Happy Women Make a Happy Village

Prince Ashitaka in the amazing movie Princess Mononoke says, "well they say..." making me think this is an old Japanese proverb, but I haven't seen corroboration of that.  I still think it is totally true, but shouldn't be conflated with 'women should smile' or any of that B.S.

Tribalism Is The Root of All Evil

I used to think it was 'comparison', but its really the false dichotomy of us-and-them and you-and-me.
There is no them. When we meet aliens from another planet that will just be more us.

Stars Are Emitting Organic Matter

Until very recently we thought that stars create new atoms via nuclear fusion and that those atoms coalesce into planets upon which organic matter may or may not evolve/occur.

Nope. It turns out that stars create complex organic matter and emit it into space.
I was taught that 'space dust' was comprised of the odd atom and *sometimes* a rare molecule.
It turns out that Life is far more central to existence than we realized.

See : Discovery: Cosmic Dust Contains Organic Matter from Stars

The study's lead author Sun Kwok, of the University of Hong Kong said, "Nature is much more clever than we had imagined."

Why this wasn't front page news around the world I will never understand!

There are no greater bonds than those of complete freedom.

When we recognize that we are truly free to do whatever we can imagine then all excuses melt away and we get a glimpse of ourselves - we say to ourselves,"So, you can do *anything*. *Now* what are you going to do?"

Much more comfortable to react or to wait or to reminisce, lean towards the next moment, rail against the fates and circumstances that keep you from...

What are you doing right now?

If you run, you die.

Go towards it!

The things we fear are nearly *never* as bad as we expect once those fears are confronted.

Whether it is a video game, an interpersonal issue, a political issue, or a personal defense issue the best course of action is almost always to go towards the things we fear.

If you run from your fears all of your energy is spent in the running when it would almost always require less energy and time to turn and face the fear.

M. Scott Peck wrote a book about this general idea : The Road Less Travelled

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche told a story about traveling with his attendants to a monastery he’d never seen before. As they neared the gates, he saw a large guard dog with huge teeth and red eyes. It was growling ferociously and struggling to get free from the chain that held it. The dog seemed desperate to attack them. As Rinpoche got closer, he could see its bluish tongue and spittle spraying from its mouth. They walked past the dog, keeping their distance, and entered the gate. Suddenly the chain broke and the dog rushed at them. The attendants screamed and froze in terror. Rinpoche turned and ran as fast as he could—straight at the dog. The dog was so surprised that he put his tail between his legs and ran away.

Thought is reality.

We still haven't caught up with our latest understanding of existence.
We generally run around operating from a 'Newtonian Mechanics' view of existence which we now *know* is not accurate.
As soon as you say 'Quantum Mechanics' or 'Quantum Physics' people tend to glaze over.
Consciousness creates physical reality - not the other way around as we have been thinking.
This isn't a hippy dippy idea that pot smoking idealists baked up - this is the actual scientific findings of many physicists.
Cause and effect? Yes, but not the way you learned it in science class.

See : The Quantum Activist

Or : The Quantum Activist Site

What we give energy to flourishes.

Sometimes we specifically *don't* give energy to things so that they *won't* flourish.
That amazing gloriously beautiful person you met who is married?

Always feels odd when the right thing to do is specifically to do nothing.

We are a combination of our motivations, our intentions, and the results of our actions.

I am one of those people that doesn't like the idea of words that have no definition or questions that have no answer.

I understand that all of my answers and definitions are approximations and illusions which are designed above all to suit me and my current belief constellation. That doesn't stop me from trying to tie up the loose ends.

So, this is my current answer to "What am I?"

Btw, the terms 'motivation' and 'intention' I see as inline concepts. It is from our motivations (conscious and not) that our intentions are derived - though there are times when our *stated* intentions (even to ourselves) are somewhat at odds with our true motivations.

Adding a comment from a friend to this post :
red said...
YOU are the awareness that observes your motivations, intentions, actions, results, and your mind's process of evaluation.

The mind builds many layers to analyze the content of the observations, its evaluations, and the analysis of its evaluations. brilliant!

YOU are the undefined because YOU come before the definer. YOU are the unobserved, because you are the observer.

This might sound useless to your mind because it needs content and form to work with. What is the point of knowing this nothingness?

IMHO, It is the chooser and that which gives life to choice. It is the real YOU, who has the ability to hold everything and know the appropriate choice. And it is where love originates.

Thank you for this forum.

"Like begets like." - Charles Darwin

Even more so than we sometimes think.
Like begets like in the natural world ruled by DNA - Mr. Darwin told us this.

Perhaps he also knew that like also begets like in behavior, motivation, intention, relationships, business, politics, economics, farming, eating, dreaming, etcetera, etcetera...

From the big bang came such an interplay of "matter" and "forces" as we are experiencing.
From the creation of starlight came the matter you are composed of, etcetera, etcetera...

Like many profound sayings - it is basically circular reasoning - particularly to a Monist.

Do it or don't.

Don't half-step, don't pussy foot.
If you are going to do it - DO IT.

If we live our lives boldly then, when we make the right decision we succeed fully, and when we make a mistake we know it immediately and *really* learn our lesson.

Even worse than failing by not trying is to decide to try and then half way do something.

Do it or don't.

Bill Gates wrote a book a while ago and he posited this as a solid process :
"Think, Act, Evaluate, Adapt"

I always thought he was forgetting a really crucial step there. I would add to that a bit for :
"Think, *Feel*, Act, Evaluate, Adapt"

This is because :
if you think something is right, but it feels wrong - it is probably wrong.
If you think something is wrong, but it feels right - it is probably wrong.

When you think something is right *and* it feels right - it is the right thing for you to do and you will have an excellent experience which will be one of two types :
either you are going to really enjoy the results of your actions,
or you are going to learn one of those unforgettable lessons mentioned above!

Our Ego is our "Self" defense system.

Our Ego is the ever-vigilant defense system that works to protect our personal myths.
When people (even ourselves) or circumstances around us call into question the way we think of ourselves it is our ego that sets about assigning meaning to events, justifying our decisions and our beliefs, discrediting any critics, and attacking the source of actual, imagined, or implied criticism or even thoughtful, honest reflection that doesn't match up with our view of ourselves.

Our Ego doesn't just protect our personal myths by destructive means, not at all, it regularly weaves a rich tapestry of illusion to keep us comfortably believing in our personal myths.

Sometimes our Ego is very pro-active. We sometimes feel the need to prove things about ourselves - almost like a defense against our own self-doubts or the perceived/anticipated doubts of others.

People with "big egos" are often compensating for feelings of inadequacy - they build an elaborate defense mechanism with many hair-trigger sensors and proactive reality distortion projectors so that even the casual passer-by gets a dose of Ego sprayed upon them.

See : When fear controls our decisions...

Sometimes people with a strong sense of self, or a solid knowledge of their strength and abilities are labeled as people with "big egos". There is a very key difference between people who just happen to know that they are amazing and potent people and people with a "big ego". It is the difference between a person's self-knowledge and their personal myths.

One of the strangest things about Egos is that they work in both directions - protecting the things we value in ourselves *and* the things we don't like about ourselves. Sometimes our personal myths are woven by our Ego specifically to keep us from realizing just how glorious we are.

See : Our Deepest Fear Is That We Are Powerful Beyond Measure.

Raise children wherever you find them.

No matter their age, their circumstances, or what is going on around you - raise children where you find them.

It is impossible to negatively define a thing.

You can say all day long what something isn't and still not have explained what it is.
When people say what they *don't* want, and what they *aren't* willing to do this is an indication that fear is a key driver in their process.
Everyone knows that when someone says, "I don't mean to pry..." or "I don't mean to be judgmental..." that the opposite is true.
When you hear yourself saying, "I don't..." recognize it and say what you do.

What do you want?
What are you going to do?
What do you want to be?

Simply stating things in a positive way - defining things positively - erases any doubt and seeds your creative subconscious with what to manifest.

See also this post

You only hate in others what you hate in yourself.

In some extreme examples it is more like "what you would hate in yourself" or "very nearly what you hate in yourself".

If you use your irritation, anger, and strong negative reaction ("hate" is a strong word) as beacons of light they will teach you about yourself.

Sort of like lighthouses that you should go toward instead of away from.

Facing your fears and looking your hatred in the face can show you a lot about yourself.

No negative self-talk - even in jest.

Your baby baby of hearts listens to everything you say.
When you say something negative about yourself, like "AH! I'm such an idiot!" or "What's wrong with me?" your baby baby of hearts hears and you believe that negative thing.

If you can let go of negative self-talk completely - inside and out - then you will be able to honor other people and treat them with that same care and respect.  Like rings of a tree, or ripples on a pond - everything spreads out from your center.

When you notice your own negative self-talk :
  1. Recognize it
  2. Take a breath and let it go
  3. Say something to yourself like, 'It's ok, it's ok - you're doing your best.' or 'I love you.'
  4. Forgive yourself and thank yourself for choosing to love yourself better

P.S. When you hear *anyone* speaking negatively about themselves - no matter if it is a stranger or whomever say something sternly like, "Hey, no negative self-talk - not even in jest."

It has been surprising to me how this sticks with people.  I have said this to relative strangers and they have thanked me for it months later.

Feelings just are. Feel your feelings fully. They will transform you in a positive way.

They never need to be explained, they never need a reason given.
There are no 'bad' feelings. 
Feelings are always valid.
Feelings just are.

They need to be felt - completely.
In fact they will wait your entire life until you do feel them.
Unfelt feelings are harbored in our hearts, minds, and bodies - they cause unhealthiness and dis-ease.

When we allow ourselves to feel our feelings all the way - down through their roots and tributaries - then our emotions give us their gifts.

Sadness, anger, guilt, fear (all of these ill-labeled 'negative' feelings) when felt all the way transform and transport you to a better place.
A place with new recognitions and deeper integration between your mind and your heart.

The danger is only feeling a feeling part way, before either
a) making a decision or
b) leaving the feeling because it is 'too much' or 'too negative' or 'I don't want to feel that way'.

Then the fear or anger (or whatever emotion) influence your decision making process and you will likely make poor decisions.

Next time you have an uncomfortable feeling like fear, sadness, or anger sit with it and really give yourself permission to feel it all the way through - in the long run you will be happy you did. Also, as you become more integrated with your heart and head then these feelings won't be so uncomfortable.

To truly *know* anyone is to love them.

If you were completely able to understand a person's challenges, motivations, and reasoning you would have compassion for them.
You would forgive them for their transgressions against you, others, and themselves.
You would be rooting for them to grow past their challenges and to improve in loving themselves and others.
You would love them.
...if you really *knew* them

There is always a reason and never an excuse.

This is mainly because nothing really needs excusing.
Everyone has reasons for what they do - conscious or not.
Once they have decided and acted the action is taken - nothing can 'excuse' it, but it is possible to recognize the reasons.

Btw, I don't like absolutes, but I find them useful to explore concepts sometimes... ;-)
I love ObiWan Kenobi's ironic statement, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." Uh, isn't that an absolute statement? May the farce be with you!

Cultivation is when humans think they know better than the rest of Nature.

...and maybe sometimes we do.

Art is the attempt to take an idea or ideal and make it manifest with no compromise.

To the degree that the person can brook *no* compromise they are that much of an 'artiste'.
When the slightest deviation or compromise from the idea or ideal is experienced as a deathblow to the soul then you know you have a true artiste. Ergo the 'tortured' artist.
A lot of endeavors are actually an artform - depending on how they are undertaken - the intent and the motivation(s).

What's good for the egg is good for the nest, what's good for the nest is good for the branch, what's good for the branch is good for the tree, what's good for the tree is good for the forest. It doesn't necessarily work in the other direction.

The concept of 'should' is invalid unless accompanied by a conditional.

Things are the way there are.  They should never be different than how they are.  If you want things to change then you should try something new.

Humans are chimpanzees - literally.

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
- Jared Diamond

And in fact there are two other sub-species of chimpanzee that have more complex DNA than we do - so are literally more evolved. They just don't have as developed of cerebral cortexes.
They are the only other two sub-species of chimp that have sex in different positions besides 'doggy style'.

We ask those we love to correct the wrongs of those we have loved in the past.

Our creative subconscious is *amazingly* powerful. We are adept at manifesting what we visualize - tweaking circumstances slightly but regularly and with great results.
When we choose someone to be in relationship with we have an incredible ability to a) choose people whom are ideal to explore our issues with (wether to 're-traumatize' or to grow through them is a big question) and b) shoe-horn the other person into the role that we need them to be in so that we can process our issues *on them* and/or *with them*.

There are only 3 valid communications to a child.

  1. I love you.
  2. I love you and I love what you are doing.
  3. I love you and I don't love what you are doing and I know you can do better.

Instead of using words or phrases like "don't", "stop doing that", "that's bad" - use simple statements to illustrate how you would like the child to behave - such as : "we use our indoor voices in the house", "we share in our family", "You are a strong kicker, let's help your brother build his sand castle instead of hurting it.", "You are such a smart girl and you have such a beautiful heart, let's see if we can think of some kind words to say how you're feeling."

Avoid asking children "Why" about anything - even though you mean to understand them better it brings up the idea for the child that they need to have a good reason or that maybe they shouldn't think this, feel that, or do some other thing.

Say instead, "Tell me more about that." or "That is super interesting. Tell me more." or "What else can you tell me about that?" This will invite the child to share without calling anything into question.

Simple positive statements.
Thoughtful open ended questions.

We are all our own teachers and we teach ourselves the same lessons over and over again until we learn them.

Reminds me of the japanese saying, "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

The only sin is imposing our will on another when not motivated by love for that person.

It is easy to destroy and hard to build.

The magic is not in the planting of the seed, it is in the tending of the garden.

"Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children."
- Furious Styles in 'Boyz n the Hood'

There is only one thing that we *must* do - die. The rest is optional.

Everything begins with choice.

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?" - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Start with being kind to yourself - always.
Kindness spreads out from you like rippling rings in a pool.

When fear controls our decisions we draw what we fear to us. Beware of *not*.

We only really understand things *that are* or concepts of *what will be*.
The idea of *not* is a modifier on the understanding of a certain thing, but our core experience of life has no contact with *not* - only of what is.

Isn't = is *not"
Don't = do *not*
Won't = will *not*
Aren't = are *not*
Never = *not* ever
Wouldn't = would *not*
Can't = can *not*

You can just erase the *not* from any sentence and you will have the picture you are actually painting for your creative subconscious - it doesn't accept the *not* modifier.

"I don't want to [blank]." => "I do want to [blank]."
"I won't [blank]." => "I will [blank]."
"I hope they aren't [blank]." => "I hope they are [blank]."

See also this post

We can only love others as well as we love ourselves.

It is also true that we only allow ourselves to be loved as well as we love ourselves.

There is a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh that addresses this :

You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer. 
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy
- Thich Nhat Hahn

I would prefer 'litter' to 'garbage' as it was put there by others at its beginning.

Given the circumstances we *always* do exactly and only what we want to do.

No one has your volition but you.
Someone might forcibly grab your hand and make it rise (circumstances), but no on can make you *lift* your hand but you.
We always choose from among the options we perceive.

Recognition gives choice.

When you are unaware of something you don't get to make decisions around it, but once you recognize something - a dynamic, a pattern, a fact, a proclivity, etc - then you can make choices around it.
This is perhaps my most favorite belief / discovery.

Our greatest self-deception is an existence small enough we can understand.

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao - Tao Te Ching

Small enough - or convenient enough.

It is ours to be glorious, everything begins with choice.

Life is glorious. You are a part of Life therefore it is yours to be glorious. However, not everything you might choose to do would be glorious to you. To be glorious in your own eyes you must choose it.
Before the atoms that make up your body were yours to command they were formed inside of stars over 4.6 billion years ago. They floated around space and the planet before you were given command over these seven billion billion billion (7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) atoms that make up your body.
The fact that the atomic fusion that takes place in stars created nearly all of your atoms is an amazing and glorious fact – we were formed in the process of making starlight.
Before you were born into this body or this family or this country you were created by starlight.