Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Monday, November 28, 2016

Just the FAQs, Please!

Pleased to announce that the second edition of Just the FAQs, Please, About Alcohol and Drug Abuse by yours truly and Dan Baldwin is now available at Kindle.  Print versions coming shortly.

You've got questions.  Here are the answers.

Remembering the first edition:

"Interesting, irreverent, and very readable.  Just the FAQs, Please is useful for the wide variety of people that pass through our answers questions that families consider but do not always verbalize."   Administrator of a system of  outpatient and residential treatment programs for substance abuse.

"Written in a refreshing and unpedantic style, Just the FAQs, Please is recommended reading for everyone, especially families, who want to understand more about alcoholism and drug is so entertaining that one hardly realilzes that he is also learning something.  I was compelled to finish reading in one sitting once I had begun."  CEO of a non-profit corporation that provides outpatient and residential treatment for substance abuse, EAP, and adolescent treatment.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Don't WORRY this Thanksgiving!

Yeah, riiiight…”  “If you’re not worrying, you don’t understand the situation…”

Okay, we’ve all been there – had some irritatingly cheerful soul spout some nonsense about “don’t worry…think positive” or some such grating platitude, when we’re tangled with a situation that scares us.  What’s wrong with the goody-goody unicorn rainbow person that he/she doesn’t get it!  I’ve got to worry about it, because if I don’t…”

Stop it right there.  “I’ve GOT to worry about it, because if I don’t…”  Then what?  What WILL happen should you STOP worrying about something?

    • Is a loved one suddenly going to wreck their life because you stopped worrying?
    • Is some situation going to crater or explode because you stopped worrying?
    • Is someone going to think less of you if you stop your worry and suffering on account of someone else?

Well, maybe the latter, but that’s a relationship needing a re-set.
What IS worry, anyway?  Worry is creating something you do not want.  Worry is the action of focusing your thinking on something that you fear and do not want.  Now, how on earth does that thinking improve anything?  It can’t.  It only increases your awareness of what else is “wrong” or “un-desired.”  It’s very easy to worry about a mole hill - then find yourself with a mountain of grief.

The mental action we call “worry” is an energy launched at something that scares us.  “Oh, gosh, I sure hope Fred doesn’t eat too many sweets for Thanksgiving, it’s bad for his health.”  “The weather is terrible, I’m afraid Jane will have a wreck!”  Of course the mental activity can be more nebulous and manifest as a chronic dis-ease regarding certain people or situations.  I’ve even heard of physical manifestations – warts – in particular.  (Yes, worry-warts...)

There is a growing awareness of the connection between attitude, expectation, and health. Certainly some diseases and ailments are influenced by genetic factors, but attitude is very powerful. You’ve read accounts of “the will to live” working miracles in terminal cases. Conversely, gut-wrenching worry and complaining can screw up the heartiest of digestive systems. On the other hand...
Hank’s Curious Math
A lot of people worry about getting older, as if worry will somehow reverse the process. Perception continues to rule. You may know of someone who is “old” at thirty and others who are “young” at eighty. The difference? Perspective. A good example is Hank.
Jovial 60-year-old Hank is smitten with 30-year-old Bonita, who is equally enchanted with Hank. They become engaged. “Goodness,” Hank’s friends remark, in horror, that “she’s half your age!”
“She’ll catch up,” replies Hank calmly. “When I’m 90 she’ll be two-thirds my age.”
In Hank’s perspective, at some point in time, they may very well be the same age. It’s a curious math – but a great attitude!

People are going to do what they are going to do.  You KNOW this, you DO this.  Every two year-old will let you know “you ain’t the boss of me!”

You ain't the boss of me!

Don’t Worry, be Happy!  Yeah, riiiiight!

Worried about someone’s health?  What can you do?  Be healthy yourself and envision them as healthy.   In the presence of such powerful vibration the dis-ease aligned with the EASE – and the person had what we consider an instant healing.  It CAN happen that fast.
People who are unhappy equally like to share their misery, or, in most instances, are so practiced in worrying and focusing on what they don’t like they lose their awareness of HOW they are thinking.  Adapting an old Russian joke:

A Russian, an Englishman, and a Frenchman were walking along the road one day when they spotted a muddy lamp lying in the ditch. The Englishman picked it up and the Frenchman cleaned it. Suddenly, a Genie appeared in a puff of smoke. Greatly relieved to be free of her tiny prison, Genie offered to grant each of her liberators one wish.
            The Englishman thought for a moment. “Genie, I wish that I owned a great estate with a full staff to wait on me and my family.” Poof! It was done.
            The Frenchman thought for a moment. “Genie, I wish to be a famous poet and have hundreds of beautiful women clamoring to make love with me.” Poof! It was done.
            Genie turned to the Russian. “And what wish may I grant for you?”
The Russian thought for a moment. “My neighbor has a new car and I do not. Wreck my neighbor’s car!”

People think like that.  It’s the belief in a finite universe where there is a limited amount of everything including happiness and if someone HAS something, it is at the expense of someone else.  This is nonsense.  But it is an old and very entrenched belief.

If the Universe operated that way you could go to the hospital or wherever, get an injection of some terrible bacteria and become incredibly ill.  Once you became sick, then magically some sick person somewhere in the world would be cured.  You can try it.  In a fashion, many folks do.  But it doesn’t work.

So, don’t worry.  Be happy for this Thanksgiving!

(A Thanksgiving muse from Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night)

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Reminder

In these tense times, it is good to remember the basic:

IT is all connected.
It IS all connected.
It is ALL connected.
It is all CONNECTED.

Friday, September 30, 2016

We've Always Done It THAT Way...

Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night explores concepts that are often novel, obvious, subtle, and sometimes mysterious.  The whole arena of habituation is the basis for Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night.  This video, highlighting an experiment in social conditioning, further demonstrates the subtle ways habituation can drive decisions and behavior. The old saw "we've always done it that way" had roots in something.  The something may or may not have been valid, useful, meaningful, etc.  But, there was a something that was established as a norm, and members of the community (be it tribe, party, faith, race, etc.) were trained to follow it.

The good news, of course, is that the process of habituation is continual and neutral, and with awareness, more effective and productive routines can be established.  But, you get an idea how entrenched belief systems can be established.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Thoughts That Go BUMP in the Night

Take a dozen minutes and enjoy the exquisite clarity and logic Graham Hancock brings to bear on history and contemporary thinking.

I've read most of Hancock's books.  They resonate.