New Civilization News - Category: Personal Development    
 Subtle Beings2 comments
picture9 May 2004 @ 07:09, by tsebastian. Personal Development
Very Subtle Beings
are rarely appreciated.
The aesthetic appreciation faculty is numbed
by the frantic search for meaning
that runs rampantly through the wandering minds
of the non self reflective.
I don't know what the hell to do about it.
Should I?
I am stirred, not shaken
to wonder, and ponder about it.
It's hardly avoidable... in every interaction,
it becomes apparent.
So what's a bhodi to do?
I shoot love / truth bullets
into the heart / minds of the distracted
that bump into me.
Sometimes they look startled like deer in headlights.
They soon forget for the most part.
Resonance... substantiates our Reality Song
And when it does... sweetness can be shared...
Even that is not enough to draw them away from their becoming... what?
...For the most part
I could be sad, but not today.
What for?  More >

 Brave Knights of Lore6 comments
picture3 May 2004 @ 21:54, by skookum. Personal Development
One of my earliest poems... written for some friends of mine on the board.

Brave Knights of Lore

Are these brave knights of ancient lore,
Going where none have gone before?
To slay the dragon of awsome might,
Showing their courage in deadly fight?  More >

 A Time To Reflect1 comment
22 Apr 2004 @ 21:50, by nemue. Personal Development
This Sunday we celebrate ANZAC Day in Australia and I am feeling somewhat reflective. ANZAC stands or the Australian & New Zealand Army Corp and the original ANZAC’s were the brave men who represented their countries on the battle fields during the 1st world war.  More >

 What I'm reading5 comments
picture 1 Feb 2004 @ 19:43, by ming. Personal Development
I recently added a list of books I'm reading to my sidebar. It is not going to be a very fast moving list, though. In part because I don't read all that fast, and in part because I tend to read multiple books at the same time, which I switch around between depending on whether I'm bored and what I'm interested in. But, just to give an idea, this is what I'm currently reading:

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I love how he writes. I've read Snowcrash and The Diamond Age previously. This one is about cryptography and hidden treasures and world war II. It is quite a trip on various levels.

The Templar Revelation by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. Fascinating historical analysis along the lines of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. About the mysteries surrounding The Knights Templar, various secret societies, the life of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and lots of stuff going on in the particular area where I happen to live, over the last two thousand years. I'm reading it in Danish. It is interesting, but somewhat repetitive, so I can't bear reading it continuously.

Getting Things Done by David Allen. Actually I haven't really read in it for a while, but it is lying here on my desk and it is one of my to-do items. Ironically. It is a great book about organizing your life. Makes more sense than any I've run into, as it is a system that can be fitted to my own preferences. And I really need to be more organized and not just have a zillion post-it notes lying around.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I just started that, but it is fabulous. I haven't really read any self-help or spiritual books for a long time, as it sort of bored me and I've read a lot. But this one inspires me. Very practical and non-dogmatic guidance towards experiencing the present moment much more fully, and getting over the addiction to circular and non-productive thinking that most humans are afflicted with.

The Sexual Life of Catherine M by Catherine Millet. I'm reading that in French. It is rather unusual for an erotic type of book. It is written by a well-established academic art critic, and it has caused somewhat of sensation and is a bestseller in English too. In part because of the contents, wild orgies around Paris, and in part because of the strange detached way it is written. It is not even particularly erotic. She very matter of fact catalogues her sexual life, as if she's describing an art collection while being a fly on the wall. And at the same time it is very personal and intimate.

Aside from that, I'm reading the French dictionary. I'm on my second time through 'A'. That's not quite as dull as it sounds, as it somehow provides some connection between things that one might miss otherwise. Alors, après que j'ai assimilé et appris 'A' et d'ailleurs abouti à une agréable et appréciable apogée, avec aucune amnésie, il s'agit de avaler la section 'B'.

Oh, and comic books of course. French comics have always been my favorite, so now I read them in French, of course, instead of mostly in Danish. Like Moebius or Valerian.  More >

 NCN: 16% evil, 84% good ?5 comments
picture22 Jan 2004 @ 14:04, by bombadil. Personal Development

The Gematriculator is a service that uses the "infallible" methods of Gematria developed by Mr. Ivan Panin to determine how good or evil a web site or a text passage is.
 More >

 Ningizimu School - the power of Love
picture12 Jan 2004 @ 23:06, by ashanti. Personal Development
A friend of mine, Robin Opperman, works at a special school for mentally disabled children, the Ningizimu School. He really is an angel, doing fantastic work with these kids. He works with them through Art, and together they use old waste, and turn it into magically beautiful African creations. Alliance Francaise have been so impressed by the stunning work the children produce, with Robin's gentle encouragement, that they have commissioned a series of banners. They are currently on exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery, and will eventually be on display in Paris later this year. Photos of the work are unfortunately not yet available, but having seen them myself, I can assure they are truly beautiful. It is just amazing what the power of Love can do - transform waste into beauty, and give purpose, fulfilment, empowerment and income to children who are disabled, and who would have otherwise been thrown away by society.  More >

 New Year7 comments
picture 31 Dec 2003 @ 12:44, by ming. Personal Development
Another year is walking by. I guess it was a pretty eventful year. We moved and live in another country now. Different circumstances, different stuff, different people. But some engineered external change just makes it easier to notice the stuff that is more permanent. Consciousness, exploration, learning, sharing, warmth, laughter, love. The things that one cares about in life, no matter the circumstances. The continuous finding and re-finding of that which makes life worth living. For me there's a red thread going through all of it. Often a rather elusive thread. I know it is always there somewhere, but I might lose it or forget it for a while. Which is easy to do because it always changes. It is never a thing or a place or an idea or a label or a system. Never something you can just grasp and hold on to. Maybe it is a quality. I notice the thread as a feeling. A sense of being in the flow, where something both new and familiar is happening. Where you have a sense of recognition, despite being on an adventure you've never seen before. Where you wake up a little, and realize how life is really simple and mostly joyful, while at the same time vast and mysterious. It is an amazing thing. To life!  More >

 Sanity19 comments
picture 7 May 2003 @ 14:32, by ming. Personal Development
I used to imagine that it was possible to make people sane by working them through a certain regimen, a certain sequence of progressively more advanced steps. That there would be a methodology that could be applied to just about anybody, and the end result would be a sane and rational human being.

I'm not saying I no longer believe that it is possible, but I've sort of lost touch with that way of looking at things, and I have more reasons to be doubtful than I used to.

A.E. van Vogt wrote a series of science fiction books in the 50s about the world of "null-A". They would make the most sense to somebody who had studied general semantics, and they were essentially a fictional description of a world where general semantics principles were put to serious use. An elite corps of individuals were trained in infinite valued logic, the awareness of abstraction, and the ability to create a semantic pause, where you step back from all the inadequate perceptions, limiting concepts, reactions and emotions, and examine what is actually going on before you act. Somebody who could think clearly and rationally, on multiple levels, taking all factors into consideration, no matter the circumstances. And, well, despite that Korzybski had outlined such principles in considerable detail, no such corps of rational people has been assembled in our world. Maybe because he outlined the principles, but not necessarily the techniques for getting people to live them. Maybe because it is more complicated than that.

Many years ago I was a scientologist. More than 20 years since I was kicked out of Scientology. One of the key endeavors in Scientology is to develop individuals into a state called "clear". A clear would be a person who no longer has irrational reactions to what he experiences in life. I.e. no more blind push-button reactions, where one ends up doing something that one doesn't want and which doesn't work. Where one unconsciously does something destructive instead of what serves the circumstances best. Where one walks around in a hypnotic state, responding to distorted commands from one's subconscious mind, rather than being aware, awake and present in the moment. And, well, there are systematic methods for locating and transforming these various areas. And when one has reached a certain state where one is more powerful than one's subconscious, and actually able to make one's own conscious and rational decisions about things, that's when one is labeled "clear". I became a clear, and there certainly is something to it. You can systematically become more sane. However, since then I've more and more taken it with a grain of salt, and realized that it wasn't quite as absolute and permanent a state of being as it appeared. Nevertheless, it became part of who I am.

For many years after that I would predominantly hang out with people who were "doing their work" as it is often called in new age circles. In part because I was a professional counselor who would facilitate personal change. So, I was mostly paying attention to people who were on a path of personal development, who were working in their own way on being more sane, more present, more whole. Maybe they were meditating, maybe they were getting therapy, maybe they were rewiring their own minds with NLP. But they were doing something, and even though it would be many different disciplines, there would be a certain underlying agreement about the value of being more awake, empowered, enlightened, whole, or whatever it might be called.

At some point I stopped bothering seeking out that kind of people. In part because I'm interested in life as it really is, in whatever form it takes, and it was a little boring just hanging out with people who had the same kinds of views on things. Great gifts might appear in unexpected places. The truth might be spoken where you least expect it. Life is something to experience, not to just sit and be holy about.

But now, to get to my point. We live in a world where there's no generally agreed upon norm for what is sane and what isn't. We aren't being trained in identifying what is sane and what is less sane. We aren't being trained in thinking. We aren't being trained in recognizing truth or deception.

The people who are supposed to be the certified specialists in such things often have the least clue. Oh, there are some brilliant and prominent psychiatrists around, who somehow have managed to maintain an intuition for what people need. But aside from that, I don't think I've enountered such a concentration of lunatics in any other field. That's not what I wanted to rant about, however.

My point is more personal. I somehow have an implicit assumption that the people I deal with have gone through a path in life that somehow is equivalent to mine. Not doing the same things, but somehow having similar experiences, learning similar things, and ending up with some kind of mature sanity about life. And the thing is that I'm more and more noticing that that is not the case at all. Many people have made it this far in life without ever "working on themselves". Many people have adopted some kind of fixed solution to everything, making themselves right and others wrong. Religious dogma, fundamentalist materialism, self-centered cosmology, everybody else is an asshole kind of beliefs.

See, if I were a counselor and you came to see me to fix that kind of personal problems, I'm thoroughly trained and educated in helping you out of such limiting beliefs. But if you don't, I have neither the right nor the means to disabuse you of very much that you believe in. And what I realize I'm missing nowadays is a shared frame of reference. Many human relations remain dysfunctional, or end in a word-against-word impasse, because there is no shared methodology available for bringing back sanity. "You're an asshole! No, YOU are!!" Hard to sort out unless we agreed to a shared frame of reference and a shared ethic from the start.

If you're part of some group that has a shared standard and a shared frame of reference, life is so much easier, even if the frame of reference is itself flawed. If you're a religious fundamentalist, you'll have a book where you can look up what is wrong with other people. They're sinners, they eat meat on Thursdays, they use bad words. They just need to act the right way and say the right words, and they're back on track. If you're a scientologist you notice when people act irrationally, and you know that if they'll just do their next level of clearing, they'll be better. If you belong to an -ism, you probably have tests of whether somebody is in their right mind or not, and you're have solutions handy. Some better than others. But if you don't belong to any -ism, you can't go around correcting other people's lack of sanity. Much of the time you have to just put up with it, ignore it, argue about it, or refuse to work with them, calling them names if necessary.

What I'm afraid of is whether maybe we all on this planet are half-lunatics walking around in our own little private worlds, seeing what we want to see, re-confirming our old beliefs, grumbling about things that didn't even happen, never quite understanding anybody else, other than when they accidentally happen to validate our own beliefs. Uarrrgh!  More >

 Evolving from an individual to a swarm6 comments
picture 4 May 2003 @ 03:26, by ming. Personal Development
Seems to me we humans are changing in more profound ways than we might readily notice. Most of us are no longer living in the same kind of world.

Earlier, a few hundred years ago, or even 50 years ago, life was more simple and coherent. You have a certain job, and you manage life by doing what you're doing. If you were Joe the Blacksmith, your life was pretty much defined by what you did. It might have been hard and full of suffering and struggle, but it wasn't mental struggle. It was clear what you did, and what role you played, and it was continuous and coherent. You played that role all day. Even when you were off you were still Joe the Blacksmith. OK, closer to our own time, you might have several roles sequenced linearly. At work 9-5 you're Joe the Insurance Salesman, and when you get home you're Joe the Family Father. One thing at a time. All you need to do to do it well is to be present for it, and do the few tasks required of you.

If you live in the "developing" world, in an oldfashioned way, you might still be living your life being in the same role all the time. And you probably wouldn't be reading this. If you live in a westernized country, you might possibly have managed to stay in an arrangement where you focus fullheartedly on your job during the day, and then you go home to your family, and it is still simple and straightforward.

But more and more people are no longer living straightforward linear lives. What makes the difference is in part our communication technologies. We carry cell phones and beepers. We have e-mail, instant messengers. But it is also what we do mentally and emotionally. We increasingly live abstractly or virtually, interacting with stuff that isn't physically here.

I live in a house with some other people. There's plenty to do. I could work in the yard, clean up, read my books, relate with these other people. I could spend all my time doing that, and in the "oldfashioned" way of life, that's what I would be doing. It might have been a farm, and all my attention would be spent on the work and activities going on here in this physical space. But now, today, I spend maybe 10% of my energy on what is going on right here. The rest is scattered across a much larger space, both geographically and more abstractly.

I perceive myself as having a long list of obligations to people in various areas. I work for money for people in several places, and I almost never see them. They aren't here, yet I feel quite a pressure of doing things for them. Part of that work involves keeping an eye on a whole bunch of things that aren't here either. Servers, e-mails, relations to a whole bunch of other people I don't see.

I have shared projects with more people, just as scattered geographically. I have a more or less abstract relation to hundreds or thousands of people who either read what I write, or who use programs I've written, or who participate in spaces I've set up.

Much of this has similar characteristics and importances as activities I would previously have done right here. They represent jobs, callings, obligations, quests, friendships, community. But yet they're lacking the natural boundaries that previously would have regulated such things.

If I were living in a small village and I was doing physical work, there would be certain obvious natural boundaries. I can't work more than 24 hours per day. I can't have a conversation with much more than one person at a time. If I'm shoeing Jack's horse, it is obvious to everybody that I'm not doing all sorts of other things. If you come to my shop and I'm not there, then obviously I'm not there and you'll either wait for me, or come back another time.

But our virtual and abstract relationships don't easily respect such boundaries. They all tend towards consuming all time and space. They would, at least sub-consciously, tend to expect you to provide your full attention 24 hours per day. Which is becoming increasingly impossible.

I work for several different companies. They're mostly pleasant to work with, but they don't have much awareness of each other, so each will tend towards expecting me to work for them 24 hours per day. Oh, they'll wait a few minutes if I have another call, but they're never going to understand what else I'm doing.

Most people who call on the phone will expect me to answer and to actually be available to talk with them when I do. Most people who send me an e-mail will expect I have time to read it and answer it. Most people who come by will expect I have time to talk with them. My family expects that I'm always there, to have dinner, fix a boo-boo, or clean up in the garage.

Maybe I'm particularly bad at setting boundaries. But I doubt it is just me. I'm living at least a dozen lives. But yet I haven't been granted any more hours in the day. I'm being torn in many directions. My time is sliced up, juggling many different priorities and commitments, either at the same time, or in successive time slices.

It frequently makes me stressed, or confused. I'm not sure if I'm longing for simpler times, or I'm longing for a new evolutionary capacity of my brain, or if I'm just badly organized. Maybe all of the above.

In the "old" days it was easy to remember who you were, because the world didn't change very much. Everybody would remind you who you are, and if you simply did the work that appeared on your doorstep, life was simple. In our busy fragmented world, that's no longer any practical strategy.

Of the several directions of answers I see, one is to gain a much higher degree of awareness of who you are and how you do things. Not your title or your work or your obligations. But the specific quality you add to everything you do. Your brand. Maybe you haven't discovered it yet, and you need to. Maybe you kind of know, but it has been forgotten. But, one way or another, there's a need for finding who you are, separate from all the other stuff. Only then might you have a better chance of choosing what to get involved in, and what not. And there is a chance that you will actually do all of it in a consistent and coherent way, where you're actually in alignment with yourself, even though you're wearing many hats.

Another angle is to discover a different kind of awareness. A group awareness rather than an individual awareness. You're doing a whole bunch of things, in a whole bunch of different contexts. That is kind of like being a whole bunch of individuals. That can still work. You can be a swarm. An ant hill, a school of fish, or maybe rather a whole eco system. Many diverse pieces that relate with each other in a synergetic way. Instead of staying in the illusion that you're one person doing one thing, accept that you're now a movement of diverse pieces. The rules for a movement or an eco system are drastically different from the rules an individual might live by. A whole new volabulary to learn.

The world looks deceptively like it used to. The sun comes up in the morning, and you put clothes on, and eat, and gravity works like it always did. Yet, this is only a small portion of the world you live in now. You live many parallel lives. They need to learn to co-exist peacefully, if they don't already. Many independently moving pieces can very well exist in harmony, and a new kind of order can emerge.  More >

 "Inner Polarity"7 comments
picture 20 Apr 2003 @ 14:49, by jewel. Personal Development
I am wondering about the inner patriarchal ideas each of us carry from culture and family. And mine. I know someone’s whose inner critic views her life and all others as either a failure or success. Those who ‘can do it’ and those who simply, can’t won’t or … fate is against, consciousness, luck or whatever. But to me, I always knew it wasn’t about wining or loosing. Rather it’s about the journey and experience, knowledge and wisdom, the Great Mystery and the remembering of something Bigger…

But I just think I figured out what mine is, my ‘inner polarity’. I don’t know if that is a psychologically correct term. The inner Split as I have often referred to ‘it’ as… the one that skews the world into a false sense of division. It is generally linked back to the type of western dysfunctional family, tribe or community one participated in. The Split that keeps the shared hallucination of false models or institutional thought in place. There is a natural Flow… that we Know, feel, dream and hope to return to… the Life we are actually always participating in which is organic, authentic and whole in it’s own non-duality. And then the outer false ideas of heaven and hell that the shared human nightmare makes up. The night mare that gallops through Forget-me-land… full of division and conquering separation. (And yet the ability to self-reflect. Could we do that without the scism?… )

So I figure MY personal polarity is about being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. That I think I am going to be proved ‘wrong’ and therefore am sort of always trying to cover up that I am NOT ‘wrong’. But inevitably someone will find out I AM ‘wrong’…. I don’t want it to be about that… and I want to think it isn’t I have to prove myself ‘right’… but the emotionality is that I am afraid of being found out to be ‘wrong’. I always think I need to have a case for my NOT being wrong… but the fact that I can’t really figure out the logic in a box of rational thought… makes me terribly confused. Because I have a sense of knowing in the kaleidoscope of information and senses I get from the many worlds I walk in, and because I put things together in a sort of multi-dimensional process… I feel I need to be more specific, grounded, and linear in order to ‘prove’ something that I naturally experience in a sort of a spiral awakening, coming into a knowing from many different directions and points. And I have allowed myself to feel wrong about that, that that is NOT the way one is ‘suppose’ to ‘do it’… whatever ‘do it’ means. As in yesterday’s featured article, ‘By WHOSE Standards?’ --- yes, indeed, by WHOSE standards, am I comparing myself? I think that if only I can think like them, talk like them, ‘Be’ as grounded with that same ‘iron in my soul’ on the earth plane as all the other ‘right’ ones in the box, then inevitably I can figure out their game, and show them I am not ‘wrong’ for being, actually, from another game entirely. And isn’t this the loneliest experience, then? This inner polarity? That we each walk around carrying an idea of how we will be judged… and therefore, the thought of it --- in ITSELF --- is what keeps us divided?

In a whole world, in a connected universe, can anything in the path of discovery --- EVEN when we are in ‘reaction’, experience, or a limited view --- can any of it really be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…? And isn’t this duality just as preposterous as the one that figures life is only about the winners and losers?

The madness continues to set in. Deeper in and further in… I feel more divided, more awake, more alone, and more and more closer to the great inner abyss. El Mystere’~~
- - -

I just wrote the above and decided to look up ‘inner polarity’ on google. I found a section on the website of Ken Page, a new age healer. Although I don’t think he really touches upon most important part of the issue in his own story, I found a similar idea from his as my own ‘Ah-Ha’ of the day:
"Usually our inner piece of polarity is locked or hidden in a space of our lives between our conscious recollections. Most times our inner piece of polarity is hidden in a place where we 'lost our heads', either out of fear, anger or rage, or we have become unconscious. It is different for every person. When you find your own inner piece of polarity (and it can usually be found within about five minutes), there will almost be a physical feeling of release, like a puff of smoke going poof.”
And I found a site on the Tao Te Ching also using this concept:
”Resolving one’s inner polarity is the key to spiritual growth. There is a tendency for people to undo their good efforts through the action of this inner polarity. The first step is to recognise the action of this polarity and relate this action to the action of outer polarity - seen in societal affairs and in Nature generally. The polarity cannot be abolished only balanced. For example the libido should be balanced against a heightened sense of responsibility. One cannot go around copulating indiscriminately, the consequences would be dreadful. So the desire to copulate must be converted into wanting to improve oneself and others.”
I would agree with this Taoism idea. Instead of wanting to transcend or eliminate our polarity – For me, it’s like a layer of an onion, to ‘detox patriarchy’… to continue to come back into balance with what is ALWAYS in unison with true Life. The experience of being human, to react and to respond… doesn’t mean we are ‘less’ (again, polar idea) enlightened, or more ‘done’ with our ‘spiritual work’… it doesn’t mean the separated experiences even, are somehow separate from the WHOLE one. It’s just that we ‘forget.’ Hence the Tao idea of balance. To witness and use ‘Subtle Powers’ for our dance between many worlds … between the broken whirld and the Reality that is within and behind all experiences..

(Later, when I shared this realisation with Ming, he told me he has a technique in his counselling that deals with identifying/ healing the 'inner polarity'. More on this soon~ )  More >

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