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Feel free to enjoy and use all the articles you find here.   They belong to all who find them useful for their living.  That is the only price to pay!  Use in your living, is the only reason for this blog.   And if you want to, you can buy my book “Perceptual Intelligence” from Authorhouse.com or buy it as an ebook at Authorhouse or other online booksellers.   tom

VIOLENT TIMES

THE VIOLENT TIMES

We are in strange times of hate and violence. We are quick to denounce the “other side”, no matter who that is. Before you think I may be defending anyone, hear me out. There is an old Zen saying that goes, “the first step to killing someone, is to name them”. Do you get that? Why is naming a step in killing? Naming is the first step to objectifying. We kill when those ‘others’ are no longer real people.

I wrote a similar letter years ago, and I now know I cannot put in some of the “names” we humans use to objectify in the worst way. Cannot put in the “n” word, or the “b” word, and in my letter about being in the Army during Viet Nam, I cannot put in the “g” word. Those from that era know what I mean. But this is the reality of human living. We objectify now with words like “Nazi”, “Jew”, “liberal”, “alt right” and on and on. I am not taking any sides in this, but showing how we humans can justify killing each other.

It is a process view of living instead of a content view. Content is all about who is right and wrong and good and bad. We think all this stuff we made up about that, ON BOTH SIDES, is the truth. Truth is only in process. Life is an ongoing process upon which we humans have placed tons of content. The content IS the naming. It is how we kill.

To see another human being, without a name, is to see the human struggle, the human suffering, the fear and sorrow. We prefer our justifications, our sides, our logic, our reasons, and all that, that let us condone killing. In all ways. We fear showing up without all those “names’ that create our positions and righteousness. To show up as simply a human being, is to show up present, with no ax to grind, no point to prove, no God to justify, no race to prove superiority, no wealth to compare to. Just a human being showing up with other human beings.

With that said, I know many will say I don’t understand the “real” world and how separated and hostile it is. They will say “we have to react and fight or evil will prevail”. And all that is somewhat accurate, but it leaves out, that we collectively have created this insane world. And now that the game is afoot, we do not know how to get out of it. “A rose by any other name, will smell as sweet”. The name is not the actual. We are not who we name ourselves to be. We have created a collective insanity that has all of us trapped. Tlane 8/20/17

TOP 10 REASONS WE LIKE BEING UNCONSCIOUS

When I was consulting, one little exercise I used when I had a client who seemed unwilling to “own” their dysfunctional culture, was to ask them why they liked the culture. Usually, this was asked after I had listened to quite a bit of whining about how lousy things are in their organization. It gave people pause, and then opened some eyes to how they participated in the dysfunction.

As I read more about efforts to become “mindful” and “transcendent” amidst a culture of growing unrest and conflict, I want to give some of you pause. I see that we have created a perfect world collectively and individually. We are stuck in dysfunction and we do not see it as our creation.

Here are my top ten (please feel free to add to this) reasons we like being in an unconscious state as we live our lives, individually and collectively. And this unconsciousness is the root cause of all our turmoil.

1. We like living with a separate identity. We love to talk unity, but we love our individualism even better.
2. We like being right. Of course, your version of right is much better than others, especially those who you find despicable.
3. We like comparing to see who is better or worse. After all, how else can we know how we are doing?
4. We like judging others who disagree with us. What are your beliefs for, if you cannot hold them over others.
5. We like being in control. Or at least we really dislike being controlled by others, especially those who we disagree with.
6. We like having a history to show the world. Our personal resume of achievements that say we are somebody.
7. We like having a group to belong to that reflects our identity. We do not like standing alone in this world.
8. We like believing in the future. We think it gives us a sense of hope and security to know how things will turn out.
9. We like knowing the truth. No matter if that truth can ever be proven, it is enough for us to hold on to it.
10. We like turning people into names and concepts that let us not have to deal with them as unique and changing beings.

If you are totally present to the world, you would not have any of these items. If you are judging the fact of this, then find yourself on the list. Think of someone, or group you really dislike right now and go through the list and see how well they fit. Then realize they are you are on the list, and can you hear that without judgment from me.

In presence, there is no time (past or future), there is no separation, no right/wrong or good/bad, only the ever- changing moment. Of course, we use our brain to manage through the world based on not being present, but presence gives you more clarity of seeing. It makes life easier. Tlane. 8/15/17

VIOLENT TIMES AGAIN

It is so sad to watch the growing unrest and violence, like we saw in Virginia this week. I would like to present a little model to try to show you what I see, as the root cause of all this violence. At the core, violence starts with separation.

I would like you to imagine a large circle in your mind. At the center of this circle is a dot. Got that? The dot represents the oneness we are all born into. No separation at all, but purely in an intimate connection with all. As we grow, our parents, teachers, peers, family, culture, media and much more, begin to put “personal identity” on that little spot of oneness. Each layer of “who we are” moves us from the center point.

Life goes on and we keep adding more and more of our “right ways” that the world should be. So, we have the process of adding and the content of what that may be. Most of us focus on the content, and do not notice the process of how and when all this happens. By the time we are young adults, some of us may have such strong conditioning, that we approach the outer edge of the circle. Can you picture that. We are at a point far removed from the oneness dot, even if one of our strong beliefs is about “oneness”! A paradox of content and process!

We now have more and more people at various distances from the center point, with the most self-righteous out at the edge. These people sincerely believe they hold the “truth” of life, even when it pushes them further from the center and creates the greatest separation.

If you draw a diameter line through your circle, you can see how some can be “diametrically” opposed, both far from the center and greatly separated. As you see, I have not specified any particular beliefs or “truths” in all this, but only the process of separation.

Here is the part you may not want to hear. When you are diametrically opposed to someone, you feel that sense of high difference and high conflict, but if you look at this in another way, you can see you are all on the same circle. Both sides created the whole of the circle! We are this world we have created.

Our work as human beings, is to see how all this separation works, and begin to let go of our strong identities that separate and move back toward the center of the circle. To move back toward the oneness of human, and all life. It is our personal work and no one does it for you. As we shrink the separation, we come closer to each other. Tlane 8/14/17

DEPRESSION IN LIFE

In reading an article on depression, it struck me how most of it was around dealing with this with chemicals/drugs. Now, anyone who has been around and done their share of legal or semi-illegal drugs, knows that drugs alter your state of mind. The drug companies have been trying to find those magic pills that alter the state of mind with little side effects. The fact that they think this is only a drug problem says a lot.

This is not to say that some people out there have some serious chemical imbalances in their mind/bodies. I am not a chemist or a doctor (but I play one in real life, haha) but it seems to me than much of depression is a condition of the state of the mind’s conditioning. The medical profession does not really address this issue. Since the Doctors are also conditioned, they do not want to seriously get into what conditioning does to the brain. Most of us live in the ideas we have our selves, put there by years of unconscious conditioning by our growing up. When we dwell on those ideas, it can be depressing!

I am not an “expert” on this, since I have had about 4-5 days of depression in my 70 plus years. Maybe I had good genes, maybe I had great parenting (that is somewhat a joke), and maybe I am just lucky. But, my lack of depression is mostly because I do not have any ideas of what I am supposed to be! I do not compare what I do with what I “should” do. I do not take other’s ideas of who I am very seriously. (Sometimes that riles folks) I have no expectation of how my life should be. I am seldom disappointed by me. Ain’t that great!!!

Now, I know that is not how most people live. We live by our ideas of our selves. We think we should be a certain way, be accepted by others, be successful, be whatever the fuck you think you should be. And then we compare and say, “I am not doing so well, I am not ok, I am not….” Now, there were books about telling yourself you are “OK’. All that is crap. Trying to tell yourself you are ok, is reinforcing the notion that you are not ok. They are connected and all the push to say I am ok, just reinforces that underlying sense that I am not ok.. It is how the dualistic brain works.

And not one of these medical professionals deals with this. There was a piece on meditation and mindfulness, that gets close. But,as long as you see yourself as an “idea” or a “concept” that you have to live up to, you will fail. If you fail big time, you will be depressed, if you fail little time you will be normal. You are not an idea to be achieved. You are a being to live in the now, and in the now there is not depression. Tlane 8/8/17

THE STRUGGLE

THE STRUGGLE

I am reading about Dunkirk, the new movie just out, and it is such a story of selflessness. To have so many risk everything to save those stranded soldiers, is quite amazing. I wonder if we would do that now. Not as a military effort, but as a civilian effort? Of course, there are those around us that do extraordinary things for people they do not know, but as a human system, are we moving away from this?

At times, it feels like we are moving into our own little world of individual focus, individual concern, and more separation. Is the rising of the personal electronic devices, creating a new kind of separate existences? Is this shift beginning to block out our empathy and sense of the other? Have we lost the ability to feel another’s pain? I know that is an exaggeration, at least I hope so, but I wonder.

So maybe the political realm is about all this. We have a President who seems so completely self centered, and there seems to be a lot of people who think that is great. (besides himself). Have we lost that struggle of the 60’s to join people together and find commonality? Do we now worship the striving of the individual, ala Ayn Rand? Has compassion become a weakness in this world?

Is all the technology and the quest for “personal” information, created a world where anyone’s bit of data is as good as anyone else’s? Is a personal need to be right, more important that an understanding of a broader picture, of human connection, of a sense of being in this together? Are we in a major transition to a world of complete separateness? Are we raising children who only live in their head and not their heart?

All this makes my personal struggle seem even more distant and difficult.. For 40 years, I have been teaching that all is “one”, not in that way, but through getting people to see systems, connections, and the dance of human living. Now, I feel further away from that. Partly because I retired from my work in the business world, but also that I don’t interact much with the world now.

You may say that I am what I protest here. Maybe I am. But, when I worked in organizations, it was easy to make the connections that we are in this together. And I wanted to go beyond that system to help create a personal transcendence of being separate. Maybe I have not tried enough.. Maybe I am too content to let my writing do that. Maybe I am too old to start that process in a new realm.

Without a doubt, we humans are in a struggle of being separated by so many factors, and the difficulty of discovering our human connections. I do think it is beyond any individual effort to shift this. It is in the hands of what the broader dynamic will bring. And some will take that as “giving up”, but the issue is not of effort, but of conscious awareness. No one’s efforts will change a lick of that in someone else. We need to do our own work, and me saying that is just “blowin’ in the wind” tlane 8/1/17

LIVING IN THE ILLUSION OF LIFE

As I said in the last paper, thought creates an illusion of what is real in life. What is actual is not an abstraction, not a word, not a value, not a belief, or any of that. Actual life is just in front of you, and then we put words and ideas on it, and the illusion is afoot! We live in the abstracted world and are willing to kill and die for it (at least by some other people’s children, for the most part).

Now here is a tough question. If you can “see” that the world we live in, is a total abstraction made up of ideas and concepts ABOUT life and not actual life, then what do you do about that? Here you are, a person with a glimpse of awareness, and you “see” for maybe a few minutes, that all this stuff we sincerely believe in, is nothing but a collective illusion of humankind. When you get that you cannot drink the word “water”, or that you cannot eat the word “food”, it is not a big leap to “see” that made up words and concepts about country and religion are in the same realm. So, how do we live in this made up illusion, when we see it is “made up”?

What is one to do, when so many of our peers and our culture really “believe” that values matter, that beliefs are important, that history is meaningful, that some of this stupid stuff makes a difference. Like race, ethnicity, heritage, social importance, government, and all the rest of the stuff that has evolved from the made up illusion? We do live here in this world, and trying to hold on to an awareness of all this illusion, when everyone around us is buying in, is very difficult. It wants us to join in all the game.

We want to be accepted by the powers that be, by the peers that be, by the culture we live in. We do not want to stand apart, except when we think that is some badge of pseudo honor. It seems to be the only game in town, this grand illusion of conceptualized life. So, what do we do? How do we sustain an awareness when all around us is screaming for us to join in?

To debate and argue for resistance to the illusion, is just more of the same. What is there to debate about something that is not actual? The zealots will rail against the passive and aware person. Who needs that in their life. To protest the illusion, is to stand against it, when, in actuality, there is absolutely nothing to stand against. How do you stand against an illusion? That would be like screaming from the house tops, “there is no Santa Clause”.. One of the few accepted illusions that we kind of buy into, but not.

This is difficult. You look out to the world around you, and you can see how it is caught in all this illusion of country, religion, values, etc, and what can you do? Just be? I made it thru this world of illusion with great ease. By the standards of the world, I was very successful. The main reason for that, was that I did not care, and cared beyond any in the illusion. I did not care for the accolades and rewards, but cared for the work of awakening the world, in any way I could. And the world rewarded me well for my not caring. Of course, they did not know I did not care for the world they lived in. I saw them trapped and I just tried to find ways to show something different. Most did not want to do this work. They were usually superficially happy to be successful in the illusion.

And I think that is where most successful people are. The ones struggling financially in this world, are too concerned with the basics, to entertain these lofty ideas. THAT IS A JOKE. This is not a lofty idea, it is simple awareness and it immediately makes your life better, no matter your status, your wealth, your position, or anything else like that. It makes you a human being living without illusion, and there is absolutely nothing greater in this world. Tlane 7/18/17

THOUGHTS ABOUT THOUGHTS

I am watching some David Bohm (the physicist) and J. Krishnamurti (the philosopher?) videos and something Bohm said turned on a light for me. The conversation was about the nature of “thought itself” and how that creates all the suffering in the world. It is part of a bigger discussion on advanced physics and the nature of the universe and all that kind of simple stuff. Haha.

But, what he said, made it clear why all my efforts writing all this stuff is, for the most part, fairly futile. Now I am up to over 800 essays on the role thought plays in the many aspects of our living, I often wonder how can I say the same thing differently. And I began saying that at 200 essays! So, you my reader, is sitting there and waiting for the punch line from David Bohm.. If you are a first time reader, you may have clicked off by now, but if you stay, this may be interesting. Have I built the tension sufficiently?

Bohm said that when you talk about the nature of thought itself, the human mind quickly organizes itself to completely resist this. It is a survival method to preserve its very existence. To examine thought with awareness is a death knell to thought. The thinking mind does not want the light of awareness to be shone on it. It knows, if awareness looks at thought, the illusion will be over. It is “pulling back the curtain” of Oz that shows that it is all a bad game. Thought goes into full scale defensive mode.

I have seen that when I have tried to discuss this with people. A lot of “but, what if” kinds of things, and lots of “but surely you don’t mean” things. Thought is a great defender of thought. Once you see through the illusion, thought recedes to its rightful place as simply a tool, not the master.

You may be doing this right now. Absolutely everything your life is about, and I am not being overly dramatic here, but all of your life is based on your thought of your life. Your very existence as a “self” is nothing but an illusion of thought. Thought does not go down without a fight. It will make you think (haha, as if thought and your thoughts are different) that this is just stupid (can’t grasp the idea so this must be stupid, or I am stupid and I will have none of that!) It will make it nonsensical, since this is so paradoxical that it does not fit neatly into the thought pattern of your whole life. Hey, I have worked hard to create this illusion of making sense of all the crap in my life. I have my ideas of right and wrong and it makes sense to me, as long as, I don’t carefully observe it.

Then there is the great fallback position, “well if this were true, it would have been researched and written about”. I love this one. Thought using elaborate thinking methods to justify itself. Not seeing that all research is based on thought, and “no-thought” cannot be discovered with extensive thought.. Do you see the fucking joke here??? It is like adding more water to stop the flood..
Actually, it has been written about quite a bit. Like the essence of most religious traditions, before the religious leaders got hold of it. It has been written as far back as Lao Tzu. Except we read all that and translate to our current dominate thinking process, and make it into a bunch of ideas about right and wrong, good and bad, and all the rest of that bullshit. Thought creates all that and then puts humanity into the gauntlet of playing that out. My right against your right. A fight til the death.

And that is inside our head as well as outside. Your thinking mind will not let this stuff in. I guarantee it. It will fight and contend and use “logic” to keep this at bay. And you may be saying “well, if this isn’t logical, how can you sit there and defend it’. Logic is the highest mental level of a physical world, but the lowest level of the consciousness world. And if you truly believe that you are nothing more than a physical being, in a physical world of cause and effect, I would truly wonder what the hell you are doing reading this. Way above your pay grade!

I am getting old.. fact of living. I am beginning to get less tolerant of fools who want to live their illusion. And all that illusion is thought based. No other way it can survive. And to quote the book “Illusions”, argue for your limitations, and they are yours. Your thinking mind will fight this, make up good reasons to deny this, and guess what. I do not give a shit. Except that I do. I am this world, I am you and your pain is mine. I sometimes wish I could not give a crap.. tlane 7/13/17