Halleluiah!


We are alive and we know it. What an amazing gift that is. Of all the matter in the universe an infinitesimal speck is alive and of that, a minuscule, ever so tiny layer has evolved the capacity to be aware of the miracle being aware is!

For better or for worse this gift of being aware involves imagination. Yes, we can imagine. This magical elixir of the gods bestows the ability to participate in creation itself, to participate in the ontological nature of our own being, our own becoming, existence, what we call reality, and is what friend and mentor Joseph Chilton Pearce calls Evolution’s End.

Themes: 
self image

I Am Sorry

Look up. Yes, I see. They are doing it again, and in plain sight. No one seems to care. No one looks up and screams. Yesterday the sky was deep blue. Not a cloud from horizon to horizon. This morning, early, the sky was filled with long chalk marks. Very high, six or more tiny arrow heads, large jets belching chemicals crisscrossed the sky. For several hours I watched as these long straight chalk marks spread into artificial clouds. As the day went on the sparkling fall light became dull. I’m a photographer. I notice the light. I notice when something artificial, unnatural destroys the composition. They are doing it again.

Themes: 
environment
wellness

Almost a Woman

Not having health insurance I sat in the waiting room of the local ‘tribal’ clinic waiting for my annual routine blood work to be drawn. Sitting across the room was a Native or Hispanic mother with her daughter, who is just becoming a woman. She watched the television and got up a few times to answer a question or help her mother with a form. I was struck by her natural beauty, her chiseled face, large doe-like brown eyes, her body mid-way transforming from a child to a woman.

Themes: 
adolescence
culture
parenting
self image

Story Plus Play

Life is relationship. There is me, my authentic nature with its needs and curiosities and the cosmos expanding infinitely beyond me. What happens in the gap defines my life.

Children are sponges. Their rapidly changing brains and bodies compulsively seek new and different relationships that match the nova of neural connections exploding inside. We adulterated adults are in the Stone Age compared to the exponential brain growth found from the moment of conception to age eleven. Indeed the brain continues its expansive reach beyond eleven, but not as radically. The earlier in life the more profound and pronounced the changes, which means the greater the need for ever-changing appropriate things and relationships to engage.

Themes: 
bonding
learning
parenting
play
storytelling

Bonding Is Resonance - Resonance is Life

The weaver becomes the web. The more we relate to dead things the less alive we become. Emerson made this simple observation as the industrial revolution was pouring across the globe. The environment shapes development. Development shapes perception. Perception shapes reality. Reality projected outwardly shapes the environment and round and round we go.  Resonance….

Joseph Chilton Pearce made a profound and critical observation about virtual reality and the devices that produce them; they are dead, meaning they have no intrinsic resonate meaning, something all life forms share. They represent counterfeits of the mental imagery the most highly evolved regions of the brain evolved to generate. Exposure to counterfeits as the brain is developing (most importantly during the early stages and decreasing in importance through age eleven), retard the development of the capacities the counterfeit mimics.

One is bathed in living resonance sitting in the lap of a storyteller, hearts beating, nonverbal emotions, body contact, movement, temperature, order, touch and many other subtle fields of meaning. Holding a tablet or phone with a screen in your lap one is bathed in toxic microwave radiation. Yes, the senses are stimulated by lifeless counterfeits of living experience, startling bursts of sounds, moving colors, often frightening by design. Nature’s agenda is clear. We become the models we are given. At the turn of the century Emerson said: The weaver becomes the web. Joe’s insight is brilliant. Life and its meaning are defined by ‘resonance.’ Resonance is life itself. But we forget.

Prenatally the developing human is bathed in resonance. The first two years after birth are extremely sensitive. Attunement is the norm even if the adult is not tuning in. The developing brain is exploding with new and boundless possibilities all defined by resonance, that is, the nonverbal meaning of the model’s state. Nature assumes this model is a sensitive, available, attentive and attuned mother supported and nurtured by a father and extended family.

With the unfoldment of spoken language the child’s attention shifts to new internal imagery now generated by symbols and metaphors. As this new field of internal imagery expands attention shifts from the nonverbal meaning found in resonance to the play of words and relationships defined by words. The meaning of resonance slips in the background and is often forgotten, a tragic and unnecessary loss. What happens if the child’s models  are lost and absorbed in virtual reality and its counterfeits. If they, the models, are not sensitive, available, and attuned to resonance - what value will the child find in maintaining and developing this subtle capacity?

Imagine a developing human being interacting with a stimulating but dead technological environment. The model imperative and Epigenetics are lawful. They don’t care. Give a child dead counterfeits of living resonance and that is what you will develop in that child.

And down the slippery slope we go, bonded to dead virtual reality, increasingly unaware of what we have lost.

Themes: 
bonding
brain
environment

Making a Difference


A philanthropist asked: "With so many worthy nonprofit organizations and such need, what would you do? Where would you invest ten thousand or ten million dollars, and why?"

The answer, I maintain, depends on depth; treating symptoms or root causes. A person bleeding after an accident needs immediate attention. Stop the bleeding. Preventing the injury is more complex, more challenging. We need to do both.

Culture is the cause. Self-inflicted suffering and violence is the bleeding. Yes, self-inflected. In a recent interview the Dali Lama observed that we create most of our problems. Physicist David Bohm, protégé of Einstein, put it this way:

We are faced with a breakdown of general social order and human values that threatens stability throughout the world. Existing knowledge cannot meet this challenge. Something much deeper is needed, a completely new approach. I am suggesting that the very means by which we try to solve our problems is the problem. The source of our problems is within the structure of thought itself.

Collectively what Bohm calls thought expresses as Culture. Culture is our semantic-reality, the conditioned memories triggered by words, mental, emotional and physical images and our identification with these images. The culturally induced inner image we believe we are and the outer image we call culture emanate from the same root. Both are images. Both are, at close examination, the same. This insight is both obvious and profound. The difference between our personal image of self and the outer image we call culture is defined only by which end of the telescope we are viewing, near or far, inner or outer. The root of our personal and global conflict emanates from this image.

Themes: 
bonding
childhood
culture
parenting

We Are The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 2

My intent (whim) has been to awaken parents from the spell and implicit trap created by our cultural identity. I would not have described it as such twenty years ago, but that is an up-to-date and accurate description.

By encouraging adults to become more aware of our self-generated trap we might free the children who come under our spell and with that, culture, or at least lessen the entrapment produced by the enchantment. After all; kids are not the problem. Child development is dependent on adult development.

This spell or enchantment is the normal and natural function of the relatively new neocortex, the 3rd brain using Paul D. MacLean’s triune brain model.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice symbolizes our immature mastery of the image making power generated by this 3rd brain complex. The imagery produced by this center is so vast and so new biologically that we simply get caught, again and again, in the images we create, forgetting that we have created them. Not a good thing given the creative power these images represent, which is what the Sorcerer symbolizes.

Themes: 
brain
culture
imagination
self image

We are the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Human development is ‘model dependent.’ Every generation stands upon the shoulders of the previous. Nature assumes that the adult model, each individual and the collective culture, is sane, intelligent and wise. She could not do otherwise.

Unquestioned acceptance of the given was Piaget’s observation. That is nature’s agenda.  And it worked perfectly for billions of years until the neocortex evolved and with it the capacity to imagine. Imagination is the most powerful tool in the known universe.  Ah, but what if the user hasn’t a clue what it is or how to use it – sanely, consciously? We all then become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Themes: 
brain
culture
imagination
parenting
violence

Not So Smart After All

Four twenty-something’s sit together pushing their happy meals around the table oblivious to each other and the environment. Each is enchanted by a different view of the same virtual-reality. Not so smart after all. I am suspicious of brands that merge the image of ‘smart’ with ‘technology’. Quick, convenient, multi featured yes, but smart, no.

Joseph Chilton Pearce claims that humanity is growing up in a virtual-reality with a corresponding loss of empathy and care for nature.

We assume that technology and science are highpoints of evolution. But evolution has been involved with the development of greater neural structures of the brain and the subsequent human capacities to move beyond the limitations and constraints of the lower animas… A rocket to the moon does not represent an evolutionary expansion… A discovery of humanity's immunity to fire or cold or our freedom from having to eat food [awareness of telepathy, development of intuition and insight, not to mention daily doses of empathy and kindness] – these are clear cases of evolutionary expansion. Our move beyond violence, war, and hatred would be a high-water mark of human evolution.

Joseph Chilton Pearce
The Death of Religion and Rebirth of Spirit

At the heart of my caution about virtual-reality technologies is the way they percolate into the lives of children before their bodies and brains have matured, not in a virtual-reality but in an organic one. Cool, quick, convenient and multi-featured is not enough. Discrimination and making appropriate choices are not possible without a strong, steady, living-reality as a reference. And that is, by objective measure, slipping away. Keep in mind that technological induced virtual-reality is dead. What the developing body and brain needs most of all are intimate experiences and relationships with life. The more children relate with dead things the more like them they become.

Themes: 
brain
imagination
media
television-computers

To Me or Not to Me?

If there is a single force that generates inequality, violence and war throughout the world, other than the Central Bank, I vote for the self-image we create gazing up for assurance and approval as infants. At this early stage of development what emerges from that glance is not a fixed image, rather feelings: of acceptance, of care, welcoming, understanding, empathy, encouragement or their opposites; rejection, anger, frustration, neglect and the various forms of abuse.

Over time the repetition of these feelings coalesce, merge and form predictable patterns and these in turn create the scaffolding upon which our social identity is formed. Belonging means survival. Rejection could mean death. So we began to judge our worth and value based on the emotional reactions we experience in the mirror of our primary relationship.

Being accepted and maintaining the bond or attachment with mother extends to father, siblings, extended family, tribe and village. Instead of glances our value is based on comparison; our score, grade point average, nationality, race, profession, political party, social status, cast, club, gang, and religion. Our identity and self-worth are sculpted by the selfish needs of these social groups and within each sub-group is a pecking order forged by comparison, allegiance, obedience and conformity. Conflict, greed and war are implicit in this structure and this structure is based on mental-emotional images that forge our identity.

Themes: 
bonding
culture
parenting
praise/rewards
self image
violence

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