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



We all grow up with some ideals of how the world should be. As young people, we look out and see all the injustice, all the pain, all the insanity, and we outwardly, or inwardly protest this. What is wrong with the world!! We see the surface of life and rail at the craziness. We vow to never abide by that. And then we do. It is what happens to us all.

A big part of all that, is we have to make a living. The most basest of our living can drive out the highest ideals. We “sell out” or give in or roll over, or some other term that describes us facing the reality of our established world. We want to fit in, go along, play ball, or other term to mean we want to survive in the world as it is. This captures the vast majority of us, some gleefully, some unconsciously, some with kicking and screaming. But, if you want to have a house you need credit. You want most of the things that make life easy, and you need to play by the rules of the system. They get you at your base. You cannot eat ideals.

And once we buy in, we are part of it. Contrary to the many excuses and exceptions, we are the system. We are the “man” if you work, vote, pay taxes, send your kids to school, and all the rest of being the “system”. When we are it, it becomes more and more invisible. Why do you think “white privilege” is so hard for people to discern? It is an invisible part of our society, and the “way it is”..

We want to change this, or at least part of this, but it is so hard to see how it is all interconnected. We all face parts of the “system” that we do not like, but cannot see all the parts that keep it in place. It is like not liking the automotive world, but liking the good jobs it provides. They go together.

So step back for a moment. Look out at that world you live in and think about what you do not like. Think about how that is not you. And then, try to see how that is all you. What is it about you that keeps this world in place. Do you like the separation of nations? Do you like your separation of religions. Do you hate the combative politics and love being right? Do you hate bias, and like all your preferences? It is hard at times, to embrace the fact that we have created, and that we constantly CREATE this world we live in. We are outsiders and insiders at the same time. We create what we love and hate at the same time, in the world we live in.

We cannot change the world if we do not change our own being. We are a reflection of the world around us and the world around us is a reflection of us.. WE are not in a fight with that world, we are in a fight with our own being. Tlane 6/22/17


I had my hip surgery 2 weeks ago and now I am in recovery. The messages on recovery were very wide ranging and luckily, I was on the top end of quick! Walking with only a cane in 4 days after the surgery and even drove today (without permission from the powers that be around all that). So, anyone who was worried about me in that realm, can put their mind to ease. I am up and about!

But the more important thing, is that this process has slowed me down in a new way. I have always pushed for slowing our minds down and I tended to come at that from the consciousness path. This hip thing, had me slowdown from the physical side of living. Since the biggest threat to recovery from a new hip, is falling, there are great lengths that the Docs, nurses, PT people and others go to, to prevent that. That and the fact that it hurts like hell to try to walk. In the course of prevention, you have to slow down every physical movement so you never misstep and fall.

The beauty of this, is that I had to pay attention to every step I took every moment, for 2 weeks (and I am not done). I am sure that sounds painful to most (besides the hip pain), but to me there was this becoming aware of my every movement. This is no different than the Zen yoga stuff I read about. To become conscious of your body as it moves or sits in meditation. The side effect is to erase much of the noise of everyday living from your thinking process! Just like I have been preaching… hahaha..

For now, nothing is more important in the whole world, than getting safely down this flight of stairs and that takes full conscious effort. The times I have slipped into my thinking mind, I have taken a misstep and my hip screams at me. Stop it! Nothing like a “hip” zen master.. Pain is like the Zen stick that the masters used when they saw the student drifting from full consciousness of the present moment. Go get a new hip and you got yourself your very own Zen master.

It becomes a pure delight to climb the stairs without pain, to descend without pain, to move about without pain. The hip is an always present guide to paying attention. One false step, and “ouch”. Now, it is easy to try to escape this and just sit down and not move, but that was not my way. The PT people tell you to move as much as you can, and I see why. Moving makes moving easier. Just like consciousness makes life easier. Life is consciousness! The more you get the more you get… simple.

I now get the moving meditation notion more fully. But, just like all this consciousness raising stuff, it is hard to do without some constant nudge to keep you focused. So, the hip replacement is a delight, painful as it is. And maybe the secondary advantage is, that I will now be able to take my walks in the woods along the river. Peace.. tlane 6/21/17



We all have turning points in our lives. Some are little, but the ones we remember, or regret, or fear, are the bigger ones. Most turning points are external in nature. Like we just graduated from college or high school or got our first job or lost our last job! There are many of those external turning points in anyone’s life. Kids get born, kids go to school, kids move on, marriages happen and divorces happen, parents die, friends die, or move away. The turns of the external world just constantly come and go.

And of course, none of those external events are purely external. We have an internal “turning” at each of those. We are in a dance with that world out there and when time gives us a moment of shifting, we cannot help but feel the internal shift of some sort. The internal shifts are the big ones. We can, to a degree, predict the external shifts, but we never know the timing or the nature of the internal shifts. That is why they can scare us. Life out there shifts, and we cope. Life in here shifts, and we are on new ground. Unfamiliar ground. Unmapped territory. New realizations. Uncomfortable awareness of our own living.. At least for a while.

This paper is a turning point of the external kind. It is number 800. I never set out to write that many papers, but if you count all the others I wrote before a “blog” appeared, this would be about 8,000. I write a lot. And why is this a turning point? I am not sure, but I have resisted writing this one. Like most of us, we resist some of those turning points in our life. Turning 50. Going on Soc Sec.! Getting married or having children. Each of us has our own moments.

Also, in a few days, I get a new hip. First surgery of this kind. New hips are for old people… Haha, I am one of them. It is one of the many little turning points of aging. You/I will go thru this, and if not, it will mean that you died young. The ultimate turning point.

But, the internal turning points are the really big ones. Ordinary life gives a general calendar of those kind of “turning points”. But the internal turning points are of a different magnitude. They are fairly unpredictable. It happens on those moments of quiet when you “see” something new in your life. They are not always connected to those external events. They come on their own time. It is a redefinition of who you are. It is a new seeing of the world around you.

And the internal shifts are invisible to most of those around us. We change the parameters of how we see the world, and no one, but us notices. Until we find new ways of being and acting in the world. It is a new world, but still in the old one. We find new ways of dealing, new ways of being, new ways of showing up with all those people who want us to be “how they know us”.. The external world wants to always push us back to that other place that they are comfortable with. Others never get our shifts..
Tlane 6/5/17


We will not change our human world in any significant way until we realize that there are two fundamental keys to making a personal shift of our living. The first is awareness. If we are not aware of what we do, how we think, and how we mutually create this world, then it always be a blind leading the blind with endless conflict. The second is “words”, those abstractions that stand in for actual life that steal us away from life.

Awareness is a popular topic with all the meditation, mindfulness, and other talk about slowing down the mind. I have written much about that and it is critical to find a way to stop the internal dialogue long enough to take a quiet look at the world around you. And to take a quiet look at that world inside your head!

The second issue is words. I do grow weary of repeating that “the word is not the actual”, but here is one more time. The word “water” will not quench your thirst. The word “house” will not give you protection from the elements. The word “food” will not nourish you. At the physical level, that should be obvious. Move up to the more abstract level, and I would say that the world “beauty” is not what an attractive person is. The word “intelligent” is not what someone who has mental skills is. Being “religious” is no indication of your actual spiritual being.

To step it up a bit. Your ideas of “right and wrong” are not actual in the world. They are only actual in your own thinking mind. The word “God” is not some actual being in a place called heaven. And finally, the “truth” about anything is not actually so. Truth as an abstracted concept of some part of life, is no more real than Santa Claus. (The truth that can be spoken, is not the truth, old Zen saying) All of this is hard to swallow by most people. We so want to live in the world of the “word”. Words are abstractions that stand in for something that is fleeting, but actual. To mistake the word for the actual, is to be insane. And yes, the world is basically insane.

Scientists come closest to living sanely. True scientists, that is. They start with awareness and observation. Well, that is where the purest scientists start. Now, we have scientists starting with a “hypothesis”, or some idea about how the world works, then they set out to create an experiment to prove or disprove that. That is set up with a whole bunch of ideas of what is relevant and not relevant to the experiment. That immediately distorts actual life. But, they work at that level and it is useful form for many simple things.

The best scientists of our human living, just observed without any idea of what they were looking for. With some extended observation, they saw patterns in actual life, and from those patterns, they created theories of how things work. And the best, always were aware that the theory was not the actual. They had to abstract to communicate what they saw, and they wanted people to “see” what they were pointing to, not the theory. Learning the theory without seeing the actual, is like believing that a travelogue is the same as being in another country. It is helpful, but it is not the actual.

This ability to sustain awareness, and then communicate what you see, without ever believing in the abstractions you create to do that, is very hard to do. And you are speaking to the masses who want desperately to find the “truth” in some words that describe the world. It is the birth of paradox. No matter how well you abstract what you see, it is never, never it. It is only a pointing. But everyone wants to believe the word, and not look for themselves.

To look for themselves, they must quiet the mind, then look and remember that the word is not the actual. We seem incapable of doing that. So, we live in the abstracted world of the “word”. The saddest part is that you miss you own life when you do that. You are not a concept, you are an actual being, alive in this moment, and absolutely everything you think about yourself is wrong, or rather, not actual.. Tlane 5/21/17



So much noise about a border wall, a big physical thing that separates people. Keeping some in and keeping some out. And we endlessly argue about that, and who pays for it, and how good/bad it is. Much ado about nothing. The real walls are the ones we create in our head with our attachment to identity, religion, ethnic background, and all that. Those are the walls that create the need of a physical wall.

It is an interesting time on this globe. We have an economic globalization going on, and at the same time and increase in nationalistic pride. We have an intense religious struggle about what does Islam really mean, and how do we engage that in the face of terrorism. We have a growing inequality in income/wealth that is creating a gap in almost every country in the world. We have a global information explosion that allows everyone to pick and choose their input of what is “real” in the world. The notion that more open information will solve problems, has been backfiring on us. It continues the building of walls.

Add to that all the gender issues, climate issues, health care issues, and so much more, we have a more divided society than ever. We now can find a place with our own justification, our own proof, our own support group of like-minded “wall builders”. And we worry about a border wall.

On top of all that, we have separation within our own being. So many ideas of who we should be, how we should act, how to be politically correct, or now wearing the badge of being NOT politically correct. So many pushes and pulls on our very existence, from the external to the internal. It is an easy time to pick a side and become a zealot. Claiming to own the “truth” makes all of this much easier. When we claim to have the “truth”, we dismiss all those conflicts as simply “they are wrong”. And we add greatly to the problem.

When we build our own “wall’ of separation and reinforce it with stronger and stronger beliefs and values, we create a reaction on those who are “not us”. They see the only way to deal is to build their walls. And the conflict is enhanced. It is set in stone, the internal stone of “believing”.

“Seeing” this dynamic for yourself is the only thing that works. Taking my words as some new idea is just more of the same. The solution is not an idea, but only awareness without a past or future. From that place, you see very clearly how this insane dance works. Then you use your thinking ability to find ways to show up differently without creating sides. Tlane 5/20/17


I just read a quote from our President and he was commenting on how so many people “try to make him happy”. What a sad commentary from our leader. After all the books, papers, teachers, seminars, articles, and every other means of communication about the source of our happiness, we still have people in power pronouncing that “others make us happy”. Good grief.

This is so fundamental to our personal awakening, that I guess it needs another paper (as if this will have any effect on the masses!) Most humans still give over their happiness and unhappiness to others in the world. “You made me so mad!” “You make me so happy!”. “You make me so jealous, so scared, so pleased, so depressed, so just about anything”.. On and on it goes, giving our inner well being to outsiders. It is not out there that affects you, it is inside you. The way you have been taught to think of yourself and the world.

Now, if you get fired from a job and lose your income, that surely has an effect on you, but if you make that a statement of your personal worth, value, competence, etc., then you will diminish your ability to go on to get another job. If someone leaves you, it can be a great effect on many things, but when we make it a statement of our lovability, our personal worth, or ability to be in a relationship, then we hinder our chances of moving on. When either of these happen, ( or many similar type situations) we always forget that the “other” has their reasons. They have their life, their struggles, their fears and desires and home grown craziness. They just happened to dump them on you.

In no way am I downplaying how powerful this may be. When I had thought that I was beyond this, I had a leaving that shook me. After the initial shock, it was first a realization that I still had some of that conditioning that external events determine me. It was a great learning to move closer to living in presence to the world, not in history with the world.

I want to paraphrase one of the first things I saw and wrote when I realized that “words do not describe the world, they restrict it”. It was a realization of how I had totally screwed up the notion of love. Here is what I saw.

“When I am present to my being, and carry no past, I can look at you and just see you.”
“When I see you as you are, is the only time that I love you”.
“When I only see you as an idea from my past, I no longer experience you, but only my past”.
“When you look at me, and see me as a source of your happiness, I no longer exist.”
“When you look at me, and want me to live up to expectations, I can only smile and say maybe.
“When we show up present, we show up in a state of love”.
“When love is, I am, and you are for me.”
That is all there is.
Tlane 5/17/17


It has been 40 years since I saw that I, like almost all people, are sleeping in the comfort of our ideas of the world, ideas of our self and others, and ideas about what spiritual awakening is about. The conditioned thinking mind has a firm grip on our quiet awareness and does not want to release it. We prefer platitudes and sayings and grand language and piety, more than simple awareness of our living.

Awareness is simply that, a presence to the moment without bringing the past into it. Do you know how hard that is? Yes, we can do that for a few moments of meditation, but go back and engage with the actual world, and the past rushes in. All the judgements, all the critique, all the comparing, all the trying to figure out who is right and wrong. Our being has never done anything wrong. The world of right and wrong belongs to our doing mind. And our doing mind is what has us locked into an insanity.

When you are present with your own being, there is nothing to judge, only to try to understand. Including our own “doing”, which can become the greatest mystery to us. We “do” things that we do not understand, but feel helpless to change. We “do” things that we know are harmful to those around us and we seek justification. We compare our “doing” and find that there are folks much worse out there. It is a rigged system, internally to each of us. Rigged to keep the past in control of the present.

As I have watched this in the world around me and in myself, I can see that if you have an inkling of this difference between our “doing” and our “being”, then the journey is on. Those who never touch their “being”, that place of pure quiet and awareness, then it is never an issue. It is a debate of who is right and wrong, both out there and in our inner life.

But, if you have a glimpse of your “being”, if you have even a moment of stopping the internal dialogue of good/bad and right/wrong, then you may know that there is something beyond our everyday struggles of living. There is place for gentleness and kindness that is not a value, but a way of being. There is a place of love that is not some desire or attachment, but a simple being with another, without the past. There is an empathy for all of life, not because that is some higher value, but because we see that we are that. We are the other! We care because it is us in pain and suffering. We are them and they are us. Life is truly one.

We inch along this journey, being constantly tugged back by the rules and conditions of our living. We see a bit more, and the pressure of life climbs all over us and drowns our awareness in worries of the future. Then, for some reason, we find another moment of clarity, and we inch forward a bit. Understanding that we will slip back, is to give our being some grace. We are buried in the past. It will take time to dig our way out. Inch by inch. If you get this, your being is still alive. Tlane 5/15/17