Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Information: 352nd Idea

Peak Oil

Along with energy, housing, food, and transport, information is one of the most important features of the industrialized world.

Information comes in many forms. It can be held in print, electronically, or in other physical forms such as the shape of a building, or involving sound, color, texture, taste, or smell. It can also exist with no viewable physical location such as when it only exists in a persons mind but is very real, which both limits access to it and at the same makes the priviledge of those who can access it all the more valuable.

Information thus can be common or scarce, and thus dramatically changes its value according to how easy or hard it is to access.

Social groups and classes stratify according to their wealth, education, ages, races, and genders which further causes this same information to coalesce or dissipate.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sexuality: 353rd Idea

Someone once remarked that 'sex was a lot like riding a bicycle: once you get the hang of it, you don't need to think about how to do it'.

Some folks have a lot of sex, some none, and some now and again. Whatever sex is, it has a lot of energy associated with it. It has was once remarked by an energetic healer, that 'when you have sex with someone, you take on all the energy of the other persons they have been with' but then again she was a Reiki Grandmaster healer.

Sex is about connection. Sex is all about polarity. The differences in the charges makes the spark. It is common place notion among some young people that somehow the more persons you have sex with, the more it makes you as a person. Quite the contrary, sex with the wrong person or too many persons can either cause great confusion, or diminish a person, leaving them with less not more.

And last but not least, childbirth can result from sex, and the creation of another human being cannot be taken lightly. By virtue of restrictions on food supply and resources in the ancient world, it would appear that they could ill afford not to be a lot more cautious about it than we are. We on the contrary, with recourse to methods of birth control if not access to methods to stop birth, still percieve sex as not only delight, but as more of an entertainment process divorced from the markedly unique or sacred.

Sex is a great stress release, and is one of natures ways to establish or deepen emotional connection between two human, and is so designed by nature or hardwired into our brains that we are constantly evaluationg the sexual desirability of those we see. Many images and postures by others are subtle (or not so subtle!) signals advertising the possibility of sex.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Completion: 354th Idea

Completion is another feeling. While completion can be the final linking of two sides of a long bridge built from two spans reaching together to join from far apart, or the finishing of a long letter of application, the sense in which we mean this is meant more in the ways in which major chapters of our life resolve themselves.

We struggle or effort for long periods of time and look up, and suddenly one day, we feel complete. We know completion distinctly, for when we have given effort and attention for long periods of time to an endeavour, a relationship, or project, when we are done, we feel a sense of peacefullness and possibility at having choices previously not available to us.

It is the liberation of energy within ourselves to place our attention on other things and concerns which marks completion. In its higher sense, completion is not an every day event. When we complete ourselves with a concern, we are free to move on and put some thing in the past, or are at peace with the outcome even if it is negative, and we are satisfied.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Distribution: 355th Idea

Distribution is a major feature in the greater universe in which our earth's galaxy is housed as well as a major aspect in both commerce and financial markets.

No matter how great an idea or product or process, if it is not distributed it might well never be seen or disseminated.

Vast distribution networks of trucks, ships, cars, goods, services, airplanes, voice and data packets, media and opinion all travel round this world, housed in vast libraries, server networks, warehouses and shipping containers, and towering grain silos.

Electric currents hum night and day, where the earth is seen as a scintilating beacon from far off in outter space, with humans blinking like amoeba in vast megalopolae of lights spread like tentacles and roadways like veins and phosphorus arteries, to an alien visitor for the first time.

Distribution can also be when an accumulative energy system, including a stock market or financial market of currencies, commodities, or even debt passes from one hand to another, and slowly and serrupticiously is dissipated in avoiding loss or further loss. This is the opposite of accumulation, when a particular asset is, on the margin, gathered up anticipating gains in the future.

Wealth and capital are distributed, as is taxation, and is a distributive process. When it is amplified, it is said to be re-distributed. When it is witheld, then this flow is restricted, and fewer persons participate in its benefits--as has surely happened in America today, when fewer and fewer persons control more and more with each passing year--this is to the detriment of the masses.

Not only capital or goods can be distributed, but spiritual understanding can be disseminated orally, fashion can be promulgated by difusion through usage, slang language can be adopted and incorporated into culture--all of these, too, are forms of distribution. Both hatred and evil or love and kindness: all of these get widened or contracted depending on adoption, practice, or usage.

As Ancient Pre-Socratic Greek Philosoper Hericlitus said: "All is flux".

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fear: 356th Idea

Fear is part of our primal survival mechanism and is as omnipresent in day to day life as 'death, taxes, and childbirth'. While fear be debilating, it can also save a person from the clutches of virtually certain moral or outright physical destruction.

Fear is a feeling, and relates to aversion, and tells us not to go through with a labored decision which doesn't feel right. Fear tells us not to make that call, not write that letter, not say that thing to our boss or the rude customer. Fear in its better sense is the better part of tact or discretion, and buffers us from the attractions to the false luster given by things that can seduce us. Whether it be promises of grand investment returns, proclaimations of eternal love, or supposed more opportunistic employment, many things can mess you up in this world. Many things will call for your attention, your money, your affection, or your time.

My guru always said: 'Fear and doubt. These are the worst and are very harmfull'.

In its negative sense, fear is a limitation. In its higher sense, fear buffers us from things certain to bring little benefit. Again, as we last discussed, all feelings have this dual or 'Janus faced' side to things, and always have two sides. Fear just places this two side aspect into even greater resolution and is a very, very powerful form of energy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Feeling: 357th Idea

Feelings are emotions. Emotions are always about 'like' and 'dislike', attraction and repulsion. Feelings tell us where we are safe or in jeopardy, where we need to go and not go. Feelings tell us what to do, and who to be with.

While feelings are often highly accurate, the real difficulty is that sometimes they can not only be horribly wrong, but most notably we can never know when this will happen.

So there we have it: As the great spiritual teachers all say, 'Always follow your heart. The heart never lies', yet following your heart is the one thing that can get you in trouble real, real fast sometimes.

We have this great sensitive if not invaluable instrument which is known for high levels of subtlety and is often very accurate, and time to time it just throws you a real zinger, and will throw you for a loop.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Energy: 358th Idea

Energy is the most fundamental aspect of the universe along with, of course, time, space, matter, and form which cannot be taken as less significant.

While of course energy in its common sense can be used for practicalies such as transport, manufacturing, or heating or cooling buildings, by 'energy' we usually mean the internal met're of things.

Engery can be the odd feeling in a room after some people had been there, and come and gone; energy can be an odd part of the forest where we feel decay, or sorrow, or enormous silent struggle.

Energy can be the odd feeling when you know that you will never see some one again, or the recognition among kindred souls who, despite not knowing one another, sense a deep and natural kinship which is visceral and immediate. When we feel the vibes of persons, this is energy. We can sense who we can trust, and who we cannot; we sense what is authentic and true. And we can see past the superficial shineyness, for example, in a corporate interior decor which reeks of plastic artificiality and is doomed.

Most of all, energy is in the conscious aura of permiating awareness we feel around great teachers--the frission, the tingling and presense. We feel their energy, and while we may not be able to plumb their depths, we nevertheless still know that this fine energy is incommensurably and manifestly and irrevocably real. We know it.

We feel energy with the great primary lovers in our life. We feel energy the moment we find our homes, or when we walk into the interview for the job we will not only take, but which will nurish all our hard won lessons for the next six years, so deep are the waters that a man or woman can step into in what Gurdjieff called 'necessary suffering'.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Learning: 359th Idea

Learning is at the core of all things valuable in life, particularly in the moral and creative spheres.

Learning is watching those around you, and applying the needed leasons in cultivating social harmony. Learning is when, for the seemed one-hundreth time in our craft, we repeat the same mistake again and again but finally make the leap and have the key insight of 'Oh, that is how they do it!'

Learning at its best is not just academic or the edge gained in commerce or fixing a car, but in the deep lessons of life. So hard are they to attain, but so much the more valuable when realized!

The order of learning we are addressing here is, again, not learning such as used in imploying fine skills such as speaking difficult languages or in overcoming the uniquely posed challenges of life. We mean the higher learning of how to employ the higher order realizations used in the way of doing, way of being, way of seeing.

This does not relate to gross matter or common events but involves fine subtltey in things hard to distinquish or grasp but which once integrated become a permanent feature of consciousness.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Acceptance: 360th Idea

Acceptance is one of the things which definitely makes for greater life happyness. Most people want more, most of the time.

If we are midaged, we want more time; if athletic, more opportunity to train harder without injury; if overworked, more liberty from unrelenting job demands; if sluggish, more energy, if too stimulated, a better capacity to unplug and unwind; if poor, more money; if rich, better returns; if abundant, perhaps more security in an uncertain world thirsting to take the better portion of what we have.

In his classic tale, Geothe describes this so well: Mephestopheles offers Faust life eternal if only once he should say that he is satisfied, when the latter bargains his life away for eternity for one moments fulfillment.

Life is always changing. Things previously solutions to other perdicements no longer work quite the same. This can lead to perenial dissatisfaction. Understanding is very similar to acceptance: whereas understanding is much broader, such as involving the nuances of negotiating the legal minutae of a long and complicated contract between two seperate interests or the reconciliation between two marital partners in the inevitable differences of sharing intimacy or child reering, or resolving spending patterns, yet acceptance is more of a spiritual matter.

In time we come to see that more money, more study, more time, more travel, even more freedom cannot answer all that our heart wants. In time we come to see perhaps that we will not be young again or write the great American novel or make our first million by forty and must, *well*, come to terms with the fact that 'the life that we have, is the life that we will have'. Not particularly good or bad, but what is so. This acceptance cannot bring us more power or wealth but puts us more into harmoney with both the universe, those around us, and even our very own selves.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cost: 361st Idea

Costs are everwhere. Mostly costs relate to industrialized economic life but can also pertain to natural systems such as ecologies, the dynamic tug of war on the chessboard or a daring attack on the soccor field, or the necessary triage in choosing one survivor or donor recipient over another.

Costs are paid by users, borne by taxholders, assumed by churchgoers, private business owners, or large public enterprises. Costs are always paid, for if someone is the cause of a cost, someone always pays. If a company dumps toxic waste into soil, even if the executives or shareholders are long since departed, where it no longer exists, if this land is to be used in a way needing restoration, then someone else must pay.

In a more positive light, a creative person might travel the world collecting rare Tibetan Tankas, only to give them all away latter to a refined religious foundation--not for profit or covetousness, but for love of beauty so that others can charitably enjoy them more. Nevermind the financial costs, but the many travels, trips to strange if not unforgiving and inhospitable mountain villages, or missed meals. These, too, are all costs!

Such a person would not only have taken great expense and trouble, but might have--as an example--forgone several opportunities to marry, or take advanced promotions for more pay or to assume far more physical and emotional comfort: all for one end.

Such things are all costs, and all things have them, all relationships have them, and may or may not confir an equal or greater benefit. Costs necessarily are exchanged for necessary things which may in fact give nothing. Costs are part of life and enter all events and organic systems.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Results: 362nd Idea

Results are about attaining a desired outcome, and whether they are salutary or harmfull wholey depends on what is being attained.

A corporate clean up CEO, or what is otherwise called a 'turn around artist', might persue almost any number of alternatives just to generate significant profits for investors and owners of capital. Often this is accomplished irrespective of regard for human dignity such as the needs of long term employees who often served for long years before this 'artist' invaded the environment for 'divide and conquest', sense of responsibility to communities or customers alike. Taken to extreme, this attainment can lead to great personal enrichment yet at the cost of multitudes of others for ultimately selfish ends or self aggrandizing ego.

On the other hand, if for example this involved a viable business enterprise with a good product and solid staff alike yet had fallen into disrepair from irresponsible managment, corrective measures could be painfull but--in the end--everyone might thank such a sterm task master for not only saving their jobs, but allowing many to keep their very own homes or buy shoes for their children. It is difficult, and all comes down to tone and moral unpinnings. Gain is not bad; yet 'gain for the few by using the many' in sharing none of the procedes does real harm.

Results can be a medical rehabilitation, a resolve to always be on time, or to keep ones solemn word, or not to drink. Results can be the supportive affirmation of a loving parent for a child only needing more encouragement to blossom. Results can be just a delectable garden or democratic peace wrested by vehement opposition to tyranny.

Life is filled with all kinds of plans but in the end, talk and thinking have expressed limits. All the procedures, processes, plans, diagrams, and structural-functional rigor only so far, and the naked truth of result is left to stand, not matter what anyone says or does. As The Course In Miracles says: 'Nothing that is real can be threatened', and the very idea of results reminds us of the concreteness of what is so, what happens, and who is who. Results are real and unequivocal.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Exploration: 363rd Idea

Exploration is a feature of physical life on earth, attempts at intimacy in the heart and in the body, study, learning, commerce, media, globalisation, cuisine, and travel.

Exploration can also be not such concrete things, but can be the edges of character where those of us already outspoken learn to observe others before diving in, forgive things wrong when previously quick to form a grudge, or to adopt a supportive management style where once had been the micomanaging boss who sufforcated others.

These entries into the depths of our own character might alternately force a shy person to become a public speaker, or taken to be repeatedly be walked on, ardently take up Karate or undertake almost violently discomforting rounds of Gestalt therapy, adopting a ruthless boldness of candor where all masks must be ripped off to find the authentic self and relations.

The earth is vast--so many cultures, languages, climates, historic epocs, array of sciences and health practices, gender preferences, music, social and peer groups, and the endless territory of memory.

In time the opposite of the exhaustion of exploration can bring genuine understanding where it is seen that 'Truly, all roads lead to Rome'.

As a 'Guru once said: "There is nowhere to go, and nothing to do"' brings acceptance where perhaps then wisdom can grow in place of a habitual effort for all circumstances.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Grace: 364th Idea

By the grace of god do we all live. By the grace of creation does nature pour forth in all its ploxity and endless growth and regeneration. The inexplicable vastness of the cosmos that holds us in its boundless vastness is a riddle and a mystery. Unknown and unknowablem, uncanny and deep.

Grace can also be the mercy of the gods to deliver us from some calamedy or irresolvabe and intractible hardship. Grace can be the toss of a womans hair, the twinkly blue eyes of an old man with a cane, holding hands with his wife, gingerly tip toeing along, with a smile and please asking for directions.

Grace can be a rythmic dance, or wealthy person out to dinner, with a harried server who horribly spills an entire dinner onto the lap of the host of a thirty person banquet and smiles saying: "Thats ok, I didn' really need to eat all that anyway. Kindly give me a wet towel and I will be fine..." "So sorry sir, SO, SO VERY SORRY" said with a tremble". "Young man, if this is the worst that happens to me this month, this will be a fine day indeed :)"

Grace reminds us that we are not alone in the universe, and aside boundless suffering and sorrow gives life charm and beauty and goodness. Grace is always right on time, somehow the right thing as needed, always.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Risk: 365 Ideas

Having been away for far too long from the generalized posting I need to continue doing more of, after finally getting some more rest, last night I realized what I needed to be doing here. It was very vivid for me, very, very strong: simple but frequent epigramic writing, on the 'big ideas' such as risk, love, energy, reward, history, etc:

Risk is life. Take for instance a young man who finally musters the courage to approach the beautiful woman who he not only knows is quite possibly out of his reach and beyond his pedigree, and is likely to be turned down, yet has a strong desire to know her. While he is indeed taking an emotional risk in approaching her for a date and risk assuming more rejection if this has been his history, yet if he is aware as he greatly ages he will sooner rather than latter come to see that NOT approaching her is an even bigger risk: "If I hide in this corner, no one will ever find me, and the longed for love will never come! How many more chances like this will come?!"

Or take a conservative or as we say 'risk averse' investor who feels that they cannot afford the possibility of significant loss of capital by buying a stock which would also create the chance of increasing it. Nor do the safer bet of bonds afford them comfort, for if interest rates were to go up, and if for some unforeseen reason they were to needed to liquidate sooner rather than latter, their principle would decrease, offsetting the benefits of safe payout of fixed income or coupon. The real fact of credit risk has been amply evidenced by the recent sub-prime repurcussions seen widely in financial markets.

So if our would be investor were to sit in cash, they would see it eroded by not only the corrosion of inflation which makes their money worth less and less each year, but the pernicious decline in the American dollar where overseas the true value of their 'safe money' is worth less and less with no end in sight.

To avoid risk in so called 'safe cash', even that is a decision. No decision IS also a decision. Sitting in cash means that they have elected NOT to denominat in Euros or Yen or Reals or Pounds or Peso's, and given steep dollar decline, loss of value has come to roost, amidst fiscal profligate ways, concurrent wars, and mispending, all during tax cuts for the rich.

To stay at a job as a stable employee can seem to avert risk but it can be a far greater risk not to expand yourself in the job market.

To undergo a difficult if not risky surgery may mean loss of capacity, but in some instances not to undergo treatment might mean a far worse event: loss of limb, or capacity, or even life. Life is risk.

To convert our systems to a more sustainable energy system involves great cost to consumers and companies and economies, but not to adapt involves far worse: certain failure and decay under outmoded and harmful petrocarbon utilization.

Risk is life itself. Assuredly not all of life is risk, but risk, or the law of hazard is eveywhere.