Sunday, April 26, 2009

#80 Mythology - Conversations with Richard Roberts, part 3

We are continuing our series of conversations with an author, a poet, a Tarot scholar and a mythologist Richard Roberts. In the 1960s, Alan Watts presented Roberts with a letter of introduction to Joseph Campbell, which led to a 20-year mentorship with the famed scholar of mythology – a partnership which included collaborating in seminars and writing books, and which lasted through the remainder of Campbell’s life.

In his college days, Roberts had vowed never to write a novel until he had an idea no writer before him ever had. In a vision, he conceived of a book in which his characters would “go into” other literary classics and interact with the characters, all the while writing in the style of the original authors of those classics. Roberts regards the resulting book, The Wind & The Wizard, as his life’s masterwork.

In this episode, Richard Roberts introduces the MonoMyth as a path to individuation, tells a story of his own “belly of the whale” experience, and how his publishing company Vernal Equinox Press came to be.

  • MonoMyth as a path to individuation
  • Myths are psychic openings to individuation
    • For many academics myths at the time were nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales
    • For one who places self-knowledge above empirical knowledge, myths are psychic openings to the inner world and to the outer cosmos
    • Ouroboros symbol, ying-yang symbol
    • Joe pointed out that serpent was the God of Levant thousands of years before the creation of the Book of Genesis
  • Sophia and serpent
    • Creation of the World, Adam, and Serpent as an instructor
  • Joe’s mentorship for Richard’s evolution
  • Tarot book publication
    • Modern psychology confirms that the Tarot cards comprise an image comparable to that encountered in dreams of the path of initiation
  • Belly of the Whale
    • Morgan & Morgan press – a hoax publisher
    • Richard’s mother got sick
    • Getting stuck in New York airport
    • Joe tells Richard to “ride the tiger”
    • Court gives rights back to Richard
  • Idea for the Vernal Equinox Press
    • Publishing was expensive back then; Richard proposes the idea of his own publishing to Joe, he agrees
  • Story of Vernal Equinox Press
    • 1953 – Richard being grad student
    • Course “Myth and the Bible” – no courses like that anymore
    • Early vegetation gods (4000BC) would die and revive around Vernal Equinox, and it appears the Easter resurrection of Jesus follows this pattern. Therefore, synchronicity with Richard’s birthday of March 21.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What A Combo - Bucky Fuller And Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Press Conference, Amherst, 1971. This is a rather interesting and very historical video. Two genius’ in their own right, in the sameroom, sharing/discussing together the BIG QUESTIONS.

  1. Purpose of the universe
  2. Meditation and its uses
  3. Sense of Service
  4. Money making as the root cause of the predicament we are in today

Watch the videos!!!

Letting Go Of Expectations

Probably one of the hardest things to do is when you have to let go o expectations and desires, and yet it seems everywhere i look ( have been listening/seeing the Dalai Lama, Matthew Ricard, Arnaud Desjardins, etc) they all seem to point at happiness/peace /joy being personal and inside. Yet it seems we tend to keep looking on the outside for it.

Lately Ihave been coming face to face with my own shortcomings and failed expectations quite a bit. One wise teacher/friend once told me – “look at the faults and work with them, they give you the human experience fully. Nobody is perfect.”

Foudn this write up rather heart warming and in some ways very rich so here sharing it with you.

Click the link to read the whole article/write up. The posting below is but an excerpt if the well written piece

Let Go Of Expectations | Joyful Days

Let Go Of Expectations

The one thing that shatters relationships and ruins friendships more than any other is expectations. When we say that someone is not meeting our ‘needs’, we usually mean that he is not living up to our expectations. True needs are very few, but expectations are limitless.

When a person’s behaviour does not match your expectations, you can try to change their behaviour, or you could let go of your expectations. The first is an exercise in frustration and causes untold damage to relationships. The second is also difficult, but possible and worthwhile. Learn to let go.

1. Identify faulty assumptions

2. Seek to understand

3. Observe carefully

4. Recognise the consequences

5. Ask for agreement

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Anticipating happiness and 'achieving' happiness | Exchange | Ode Magazine

Happiness and peace of mind have been states many of us have been looking for in some shape or form, so when this came into my mailbox today thought I would share it.

Anticipating happiness and ‘achieving’ happiness | Exchange | Ode Magazine

I remember when I was in high school, looking forward to college, I thought independence from my parents, thousands of new people to meet and access to all the arts, shows and parties I could handle would make me the happiest person on the planet. I remember, years earlier, staring at the ashes of half of my family’s house – the half containing my room and all my belongings.

College was good. After a while, though, it was kind of average. As for all of my possessions burning up, a year later it was only a curious fact from my past. Many researchers have found that people significantly overestimate the emotional impact of both positive and negative future events. Dan Gilbert, a leading researcher in this area, cites the dramatic study of a group of people that have won the lottery and a group of people who have become paraplegic; a year later, both groups are equally happy.

Art Markman, in a Psychology Today blog, cites other studies in which people were asked to anticipate how they would feel upon receiving high or low scores on an intelligence test. Those who anticipated their emotional response worked harder, longer and felt more confident about their achievement than people who did not anticipate the test’s emotional outcome.

These results form a curious paradox, in which anticipating happiness can lead us to achieve what we think will make us happy, but when we achieve it, there’s no serious or long-lasting impact. What can we do to find happiness, then? Well, according to this paradox, we can’t do anything. On the other hand, as soon as we view happiness as a state of being instead of an accomplishment, the conflict disappears. Of course we can rush around doing things and never be happy, because nothing external translates into internal contentment.

These odd study results have been anticipated for thousands of years by many spiritual traditions. The writer of Ecclesiastes writes about the vanity of accomplishment and our inability to anticipate the future. Eastern meditation focuses on learning to be “present.” Happiness is something we are or we are not, in the present moment. It has to do with the things we choose to believe or to focus on, with the stories we tell ourselves, with our ability to avoid worrying about the future or hanging our hopes on a later day.

Take a deep breath. Savor the moment. Nothing will make you much happier or much less happy than you are right now.

For more information, watch a presentation by Dan Gilbert or read Art Markman’s blog.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

#79 Pattern Thinking, part 4

  • Where do we find new patterns
    • Mythology
    • Spiral Dynamics
    • Modeling (NLP)
    • Artificial Intelligence
  • Strict, probabilistic and Fuzzy logic
  • Science patterns
  • Techniques for shifting patterns
    • Trying first in a safe context
    • Dance, relationships, school, classes
    • For future-oriented, look for the shortest path, make as many mistakes as possible. Learn from the shock.
  • Patterns of Empires

Friday, April 17, 2009

How can we sit back and do nothing when 1500 farmers commit mass suicide ?

I read ths yesterday and was immobilized.  Kept me thinking “how can we allow something like this to happen and call our selves human”  And is the life of a family not even work 400 Pounds?

Social responsibility is/should not be just the domain of governments, but in so many ways is the duty of its citizens as well. This whole incident has left me numb to an extent that something like this can happen, and we – i.e. people like you and me are not even aware of it, and most likely feel helpless. I wonder what is the way out, how can we claim to be human and not take some action on something like this.

This has left me totally at a loss of words – but this kind of crisis is also fertile ground for seeds of transformation to be planted. The question is what kind of seeds do we plant both in the place of tragedy and in our own consiousness. I would be curious to hear what you may have to sayHow

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India – Asia, World – The Independent

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.

The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.

“The water level has gone down below 250 feet here. It used to be at 40 feet a few years ago,” Shatrughan Sahu, a villager in one of the districts, told Down To Earth magazine

“Most of the farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well.”

Mr Sahu lives in a district that recorded 206 farmer suicides last year. Police records for the district add that many deaths occur due to debt and economic distress.

In another village nearby, Beturam Sahu, who owned two acres of land was among those who committed suicide. His crop is yet to be harvested, but his son Lakhnu left to take up a job as a manual labourer.

His family must repay a debt of £400 and the crop this year is poor.

“The crop is so bad this year that we will not even be able to save any seeds,” said Lakhnu’s friend Santosh. “There were no rains at all.”

“That’s why Lakhnu left even before harvesting the crop. There is nothing left to harvest in his land this time. He is worried how he will repay these loans.”

Bharatendu Prakash, from the Organic Farming Association of India, told the Press Association: “Farmers’ suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death.”

Mr Prakash added that the government ought to take up the cause of the poor farmers just as they fight for a strong economy.

“Development should be for all. The government blames us for being against development. Forest area is depleting and dams are constructed without proper planning.

All this contributes to dipping water levels. Farmers should be taken into consideration when planning policies,” he said.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Effort Effect - you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the occasional tumble.

STANFORD Magazine: March/April 2007 > Features > Mind-set Research

A 60-year-old academic psychologist might seem an unlikely sports motivation guru. But Dweck’s expertise—and her recent book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success—bear directly on the sort of problem facing the Rovers. Through more than three decades of systematic research, she has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed.

What’s more, Dweck has shown that people can learn to adopt the latter belief and make dramatic strides in performance. These days, she’s sought out wherever motivation and achievement matter, from education and parenting to business management and personal development. Dweck

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

#78 Pattern Thinking, part 3

  • Somatic patterns
    • Martial arts
    • Dancing
  • Biological patterns
  • Linguistic patterns
    • NLP: Meta-model, Milton model, Sleight of mouth patterns
    • Priming
  • Habits
  • Relationship patterns
  • Spotting patterns
    • Asking for help and going for diversity
    • Intent and attention

Monday, April 6, 2009

Medial Prefrontal Cortex, the source of wisdom in the brain

As I read this it reminded me of the 8 circuit brain model, and the fact that true wisdom comes from accessing the different kinds of intelligence present and being able to call forth the right kind of response in the face of shock or ourside force.

Scientists ‘discover’ source of wisdom in the human brain | Mail Online

human brain

Breakthrough: Scientists have pinpointed the part of the human brain related to wisdom

Scientists have discovered the source of wisdom in the human brain, it was revealed today.

Experts have pinpointed the part of the brain that guides people when they are battling with difficult moral dilemmas, according to a study.

Highly-sophisticated brain scans show that the response is linked to certain areas usually associated with primitive emotions of sex, fear and anger.

The findings, revealed by the Observer, are to be published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

They are a significant departure into an area of expertise that has long been regarded as one of religion and philosophy.

Study author Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California in San Diego, said: ‘Our research suggests there may be a basis in neurobiology for wisdom’s most universal traits.’

He and colleague Thomas Meeks discovered that a person weighing up an issue that just called for an altruistic response used the medial prefrontal cortext of the brain.

This is linked to intelligence and learning.

But when someone is battling with a moral dilemma, other areas of the brain are used such as the parts linked to rational thought and primitive emotions.

Mr Meeks said: ‘Several brain regions appear to be involved in different components of wisdom. It seems to involve a balance between more primitive brain regions, like the limbic system, and the newest ones, such as the prefrontal cortex.’

This type of research has only become possible in recent years due to technological advances in brain scanning, including functional magnetic resonance imaging.

This means experts can examine which parts of the brain that are used when people consider various tasks.

Such research has been made possible by the increasing sophistication of brain scanning techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

These allow researchers to see which parts of the brain become active when people undertake mental tasks.

Professor Jeste admitted the possibility that wisdom and free will are based on the make-up of someone’s brain rather than metaphysics is unsettling.

But he said: ‘Knowledge of the underlying mechanisms in the brain could potentially lead to developing interventions for enhancing wisdom.’

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

#77 Pattern Thinking, part 2

  • High-level structure of patterns
    • Context
    • Sequence, Syntax
    • Time scale
    • Triggers
  • Types of patterns – Unconscious signals
    • Personal unconscious signals
    • Cultural unconscious signals – Time and Space

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Happier You With Tolle

While not excatly an Echart Tolle reader or fan by any stretch of imagination, I did find  some of his quotes and ideas intriguing. Here is blurb from one of his books that I figured would be an interesting dialouge starter. Am curious what your views on this are

The greatest goal you can set this year is to make peace with your life, no matter your circumstances. These 10 powerful insights from Eckhart Tolle will get you started.

Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle

  1. Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it.
  2. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, “I am ruined” is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering.
  3. See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.
  4. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment.
  5. Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.
  6. People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time.
  7. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.
  8. Equating the physical body with “I,” the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body’s condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily.
  9. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.
  10. If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.

Exerpted from Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle. Published by arrangement with Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copywright © 2008 by Eckhart Tolle

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