, you may wish to supplant them. Don’t want to supplant them? Supersede them. Supersede means to set aside something obsolete and replace it with something new. Use that word and style if it works for you.

Life is a great adventure for those who choose to participate.


All Those Trees are Hiding the Forest!

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   It is said that the best place to hide something is right in front of whoever shouldn’t find it.  How often have you searched and searched for something and, finally, discover it at the end of your nose, so to speak.  The experience is often regarded as a DUH! moment.
   As we approach a new year, 2014, and our beloved Earth passes our starting line for another trip around old Sol, many of us search for that special something, that magical ingredient, or lottery number, that will bring more joy.  Some declare intentions by means of Resolutions – a resolve for some change in behavior that might result in an improved life.
   Let’s take a look at some ways to have a fulfilling and enjoyable 2014.
   First, the trinity:  Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  So well phrased, and in working order.  Life is – you’ve already got that.  Liberty – got that, although liberty can involve surrendering or trading freedom for some other presumed gain.  Think giving up your freedom of movement and privacy to get on an airplane – supposedly made safer.  For most, it is the Pursuit of Happiness that gets action.
   So how does one pursue happiness?  This is the important second step – how is your happiness defined?  Do you determine what is best for you, or do you defer to what someone, or something else, decides is best for you?  This is important.  It does not matter how much energy, treasure, and effort you put into meeting someone else’s idea of what is good for you, you will not be happy.  You will be confused and likely irritated (no good feeling payoff for all of your sacrifice.)  There is only one person who knows what is best for you, and that is you.  This is a simple aspect of life that may take an entire lifetime to realize.  The frustration comes from realizing near the end of a lifetime that the knowledge was always present – the firmness of a two-year old declaring “you ain’t the boss of me!” or some similar declaration of independence.
   A greatly misunderstood belief is that it is wrong (bad!) to be selfish, to think of yourself, when you ought to be thinking of others and making sure you give them much of your stuff.  That’s a thinking pattern born of materialism.  Materialism is based on a zero-sum formula – anything that you have means someone else will have less.  It is false, but widely held and thus kept in momentum.  Have you ever met a materialist who was actually happy?  I haven’t, not really.
   An extension of materialism is finding something external, outside of self, that influences or causes some physical or other change.  This thinking does not, and cannot, recognize the authority of the individual – the mind.  Not the brain, the brain is an organ designed to process a multitude of energy frequencies into sensory applications.  The brain is a tool for the mind.  And, mind is safely regarded as consciousness.  Consciousness is not confined or limited, since it is not “material.”  Thus, consciousness can include so much more than a physical, material, experience.  Once that’s recognized, then the pursuit of happiness really gets going!
   Or not.  It is true that “those who get it, get it.  Those who don’t get it, can’t get it.”  For example, there are those who decry “wishful thinking” as silly, and getting in the way of the work necessary to get something.  In their view, that is correct.  Wishful thinking is not a substitute for the hard work necessary to achieve something.  What these people call “wishful thinking” is the best description they can come up with for others who give their focused  attention to what they wish for and not on things undesired.  A huge difference.
   The pursuit of happiness is possible when the person has a good idea of what he/she desires.  Then, it’s a matter of keeping focused on that desire and not wasting thought, time, energy, on things that are unwanted or undesired.  It’s not complicated.  And, it works.
   But even when it works, it may not be recognized.  The more materialistic a person, the more he/she fails to see the forest because of all those trees in the way.
   I was reminded of this the other day while reading the January/February 2014 issue of Discover Magazine, one of my favorite reads.  In the issue, writer Ed Yong interviews psychologist Brian Nosek about Nosek’s efforts to systematize reproducibility of psychological studies.  A very worthy goal.  Let me quote Nosek’s answer to Yong’s opening question:  “When did you first become aware of the problem of reproducibility?”
            When I was an undergrad, I read a paper that evaluated claims about subliminal mood      tapes, which supposedly improved your memory if you played then while you slept.  When  people tried to replicate these claims, they found that only the subject’s expectations mattered:  If you thought the tape increased your memory, your memory was better.  This was my first insight that not all scientific claims are valid or reproducible.
   There was no viable way to “prove” that the memory tapes were the factor that improved memory.  Okay.  But, what was clearly evident? …only the subject’s expectations  mattered:  If you thought the tape increased your memory, your memory was better.  To me, at least, this was the component that begged for further study rather than considered a corrupting factor.  Alas, an “expectation” is considered an internal thing, a conditioned response of the brain, and not a real factor, such as the tapes.  There’s the forest,  unseen due to belief trees.  Ergo, those that get it, get it.  Those that don’t, can’t.  It’s a matter of belief.  Which is a matter of thought.  Which is a matter of thinking.  Which is the activity of the mind.  Which is the nature of consciousness.  And so on…
   This line of thought is where materialists get headaches and often become tempermental.  Consciousness is non-physical and, try as hard as they might, it simple won’t fly as an effect of brain chemistry.  Yet, if you expect to find Consciousness as a product of brain activity, then you will find it.  Thus someone who rejects Consciousness as anything outside of chemical interactions is satisfied.  Expectation is neutral – it reveals to the person whatever he/she desires or intends.  This is what is meant by “those that don’t get it, can’t get it.”
   What do you expect for 2014?  Not a superficial thought or parroting the wishes of others, but on a gut-level (the power realm) what do you expect for yourself during this next trip around the sun?  The knack is to align desires with expectation (a.k.a. faith) and that’s where Consciousness comes in.  One way to do that is becoming more aware of the “thought behind the thought.”  The thought “behind” is usually the expectation.  Such as:  “I will be healthy, happy and prosperous this new year” but growling behind that desire may be the expectation “but it really won’t happen.”
   Why not? you may ask.  A mental listing of reasons why it is unlikely that you would be healthy, happy, and prosperous unfold.  Attention to these factors doom the desire.  It really is a matter of attention.  One exercise is to mentally add a comma at the end of any statement, then fill in with what is viscerally expected.  That awareness provides the moment for change.  Replace the negative thought behind the thought by reaffirming the genuine desire and intent.  It takes practice (you’re supplanting a habit) but it can be done.
   “This year I’m going to lose fifteen pounds” COMMA , “And it will be fun!”  Affirm what a delight the intent will be rather than give attention to the struggle, past failure, etc.  “I’m going to enjoy my job more this year” COMMA , “And that will be fun!”  I mean, isn’t anything you want and desire fun?  If it’s not fun, then do you really want it?  Or, do you trick yourself into “wanting it” to please someone else?  This is about you, not them.
   A mental check for other sabotaging “thoughts behind the thought” are motivations from ought to, should, must, and got to.  Anytime and everytime you have the thought that you must do something, or should do something, or that you ought to do something then you are resisting yourself.  Now, if the whatever it is that you “should” do is truly something you desire, then use your consciousness and replace the word “should” with “It is fun to…”  All the difference in the world.
   Expectations are accompanied by feelings.  The nature of the feeling is an accurate indication of the expectation.  If the expectation feels good – then you’re aligned for fun.  If the expectation feels bad – despite the “good” desire, then you know that you don’t really expect the desire to manifest but something else, undesired, will come into your experience.  This is another opportunity to use the COMMA and substitute the expectation with “and it will be fun”.  Or, change the “desire” if it really isn’t what you want, but instead something you feel obligated to want – like the end of poverty, or world illness, or unhappy people.
   The best way to truly help anyone is to be healthy, happy, and prosperous yourself all the while having fun!  Enough exposure to you in that state is the only experience that may, finally, help them look beyond the tree in front of them, and view the grandeur of the forest.
   Happy New Year!

Whence Intuition?

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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…” Illusion window

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.

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