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Today is the present… be the gift.

cosmic burp May 10, 2012

Be careful what you ask for; you may will get it.

The concept of measured time is a human device. The universe has no need for time measurement: The ‘here and now’ simply “is.”

Still, we humans are taught — conditioned by immersion — to percieve nearly all that we do as time-dependent. Work, family, vacation… Daily duties, weekly routines, special occassions. All are calendared and clock-related. Even the beat of our hearts and breathing in and out are measured with ‘per second’ or ‘per minute’ units of time.

However, to the creative intelligence (aka: God) that runs the universe, time simply does not exist except through the lens of the material realm (aka: our Solar Universe), thus it is a stretch for us (being immersed in time) to wrap our thinking around various concepts about ‘how life works’ because, at the essential core, such precepts ‘flow forth from’ a ”timeless’ (eternal) dimension of space.

To glimmer understanding and glimpse how things work in an ‘unknown’ realm we have to ‘imagine’.  And to imagine (anything) we must (first) willfully suspend our own disbelief, which is really rather easy but can feel quite challenging because we it requires close scrutiny of what we ‘do’ believe in, first. ur own predispositions… which in turn necessitates us ‘measuring’ the value of our (inculcated) ‘predispositions’ as standards for enhancing our overall quality of and capacity for living life.

In this spirit, consider the Akashic Record — aka: God’s Book of Life; aka: the memetic morphogenetic un-sub-conscious resonance delineated by Freud, Jung, and Sheldrake —  wherein every jot and tittle of humankind’s thought, word and deed is permanently preserved forevermore in minute holographic detail… kind of like a huge ‘digital video vault’ encoded in the aggregate electro-magnetic ‘aura’ of all living beings… much the same way that data is electro-magnetically encoded to the hard-drive of a computer.

Now imagine that on (what we humans would think of as) ‘a daily basis’, the creative (divine) intelligence that spawned us and this whole universal scheme of things scrolls through this imutable archive much the same way that any of us watch a high-def video with surround sound.

Remember that time means nothing in this (divine) dimension of life. Also remember that, because ‘free will’ is absolute, this divine power does not ‘decide’ (the good or the bad) of any ‘request’, does not judge the merit of any ‘need’, and does not contemplate the virtue (or evil) of any ‘want’… but simply making sure that all the (material) connections are made to ‘make it so’… No matter what the ‘it’ is.  

And the only real challenge to grasping just how wonderfully well things work this way is coming to grips with the comprehension that all the *shit* that seems to rule their life has been done to themselves, by themselves, and totally at their own request… even (and most especially) when they didn’t know they were asking for having it (whatever it is) done unto them.

In part, it is our culturally indentured servitude to ‘the experts” — be they teachers, physicians, politicians, pastors or parents — which gaits our eons-long lock-step with pain and misery. All around us we see how much easier (because it is ‘socially acceptable’) to blame and bully than to take ownership of our (self-inflicted) misery; simpler to cite ‘the devil’ (the ‘mean’ neighbor, the ‘terrorist’, the ‘enemy’) for malevolently dumping garbage on us and credit benificient divine intervention for the ‘blessings’.

Much less work to feel sorry for ‘poor-victim-me’ and moan about (aka” ‘protest’) the (alleged) injustice that to pull one’s self up by one’s own bootstraps and do what it takes to make things right….

But it only ‘feels’ like ‘the right way’ because we have not THOUGHT about it. We have not examined these pervasively disingenious permutations of culturally induced social dynamics from the ‘meta-level’ where time does not exist and from which the material realm flows.

Karma: A cosmic burp of synchronicity between cause and effect.

Live long and prosper…

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disruptive forces February 17, 2010

Volcanos, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards and floods: All to our human eyes constitute disruptive forces. Yet to Mother Nature and Father Time, these dynamic bursts of energy are essential creative tools, making way for new generations of topography, atmosphere, ecology and aquatics; new dimensions of flora, fauna and landscape.

And the fact is that for all our might and bravery, we mere mortal humans have next to no impact or influence on this all-encompassing matrix of environmental events. That is, while our collective behavior (as a single specie) does contribute to such global circumstances as climate change, poverty, genocide and plague, the accumulating stage for most life-quaking events is set over countless of our own generations yet is equivalent only to a day’s work for Nature and Time.

Factually, the cumulative environmental and ecological consequences we now reap were initially set and are perpetually kept in motion by forces far greater than our own and so long ago that it is beyond our human capacity to consciously recall. Still, this does not translate to our impotence in the effect we can and do have on the daily quality of human life. In fact, we humans now have more autonomous power over the shape and quality of our respective and collective existence than has (to our knowledge) any other creature ever before on the face of the earth. Yet to fully utilize this tremendous capacity, we must (first) recognize and understand two critical things:

(1) That our ‘point of power’ exists only in the present moment, primarily in our own backyard and strictly in the approach we choose to implement in the here and now. That there is no ‘tomorrow’ and there is nothing we can do about anything that is going on ‘over there’. More positively put, that the standards, ideals, principles, ideologies, treaties, testaments, convictions and philosophies we (choose to) live by ‘today’ are what constitute (our own individual) ‘quality of life’ as it aggregates to govern and ripples-out to influence the circumstances of generations yet to come… one moment at a time.

(2) That at baseline, there is only one single standard, ideal, principle, ideology, treaty, testament, conviction and philosophy that is ‘worth’ the personal cost/investment incumbent upon the adoption of and dedication to ‘giving one’s life to’ any overarching creed… and it is to only do unto others what one would sanction being done to one’s self. AKA: If the community prospers, then I — a member of the community — shall equally propser. Thus it is in my own best interest to work for the well-being of the whole, in every act I commit, all of the time.

Yet even doing this does not guarantee that one will never be subjected to disruptive forces. And in fact, until all of everyone ‘gets it’ — aka: chooses to behave concordant of items (1) and (2), above — the most devastating of all the disruptive forces that we humans must daily reckon with have to do with way people treat each other when there is non-compliance with this fundamental statute of ‘living the good life.’ 

Over the decades, I have experienced the effects of such disruptive behaviors by various individuals who — supposedly with all the very best of intentions (covertly aimed at ‘promoting their own self- interests’ essentially because they suffer from the ‘dominator disease’) — wreaked havoc in organizations, families, workgroups and marriages. Always, this disruptive behavior demands authority and control over e free will of others: one person (or group) is tenacious to stop or prohibit another from doing something that they (the dominators) do not personally approve.

Always in such cases, when viewed thru a clinical/analytical lens, there is no logical, scientific or reasonable explanation for their (usually aggressive) againstness… just the potent contention that such-and-such ‘must’ be done this way or that because ‘I’ know it is the best/only way to go.

Such behavior is a contradiction of respect and courtesy. And I know it is asking a lot to expect human beings to behave with respect and courtesy all of the time. But then frankly, at baseline, the conscious and willful making of such choices is the only thing that distinguishes our ‘human’ behaviors from the (compulsive/memetic 4-F) behaviors of animals.  And sans pompousness, I’ve been asking myself and my friends lately, just what exactly can, should or must a courteous and respectful person do when encountering and encumbered by those who simply don’t get it…??? Those who — while expressing grave concern about some foreboding ‘something’ — find substantive satisfaction (ie: a sense of purpose) in the activity of  ‘shooting down ideas’ and ‘bringing things to a standstill’ or ‘picking a fight’.  

The obvious and most superficial answer is to simply shun the disruptive person. Dis-include and exorcise him or her from your guest book, email list and life. The reality is that doing this is nearly impossible as it seems that a wide swath of society is daily made vapid by the  boorish behavior resultant of this dominator plague. The disruptive behaviors of the Wall Street Bangsters Bailout offers a tragic case in point of how the greedy, arrogant, self-serving behaviors of a handful of ‘elite’ individuals have devastating consequences on the lives of the common multitudes around the globe.

What can we, any of us, do about this? How do we make things right?

For starters, we must come to grips with the fact that such tragedy does not suddenly thrust itself upon us overnight. It takes years and decades and centuries of complicity with ‘the status quo’ and millions of individual actions of ‘not rocking the boat’ of the (powerful) dominator syndrome.

The malingering tragedy that was New Orleans or Haiti before or after the hurricane or earthquake exists because we who are basically respectful and courteous do not know how to deal effectively with people whose disruptive, rude, greedy, arrogant and cruel. Our nature is to shy away from them because we know from experience that their behavior is symptomatic of  the ‘dominator disease’ — resultant of which there is no possible means of ‘reasoning’ with them as they are pre-convinced that ‘their way’ is the only/right way to do anything and that anyone who questions their authority over validity is not just wrong but is moreso an evil threat and thus must be put in their place.

To shun a person who behaves this way is to reciprocate disruptive behavior, tit for tat. Thus knowing that it does no one any good to compound the injustice, I have been asking my friends, how does one do what is right?

And the only thing that any among us have concluded so far is that there is no simple answer to this question; that if we knew the answer to this question a whole lot of things in our lives would have come to pass very differently than they actually did; that at bottom line, all that we know to do is to measure our own conduct by the ‘do unto others’ standard, and that always, in the activity of being accountable to any ethic one must be willing to stand. ~~~

 

MEMETICS November 17, 2009

I have become increasingly intrigued with the science of ‘memetics’ — being the study of the ‘systems dynamics’ of cognitive evolution as a parallel track to the biological kind.

The other day, for example, I was half-watching an old-ish movie on TV; a comedy about a handsome young man who goes celibate for 40 days and his office-buddy who starts a betting pool at work, hedging how long the handsome young man will be able to keep the self-imposed vow.

At one point the ‘office slut’ decides that (on behalf of women everywhere, but mainly on behalf of her own frail ego) she can’t afford to allow the handsome young man to ‘have the power’…

The ‘power’ of course being that she (aka: women) is somehow ‘entitled’ to use sex as a weapon; a tool of manipulation; a means to an end of getting her own way; having whatever she selfishly (no matter the consequences to others) wants.

And by strict terms of biological evolution, such ‘dominator’ behavior is not only sanctioned… it is genetically encoded as the ‘key to survival’.

In fact, the whole strategy of all biological genes is self-satisfaction. And the memes (aka: cognitive genes) which collaborate (in a chicken/egg duo) to compel dominator behaviors have no morals.

By prime directive of what science calls ‘4-F memes’*, the better a single member of a given specie is at establishing hierarchical superiority — no matter the bullying, trickery or abuse — the greater is that individual’s chance for survival and thus the better the odds to pass along his or her own biological and cognitive predispositions, ie: to achieve genetic/memetic immortality.

Still, as memetics clearly points out, humanity has the power to transcend 4-F reactions by ‘choosing’ to ‘look at things differently’, ie: to ‘rise above’ our engendered behavior code. That is, at base-line in our unique humanness we each still recognize a somewhat uniform ideal about how things ‘should’ be in terms of egalitarian equitability… but for the most part such altruistic morals are subjugated by fear-driven 4-F reactions.

The good news is, of course, that we do not have to be slaves to our preconcieved dispositions. Having the ability to ‘think’ and to ‘reason’ and to ‘evaluate’ and to ‘decide’, we have the innate capacity to self-determine our own behaviors. The only question then, it seems to me, is why would we choose to do otherwise? And the only logical answer I have arrived at so far is because we do not recognize (aka: are unaware) that it is a personal choice. ~~~

* 4-F memes: By strict biological terms, the four ‘prime behaviors’ which ensure ‘perpetuation of the specie’ are Fleeing, Fighting, Feasting and F*cking. By strict cognitive terms, we are each (to various degrees) slaves to these memetically encoded behaviors — until and unless we (1) recognize the validity of this paradigm, and (2) appreciate the fact that — as thinking beings — we have the everpresent liberty to ‘choose’ how we will (or will not) behave.

 

Health Care Facts August 28, 2009

The following summary from a colleague on LinkedIn concisely and emphatically resolves every major concern about having a health care system which includes a public option. Bravo and thank you David!!! ~Christine

By David Vernon, a Management Consulting Professional

1) Private insurers have almost a monopoly on employer plans, so there is now no competiton on price and service. Risk pools are regional, so inter-state private insurance will not change this. Federal jurisdiction does not extend to regulation of insurance policies written within States, but it does extend to plans receiving Federal funds. That is why we need a public option – so that Federally funded plans can offer features private insurers do not now offer, forcing all private insurers to compete on price and service (ignoring pre-existing conditions, eliminating “exclusions”, etc.)

2) 30% of current costs are accrued at municipal hospitals providing routine care for the uninsured in emergency rooms for ten times the cost of routine care in clinics and doctor’s offices. Providing Federal coverage for anyone, no questions asked, for routine care would allow these people to get care for one tenth what it costs now. A 90% reduction in 30% of costs saves 27% of current costs. That is the “indeterminate” savings from covering everybody, at Federal expense, at a cost of 1.4 trillion dollars over ten years. That is how expanding coverage could actually save money and lower overall costs.

3) 80% of lifetime expenses are accrued in the last six months of life for intensive care while dying. Absent clear instructions from the patient, medical ethics and current law require that no expense be spared to prolong life, at least unitl the $1 million lifetime insurance coverage is exhausted. Every patient who elects not to have intensive care while dying saves the system $500,000, $400,000 in insurance payments and $100,000 in copayments from the family of the patient. The cost of covering a living will conference is $100. Net savings is $499,900 per patient who makes a living will refusing intensive care while dying. Absent living wills, the 40 million Baby Boomers will incur $20 trillion in intensive care costs while dying over the next 25 years.

4) After end-of-life and routine care in ER, the next biggest cost item is 15% of current costs due to lack of proper medical information. These costs involve 98,000 excess deaths annually, duplicate diagnostic testing and imaging, and the care required to recover from mistakes in dosage and treatment. The existence of complete, accessible, lifetime electronic health records, such as now exist in the VA system, will eliminate this 15% of costs.

Bottom line = without a public option, it will not be reform. without mandatory living will coverage, it will not be reform. with electronic health records, the living will savings will not accrue because the doctor at the hospital will not know you have one, and it will not be reform. Costs can be nine times the CBO estimate and will still be half the $20 trillion that no reform will cost. Savings potential for living wills and guaranteed routine care for everyone are more than half of what we spend now.

5) Current costs of about $16 trillion annually amount to $8,000+ per capita. Results rank between 20th and 37th worldwide. The “best” results worldwide are achieved in France, which has a “public” option but not “national health.” Costs there are 30% lower than ours per capita, and private insurers continue to make profits, although not as huge as they do in the USA.

The only losers if the proposed reforms pass are the private insurers, who now reap most of the benefits of this system that lets 20,000 people a year die for lack of coverage and costs half again as much as the next most expensive national system in the world. ~~~

 

Things Change August 8, 2009

Filed under: COGNITIVE CYBERNETICS,EDITORIAL — gozarks @ 3:28 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Three days ago, I was by profession the communications director of a dynamic young manufacturing company producing a unique and valuable product. Today I am contemplating where I wish to apply my professional wherewithal next. 

Things change. Fact is, this is normal. Tomorrow has no guarantees, at least not in terms of the things we tend to wish most could be guaranteed for us. 

Material security can be wiped out in a heartbeat. Personal calamity may befall us. None among us have the capacity to preclude the the tumultuously unexpected.  

Yet we – each of us – do have absolute authority over how we react to, respond and recover from life-quaking abnormalities. Patently, it is simply a matter of choice. 

Actually, it is as matter of many aggregate choices which follow in sequence like a run of dominoes being tipped. Yet the first choice in the cascade is the most critical. And the overarching goal of every choice must be to serve honesty, integrity, and the sanctity of self. 

By this I do not mean ‘to be selfish’, but instead to look with integrity at whatever circumstances we find ourselves in at any precise moment in time, honestly evaluate the actions we took which led up to this place, determine if there is anything we could have or should have done differently which might have resulted in a different outcome and after factoring in whatever we can learn from this empirical and introspective observation, deciding what it is most practical to do next. 

And in terms of practical, looking closely at our own overarching objectives… life goals or life purpose, as these may be called. For those of religious persuasion for example, their overarching objective might simply be to life a pious life.  

Still, in order to ‘be’ pious, one must first have a cognitive comprehension of what piousness looks like in action and how pious people behave. Some people who commit horrific acts of terrorism consider their actions pious. Where do you draw the line?  

Each of us alone, in the privacy of our own thinking, makes thousands of critical decisions about things like this every day which effectively, over time and somewhat surrealistically, compound and coagulate as the material and social elements of our (uniquely intra-dependent) quality of life.  

When things go in a very different direction than we personally intended it is important to learn as much from the experience as possible and make clear-cut conscious decisions in terms of evaluating our own role in the process and contribution to the outcome. Factually, there is no one who can evaluate these deep-seated motives for us. It can only be an ‘inside job’ and until we do it well we are stuck in repetition mode.  

Thankfully, there are some excellent resources to enable us thru this learning. For example, check out these two books and a DVD:

Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme

The Shift

And always remember, life is not about waiting for the storm to be over… life is about dancing in the rain.

 

Confusion is Very High Space August 7, 2009

Today I am like a 10th grader: organizing my notes in my binder, finding my assigned locker, seeing new faces, sharing smiles; feeling semi-excited,  trepidacious,  a trifle dazed and a tad confused.

Doing ‘something different’ — something other than the ‘normal routine’ — provokes such feelings in me and I am hard pressed to believe that I am that much different than anyone else. 

Still, there is a big difference in emotional texture with 45 years of living between the present-day me and that sophomoric blast from my teenage past. When I was who I was then — semi-sweet like dark chocolate, kissed with youth, blushing with unabashed innocence, biased only by curiosity — I spent a lot of my time (as my mother would chide) wishing my life away.

Now however, I know what my mother did: That this moment is not about practicing, preparing or getting ready for some significant moment yet to come. This moment is ‘what is to come’. It is always here, ever-present with me throughout every nuance of time/space.

As youngsters it seems we spend a lot of time ‘getting ready for’ whatever is to come next. The dance next Friday. The game next week. Volleyball practice Thursday afternoon. Christmas, the New Year, any holiday vacation and so on. Many of our present moments are filled with thots and plans, dreams, hopes and ideas; propositions, consternations, dilemmas and frustrations about what is yet to come.

And when we are not immersed in tomorrow (studying for Monday’s test or getting our hair done for our ‘big date’ Saturday night) we are reminiscing, roiling or musing in what’s past: Did you hear what she said about him? How could he do that? What was up with that?

As we mature — given we do — the comprehension comes that all of this dallying is mere illusion. Cognitive slight of hand. Yesterday, as song goes, is gone. Tomorrow has not arrived. And factually all of our moments unfurl in the limbo between these two imaginary dimensions. We can plan and hope and dream all we want, but in truth and honesty the only time we have to live the one life we own is here in the now of this moment.

Thanks for sharing it with me…..