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, December 18, 2023

It's THAT Time of Year...


The Winter Solstice continues to be one of the most enduring moments for reverence and celebration.  The darkest day of the year has come and hence forth each day shall be filled with more sunshine.  I'm not aware of any civilization that did not make a big deal of the turning point of the year.

 So, of course, this became the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus who became the Christ.  It's likely that Jesus was born not in winter, but in the spring and six years earlier than our calendar suggests.  Since Pisces, the fish, was an early Christian symbol, I'd surmise that the birth occurred under that astrological sign.  This is all irrelevant, of course.  The historical Jesus Christ was one of a handful of master teachers known to us, and his instructions on how to live a more wonderful life have proven themselves repeatedly.

 Mischief arose when the teachings of this Master were edited, blended, codified, and otherwise rendered theological and political.  All the latter are man-made.  Some of the recent history of organized Christianity is not pretty - the Albigensian Crusade, Spanish Inquisition, and burning witches come to mind.   But this is man acting against man and not reflective of Jesus' teachings, principle of which is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 It is fashionable now to minimize the impact of Jesus or even seriously question his existence.  I distinctly recall through the years the "absence of evidence" of an historical Jesus.  Why, if the teachings and movement were so profound, many ask, does the principle source for historical information in the region shortly after the death of Jesus, mention him in only a brief paragraph? 

 The source is Josephus, who wrote a voluminous history of the Jews called "Antiquities." I purchased the complete works of Josephus, because I like history, and because I was curious to read the rare, fleeting, mention of Jesus in the decades following his death.  It is a brief paragraph.  But what a paragraph! 

 3. (63)  Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works - a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.  He was {the} Christ; (64) and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and then thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.

 That's an account given when many who knew Jesus were still alive.  He must have made quite an impact to earn that paragraph so quickly.  Note:  It is possible that various translations of the paragraph may have embellished the telling.

 The history is irrelevant.  It is the teachings that shifted much of human consciousness and continues to do so.  Jesus taught that thinking (prayer) was the road to a wonderful life.  Thinking is very personal, therefore the relationship to God that Jesus taught, had to be personal as well.  That, of course, didn't go over well with Priests or any positioned person to whom obedience and  worship were required.  Radical stuff, actually.

 So, to celebrate the Christ Mass, is a good thing.  It is a Merry Christmas.  It is a Happy Holiday.  It is as pagan as it gets, for the celebration is ancient.  Adjacent to Christmas, in our modern calendar, is the New Year!  Really, rejoice that the great Teacher came to teach us joy, then embark on a fresh, new year uncluttered with the mistakes (and erroneous thinking) of the previous year.

 Why, there's even a host of robust celebratory music to accompany the season.  Joy to the World!  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

 (My traditional Holiday post)

“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!”

 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!”

 Some 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!


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Poverty Point, Northeast Louisiana...

 A World Heritage site.  There's a story to tell from there some four thousand years ago.

More to come...

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Magic Word

 (Reposting one of my favorites!)

I’ve discovered the magic word.  It’s not abracadabra and it’s not a secret.  It’s not a mystery wrapped inside a symbol.  The long sought magic word – the utterance of which brings immediate reward to the speaker – has been found.  By me.

 I’ll tell you exactly how I found it.

As I was driving to work one morning, one of those idiot motorists clustered around me, lane-hopped near my rear bumper.  The idiot then challenged other drivers as he (maybe she, it was dark) then darted back into my lane, inches from my front bumper.  My ego first impulse was to let loose a string of verbal (or at least mental) descriptions of the idiot’s clearly errant consciousness.  But I didn’t.

The driver was an “accident looking for victims.” This was a time when I was practicing “complaint free” principles in my real-time daily living.  I was creating a habit to say and think what I desired in every moment, and not what I disliked or disapproved.  Did I desire for the idiot to cause an accident?  Of course not.  Therefore I thought and spoke to him/her what I genuinely desired - “May you arrive safely at your destination.”

I thought that pretty good, and, sure enough, felt a bit of relief.  A few more consciousness-challenged motorists wandered into my path, and I managed to send each along his way with the affirmation “May you arrive safely at your destination.” 

Yet there needed to be a closing, an “amen” conclusion, to the thought lest I continue my attention on the behavior of the driver I’d rather not encounter.  Hey, I’m a slow learner, but even I understood that attention given = attraction to.

Then flashed into my mind the magic word – the conclusion to that moment which would free my thinking and attention, and make it available for what I desired in my morning drive, rather than attract more idiots in my experience.  I appended the thought:  “May you arrive safely at your destination.  Ashalli.”  That was it.  End of drama.  The lanes cleared and I drove happily on my way.

I repeated the affirmation and magic word every time I drove and encountered idiots.  It was evident, after a couple of days, that there were less idiots on the road.  Ashalli.

The question was, of course, if this magic word produce the same effect off road?  A few days later I picked up a couple of items at the neighborhood grocery store when a patron with a cart full of stuff beat me to the “10 Items or Less” express checkout.

What?  You’ve never had such an experience?  Ego impulse was to scowl at the offending person (I had a flashback to the road idiots).  But, determined to practice complaint free, the thought was offered “may you move quickly with your tasks to your desired end.  Ashalli.”

The remarkably efficient clerk scanned the entire cart in record time – and with a quick payment from the person.  I liked this magic word.  Then the same clerk struggled with the bar code on one of my items.  I sensed the glare from the burly fellow in line behind me.  The laser scanner finally behaved and I was quickly beyond reach of what I imagine were less-than-complaint-free invectives from the fellow.  Well, why not?  I thought for him “may you have a pleasant day.  Ashalli.”  I went on about my business.

I’ve used the magic word frequently and it works.  However, it works only as the conclusion to a thought desiring a positive outcome for the person or situation.  I say that because I desire to give my conscious attention, as best I’m able, to what I would like.  I’ve heard that before – did someone say The Golden Rule?

Do I want others to complain and condemn my erroneous moments?  Or, do I desire that they treat me as I desire to treat them?  That’s Ashalli.

There is a difference between “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and a variant that goes like “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”  These two approaches are 180 degrees apart.

“Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”  It sounds okay on the surface.  It smacks of consideration and kindness.  Yet it requires that you adjust your behavior and interactions to please what others want from you.  To do unto others as they wish accepts the obligation to act according to their rules, which may or may not coincide with your values and feelings.  In effect, you focus on what others want you to do (or be.)  If they are satisfied, they may respond kindly.  If they are not satisfied, well, they’ll let you know, so you can try harder.

If you’ve ever spent time on that merry-go-round you know that it can’t be done.  You can never achieve joy this way.  But you can attempt to do so and work really hard to please others for five, ten, fifteen, thirty, fifty years or more.  It’ll never happen because you can only treat others as you wish to be treated.  Would your life be more joyful and less entangled if you focused on treating everyone as you wished to be treated?

That approach places creative power in your hands and you’re no longer dependent on the good graces from pleasing others.  It’s nice to be loved and appreciated – but there’s a huge difference between Love and Appreciation and conditional “love” and “appreciation.”

How do you reconcile demands to treat another in a way that makes you feel badly?  The bad feeling is your indication that you’ve got the equation skewed.  The best guide is to always treat others the way you want to be treated and you are more likely to feel good.  It’s not about what other people do or don’t do.  It’s what you truly desire for them – as what you would desire for yourself.

The more I practiced the magic word the more relaxed many daily tasks became.  Then, one morning driving to work, another idiot zipped around.  At once I thought “May you arrive safely at your destination.  As Shall I.”
As Shall I.  It’s not magic.  It’s what you want for yourself.  May you have a wonderful day.  Ashalli.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Work in Progress...


Paranormal Pendulum IV - The Sky People and Our Ancestors

Dan Baldwin and I are wrapping up our research regarding people thousands of years ago who were visited/interacted with what they called Sky People.  Such accounts are legion, world-wide, and ancient.  So, naturally, we wanted to know more about them.

A remarkable team of investigators, on both sides of the veil, include pendulum dowsers and psychic mediums, sought information about villages and communities in North Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.  The findings will be presented in the upcoming book and will include descriptions of life in the villages and the relationships with the Sky People.  Put simply, our past doesn’t look like we think it did.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Been Kind of Quiet...

 ...of late.  Dan Baldwin and I, along with talented others, are exploring the relationships between the "Sky People" as they were called, and our ancestors.  Suffice to say, our past is hardly what we think it was.

We're covering a lot of territory.
Hope you can read about it early 2024.