12 Sep 2010 @ 03:36, by Unknown. Personal Development
Heres sept desktop moon/sun calandar
Autumn Equinox is on the full moon this year Sept 23 as well as the winter solstice is on the full moon producing a lunar eclipse on Dec 21, an alignment of sorts or realignment it would appear. Two in a row? Hmmmmm interesting.... More >
31 Jul 2010 @ 16:29, by anandavala. Spirituality
This is the latest version of the structural basis of the high level design for a general innovation project. Note: I'll keep updating the diagram and adding comments until this design reaches a steady state...
Here are some slides of the various components shown separately... More >
30 Jul 2010 @ 16:30, by jhs. Spirituality
Anton Walter Smetak, 1913-1984, wrote in an enigmatic way, mixing contemplations of art with philosophical speculations and humanistic insights of profound depths.
My take on his way of seeing life may not be accurate and I don't know therefore if he himself would have approved it or not.
But he shares a particular direction of viewing, in common, interestingly enough, with fellow Frenchmen Pierre Verger (1902-1996), Claude Lévy-Strauss (1908-2009), and the Englishman David Bohm (1917-1992), to name a few, in that they touched Brazilian ground, especially the magic land of Salvador, Bahia, and reversed their occidental way of seeing Life, Universe, and Everything. Some, like Smetak and Verger, never left, others kept dreaming of being there (Lévy-Strauss: Tristes Tropiques & Saudades do Brasil) or traveled on to other mystic lands, like Bohm teaming up with Krishnamurti.
They all seem to have parted from the nightmarish occidental vision of having fallen from grace, expelled from paradise and they do not endorse the Western lifestyle of consumerism, its ever more obvious decadence, increasingly so in recent decades. Some try to find their way back to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson-style, and decry the impact of modern technology on human conscience, but they very well know that the wheel cannot be turned back.
Setting foot on Brazilian soil changes perspectives, at least of some of the great thinkers of the past century, and, beyond mere escapism, enables a positive stance, a shimmer of hope, for societies of the future:
Like Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) puts its [link] : "Perhaps Brazil, Italy and Japan are in this respect more advanced societies than America. Pessimism itself is something that only afflicts Western values and is itself part of Western values."
Below, or behind, these contemplations we can find another paradigm, and Walter Smetak examplified this point clear and concise like no one else:
the question of diversification versus global norms, the former a natural phenomenon in all cultures of the past around the world. the latter now imposed, and even enforced as necessary, equally on all countries on Earth.
It seems that Brazil left the impression on the noted thinkers that it could escape this dictate and preserve at least a portion of its stunning diversity. As time passes on, this too seems an illusion, the tollbooth barring access to once public roads look alike in Brazil and Italy and the United States, and nobody seems to notice that it is a fall-back to medieval practices that were believed to have been overcome. The ever-expanding laws to rule the individuals and their families in every little aspect of their lives walk their grim path forward in unison in every part of the globe.
Smetak proposes, carefully implicitly, that a standardization of cultures is AGAINST the law of Nature, that it may be even blasphemical to curb or squelsh the variety that the human mind produces. That any truly religious man, whatever denomination he may count himself to belong to, should stand up against it and insist that diversification is the 'will of Gxd', whatever name you'd call her or him, if there should exist anything beyond the symbol of itself.
Nature's innocent vanity, its display of beauty on every dimensional level, from the stars at night to the fractal beauty of visualized mathematical formulas, and to the wondrous world under the microscope, indeed would seem to prohibit any 'norm' on any level as an interference with the divine will, the expression of the sacred behind the appearance of the ordinary.
It seems that nothing can slow down the invasion of our last jungles by the global food chains which are implanting their plastic & uniformal trade-marked stamps on everything they touch as they eat they way through our societies.
But it is the people, or better, the manipulated consumers who were made to think that they would have a 'choice', that makes it possible. And who could stop this disastrous march by simply insisting on their own culture. Or by creating other alternatives... More >
22 Jul 2010 @ 13:16, by solomoreno. Spirituality
To take this or that turn, to form this relationship or that relationship, to thrust one's body toward the laboratory or the monastery...modifying all of that, are the machinations of the mind.
The mind itself does nothing. The mind is akin to the driver of a carriage. It is truly the horses that cover the distance. The driver can set direction and pace: to stop, to proceed, to turn left, to turn right. The mind--its ideas, conceptions, significances, associations, observations, lines of reasoning, computations--creates direction.
The mind receives information or signals from "out there"; think of the mind in that case as a camera that takes snapshots of the world "out there." From these snapshots, the mind commits its other functions, forms these snapshots into ideas, extrapolates, calculates, associates... But it all begins with snapshots of "out there." These snapshots function as an interface between a person and his or her reality. They are what passes from outside to inside.
It bears noting that a snapshot can never exhaust reality. Reality is much too broad, too deep for that. These snapshots are finite portayals of what is in its essence, infinite. The very word "perceive" means "through a filter." Some things come in, some things stay out.
Is the mind always and inevitably misleading then? By the same token, will the driver of a carriage always lead his passangers off of the edge of a cliff? Certainly not. Not if he is monitored and managed, scrutinized with an air of neutrality and clarity. Not if he is made to serve, rather than being made a master into which we put our most sincerest, and blindest faith.
These snapshots, or representations, or signals, are assumed to represent what is actually there, through passive reception. Gathering these impressions, we attempt to create a perfect reflection of what we see outside of ourselves. We attempt to craft a perfectly correlative model within our personal space of what is outside of our personal space. In short, we try to map the territory. We are the cartographers of no-man's land.
Yet, at some point, the mind no longer remains passive, it becomes active. No longer merely an instrument that receives signals of what's there, it decides what could ever be there. What one sees and does not see, becomes what one can ever see and cannot ever see.
Because from these snapshots, a person will form ideas about what to expect from reality. These ideas become fixed, or permanently held and consistently unchallenged. The person will cling to these fixed ideas about what is "out there."
This creates a feedback loop. A feedback loop is where the results of a process--that's the feedback--are fed back into the process whereby more results are gathered and fed back into the process. In our case, the mind draws in actualities. The contents of that reception, that is the feedback, the results of perception. Those signals are turned into fixed ideas about reality which are projected back upon reality, those projections are re-internalized, and so on.
This is what the Taoists called, "The mind becoming its own teacher." The mind first plays the role of the student, passively consuming information about reality. It then turns around and becomes the teacher of reality, telling itself what it can and cannot see. When the mind becomes both the student and the teacher of reality, much of reality can become...ignored.
Beyond missing out on much of what could truly be out there, there is another consequence that can devastate one's freedom and efficacy. The most dangerous of computations can arise from this error, when the mind becomes its own teacher. It is:
INABILITY = INCAPABILITY
What that means is that what you cannot do now, you can never do. There is another way to render this computation. It is:
WHAT IS NOT ACTUAL IS IMPOSSIBLE
What that means is that what a person has never done, or seen done, is impossible.
Now when applied to certain realms, this computation seems utterly crazy...and other realms, it seems to make perfect sense to people.
For instance, many people can drive a car. Not many people can drive an 18-wheeler. Many people have an inability to drive an 18-wheeler. Yet most of these people would never say that just because they have an inability to drive an 18-wheeler that that means they have an incapability to do so.
One difference apparently is that even if one cannot drive an 18-wheeler oneself, one sees others doing it all over the place. The notion that driving an 18-wheeler is impossible never becomes a fixed idea that people project upon reality. Seems rather silly actually...
In other realms, this computation makes perfect to people...or so it would seem. For instance, when it comes to viewing Time in its entirety, all at once, including all of one's past lives and future rebirths (asavakkhya); when it comes to reading others thoughts (Cetopariya); when it comes to communicating telepathically; when it comes to healing one's body without medication; when it comes to exteriorizing from space-time altogether--all of these are inabilities for most people. Yet, many would say that they are simply incapable of these certain...faculties. They might say that they are impossible. Why? What's the difference between operating an 18-wheeler and using these certain faculties?
First of all, again, people can see others driving 18-wheelers all around them--it is actual. Most people do not ever see others around them displaying these certain faculties of higher awareness--they are not actual. In accordance with that peculiar and inane computation, what is not actual is impossible, therefore they are impossible.
It's simple to understand. A little girl grows up never, ever seeing certain events transpire. Like, she probably never sees an ill person sit down with another person, and during the course of their conversation, the ill person becomes healed. In fact, that little girl grows up to see that the only thing "healing" people are chemicals. At some point, there are decisions made within her mind. This becomes a fixed and dearly held notion. That's the word belief means, "dearly held." She decides that the only means to heal one's body are chemicals.
These are the thought-patterns that people carry around with them, banishing so many possibilities from the realm of acceptable reality. For everyone, there is a line. A line at which inabilities become incapabilities. Yet under the light of honest inquiry, the computation proves to be pure nonsense. Simply because one does not ever observe others in their world committing this action or that action does not mean that that action is impossible.
The crux of the issue is perhaps that driving an 18-wheeler does not conflict with a person's worldview, a person's overriding idea of what shape the world should take. It does not conflict with many people's ideas about who they are, how their beingness as such automatically limits their perception. Those who would irrevocably identify themselves with their bodies may say that their identity as such renders certain abilities impossible; that the body is simply not capable of such awareness. Again, an inability is not an incapability. Merely because one is inside of a body and employs its limited channels for seeing and doing now, in one's current state, does not necessarily mean that that cannot change. It may very well be what-is, i.e. currently one is one's body. And if it is what-is, then it would detrimental and counter-productive to deny it. However, if it is what is, that in and of itself says nothing about what could be.
That truth alone is revolutionary. Actuality is not potentiality. "What is" and "what could be" should be held separate and distinct for they are separate and distinct. What mediates between the two is change. When they become collapsed in on one another, change gets crushed and change gets lost. Once that happens, one will have more and more of what one already has. What can one do to change any of the conditions of life is one's inabilities have been rendered into incapabilities?
Once one beholds and embraces the notion that change is real and at hand, that the conditions of now, be them any limitation or condition need not be inaccessible and never-ending, then one has truly opened one's mind. Once one fully realizes that inability does not equal incapability, that actual does not mean forever actual... Once one illuminates these blind and unconscious computations, these inane beliefs that work their silent doom in the background of our lives, then...change is real.
Then, it becomes not a question of action, of whether one can do or not do. Through the immense power of honest and unbiased inquiry, the clouds of doubt will dissipate revealing a new and exhilirating curiousity. The true seeker does not ask whether it can be done or not. The true seeker asks only , how can it be done. More >
22 Jul 2010 @ 02:28, by erlefrayne. Spirituality
The likes of Bush, both father and son, who espoused hawkish policies of war and attrition in the guise of America’s role as global policeman, are indubitably war criminals. Yet they roam the world so freely like the wildest monsters that call the shots in a jungle. More >
20 Jul 2010 @ 14:24, by ming. Spirituality
I'm going to give outsourcing another shot. Which isn't easy, because I'm kind of bad at delegating, and I seem to be missing a bit of business sense.
It can all change, of course, but it is somewhat traumatic. There are a number of things I'm very good at. Possibly some things I'm absolutely brilliant at. But I spend a big portion of my time doing stuff I'm not very good at, working hard, long hours, and what I have to show for it is somewhat mediocre. There's some amount of emotion wrapped up in that too. It isn't fair. It's stressful. It pisses me off. I'm kind of apathetic about changing it. Despite my better judgement, I seem to believe that if I just work a little harder, then, maybe, it will all work out, and I can get around to the stuff I really want to do. But generally it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference how hard I work.
I've only fairly recently realized that I need to learn the basic principles of business and marketing. I've always had a certain amount of contempt for a society that's organized around buying low and selling high, around deceiving people into buying stuff they don't need, where most of the resources end up owned by people who do clever tricks with numbers, rather than by the people who work and produce stuff. But I can also change my mind, and notice that some of the principles of business apply to any activity, whether there's money involved or not. To create more value, it makes sense to look for opportunities to shift resources from areas of low productivity to areas of high productivity. Which happens to be one of the definitions of entrepreneurship. Why not get the most bang for the buck, whether money is involved or not? Work smarter, not harder. I'm trying to convince myself here.
One of the sensible and fashionable things to do, if one is independent and makes more than minimum wage, is to outsource as much of one's work as possible, particularly the stuff that isn't one's core competency and that could be done as well, or better, by somebody being paid a lot less. I first have to get over a bit of distaste for doing that, and convince myself that it can be a win-win for everybody. Really, there are other parts of the world where the cost of living is very different, and where there are loads of well educated people who'd love to work for me for a fraction of what a similar worker would cost where I live. I don't have to feel bad about that.
Part of what is hard for me when I employ somebody else to do something is that I have to be able to make decisions based on their performance, and fire them if it doesn't work.
It isn't like I'm without experience. I had my own company already when I was 20, a cleaning services company, with a dozen part-time employees. That worked well, and I hired and fired people without too much difficulty, did marketing and sales, and made a profit. And I've been a manager of IT departments and development teams. That's where part of my problem would start showing up. Even if I have a handful of other programmers to work with me, who're there to do whatever I ask them to do, I have had a tendency to end up doing 90% of the work myself. Which isn't good. I was always very popular with the people on my team, though.
I tried once before to outsource part of my work to a foreign worker over the net, more than 10 years ago, which is one reason I'm nervous about it. I had a guy in the Ukraine working full time for me for $1000 per month. I kind of felt it was so ridiculously little that I shouldn't really complain too much. He was a very nice guy, but so slow and unproductive that nothing he did ever really helped me with anything, and I had usually gotten impatient and solved the problem myself before he had finished his initial study of the problem, which usually took several weeks. Now, years later, he still writes and thanks me once in a while. Really, I had been paying him such a royal sum of money that he could move to a better neighborhood, buy a house, get married and have kids. Which is lovely, and I'm happy for him, but it never really created any value for me.
But I'm going to give it another shot, and test performance before going to the next step.
What it really is about is a transition for me. The puzzle is not primarily about money and work hours and projects for customers, but more about how to move to the next level. How can I be more effective? How can I do what I'm here to do, without getting stuck in the details? How does one start sustainable activities? Even if we're talking about an idealistic non-profit activity, it somehow needs to be financed, by money or time or work or other resources. And it needs to be done in an effective way that actually works, and keeps working.
See, I have a similar problem in non-profit activities. I haven't had trouble drumming up some interest in some things I was working on from time to time, or inspiring people to join up with them in some fashion. But I have a fairly lousy track record in getting people to actually participate in developing and evolving them. Which is not their fault, but mine. To collaborate, it usually needs to be very clear what we're collaborating on. If you want others to do something, it better be very clear what it is. Somehow I've often been very vague about what there is to do, or what I need. Just like I usually have been very vague about what exactly I'm doing. You just can't easily build something precise based on vagueness.
So, I'm working on being more clear, primarily on what I want, and to create more clear interfaces for how one can work with me, and what I'm available for. More >
16 Jul 2010 @ 22:57, by ariane8008. Spirituality
Have not published in a while.
How come? I am full of ideas, I often note them down and work on some of them.
They are in my computer and on pieces of paper, waiting to be published.
I have all kind of great visions, how my input will add to the collective knowledge of the world, how it will inspire others when they read it...
Still, I am somehow not able to publish.
And even worse, I cannot put my finger on it, why I can not.
I blogged here earlier, I also send out a newsletter and write on mailing lists - and the feedback I got is usually very positive, encouraging. No reason to back off.
It seems to be a kind of a weird writers block.
I figured, there are two equal opposing truth must be present to block the flow of me publishing.
As Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist, once said,
"A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a great truth."
The truth I want to speak about might not be great, nevertheless it is the truth.
So I decided to put forth my considerations and thoughts openly, however silly they may seem.
I just started to list out my ideas as they come up, which I believe hold me back from blogging or publishing. They seem to be opposite enough to stop me.
Will it help? We will see soon enough.
At least I will be aware of my own limiting ideas.
Or I will see how silly they are and that might help me reconsider.
So let's start. Let my considerations come up and shine in the broad daylight of the world wide web!
Why do not I publish?
Noone or only a few folks will ever read my blogpost, so whats the use?
Too many people will read it.
What will the readers think about me?
How will I deal with the attention?
There will be no feedback.
There will be a huge reaction, many comments - will I be able to deal with it?
Noone will care anyway, so whats the use?
Some will not like what I write.
Some will not agree.
Many will like what I write, then I have to excel even more.
My writing will invite adverse reactions, even attacks.
The quality might not be high enough.
There is too high quality, then I will have to match or write even better.
If I start to publish regularly, it is expected that I continue.
I cannot exatly express what I have in mind.
It might not cover the choosen topic 100%, for perfectionist it is unacceptable.
For a perfectionist, it is never perfect.
I seem to be a perfectionist.
(If I come up with more, I just edit the article and extend it. It has got to be a Perfect List of All Reasons!) More >
14 Jul 2010 @ 14:53, by jerryvest. Spirituality
I am very pleased and honored to write this letter of support and recommendation for Paws of Honor Organization. SGT Paul Jeffers, Army Medic and Founder/Owner, has been successfully adopting, working and training Service and Therapy Dogs for some time.
As Coordinator of Health Education and Clinical/Holistic Social Worker for Ft. Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center, I have taken a special interest in observing his Dogs while also bringing SGT Jeffers into our Center for presentations and for his Dogs to relate and interact with our Wounded Warriors every week for the past year.
Our R & R Center is the US Army’s premier integrative health program for soldiers diagnosed with PTSD and for those wishing and able to return to the Force following their 6 months of intensive and extensive treatment. Aftercare is also provided for an additional month and more if needed. SGT Jeffers’ contribution to our Wounded Warrior’s health and wellbeing is significant and encouraging for soldiers suffering from these injuries that affect the whole being--physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
This service member & Debbie Kandoll have helped our soldiers with their experience of isolation, agitation, hyperarousal and persistent avoidance by introducing their therapy dogs and assisting our Wounded Warriors to adopt, train and develop their dogs as friends and partners in their healing process.
We look forward every week to his participation with us in advancing the health and wellbeing of our soldiers and for bringing his well disciplined and friendly therapy dogs into our Center.
We thank SGT Jeffers and his therapy dogs for their excellent services and support. Paws of Honor is a welcome addition to the treatment services for our soldiers and others returning from War.
Thank you for visiting our site. Just to give you a better understanding of what we are about, here is my story.
My name is Paul, I am a Medic in the United States Army and have served now for 12 years. I have deployed to the Pentagon and Iraq. During my combat time I received several injuries/illnesses including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and TBI (Traumatic brain injury).
After trying everything available to treat these problems they never completely went away, so I ended up getting a dog to use as a service dog. I trained this dog with help and even though I'm not Healed, I am better now. I started using her for therapy for other soldiers and they have had an easier time dealing with their PTSD, and getting service dogs as well. Some have been able to stop their medications after getting the dog and noticed a dramatic improvement in their quality of life.
I started this organization to help other soldiers that need service dogs and don't have the means or funds to get one. with my help I can get the soldier the dog they need, train them, and with donations, help with vet bills. Currently the military does not cover the cost of Vet bills for service dogs even though the soldier needs it for medical purposes. If I get enough help and donations, this organization will build a small kennel to house 4-5 dogs that will be rescued from a pound, so in the process we will also be saving dogs that could be such a help to Americas heroes and have probably done nothing but want love.
We are also connected with militaryworkingdogadoptions they are who got me the help I needed and trained me. They save retired Military working dogs that would otherwise be put down. I will put more info up at later dates as we grow, so please feel free to come back and leave a comment and any donations would be a blessing.
You can also visit the organization we work with at [link] and[link] More >