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

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

It's More Than a Birthday...

Is there a fourth of July in Great Britain?  Of course there is.  They just don't celebrate it.

 We do, and for good reason.  The Declaration presented a framework for the people, the WE of the Constitution, to establish a government that protects and furthers the self-evident Truths.  Nothing like this had ever existed in the history of Mankind.  It was to be the great experiment, and, if successful, perhaps the blueprint for prosperity, peace, and the pursuit of happiness for anyone and everyone.
But that was long ago.  Our wildly successful Republic is evinced by the loony excesses that safety, prosperity, and freedom allow.  What would the Founders think if they could walk the "mean streets" of San Francisco, or Shreveport?  Probably a big  "Whoa!  Where'd this come from?"  Freedom is where it comes from.  Freedom to decide doesn't mean that people always make "good" choices in what they think/say/do.  And, since we're products of physics, for every cause there is an effect, and every effect has a cause.  Misery comes from engaging in the same "causal" action but expecting a different result or "effect."  But that's what it's all about.  And it's why so many do what they think is what they must do to somehow get to the USA.  Just stepping foot in this magical land would somehow improve their life.  Well, yes  A generous people (citizens of a Republic tend to be very generous) WE have many, many, ways for people to visit, work, and, yes, become a full fledged citizen.  It's the Rule of Law, and not the whim of the Despot that defines us.  And most folks around the globe get it.

July 4, 1776 was a time and place where a remarkable gathering of wise, albeit totally human, souls came together to imagine (IMAGINE!) the best way for a people to govern themselves as a society.  Fortunate.  Yes indeed, we are fortunate.  And, even though the wild success of the great experiment can create problems unprecedented (you have to have prosperity and freedom to find new problems), the USA has the means to continue as the haven and launch pad for the freedom of Mankind.

John Stossel puts it very well:

Now, let the fun, festivities, and fireworks begin!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Monday, June 04, 2018

Speaking with things that go bump in the night...

I'm convinced that we're in an age of discovery unlike any other in known history.  There is a "shift" in consciousness - a move upward on an evolutionary spiral - that is akin to the rising tide lifting all boats.  Some folks may speak of their personal moments, many keep quiet (it's personal), and some attract others who have similar experiences, talents, skills, abilities, know the list.

Three people who came together, Rhonda Hull, Dwight Hull and Dan Baldwin, pooled their talents and interests (in their case, southwest U.S. history) and are sharing their findings in a recently released book, Speaking With the Spirits of the Old Southwest (yes, the title says it all.)

But, besides being an intriguing book, it has a nifty trailer.  Yep, the book has a "movie" trailer.
UPDATE:  Can only be seen on YouTube.  Click the link.

And a nice touch are links to the EVP's - electronic voice phenomena - which capture bits of their conversations.  For those who grasp such talents - intuitives and pendulum - the techniques used by the trio are worthy of emulation.  It's just...well, take a read.

Note:  For those of you in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, Dan Baldwin will have a book signing at the Shreveport Barnes & Noble on July 13.  Yep, that's a Friday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Musing on Spooky Thoughts

  Recently spent some time musing on spooky things.  And what were once spooky things.  For your musing pleasure:

   A spooky concept for many is that superstition and magic may be real.  Or, more precisely, the phenomena that superstition and magic attempt to describe or portray is real.  Take prayer for instance.  Superstition and magic would describe a situation where certain persons, perhaps priests, would “pray” or call for the action of the gods upon another person for benefit, such as healing.  The person gets well.  No one may know why or how, just that it happened.  If it can’t be explained, then it’s magic – the action of a capricious god or strange force.

   Arthur C. Clarke once noted that a person encountering an advanced technology for the first time would consider it magic.  That is true.  If someone has no idea what prayer is and how it works, it appears magical.

   There is a tremendous burst of knowledge occurring where many “magic and superstitions” of old are recognized as a reality event – an occurrence explainable by the known laws of the universe.  For instance, there have been replicated studies on the impact of prayer on healing.  These studies support the concept that prayer does in face have a healing impact (or certainly comforting) on the target person – even when those praying are distant and not acquainted with those they pray for.  Prayer, then, is no longer magic or divine intervention, but an energy transfer, a syncing of vibrations, as real as a radio broadcast.  The question then, is how we can direct this power.

   Another spooky concept was contained in the November 2005 issue of National Geographic.  It contains an article on letters from wars.  The feature has a photo of the mother of a son killed in Iraq.  She had vivid dreams where her son clearly tells her that he is all right.  This observation is a matter of fact.  There are dreams of exceptional clarity that are not the dross of brain and thought activity coursing around, but are instead more direct links with specific vibrations – tuning in, if you will.  You’ve had a dream like that.  Everyone has.  It’s not superstition.  The Ancients placed great stock in such connections.

   Moving out of dreams and into waking experience are the stories of spooky concepts a.k.a. ghosts and apparitions.  By day and by night many people sense a presence, a vibration, that may provide a visual moment or other sensory event that is associated with a geographic location.  Ghost hunters prowl the old houses and haunts.  Once again, rather than a supernatural event, what is experienced is more a frequency-tuning.  Not everyone is on the same frequency thus may have a different experience or none at all while someone else present is fully tuned in.  An interesting book, “Speaking with the spirits of the old Southwest,” presents a trio of investigators conversing with former residents of Arizona ghost towns and historic sites.  One is a sensitive medium, one a pendulum dowser, and the third a paranormal researcher and animal communicator.  Each perceives the presence of a person (deceased) in his/her distinct manner.  Very often the three are in sync with the vibrations offered and literal conversations are possible (sometimes recorded.)  Something is occurring.  A piece of a grand mosaic of energy.  Demonstrable, if not fully explainable.  Yet.

   Anyone desiring a more pleasant, comfortable, happy life will, sooner or later, conclude that a change in thinking (frequency) has to occur before anything else.  That’s not superstition or magic, it’s a reality.  The impact of thought (thinking) on the mental, physical, emotional and astral self is evident.  Self-evident.  Thinking creates life experiences. 

   Quantum physics studies the actions of incredibly small forces.  This writer only grasped a concept of vastness after peeking at the enormous amount of “space” contained in the extreme realm of micro.  The relative distance between measurable components of an atom is on a scale of our solar system.  There’s a whole lot of “nothing” making up our physical universe.  What’s spooky is that most of this universe consists of, well, we don’t quite know, yet.  Termed “dark matter” it’s stuff we can’t see but can notice its effects on what we can see.  This is truly a realm for magic and superstition.

   It’s curious how some cling to superstitions and magic rather than seek to understand the force that is in play.  Natural Selection.  Intelligent Design.  Two phrases that attempt to describe the same process.  The process is the improving manner of a life form, a.k.a evolution.  The process is so keen that it must be an observation of an intelligence at work.  Nature.  Natural.  Intelligence.  The difference is a curious mine-field.  Intelligence is a characteristic of Consciousness.  For nature to “select” the best process implies some degree of intelligence, at least to this writer.  Treating consciousness as a superstition insulates an awareness that “natural selection” is a conscious process.  I wonder how this debate would exist had Darwin titled his magnificent observations “The Evolution of Species” or “The Development of Species” rather than “The Origin of Species.”

   A really spooky concept for many is that their thinking (and in turn decisions and actions) actually influence what they experience.  It’s often easier to rely on superstition and magic as external forces that make things happen (good things to bad people, bad things to good people.)  If it’s Good, then God did it.  If it’s bad, then the Devil did it.  Or someone else did it.  Anybody, or anything, other than self.  This manner of thinking creates the realm of the victim.

   Medical Intuitive Caroline Myss has a theory why some people will not, or cannot, get well or improve their lives.  She calls it woundology.  This is a situation where a person suffered a loss – perhaps an illness, death of a loved one, and such.  People are instinctively sympathetic to another who’s rebuilding from such a devastating change event.  Yet some folks simply refuse to rebuild, or, get well.  What Caroline noticed is that the person received a lot of power and control by keeping alive the old wound.  To heal the wound would be to lose the power of victimhood.  It’s not a happy place.

   In a lesser extent we may find a spooky tendency to devote attention to negative situations – conditions and situation we do not want.  Yet how often is the conversation between people a lively account of current and past aches, pains, and misery?  “Your back hurts?  Well, let me tell you how bad I felt last night...”

   Now we know that what we hold in our thoughts (mind) is what we create (and experience.)  “The more I thought about it, the angrier I got!”  Dwelling on anything increases its effect.  It doesn’t even have to be real.  Running an imagined slight (insult, wrong, disrespect, etc.,)over and over, replacing sleep, replacing focus on the task at hand, does what?  The mole-hill slight is now a mountain, blocking any relief.  Wouldn’t we really want to hold in our mind a thought/situation that makes us feel good, and have that be our experience?  Duh.  Unless one is so wrapped in victimology .

   Dwelling might be considered the goblin of our past thinking that can lure our here-and-now thoughts back to the earlier state, which fires up the mental engines of creation to restore the former condition (or certainly emotional state reacting to the condition.)

   What about considering our thoughts as a form of prayer?  I suspect they could be synonyms.  If prayer establishes a vibrational “link” with Divine Intelligence, then each and every thought, regardless of intent, is a vibrational transmission whatever supreme consciousness is called.  At the very least, our thoughts are elevated if considered prayers.  That can be a spooky concept – every thought is a prayer.

   What’s in play is the Law ofAttraction.  Birds of a feather flock together.  Many ways describe it.  Like attracts like.  It’s fundamental.  Lets go back to our friend who talks constantly about his/her ailments.  Who listens?  Who is there?  Who is he/she spending time with?  Why, other people who are speaking of their ailments.  Unless you’re interested in sharing health war stories, you’re unlikely to hang around (there’s not much interest, or attraction.)

   We know this universal law so well.  Is there a parent who hasn’t expressed concern to a child about his/her friends?  We know that if the child spends time around children who are up to no good, shall we say , the probability of the child engaging in sad behaviors is high.  Think trash, speak trash, live trash.

  The converse is also true.  The Law of Attraction is totally neutral and answers every prayer (thought) with YES!  If the prayer is trash, then, yes!  More trash.  The Law is totally fair.  Isn’t it strange that we comprehend the negative easily, but find the positive, spooky?  What?  You mean that the way I think has something to do with what I experience.  Duh.

   Do you wake up each morning expecting a good day?  Or, a “see what comes” day?  Which wake up thought is more likely to be a bedtime reflection “what a good day...”  Caroline Myss observed two types of people seeking health.  When given a sure-fire plan to restore health and improve like, people will receive that plan with one of two responses:  That’s all I have to do?  Or  I have to do all of that?  The response predicts whether the person will enjoy life more, or less.  The first response is positive, optimistic – healing is an inside job.  The second response is fearful, overwhelming – healing is an outside job.

   A spooky concept that many have difficulty turning loose is life is meant to be hard.  This frightening concept often has deep roots.  It’s found in such fundamental thinking as:

            I am a sinner by birth
            Life is hard
            I am supposed to suffer
            Suffering is a virtue
            If I don’t do what they say, God will punish me

   These demon thoughts are being cast away in this millennium.  Once, such thoughts served a useful purpose.  But We (human beings) have, on the whole, moved above that (meaning that such thinking is less attractive now, meaning that such beliefs will become extinct for most people.)  Things once considered superstitious or magical are more and more found to be genuine.  How much more comfort could the mother of the slain soldier have, than for her son to personally reassure her that all is well.  And for her to know the communication was real.  That’s not spooky.  It’s a sample of the wonderous things that are part of our total life.

   There’s a whole lot f something going on in that a whole bunch of “nothing” that seems to be around us.  It doesn’t matter what we ask for, the answer is always YES. 

   That isn’t spooky.  It isn’t superstition.  It isn’t magic.  It’s exciting.  And you’re a part of it.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Thought That Has Haunted Many Nights...

...and I don't understand why.  There is a remarkable resistance to learning about ancient civilizations.  I don't get it.  This video presents what I suspect is a much truer analysis of the purpose of the great Pyramid.  The "accepted" tomb theory has never, ever, gotten even face validity.  Our predecessors weren't stupid and in many arenas, we are the ignorant.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Discussions That Go Bump in the Night

Some folks have never engaged in a genuine discussion.  Many may recall a time when such discourse was more common.  Enjoy this clip with Jordan Peterson and Bill Maher.  Take-away phrase:  "Moral posturing."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Field Guide for Philosophy

There is a marvelous philosophy for thinking, speaking, and doing  encapsuled in four simple questions:

Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

That’s the 4-Way Test that is the guiding philosophy of Rotary.  You don’t have to be a Rotarian to apply this test in your daily routine.

If you don’t automatically apply the Four Way Test to just about every situation, then you’re missing out on a practical tool for improving not only your situation, but for others.  The Four Way Test holds a powerful philosophy for creating win-win relationships.  It is, your personal Field Guide!

Is it the truth?

            This is the first challenge to Rotarians regarding how we think, speak, and act.  Right off the bat we ask about the veracity of the situation.   Perhaps, a century ago in Chicago, Paul Harris recognized that any gathering of businessmen should be based on a common assumption of truthfulness.
            Truth, at the founding of Rotary, probably had less celestial concern with Pilate’s question than the more human question of honesty.  It would be difficult in deed to complete a transaction without confidence in the honesty of the other party.
            “Is it the truth?” is the logical first question.  If the truth, honesty, is not present, the other questions in the four way test are automatically negative (and time to cancel the meeting!)
            Avoidance of deception is the crucial point and the foundation of trust.  Can you trust someone unless there is some measure of honesty in the relationship?  To be honest is to be true.
            Can you recall any business, professional, or personal relationship that flourished in the absence of trust?  Perhaps only short-term or a variation of “deceive me once, shame on you!  Deceive me twice, shame on me!”  Successful relationships are built on trust and honesty.  That’s not wishful thinking, or fanciful desire – it’s the way we operate.
            Is it the truth?  What other question would better serve you at the beginning of any situation?  The next logical step is to ask:

Is it fair to all concerned?

Your Field Guide now looks at the playing field, bargaining table, or wherever it is that people are gathered.
Fair is defined as “just and honest.”  When we think of something as just we mean that it is equitable and impartial.  Put another way, “does everyone have an equal opportunity, or potential, for success?”  Have you ever come across anyone who willingly or knowingly wanted to play against a stacked deck, so to speak?  Casino’s aside.
            So, before we engage in an exchange with others, ask if all involved are offering a “just and honest, equitable, impartial, potential for each to succeed?”  This is a good way to seek the desired win-win situation.
            However, it is important to recognize that fair is not synonymous with equal.  Fair is not the same as Equal.  Fair is, however, the opportunity for results.  In every transaction the attitude, skill, and energy of the participant determines the potential for successful outcome.
            An essential factor in our personal and collective success, and marvelous standard of living in the United States, is the core philosophy of the “inalienable rights” of each person.  As elucidated by Jefferson, the Creator has bestowed to all inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  These are true Rights and are not favors or privileges granted from a government, monarch, or ruling party.  So, from creation, it could be said all is fair.
            To be fair for all concerned, then, means that no one is deliberately cheating or making a deception that lessens, or prevents, the potential for success of another.  If the situation is true and honest it will be fair to all concerned.
Will it build goodwill and friendships?

Do you know anyone who would prefer to enter a contract, agreement, or association if the result was a loss of goodwill and a loss of friendship?  Of course not.  (For any who might ponder a “yes” then the first two questions were ignored.)
            Goodwill  is one of the most valuable possessions of a business, organization, or individual.  Goodwill may be considered “benevolent intention” – the best outcome for all is desired.  A brand name is Goodwill in logo form – the product or service is known to be satisfying each and every time for those purchasing and using it.
            Years ago a professor of marketing from Louisiana State University in Shreveport was studying the manufacture of brand name products in China.  There was consternation at the factory regarding the rejects which did not conform to the product standard.  “These could be sold immediately” was the consensus.  It was difficult to convey the concept of brand name goodwill to the workers and management.  Shoddy products sold under the brand name would quickly destroy consumer confidence in the product – the loss of goodwill.
            Goodwill is the ethereal quality that creates much of the value of any exchange.  The price tag for purchasing goodwill can be significant.  The purchaser has the challenge of maintaining the quality and expectations of the customer.
            What about better friendships?  The question presumes that a degree of friendship exists.  If the first two questions are affirmed, a measure of friendship is already present.  Who are friends?
            It is absolutely wonderful and desirable to associate with people you regard as friends.  Friends are those folk you choose to associate with personally, socially, for business, or philanthropically – such as your Rotary Club.  Friendships are based on the first two questions of the Four Way Test.
            You probably do not have a friendship with someone you believe is untruthful, or who does not share your standards of fairness (granted, you may be required to associate with them, but that’s a different situation.)  Once again the Four Way Test supports the win-win concept of relationships.
            The question “will it build goodwill and better friendships” is a natural progression.  It is likely that you instinctively move away from any engagement that does not build goodwill and would not create a better friendship.

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

            When using the Four Way Test for all transactions, Rotarians first determine if it’s the truth, then insure that the situation is fair to all, and then check for the ability of the transaction to build goodwill and friendships.  Now it’s time for the final, and lasting question:  Will this activity, agreement, contract, purchase, association benefit all concerned?
            Good question.  It’s a different question than asking if it is fair.  Fair is the equal opportunity.  Beneficial implies that all parties will gain, in some measure, from the activity.  That is the win-win situation Rotarians seek and promote.
            The final question may challenge some deeply held philosophies.  The challenge is in the phrase “will it be beneficial to all concerned?”   All is emphasized.  It is a surprisingly common belief that in order for one person to gain, or benefit, someone else must lose, or be harmed.  This is a position derived from a belief that the universe is static, unchanging.  Another way of looking at it would be that every thing is finite and limited.  There is only X amount of benefit in the universe, and for anyone to have a piece of benefit, it is at the expense of someone else.
            Although we are racing through the 21st century, this medieval philosophy persists.  During the 20th century the universe was discovered to be ever expanding  and consisting of immeasurable force.  In effect, hardly static, and about the closest we can conceive to infinity.  This cosmology affects philosophy.  There appears to be no limit to benefit in the universe, only a matter of making use of it.  Benefit acquired by anyone does not naturally lessen the benefit possessed or available to someone else.  Therefore, it is possible, that agreements, contracts, relationships, associations, etc., can be beneficial to all concerned.
            The eloquent sequence of the Four Way Test is a Field Guide to create win-win situations, where all benefit.  Is it the truth?  Is It fair?  Will is build goodwill and friendships?  The first three conditions affirmed produce benefit.  To gain goodwill and friendship is beneficial.
            At heart, you want what is best for everyone.  Being of service to another results in a good feeling.  Feeling good is a worthy goal.    It just might be that the most effective way to feel good is to apply the Four Way Test to every situation, every time, and keep at it, until all four questions are affirmative.  Then your world will change.  One agreement, one contract, one relationship at a time.  You’ll know it.  You feel good!