. photography & perception .

Photography & Perception

Greetings manic clickers, impulsive writers and compulsive viewers.

Latest

Mind The Map

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It’s time

to swim through

a mind map..

Technically or Theoretically? This is a time in space where the schools of technical analysis and theoretical thinking meet.

Mind map-ing is a very successful and immediate way to convey information without the small talk.

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Mind Map: a free-association.. thought-hop, from: one idea to the next.

Mind Map a Theory: A Theory, not expressed with words, but by linking already existing theories/ in a linear structure of ideas.

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A Mind Map is not like a story, because it lacks a conclusion.

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To see the conclusions,

One needs to step back after receiving the information

and.. see The Forest..

An additional, vitally important element, is perception.

In order to better understand a Mind Map, it is necessary to tune 2 specific points in perception.

One is for the ideas, put in specific order, to yield certain assumptions, until a route, a map, is created.

The other, is to be objective enough as: to see the Line of Thought, yet carry no prior emotion.

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Objective,

are you sure?

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The most successful way to be benefited, from any sort of reading, is to assume a position similar to that which the Pythagoreans described

with this image:

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PiSs:

There are links on words which unveil the theories,

as well as provide the background info.

Firstthought cloud..

The Möbius strip

or Möbius band

is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component.

The Möbius strip is the configuration space of two un-ordered points on a circle.

Secondthought cloud..

Applied,

in music theory, the space of all two note chords (known as dyads) takes the shape of a Möbius strip.

This (and generalizations to more points) is a significant application of orbifolds to music theory.

Third

thought cloud..

Its shape/form is endless. If an ant were to crawl along the length of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traversed the entire length of the strip (on both sides) without ever crossing an edge.

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If you twist this shape, you get something like a tread-mill. iFone person were to run on one side and another person ran on the other side, these two would never meet. Although, they would be running at the same Time, occupying the same Space.

Therefore, the running, occupying the same space/time, is infinite.

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4th thought cloud.. ?

Also

The Möbius strip has several curious properties. A line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the “other side”. If continued the line will meet the starting point and will be double the length of the original strip. This single continuous curve demonstrates that the Möbius strip has only one boundary.

Would it be so absurd to assume..

there could be 2 parallel timelines, running in the form of a Mobius circle,

simultaneous, same point-in-space occupants.

If so, these two “worlds” could/would never meet.

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Worlds of Opposites, indeed.

(Mobius Swans)

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Fift(s)h thought*cloud:

interesting fact:

The Euler characteristic of the Möbius strip is zero.

Next

thought*cloud:


In Euclidean space there are two types of Möbius strips, depending on the direction of the half-twist: clockwise and counterclockwise.. Ha! Force and counter-force.. Every force has a counter-force.. Counter forces are simply the collection of ANY and every, form, which disorients or causes disorder to the universal and natural free order of things.

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*What

is the natural order (and not New Order)

of “things”?

or

VisuaLise it Pythagorean if you like..

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It’s all relevant..

* # ? thought ~ cloud:

They say a writer, a painter, a musician, an actor, any form of artist or creator, is a Jedi – because his/her connection to a certain Source. A source? of a force. Perfectly illustrated in Star War(s). The “Force” is and always has been, also will be. foreva 🙂

The Source of the Force is endless, because it is none other than Motion (kinisis).

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Next

thought*cloud:

So if every force is a motion towards natural mathematical “divine proportion” order, then.. counter-force would be the Collection of all the disruptive elements (also seen as discrepancies in time/space order).

In mathematics, discrepancy theory describes the deviation of a situation from the state one would like it to be.

It is also called theory of irregularities of distribution.

This refers to the theme of classical discrepancy theory, namely distributing points in some space such that they are evenly distributed with respect to some (mostly geometrically defined) subsets. The discrepancy (irregularity) measures how far a given distribution deviates from an ideal one.

Discrepancy theory can be described as the study of inevitable irregularities of distributions, in measure-theoretic and combinatorial settings. Just as Ramsey theory elucidates the impossibility of total disorder, discrepancy theory studies the deviations from total uniformity.

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Next-er thought*cloud:

This element of physics, counter-force, could be witnessed in daily human life as even the resistance of a thought.

Denial is one of the greatest counter-forces of creativity.

The reason being that Creativity IS a force and blockages, such as denial, work as counter-forces in this case.

Chaotic forces. (?)

It goes without saying that Creation must not be hindered but fueled..

Therefore chaotic factors minimized or eliminated.

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Next

thought*cloud:

A device called a Möbius resistor is an electronic circuit element that has the property of canceling its own inductive reactance.

Nikola Tesla patented similar technology in the early 1900s.

“Coil for Electro Magnets” was intended for use with his system of global transmission of electricity without wires.

Electricity without wires.

Wireless energy transmission.

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Next

thought:

With the exception of gravitation, electromagnetic phenomena,

as described by quantum electrodynamics,

account for almost all physical phenomena observable to the unaided human senses,

including light and other electromagnetic radiation,

all of chemistry,

most of mechanics (excepting gravitation),

and of course magnetism

and electricity.

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An electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects.

It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field.

The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction.

It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction).

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Thought:

Wireless energy transmission.

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Mu wave patterns arise from synchronous and coherent (in phase/constructive) electrical activity of large groups of neurons in the human brain.

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Wave patterns

  • Delta is the frequency range up to 4 Hz. It tends to be the highest in amplitude and the slowest waves. It is seen normally in adults in slow wave sleep. It is also seen normally in babies.

  • Theta is the frequency range from 4 Hz to 7 Hz. Theta is seen normally in young children. It may be seen in drowsiness or arousal in older children and adults; it can also be seen in meditation. This range has been associated with reports of relaxed, meditative, and creative states.

  • Alphais the frequency range from 8 to 12 Hz, seen in regions of the head on both sides, higher in amplitude on the dominant side. It emerges with closing of the eyes and with relaxation, and attenuates with eye opening or mental exertion. The posterior basic rhythm is actually slower than 8 Hz in young children (therefore technically in the theta range).

  • Beta is the frequency range from 12 Hz to about 30 Hz. It is seen usually on both sides in symmetrical distribution and is most evident frontally. Beta activity is closely linked to motor behavior and is generally attenuated during active movements. Low amplitude beta with multiple and varying frequencies is often associated with active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration. Rhythmic beta with a dominant set of frequencies is associated with various pathologies and drug effects, especially benzodiazepines. It may be absent or reduced in areas of cortical damage. It is the dominant rhythm in patients who are alert or anxious or who have their eyes open.

  • Gamma is the frequency range approximately 30–100 Hz. Gamma rhythms are thought to represent binding of different populations of neurons together into a network for the purpose of carrying out a certain cognitive function.

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Mu waves

ranging 8–13 Hz.,

and partly overlap with other frequencies.

It reflects the synchronous firing of motor neurons in rest state.

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Mu suppression is thought to reflect motor mirror neuron systems, because when an action is observed, the pattern extinguishes, possibly because of the normal neuronal system and the mirror neuron system “go out of sync”, and interfere with each other.

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NexThought

cloud:

The EEG in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep appears somewhat similar to the awake EEG. Therefore, brain activity, measured electro-magnetically, “appears similar” in REM sleep and in awake Electroencephalography (EEG).

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*cloud:

With halogenated anesthetics, a rapid (alpha or low beta), non-reactive EEG pattern is seen over most of the scalp, especially anteriorly —-> in some older terminology this was known as a WAR (widespread anterior rapid) pattern, which contrasted with a WAIS (widespread slow) pattern associated with high doses of opiates.

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How about replacing the meaning of WAR (War is an organized, armed, and often a prolonged conflict, usually with high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between communities, and therefore is defined as a form of violence. An absence of war and other violence, is usually called peace)

with WAR (widespread anterior rapid)

?

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Next

thought*cloud:

Anesthetic effects on EEG signals are beginning to be understood at the level of drug actions on different kinds of synapses and the circuits that allow synchronized neuronal activity.

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Like “synchronized swimming, in a pool of cosmic consciousness..”

sounding like something Huxley would say..

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CoNgratulations

for managing to read

so far.

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carousel

There are certain specific moments in life where, albeit our assurance of where we stand and where we are heading, we find ourselves entwined in circumstances which reveal, continuously, more and more information, as if a ripple made in a pond, resonating ripples until the vibration is heard and the message is received.

If though we hear the message and choose to put it aside, knowing (assuming even) that we can absorb and cope with it this way, then we are simply trying to fool our own self. Naturally, the body, having been imprinted with all the memories of feelings concerning a situation, biologically knows the Truth. So does the soul, since we yet have not found a way to lie to our subconscious unconscious and thus the only actor here is the conscious mind, a fool amongst the sages.. Although difficult and demanding, the way to go.. the way to be.. is One. Being true to your gut feeling. This has always been the best-functioning compass which seldom fails to judge correctly.

Hence.. it is a waste of time to simply wander around. We wander until target is seen. When target is visible, then it should be met. When avoided, it leads to a circular road, that magic roundabout which – like a carousel – goes round and round a certain center, until the child is ready to get off the ride (probably because it’s grown since last time and is now too old for this kind of ride which is just not thrilling nor fulfilling anymore.) It’s evolutionary Law to develop. Why resist or pretend blindness? Psychological maturity comes to a human like flavor comes to vintage wine. It’s time to go on the other rides for older children. It’s time to be brave enough and stand by one’s decisions driven by inner instinct, whether the subsequent track is lonesome or twined.

This is a time of growth, undoubtedly. Always has been.  It is time to grow. To develop. To evolve in even the slightest of ways. Occurrence of those minor changes within, via the assistance of the butterfly effect, great change is stirred up.

Forget being independent. Forget standing on your own two feet. Let’s fly.

New World Order

The world is changing, the earth is spining and we are by-standers, watching. Observe, perceive, receive.. but is this really enough? When did politics become so dominating that they begun dividing us socially? When did it become “my” country and when did “my country ows money to your country” become a topic of conversation? Does it really matter where we were born or is – where we are now – more important? Where DO we stand, as people? Are we citizens of a state? Are we confined in such small titles? Are we supportive of an evolution or a revolution? Is this enough? Is something / anything, going to actually HAPPEN or are we just going to be ready to comment, observe, believe? When are we going to revolt? When are we going to realise that people who are governing the world are only interested in manipulation and control? Some of us are well-off by this format but sooner rather than later time will run out and we will all be left bare in light of the naked truth. Then what? Poverty? What will we become in absence of an economic System? Panic. No control. Anarchy. Absurd behavior.. how can we prepare ourselves? Can we be calm and collected? Can it possibly be true that by 2012 the end of the world – as we know it – will come to be? ..or will we, impatiently, bring this upon ourselves? Will we aggravate the situation by allowing fear to take the best of us?

Will we realise that all this, all these.. commodities.. are man-made needs which we can live without? Will there be electricity? Will there be anyone around announcing the end.. or will they all be absent.. gone into underground tunnels to live on? Will the globe blow up? Will the sky open up and sun beams zap us into dust? Will the mayans arrive in spaceships, revisiting earth? will jesus christ superstar be the commander? an enlightened hippie with all chakras in tune? what? what will happen? what are we waiting for? why dont we all simply refuse to pay our bills and start exchanging commodities, refusing to be victims? why cant we be free from all the insecurity and we need commodities to make us feel safe?

INSTANCES:

The night is young and I’m in a cab-ride back Home from the port.

The driver has lost his son and wants to talk about it. Sixteen years old. Motorbike crash. To lose a child.. A pain unknown to me yet seeing it around me makes me realise what an inhumane loss this must be. It’s been 10 years since his death but to his father, it seems like it was a second ago..

My few words of advice were.. that.. Perhaps he lear nt.. in those few 16 years of his, SomeThing which we (the rest of us) are still trying to figure out.

Worry. Guilt. What could I have done as a parent to prevent this? Why did I get him a motorbike? The never-ending “Why me?” . . . “Why did this happen?” The echo of the always present WHY footprint skyline..

It occurs to me that..

everything has got a hidden moral.

You just need to look hard to find it..

Things happen for a reason. The chaos theory exists. We do affect one another in the smallest yet largest impact ways.. everything IS indeed connected and so, if something happens, from the smallest to the biggest thing, chance, change, accidental, coincidental, consequential.. Drop all cloaks and mechanisms.. and see it for what it is.

Time passes, scars don’t heal, you’re disappointed with yourself because you haven’t picked up sooner. You want it to pass. It’s taking to long.. What am I missing here..?

If the mind or soul is in a loop then.. possibly.. the moral has yet not been derived.

Why not think.. of how this changes me? and if everything has its purpose and a life can be the catalyst for a person or a relationship to be changed, trigger-ed, affected, and the effect being a certain response to be triggered. An entire process begins, uprooting, rerooting, derooting carefully.. between the grass, searching where – at which point – has he/she/me/you – have done something worthy of such a punishment. Such is pain. It becomes the ignition of our Catharsis Process.

end of session. it helped.

no thank yious. how dare i even voice these.. theories of mine, to a man that is suffering subjective pain about an intense situation which i can only relate to. how dare i interfere with someone’s, anyone’s, journey? what can i do other than voice words and listen with care?

Remembrance of the time I used to do this..

Of a Time back in time where this was it. I had found my purpose in life. I had a fantastic talent in bumping into the most random of situations and people opening up to me. There has to be a clue around here.. I had found that I can connect all skills, like unconditional comfort, understanding, a bent perspective on my part.

Finally someone is willing to see things “your way” and to listen to your side of the story. Stranger or friend, if this person is there, the right time and moment, you might find yourself surprised with how much comfort you can find in a perfect stranger, in a passing moment, in a city where you probably wont see each-other again..

Teach Acceptance, not Tolerance.

How can I receive a Thank You from someone, Any One, for help, which I myself have borrowed?

Help which I have been given in the past, when I needed it.

How MANY times in Life, ever since FOR EVER, people, have said the right thing, the right time, to complete a mental process of my own or even to guide me – without prior thinking of mine – towards any direction of thought/decision.. therefore non-biased. but accidental and divinely synchronised. yet.. how MANY times have i been helped by the streets? by people you find, in the most random dodgy places, at random times, clubs, cabs, bakeries, corners and streets, parties, festivals, exhibitions, pavements, ancient ruins, steps, hangouts with a good view.. random people, from a different place, far away or around here, friends, strangers, pre-destined pieces of Art, pre-announcing the coming of something – something which you’d never thought about before yet now makes absolutely perfect sense. THiS is it. The catalyst for all the thinking. And so, it MAKES SENSE. Finally.

When your work is done here, then the loop unfolds and you move in to the next level. Like unlocking a stage in a computer game. Figure out the moral and you move on to next level.

Then the loops become scars and then the scars become wisdom. Some point.

I owe it, to pass it on.

As far as I know and as I can help, in a silent and respectful manner, without guiding the thinking process, nor giving an opinion
nor an answer.
without interfering
without tampering
without enforcing
yet
providing the understanding.. the love, open forgiveness, tender care, simplicity, humanity
and thus the other human being.. receives the warmth necessary to wisely take the next step

leaving from his/her loop.. moving to next stage

it’s a long journey

brace yourself.


we are alone.
you are alone.
Help is not on its way.

dependence..

independence..

interdependence.

insubordination

incompetency

politics? Really?

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The Celestine Prophecy and transactional analysis

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How is

transactional analysis

connected to

The Celestine Prophecy (novel)?

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The following is taken from an interview of James Redfield, by Kathryn M. Peters:

– In your travels around the world lecturing  what is the recurring theme of the feedback you receive from fans of The Celestine Prophecy? In other words, what in particular about this book touched their lives most significantly?

– Celestine pointed out that our first real experiential opening to this new spirituality was the sense of perceiving the spiritual operation of synchronicity in lives. Many, many people reported they were having this perception of mysterious coincidences that brought them information at just the right time. This augmented the fact that they were indeed on a special spiritual path that was leading them toward a contribution they could make which was their destiny.

– In The Celestine Prophecy, you outlined nine spiritual insights. Did these insights reveal themselves to you over time in your personal day to day life, had you read about them, or did you intuit them from a higher source?

– Certainly there are prophecies out there bespeaking these things. Yet, personally I had been on my own search for truth for years as I observed how our human culture was changing. And my goal with the whole series of books was to experientially look at this spiritual renaissance. When I wrote of insights, I was pointing to glimpses of understanding I felt the entire culture was already discerning.

– In your writings you acknowledge that it is easier to recognize the insights than it is to live them out. So, I felt compelled to ask which one of the insights is most difficult for you personally to follow consistently?

– Probably the fifth insight that indicates we can stay connected within to a source of power, energy, higher knowledge and intuition which the mystics always talk about. I have to work at that, I have to always return to the well by visiting a sacred site which creates that opening. Once experienced, it feels like I can maintain that spiritual state my whole life, and then I get back to the city, back to the routine, and I find like everyone else that I lose that connection.

– What disconnects us?

– A myriad of things, Kathryn. First of all, we have to interact with people in the culture who remain very skeptical. Often that skepticism causes us to doubt whether or not all of this is real. We can easily lose it that way, through self-doubt. Also, we can get distracted and go back to our normal way of operating in the world through our old control dramas we just repeat over and over again. So, that is the struggle, to stay in a state of higher perspective connected to our awareness of the power source within as we go about our mundane activities.

– What’s the most effective way you have found to stay connected?

– I’m a sacred site person. I’m an outdoors walker/hiker/meditator. I also do some Tai Chi and other movement exercises as a discipline in the mornings. For me, that is a definite way of staying connected to the higher, more divine part of myself. Primarily, I am in search of places which uplift me merely by being in their proximity. For example, Sedona, Arizona is a very important part of how I stay charged up.

– I do certainly understand that. I recently visited Sedona for the very first time, and I honestly did not want to leave. The energy and the lightness of being I experienced there was truly indescribable. And my next question is: Can you describe to me the most profound personal or spiritual shift you underwent as a result of writing The Celestine Prophecy?

– Just getting all my experiences and perceptions down on paper in an organized fashion totally changed me in how well I could stay in touch with that higher consciousness and awareness. You know, I often tell people not to forget that I was the first one who got to read the book! And it was such a cathartic experience for me writing it.

– I’m sure it remains a cathartic experience for anyone who reads it, James, for your writings are filled with such tremendous wisdom to inspire. Yet, it interests me greatly to know whose writings inspired you either while growing up or presently?

– Oh, so many people. Early on, when I was in graduate school in the psychology curriculum, I read Eric Berne’s, The Games People Play. That was a book that spelled it all out. Not from a psychological perspective, but he elaborated on all the control dramas people experience. Of course, he did not write about it in terms of spiritual energy the way I did, yet he laid out how we play games in order to control each other. Ernest Becker is a depth-psychologist who wrote, The Structure of Evil. His work really influenced me because he had a tremendous grasp of the role of the unconscious. He helped me understand that people who commit evil are actually succumbing to a dependency, or an addiction, or what he would call a “fetish” in their behavior. For example, a serial killer kills not because he is innately evil, or is motivated by evil forces beyond himself. He kills because, in reality, that is the only means by which he can experience a reduction in anxiety…

– Whoa, that’s a pretty extreme means of reduction.

– You’re right, Kathryn, that’s very extreme. If we take a look at anybody who blows up like the rampage workplace shootings, the only way to understand what’s going on there is to see that all of the ways they tried to make sense of life, and find comfort in life, have collapsed. As a result, this explosion of anger is a means of attempting to create more peace and power within themselves. It is the most extreme way possible of regaining energy. It’s like an extreme intimidator explosion.

– Is there absolutely no sense of conscience in play?

– It all gets pushed aside. A psychological reduction of conscience takes place which happens in any fetish or obsession. It’s human evil that is produced by fear and the need to overcome the fear through some sort of deranged action.

– James, in light of the multitude of books, tapes, radio and television shows, as well as lecture series available to the masses, in your assessment, how is it possible so many people are still not only unconscious, but actually fight to remain resistant even to the prospect of higher awareness in their lives?

– People resist higher awareness because they have made a great investment in continuing to live the way they have always lived, because that’s their way of surviving and remaining anxiety-free. This is a real psychological issue that has to be looked at in terms of depth-psychology, because we simply cannot account for human behavior by looking at it from rational terms. Everyone’s lifestyle and view of the world is exactly the product of what they have created throughout childhood into adulthood as a way of pushing away anxiety to feel they have a certain amount of energy in the world. You and I know the real energy comes from within but those doors are still not open in most people. So, they are fighting to obtain an energy that validates the fact they count in the world and establishes within them a sense of knowing what they’re doing. Therefore, their investment in life as they know it cannot afford to be collapsed. They will not hear anyone telling them they are wrong. Instead, we can approach them gently by suggesting they look at the ways in which we have cultivated even more peace along with a greater sense of inspiration in life. At that point, they have the option of coming to this information of their own accord in order to replace what they have always done with something better.

– Do you find using your life as an example for others has become easier or harder since you have reached this level of fame?

– You mean my life in general?

– Yes, now that people look to you wondering if you’re walking the talk and living up to the insights?

– I always think we’re all still struggling to stay in this higher awareness. I have to work on it day-by-day just like everyone else. So obviously I don’t stay on the pedestal for very long. But I’ve got to tell you I’ve never had more fun in my life.

– What’s the most fun for you now?

– Just being able to talk to people openly about these concepts and to have even the press being willing to talk about them. To have people who were so skeptical as little as five years ago today want to know all about it. The scales have truly shifted. Whereas those of us who advance the spiritual awareness used to be on the defensive, now it’s the skeptics who are on the defensive.

– Okay, I want to talk about the new book, James. In The Secret of Shambhala, the eleventh insight is the power of prayer. Do you have any personal instances where this power came into focus in your life?

– Sure! In the first ten insights I’ve written about sending energy to other people, making sure we are uplifting them in the process. Because we all intuit that, we have the power to convey something to another person across space. When the eleventh insight emerged and began to crystalize was when we started to experience these senseless outbursts of violence in our schools and workplaces. Once the media started to really focus on this we saw national calls to prayer where communities were coming together in prayer vigils. Interestingly enough, at the very same time we saw an inflow of new scientific research on prayer and intentionality which Dr. Larry Dossey has popularized. So, when you say, Kathryn, that The Secret of Shambhala is about the power of prayer, that is true. Yet it is also true that it’s about reinventing or reconceptionalizing what prayer is and the way we do it. It’s about actually taking it seriously enough to put it into practice in our daily lives.

– Most of us grew up just absentmindedly repeating prayers we’d committed to memory such as the rosary or the Lord’s Prayer without giving any real thought to the impact or the resultant flow of energy produced.

– Exactly true, we traditionally saw prayer as a kind of passive asking and now we are realizing it is so much more than that.

– James, do you believe that prayer belongs in the schools?

– I believe it belongs everywhere as long as it is an individually conceived prayer. The reason the constitution disallowed prayer in school is because they were very sensitive to despotic creation of state religion in which someone would be writing the prayers out for us. We have to be very careful as we reintroduce prayer into schools and that what we’re saying to people is pray in your own way. We’ve got to let prayer be embraced organically from individuals. And that is why in The Secret of Shambhala I try to present it as new information that has just arrived that each of us has to digest and assimilate for ourselves.

– If you could take all eleven insights and encapsulate them into one basic thought or law to live by, what would it be?

– It would be this: we all have a connection with our higher self, our divine self within. And if we knock on the door until it opens, not taking no for an answer, our lives will be transformed as we step up into a higher awareness. We will become more intuitive, knowing what to do and how to do it. We will become cognizant of what our main goal was in coming to this Earth to make things better. At that point our lives will be characterized by amazing, truly miraculous coincidences that bring us the opportunities to tell the truth we are here to tell. If we really can adopt a new ethic of treating other people by uplifting them through prayer, while not engaging in energy competition with them, then the magic flow will stablize our lives. We can then use a creative power to achieve and maintain that consciousness most of the time. Prayer power is real. By putting it into action, we will be able to stay more constantly in higher awareness than ever before. If we can do that, the world will quickly change.

– Another important theme in your writings, James, is what you call “staying alert.” How would you advise us to achieve that state of alertness?

– We are presently awakening from a four hundred year old world view that has taught us that the chance happenings that occur in our lives are not important. Therefore, it is imperative that we promote within ourselves a special attention toward every event that occurs. Pay attention to when the telephone rings and who it is. Let’s get into the habit of questioning why are they calling now? Or why did I pass that particular person in the hallway and not someone else? Why was I placed next to that person on the airplane? Or why is my attention drawn to this specific item on the nightly news? These synchronistic occurrences go on and on. We pull toward us people and information we need to take advantage of and we have to take these opportunities more seriously.

– James, it occurs to me that the main challenge to doing this is the fact we have become a society addicted to instant gratification. If the reason for a particular happening is not made apparent immediately, we tend to simply dismiss the happening as non-consequential. It is as if we have reached new heights of pomposity in our attitude toward the spiritual meaningfulness behind mundane experiences, as if we can pick and choose precisely which events are significant. When sometimes it may be days, weeks or even years before an event may reveal the power and magnitude of its meaning in our lives.

– That is such an important point. We have to not jump to conclusions. There are two things we need to remain mindful of when we are looking at synchronicity. Number one, don’t jump to conclusions. Simply learn to explore these happenings, and explore them for a while. And then, above all, do not make a negative interpretation of the event under any circumstances. Tragedies happen, I mean all kinds of awful things can happen to us, but if you want to kill your synchronicity right in its path just make a negative interpretation and that destroys it all! Conversely, through our prayer and our faith in expectation, we can accelerate the synchronicity in our lives. I do believe, Kathryn, that some of this comes from grace no matter how skeptical or closed off we are, some things are just going to happen. But in terms of the rich flow we are talking about, you can slow it way down just by making a negative interpretation. This is especially true of those with very idealistic projects such as starting a spiritual church or a metaphysical paper. If they should hit a roadblock and think to themselves that maybe they’re not really supposed to be doing this, they then abandon the project. In reality, the roadblock appeared only as a message that perhaps more flexibility is needed, or maybe the people you’re dealing with need to be changed. By staying positively receptive to the roadblocks in life, there will always be a window or opening to show the direction in which things can shift and evolve into something even greater.

– Let’s examine that a little more in depth. There are those who believe that an opportunity cannot pass us by for we have a specific destiny. In another school of thought it is espoused that opportunity can indeed pass by never to return. What I hear you saying is that as long as we remain open, alert, and sensitive to their shiftings, these opportunities cannot pass us by.

– Yes, I don’t believe we can ever entirely miss an opportunity. Kathryn, you may have noticed that one of the themes in the book is that we are always given the opportunity to stay healthy, to avoid accidents, and to continue on our path here and, if we do miss those, we can wind up sick, and maybe someone even dies, but only because our information is still incomplete, or our ability to live this path is still incomplete. It is possible that we can miss an intuition that may have saved somebody’s life. Now, that’s tough, and I hate it, but that’s the way the world is, I believe. So, there is a certain urgency to our staying alert. I miss the signs myself sometimes but we must aspire to full alertness. Human evolution is about getting better and better.

– In that same vein of getting better and better, James, you state in your new book that the measure of beauty we are capable of seeing all around us is proportionately indicative of the measure of divine energy we are allowing to flow through us. I interpret that as the more people open to their divinity the more beautiful this world becomes.

– That’s right…it’s all Heaven right here. It’s just that we don’t have quite enough energy as a culture to live in that reality.

– You point out in the book that one of the things that suppresses our energy and therefore our ability to see heaven on earth are the foods we consume in the average American diet. You really emphasize the need for us to eat living foods, and yet that is difficult many times for even the most devout of the spiritual community.

– Sure, even gurus in India die all the time from gout and gallbladder problems due to the diet they eat. It is a very real problem. Humans, out of boredom over the centuries, have created these things that taste incredibly good yet have no nutritional value. Yet we have to be very careful of the level of energy we put into ourselves. If the level of energy is really low in terms of ingestion we actually reduce the state of our overall energy level. We are energy beings, and matter has coalesced around our soul. This matter is vibrating at a certain level. So, if our lifestyle is such that we are constantly pulling our energy down, through the food we eat and the thoughts we have, then what we produce is the disincorporation of the matter which constitutes all of our organs. Therefore, if we eat foods that have an acid ash, they will in turn encourage microbes to attack our bodies and disincorporate us. In this way, we are quite honestly committing slow suicide. The idea that in the West we don’t live any longer than 60 or 70 years is just absurd. Totally absurd! At around the age 45 to 50 the foods we eat start to show up in our bodies as aches and pains and loss of energy. All of this just means we are disincorporating. I didn’t want to overplay that in the book, but I do feel it is a profound insight.

– I thought the insight was simply fabulous! Where did you get this information?

– Okay, let me tell you where I got it. This is the alkaline/acid balance nutritional theory. And anyone interested in knowing more about this fascinating theory can find it on the Internet at http://www.innerlightint.com. This is Dr. Robert Young’s web site, and there are tapes available there to explain this entire theory of whether we are raising our energy and light level or are we decomposing.

– Without a doubt I agree we must begin to reevaluate our dietary practices as a part of our spiritual evolvement as we begin our journey into this new millennium. What other great changes do you foresee coming for humanity with the coming of the year 2000?

– First of all, I believe we are going to see more and more people taking the spiritual life more seriously, because we realize already that the spiritual life is not something that is no fun, just something we do to be good and get to heaven. What we realize now is that there is a whole array of rich experience that comes our way when we decide to look at life spiritually. In fact, it is actually the most fun experience we can have on this planet. I think this knowledge and understanding will definitely continue to expand around the world. I also believe we will see the further acceptance of prayer power with the increase of prayer vigils as more and more take prayer seriously. Then we will see each profession and occupational group begin to evolve into it’s true role of service. So that, for example, you will see attorneys in the business of resolving conflict rather than creating it to make more money. You’ll see the medical profession totally transformed into a vehicle for mind/body practices with the intent of prevention instead of one of making money from people’s illnesses. In that way, all professions from education to engineering will shift into making this world a more spiritual place. This will happen gradually, but it will happen.

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Transactional Analysis

Forty years ago, Games People Play revolutionized our understanding of what really goes on during our most basic social interactions.

More than five million copies later, Dr. Eric Berne’s classic is as astonishing and revealing, as it was on the day it was first published.

We play games all the time–sexual games, marital games, power games with our bosses, and competitive games with our friends.

Detailing status contests or combat between lethal couples like “If It Weren’t For You”, to flirtation favorites like “The Stocking Game” and “Let’s You and Him Fight,” where Dr. Berne exposes the secret ploys and unconscious maneuvers that rule our intimate lives. (more games are mentioned and explained further down)
Explosive when it first appeared, Games People Play is now widely recognized as the most original and influential popular psychology book of our time.

In the 1950s, Berne synthesized his theory of “human gaming” and built on Freud’s psychodynamic model, particularly the “ego states” to develop developed Transactional Analysis.

Transactional analysis, according to physician James R. Allen, is a “cognitive behavioral approach to treatment and that it is a very effective way of dealing with internal models of self and others as well as other psychodynamic issues.”

Transactional analysis (commonly known as TA to its adherents) is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy.

Integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches.

It was developed by Canadian-born US psychiatrist Eric Berne during the late 1950s and the theory still stands, found in people and characters, until this day. It is hereby explained:

Philosophy of Transactional Analysis:

  • People are OK; thus each person has validity, importance, equality of respect.
  • Everyone (with only few exceptions, such as the severely brain-damaged) has the capacity to think.
  • People decide their story and destiny, and these decisions can be changed.

Freedom from historical maladaptations embedded in the childhood script is required in order to become free of inappropriate, inauthentic, and displaced emotions which are not a fair and honest reflection of here-and-now life (such as echoes of childhood suffering, pity-me and other mind games, compulsive behavior, and repetitive dysfunctional life patterns).

The aim of change under TA is to move toward autonomy (freedom from childhood script), spontaneity, intimacy, problem solving as opposed to avoidance or passivity, cure as an ideal rather than merely making progress, learning new choices.

Key ideas of TA

Some core models and concepts are part of TA as follows:

The Ego-State (or Parent-Adult-Child, PAC) model

At any given time, a person experiences and manifests their personality through a mixture of behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

Typically, according to TA, there are three ego-states that people consistently use:

  • Parent (“exteropsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions. For example, a person may shout at someone out of frustration because they learned from an influential figure in childhood the lesson that this seemed to be a way of relating that worked.
  • Adult (“neopsyche”): a state of the ego which is most like a computer processing information and making predictions absent of major emotions that cloud its operation. Learning to strengthen the Adult is a goal of TA. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.
  • Child (“archaeopsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. For example, a person who receives a poor evaluation at work may respond by looking at the floor, and crying or pouting, as they used to when scolded as a child. Conversely, a person who receives a good evaluation may respond with a broad smile and a joyful gesture of thanks. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.

Berne differentiated his Parent, Adult, and Child ego states from actual adults, parents, and children, by using capital letters when describing them. These ego-states may or may not represent the relationships that they act out.

For example, in the workplace, an adult supervisor may take on the Parent role, and scold an adult employee as though they were a Child. Or a child, using their Parent ego-state, could scold their actual parent as though the parent were a Child.

Within each of these ego states are subdivisions. Thus Parental figures are often either more nurturing (permission-giving, security-giving) or more criticizing (comparing to family traditions and ideals in generally negative ways); Childhood behaviours are either more natural (free) or more adapted to others.

These subdivision categorize individuals’ patterns of behaviour, feelings, and ways of thinking, that can be functional (beneficial or positive) or dysfunctional/counterproductive (negative).

Berne states that there are four types of diagnosis of ego states.

They are the :

1. behavioural diagnosis,

2. social diagnosis,

3. historical diagnosis and

4. the phenomenological diagnosis of ego states.

For a complete diagnosis, one needs to complete all four types.

It has been subsequently demonstrated that there is in fact a fifth way of diagnosis.

It is known as the contextual diagnosis of ego states.

For example if a man says, “On July 5th, 2007 the alignment of the planets will create a gravitational field so strong that there will be the biggest tides in half a century”, what ego state would be diagnosed?

If that man was of a disheveled appearance, had not shaven for 2 days and was sitting on a park bench drinking out of a bottle in a brown paper bag what ego state would be diagnosed? Probably some kind of regressed Child ego state.

If that man was in an observatory wearing a white coat and carrying a clip board what ego state would be diagnosed? Probably Adult ego state.

The different contexts for the same statement would tend to result in a different diagnosis. The context in which the statement is made is central to the diagnosis of ego states.

There is no “universal” ego-state; each state is individually and visibly manifested for each person. For example, each Child ego state is unique to the childhood experiences, mentality, intellect, and family of each individual; it is not a generalized childlike state.

Ego states can become contaminated, for example, when a person mistakes Parental rules and slogans, for here-and-now Adult reality, and when beliefs are taken as facts. Or when a person “knows” that everyone is laughing at them because “they always laughed”. This would be an example of a childhood contamination, insofar as here-and-now reality is being overlaid with memories of previous historic incidents in childhood.

Berne suspected that Parent, Adult, and Child ego states might be tied to specific areas of the human brain (an idea that has not been proved).

The three ego state model has been questioned by a TA group in Australia, who have devised a “two ego-state model” as a means of solving perceived theoretical problems:

“The two ego-state model says that there is a Child ego-state and a Parent ego-state, placing the Adult ego-state with the Parent ego-state. […] How we learn to speak, add up and learn how to think is all just copied from our teachers. Just as our morals and values are copied from our parents. There is no absolute truth where facts exist out side a person’s own belief system.”

Transactions and Strokes

  • Transactions are the flow of communication, and more specifically the unspoken psychological flow of communication that runs in parallel. Transactions occur simultaneously at both explicit and psychological levels. Example: sweet caring voice with sarcastic intent. To read the real communication requires both surface and non-verbal reading.
  • Strokes are the recognition, attention or responsiveness that one person gives another. Strokes can be positive (nicknamed “warm fuzzies”) or negative (“cold pricklies”). A key idea is that people hunger for recognition, and that lacking positive strokes, will seek whatever kind they can, even if it is recognition of a negative kind. We test out as children what strategies and behaviours seem to get us strokes, of whatever kind we can get.

People often create pressure in (or experience pressure from) others to communicate in a way that matches their style, so that a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abasement or other childlike responses. Those employees who resist may get removed or labeled as “trouble”.

Transactions can be experienced as positive or negative depending on the nature of the strokes within them. However, a negative transaction is preferred to no transaction at all, because of a fundamental hunger for strokes.

The nature of transactions is important to understanding communication.

Kinds of transactions

There are basically three kinds of transactions: (of which – even if you do not follow yet – worry not, there are examples given further on which clarify the whole by putting theory into application)

  1. Reciprocal/Complementary (the simplest)
  2. Crossed
  3. Duplex/Covert (the most complex)

Reciprocal or Complementary Transactions

A simple, reciprocal transaction occurs when both partners are addressing the ego state the other is in. These are also called complementary transactions.

Example 1

A: “Have you been able to write the report?”
B: “Yes – I’m about to email it to you.” —-(This exchange was Adult to Adult)

Example 2

A: “Would you like to skip this meeting and go watch a film with me instead?”
B: “I’d love to – I don’t want to work anymore, what should we go and see?” (Child to Child)

Example 3

A: “You should have your room tidy by now!” (Parent to Child)
B: “Will you stop hassling me? I’ll do it eventually!” (Child to Parent)

Communication like this can continue indefinitely. (Clearly it will stop at some stage – but this psychologically balanced exchange of strokes can continue for some time).

Crossed Transactions

Communication failures are typically caused by a ‘crossed transaction’ where partners address ego states other than that their partner is in. Consider the above examples jumbled up a bit.

Example 1a:

A: “Have you been able to write that report?” (Adult to Adult)
B: “Will you stop hassling me? I’ll do it eventually!” (Child to Parent)

is a crossed transaction likely to produce problems in the workplace. “A” may respond with a Parent to Child transaction. For instance:

A: “If you don’t change your attitude, you’ll get fired.”

Example 2a:

A: “Is your room tidy yet?” (Parent to Child)
B: “I’m just going to do it, actually.” (Adult to Adult)

is a more positive crossed transaction. However there is the risk that “A” will feel aggrieved that “B” is acting responsibly and not playing their role, and the conversation will develop into:

A: “I can never trust you to do things!” (Parent to Child)
B: “Why don’t you believe anything I say?” (Adult to Adult)

which can continue indefinitely.

Duplex or Covert transactions

Another class of transaction is the ‘duplex’ or ‘covert’ transactions, where the explicit social conversation occurs in parallel with an implicit psychological transaction.

For instance,

A: “I need you to stay late at the office with me.” (Adult words)

body language indicates sexual intent (flirtatious Child)

B: “Of course.” (Adult response to Adult statement).

winking or grinning (Child accepts the hidden motive).

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Phenomena behind the transactions:

Life positions

In TA theory,”Life Position” refers to the general feeling about life (specifically, the unconscious feeling, as opposed to a conscious philosophical position) that colours every dyadic (i.e. person-to-person) transaction.

However, lately, an Australian TA analyst has claimed that in order to better represent the Life Position behind disorders that were not, allegedly, as widespread and/or recognized at the time when TA was conceptualized as they are now (such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder) the above list requires alteration.

The difference between one’s own OK-ness and other’s OK-ness captured by description “I’m OK, You’re not-OK” is proposed to be substituted by description that more accurately captures one’s own feeling (not jumping to conclusions based only on one’s perceived behavior), therefore stating the difference in a new way: “I’m not-OK, but You’re worse”, instead.

Life (or Childhood) Script

  • Script is a life plan, directed to a reward.
  • Script is decisional and responsive; i.e., decided upon in childhood in response to perceptions of the world and as a means of living with and making sense of the world. It is not just thrust upon a person by external forces.
  • Script is reinforced by parents (or other influential figures and experiences).
  • Script is for the most part outside awareness.
  • Script is how we navigate and what we look for, the rest of reality is redefined (distorted) to match our filters.

Each culture, country and people in the world has a Mythos (a Greek word meaning “Legend”), that is, a legend explaining its origins, core beliefs and purpose. According to TA, so do individual people. A person begins writing his/her own life story (script) at a young age, as he/she tries to make sense of the world and his place within it. Although it is revised throughout life, the core story is selected and decided upon typically by age 7. As adults it passes out of awareness. A life script might be “to be hurt many times, and suffer and make others feel bad when I die”, and could result in a person indeed setting himself up for this, by adopting behaviours in childhood that produce exactly this effect. Though Berne identified several dozen common scripts, there are a practically infinite number of them. Though often largely destructive, scripts could as easily be mostly positive or beneficial.

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Redefining and Discounting

  • Redefining means the distortion of reality when we deliberately (but unconsciously) distort things to match our preferred way of seeing the world. Thus a person whose script involves “struggling alone against a cold hard world” may redefine others’ kindness, concluding that others are trying to get something by manipulation.

  • Discounting means to take something as worth less than it is. Thus to give a substitute reaction which does not originate as a here-and-now Adult attempt to solve the actual problem, or to choose not to see evidence that would contradict one’s script. Types of discount can also include: passivity (doing nothing), over-adaptation, agitation, incapacitation, anger and violence.

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* * * * * * * * Injunctions and Drivers: * * * * * * * *

TA identifies twelve key injunctions which people commonly build into their scripts.

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These are injunctions in the sense of being powerful “I can’t/mustn’t …” messages that embed into a child’s belief and life-script: (negative thoughts often haunting people are actually named, categorized, verified and listed)

  • Don’t be (don’t exist)
  • Don’t be who you are
  • Don’t be a child
  • Don’t grow up
  • Don’t make it in your life
  • Don’t do anything!
  • Don’t be important
  • Don’t belong
  • Don’t be close
  • Don’t be well (don’t be sane!)
  • Don’t think
  • Don’t feel.
In addition there is the so-called episcript:
“You should (or deserve to) have this happen in your life, so it doesn’t have to happen to me.” (Magical thinking on the part of the parent(s).)
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Against these, a child is often told other things he/she must do. (thus rooting mania, obsession and compulsive behavior into a personality, since childhood)

There is debate as to whether there are five or six of these ‘drivers’:

  • Please (me/others)!
  • Be perfect!
  • Be Strong!
  • Try Hard!
  • Hurry Up!
  • Be Careful! (is in dispute)

Thus in creating his script, a child will often attempt to juggle these, example: “It’s okay for me to go on living (ignore don’t exist) so long as I try hard“.

This explains why some change is inordinately difficult.

To continue the above example: When a person stops trying hard and relaxes to be with his family, the injunction You don’t have the right to exist which was being suppressed by their script now becomes exposed and a vivid threat. Such an individual may feel a massive psychological pressure which he himself doesn’t understand, to return to trying hard, in order to feel safe and justified (in a childlike way) in existing.

Broadly speaking, scripts can fall into Tragic, Heroic or Banal (or Non-Winner) varieties, depending on their rules.

Ways of Time Structuring:

There are six ways of structuring time by giving and receiving strokes:

  1. Withdrawal
  2. Ritual
  3. Pastimes
  4. Activity
  5. Games
  6. Intimacy

This is sorted in accordance with stroke strength; Intimacy and Games in general allow for the most intensive strokes.

Withdrawal

This means no strokes are being exchanged

Rituals

A ritual is a series of transactions that are complementary (reciprocal), stereotyped and based on social programming. Rituals usually comprise a series of strokes exchanged between two parties.

For instance, two people may have a daily two stroke ritual, where, the first time they meet each day, each one greets the other with a “Hi”. Others may have a four stroke ritual, such as:

A: Hi!

B: Hi! How are you?

A: Getting along. What about you?

B: Fine. See you around.

The next time they meet in the day, they may not exchange any strokes at all, or may just acknowledge each other’s presence with a curt nod.

Some phenomena associated with daily rituals:

  • If a person exchanges fewer strokes than expected, the other person may feel that he is either preoccupied or acting high and mighty.
  • If a person exchanges more strokes than expected, the other person might wonder whether he is trying to butter him up or get on good terms for some vested interests.
  • If two people do not meet for a long time, a backlog of strokes gets built up, so that the next time they meet, they may exchange a large number of strokes to catch up.

Pastimes

A pastime is a series of transactions that is complementary (reciprocal), semi-ritualistic, and is mainly intended as a time-structuring activity. Pastimes have no covert purpose and can usually be carried out only between people on the same wavelength. They are usually shallow and harmless. Pastimes are a type of smalltalk.

Individuals often partake in similar pastimes throughout their entire life, as pastimes are generally very much linked to one’s life script and the games that one often plays. Some pastimes can even be understood as a reward for playing a certain game. For example, Eric Berne in Games People Play discusses how those who play the “Alcoholic” game (which Berne differentiated from alcoholism and alcoholics) often enjoy the “Morning After” pastime in which participants share their most amusing or harrowing hangover stories.

Activities (Work)

Activities in this context mean the individuals work together for a common goal. This may be work, sports or something similar. In contrast to Pastimes, there is a meaningful purpose guiding the interactions, while Pastimes are just about exchanging strokes. Strokes can then be given in the context of the cooperation. Thus the strokes are generally not personal, but related to the activity.

Games

See below.

Intimacy

Intimacy as a way of structuring time allows one to exchange the strongest strokes without playing a Game. Intimacy differs from Games as there is no covert purpose, and differs from Activities as there is no other process going on which defines a context of cooperation. Strokes are personal, relating to the other person, and often unconditional.

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Games & their analysis

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Definition of game:

A game is a series of transactions that is complementary (reciprocal), ulterior, and proceeds towards a predictable outcome. Games are often characterized by a switch in roles of players towards the end. Games are usually played by Parent, Adult and Child ego states, and games usually have a fixed number of players; however, an individual’s role can shift, and people can play multiple roles.

Berne identified dozens of games, noting that, regardless of when, where or by whom they were played, each game tended towards very similar structures in how many players or roles were involved, the rules of the game, and the game’s goals.

Each game has a payoff for those playing it, such as the aim of earning sympathy, satisfaction, vindication, or some other emotion that usually reinforces the life script.

The antithesis of a game, that is, the way to break it, lies in discovering how to deprive the actors of their payoff.

Students of transactional analysis have discovered that people who are accustomed to a game are willing to play it even as a different “actor” from what they originally were.

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Analysis of a game:

One important aspect of a game is its number of players. Games may be two handed (that is, played by two players), three handed (that is, played by three players), or many handed.

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Three other quantitative variables are often useful to consider for games:

  • Flexibility: The ability of the players to change the currency of the game (that is, the tools they use to play it). In a flexible game, players may shift from words, to money, to parts of the body.

  • Tenacity: The persistence with which people play and stick to their games and their resistance to breaking it.

  • Intensity: Easy games are games played in a relaxed way. Hard games are games played in a tense and aggressive way.

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Either consciously or unconsciously played, a game’s ulterior motives can be damaging.

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Based on the degree of acceptability and potential harm, games are classified as:

  • First Degree Games are socially acceptable in the players’ social circle.

  • Second Degree Games are games that the players would like to conceal, though they may not cause irreversible damage.

  • Third Degree Games are games that could lead to drastic harm to one or more of the parties concerned.

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Games are also studied based on their:

  • Aim

  • Roles

  • Social and Psychological Paradigms

  • Dynamics

  • Advantages to players (Payoffs)

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Contrast with rational (mathematical) games

Transactional game analysis is fundamentally different from rational or mathematical game analysis in the following senses:

  • The players do not always behave rationally in transactional analysis, but behave more like real people.
  • Their motives are often ulterior.

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Some commonly found games:

this is a helpful tool for you to realize which games you might be playing (perhaps unwillingly) and to identify games other people might be playing with you. Either socially or in more personal relationships..

Here are some of the most commonly found themes of games described in Games People Play by Eric Berne:

  • YDYB: Why Don’t You, Yes But.
  • IFWY: If It Weren’t For You
  • WAHM: Why does this Always Happen to Me? (setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy)
  • SWYMD: See What You Made Me Do
  • UGMIT: You Got Me Into This
  • LHIT: Look How Hard I’ve Tried
  • ITHY: I’m Only Trying to Help You
  • LYAHF: Let’s You and Him Fight (staging a love triangle)
  • NIGYYSOB / NIGYSOB: Now I’ve Got You, You Son Of a Bitch
  • RAPO: A woman falsely cries ‘rape’ or threatens to – related to Buzz Off Buster

Berne argued that games are not played logically; rather, one person’s Parent state might interact with another’s Child, rather than as Adult to Adult.

Games can also be analysed according to the Karpman drama triangle, that is, by the roles of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer. The ‘switch’ is then when one of these having allowed stable roles to become established, suddenly switches role. The Victim becomes a Persecutor, and throws the previous Persecutor into the Victim role, or the Rescuer suddenly switches to become a Persecutor (“You never appreciate me helping you!”).

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Examples of Games:

Why Don’t You/Yes But

The first such game theorized was Why don’t you/Yes, but in which one player (White) would pose a problem as if seeking help, and the other player(s) (Black) would offer solutions (the “Why don’t you?” suggestion). This game was noticed as many patients played it in therapy and psychiatry sessions, and inspired Berne to identify other interpersonal “games”.

White would point out a flaw in every Black player’s solution (the “Yes, but” response), until they all gave up in frustration. For example, if someone’s life script was “to be hurt many times, and suffer and make others feel bad when I die” a game of “Why Don’t You, Yes But” might proceed as follows:

White: I wish I could lose some weight.
Black: Why don’t you join a gym?
W: Yes but, I can’t afford the payments for a gym.
B: Why don’t you speed walk around your block after you get home from work?
W: Yes but, I don’t dare walk alone in my neighborhood after dark.
B: Why don’t you take the stairs at work instead of the elevator?
W: Yes but, after my knee surgery, it hurts too much to walk that many flights of stairs.
B: Why don’t you change your diet?
W: Yes but, my stomach is sensitive and I can tolerate only certain foods.

“Why Don’t You, Yes But” can proceed indefinitely, with any number of players in the Black role, until Black’s imagination is exhausted, and she can think of no other solutions. At this point, White “wins” by having stumped Black. After a silent pause following Black’s final suggestion, the game is often brought to a formal end by a third role, Green, who makes a comment such as, “It just goes to show how difficult it is to lose weight.”

The secondary gain for White was that he could claim to have justified his problem as insoluble and thus avoid the hard work of internal change; and for Black, to either feel the frustrated martyr (“I was only trying to help”) or a superior being, disrespected (“the patient was uncooperative”).

Superficially, this game can resemble Adult to Adult interaction (people seeking information or advice), but more often, according to Berne, the game is played by White’s helpless Child, and Black’s lecturing Parent ego states.

“Drunk” or “Alcoholic”

Another example of Berne’s approach was his identification of the game of “Drunk” or “Alcoholic.” As he explained it, the transactional object of the drunk, aside from the personal pleasure obtained by drinking, could be seen as being to set up a situation where the Child can be severely scolded not only by the internal parent but by any parental figures in the immediate environment who are interested enough to oblige. The pattern is shown to be similar to that in the non-alcoholic game “Schlemiel,” in which mess-making attracts attention and is a pleasure-giving way for White to lead up to the crux, which is obtaining forgiveness by Black.

There are a variety of organizations involved in playing ‘Alcoholic’, some of them national or even international in scope, others local. Many of them publish rules for the game. Nearly all of them explain how to play the role of Alcoholic: take a drink before breakfast, spend money allotted for other purposes, etc. They also explain the function of the Rescuer role in the game. Alcoholics Anonymous, for example, continues playing the actual game but concentrates on inducing the Alcoholic to take the role of Rescuer. Former Alcoholics are preferred because they know how the game goes, and hence are better qualified to play the supporting role of Rescuer than people who have never played before.

According to this type of analysis, with the rise of rescue organizations which publicize that alcoholism is a disease rather than a transactional game, alcoholics have been taught to play “Wooden Leg”, a different game in which an organic ailment absolves White of blame.

The script for “Drunk”

Roles: Victim (addict), Persecutor (usually spouse), Rescuer (often family member of same sex), Patsy (enabler), Connection (supplier)

Pastimes: Martini (how much I used) and morning after (look what you made me do). Many addicts find unlimited access to these pastimes in organizations such as AA.

The game is played from the Victim role as “see how bad I’ve been; see if you can stop me.” The purpose is self-punishment and the garnering of negative (persecution) strokes and positive ones of forgiveness, and the vindication of an “I’m not OK” existential position. The game often becomes elaborated into a self-destructive life script, especially if the parents were also chemically dependent.

Effective antithesis and cure can be achieved through psychotherapeutic script analysis, redecision, relearning.

Racket

A racket is the dual strategy of getting “permitted feelings,” while covering up feelings which we truly feel, but which we regard as being “not allowed”. More technically, a racket feeling is “a familiar set of emotions, learned and enhanced during childhood, experienced in many different stress situations, and maladaptive as an adult means of problem solving”.

A racket is then a set of behaviours which originate from the childhood script rather than in here-and-now full Adult thinking, which (1) are employed as a way to manipulate the environment to match the script rather than to actually solve the problem, and (2) whose covert goal is not so much to solve the problem, as to experience these racket feelings and feel internally justified in experiencing them.

Examples of racket and racket feelings: “Why do I meet good guys who turn out to be so hurtful”, or “He always takes advantage of my goodwill”. The racket is then a set of behaviours and chosen strategies learned and practiced in childhood which in fact help to cause these feelings to be experienced. Typically this happens despite their own surface protestations and hurt feelings, out of awareness and in a way that is perceived as someone else’s fault. One covert pay-off for this racket and its feelings, might be to gain in a guilt free way, continued evidence and reinforcement for a childhood script belief that “People will always let you down”.

In other words, rackets and games are devices used by a person to create a circumstance where they can legitimately feel the racket feelings, thus abiding by and reinforcing their Childhood script. They are always a substitute for a more genuine and full adult emotion and response which would be a more appropriate response to the here-and-now situation.

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Becoming a Person

This abstract discusses the final steps of the process on becoming a fully grown person, independent, interdependent and unique, which comes from the acceptance of certain factors.

Based on 4 very influential theories.. merging a theory from each sector: Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality, Physics..

or as Capra called it:

An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism...


The final acceptance that man is nothing more, or nothing less, than a homo sapien, basically implies that there comes a point where man fully accepts his pure self without displaying (consciously or unconsciously) theaters of control; A collection of behaviors a human has been accustomed to getting certain responses from and thus repeats them in order to control others. Either this is done openly and knowingly, or at a more subtle (less aware) level as a way of life, but nonetheless controlling.

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Human:

“The basic discovery of psychotherapy seems to be – if our observations as human beings have any validity – that we do not need to be afraid of being merely homo sapiens.

It is the discovery that if we can add to the sensory and visceral experiencing, which is characteristic of the whole animal kingdom, the gift of a free and undistorted awareness of which only the human animal seems fully capable. We have an organism that is beautifully and constructively realistic. We have then an organism which is aware of the demands of the culture as it is of its own physiological demands for food or sex, which is just as aware of its desire for friendly relationships as it is of its desire to aggrandize itself, which is as aware of its delicate and sensitive tenderness towards others, as it is of its hostilities towards others.

When man’s unique capacity of awareness is thus functioning freely and fully, we find that we have, not an animal whom we must fear, not a beast who must be controlled, but an organism able to achieve, through the remarkable integrative capacity of its central nervous system, a balanced, realistic, self enhancing, other enhancing, behavior, as a resultant of all these elements of awareness. To put it another way, when man is less than fully man, when he denies to awareness various aspects of his experience, then indeed we have all too often a reason to fear his behavior, as the present world situation testifies. But when he is most fully man, when he is a complete organism, when awareness of experience, that peculiarly human attribute, is most fully operating, then he is to be trusted, then his behavior is constructive. It will not always be conforming. It will be individualized.”

( Taken by: A psychotherapist’s view on Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers * )

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This behavior and state of emotional maturity as well as grounded focused awareness derives from acceptance as well as growth.

Growth that comes when a human stops playing games, games of power or control, either consciously or unconsciously.

These games were first stated by psychiatrist Eric Berne, in his book: Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, in 1964. 

The book describes both functional and dysfunctional social interactions.

In the first half of the book, Berne introduces Transactional Analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions.

He describes three roles or ego states known as the Child, the Parent, and the Adult and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these roles.

He discusses procedures, rituals, and pastimes in social behavior, in light of this method of analysis.

For example, a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abased obedience, tantrums, or other childlike responses from his employees.

The second half of the book constructs a catalog of a series of “games” in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of “transactions” which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive.

Not all interactions or transactions are part of a game.

Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.

Therefore, in order for true interaction to occur, both individuals have to be in a grown up state, without trying to gain control. Having nothing to win and nothing to lose, communication can be honest and equal.

Unless we break the circle, we will continue playing the same game over and over again, having the same responses and experiences, over and over again.

We think we’re relating to other people–but actually we’re all playing games.

Transactional Analysis is discussed here in detail.

Transactional Analysis

& popular culture

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New Age author James Redfield has acknowledged Harris and Berne as important influences in his best-seller The Celestine Prophecy. The protagonists in the novel survive by striving (and succeeding) in escaping from “control dramas” that resemble the games of TA.)

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Redfield describes that “control dramas” are basically theaters of control (Transactional Analysis), although he suggests (in his book “The Celestine Prophecy”) that ulterior motives behind theaters of control are not only psychological but manipulating in terms of controlling energy.

..the link to Redfield’s insightful interview on Transactional Analysis as well as what happens after man is freed from playing games, can be found in this post

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To become a person, an individual, one has to look inwards as well as outwards. The internal search (psychotherapy) meets external observation and appreciation (physics) and thus man can become a medium, having a balance between the two.

It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking, the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.
These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually
meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.

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Werner Heisenberg

Introducing at this point: the theory of energetics,

which supports that energy is under transformation, thus evolving

(it sounds familiar doesn’t it? it’s based on the 2nd law of Thermodynamics..)

Everyone realizes, at one level or another, that manipulation is a feature of common human psychology. Manipulation occurs either due to subconscious or conscious Psychological ulterior motives (Transactional Analysis) which later on was studied and related to energy flow (notice that when you are having a conversation with someone who insists, how you are drained from strength, stamina, energy). In Redfield’s interview he clarifies the connection between Transactional Analysis and energetics.

Not only in terms of interaction but also in terms of evolution, when a personality evolves, it becomes witness of a change occurring, either around or inside him/her.

A fully grown individual who does not – consciously or unconsciously – play games, through the process of maturing, gradually realizes that everything is interconnected. A realization deriving from empirical knowledge, when a human has overcome his/her own personal dramas and is thus receptive to observing, clearly, the processes occurring inside him/her and around him/her.. and gradually it becomes evident that everything contains the same energy flow.


Not only is this felt and described in various literary masterpieces but is also proven with the connection of Western and Eastern philosophy.

Such a book is “The Tao of Physics” a book by physicist Fritjof Capra, published in 1975 by Shambhala Publications (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism) which is attached to this post and can be downloaded by clicking here:  The_Tao_of_Physics

“I had gone through a long training in theoretical physics and had done several years of research. At the same time, I had become very interested in Eastern mysticism and had begun to see the parallels to modern physics. I was particularly attracted to the puzzling aspects of Zen which reminded me of the puzzles in quantum theory.”

Fritjof Capra

hm.. what is energetics?

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Flow:

The basics of energy flow is broken down in the science of “Energetics”, mentioned here:

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Energetics:

(What is it?)

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Energetics is the scientific study of energy under transformation. Because energy flows at all scales, from the quantum level, to the biosphere and cosmos, energetics is therefore a very broad discipline, encompassing for example thermodynamics, chemistry, biological energetics, biochemistry  and ecological energetics.


Lehninger contended that when the science of thermodynamics deals with energy exchanges of all types, it can be called energetics.

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Aims:

In general, energetics is concerned with seeking principles that accurately describe the useful and non-useful tendencies of energy flows and storage under transformation.

‘Principles’ are understood here as phenomena which behave like historical invariants under multiple observations.
When some critical number of people have observed such invariance, such a principle is usually then given the status of a ‘fundamental law’ of science.

Like in all science, whether or not a theorem or principle is considered a fundamental law appears to depend on how many people agree to such a proposition. The ultimate aim of energetics therefore is the description of fundamental laws.

Philosophers of science have held that the fundamental laws of thermodynamics can be treated as the laws of energetics. Through the clarification of these laws energetics aims to produce reliable predictions about energy flow and storage transformations at any scale; nano to macro.

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Principles

of energetics:

Odum proposed 3 further energetic principles and one corollary that take energy hierarchy into account. The first four principles of energetics are related to the same numbered laws of thermodynamics, and are expanded upon in that article. The final four principles are taken from the ecological energetics of H.T. Odum.

Principles of energetics:

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* Zeroth principle of energetics

If two thermodynamic systems A and B are in thermal equilibrium, and B and C are also in thermal equilibrium, then A and C are in thermal equilibrium.

* First principle of energetics

The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added to the system by heating, minus the amount lost in the form of work done by the system on its surroundings.

* Second principle of energetics

The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value.

* Third principle of energetics

As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value or zero for the case of a perfect crystalline substance.

* Fourth principle of energetics

There seem to be two opinions on the fourth principle of energetics:


– The Onsager reciprocal relations are sometimes called the fourth law of thermodynamics. As the fourth law of thermodynamics Onsager reciprocal relations would constitute the fourth principle of energetics.


– In the field of ecological energetics H.T. Odum considered maximum power, the fourth principle of energetics. Odum also proposed the Maximum empower principle as a corollary of the maximum power principle, and considered it to describe the propensities of evolutionary self-organization.

* Fifth principle of energetics

The energy quality factor increases hierarchically. From studies of ecological food chains, Odum proposed that energy transformations form a hierarchical series measured by Transformity increase (Odum 2000, p. 246). Flows of energy develop hierarchical webs in which inflowing energies interact and are transformed by work processes into energy forms of higher quality that feedback amplifier actions, helping to maximise the power of the system” — (Odum 1994, p. 251)

* Sixth principle of energetics

Material cycles have hierarchical patterns measured by the energy/mass ratio that determines its zone and pulse frequency in the energy hierarchy. (Odum 2000, p. 246). M.T. Brown and V. Buranakarn write, “Generally, energy per mass is a good indicator of recycle-ability, where materials with high energy per mass are more recyclable”

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* * * * * * *

All this.. is simply a collection of ideas and theories, stated for the sake of philosophical pondering, therefore open to discussion. Everything that has been stated in this post should be taken into mere consideration and not complete acceptance.

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footnotes:

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Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

Self Destruction

this is a little something I wrote when I was 17..


Lost the Darkness Lost the Light

Lost everything at Sight.

 

It’s the notion, it’s the potion,

the sickness and the cure,

the pain combined with pleasure

in the thickness of the air..

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Lost in darkness lost in Lust

Lost in Glory.

There there’s Light.

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I ruined everything at sight.

Feed on illness of my heart

and the vengeance of the night.

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When you feel it and you know it, what you have to do is go,

and you fight it and you kill it, yet the answer is still No.

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The beginning and the end.

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The thin line of sanity, misplaced.

We live in that illusion

cause it makes us all feel safe

well it’s a choice like any other

that you sometimes have to make.

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A false sense of security, a blanket much outstretched.

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The devil by your side is smiling,

because you are playing the game he invented.

You live inside the hell you have created.

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Too tired to fight.

Too hurt to leave.

So you go on.

Living inside the heaven you created.

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Commit the crime inside your soul,

unable to carry it out in the world.

Then rage rises up to choke.

At the boiling point of sadness,

where water turns to steam.

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Lost for words, find yourself.

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The illusion of choice

The illusion of choice or control may be crucial to our motivational systems and feelings of well-being for some adaptive reasons deriving from natural selection. Perhaps it is only the belief in internal control that keeps one actively trying to manipulate the environment, which in turn is crucial for survival.

Who are you? How do we form an identity? How many types of identity are there?

Social Identity, which is the part of an individual’s self, is a concept which derives from his/her membership in a social group, together with the value and emotional significance attached to that membership.

Ethnic Identity, which is the part of an individual’s self knowledge that concerns his/her membership in a particular ethnic group.

Adolescents who identify with both mainstream culture & their ethnic group, create what is called a bicultural or integrated identity.

Those who maintain a strong ethnic identity, maintain a separated identity.

Individuals who give up their ethnic heritage in favor of mainstream culture are said to be: assimilated.

Those who feel weak ties to their own ethnic culture as well as the mainstream culture, feel marginal, since they are outsiders in both cultures. Or, they adapt and become Bi-cultural.

BiCultural Competence is the successful functioning in both one’s culture of origin as well as in the new culture.

Under the circumstances and according to those circumstances of a culture, the according corresponding social norms emerge.

Social norms are rules and expectations about how group members should behave.

Whereas social role refers to the set of norms that apply people in a particular position..

Internal attributions (moods, attitudes, personality, ability, health, preferences) and external attributions (pressure, money, weather, social situation) in turn usually determine Stability Vs Instability.


Social exchange is broken down in terms of interaction, on the basis of costs and benefits to each person, of possible ways he or she can interact. Even when unaware, the process of interaction creates rewards or benefits (information, smiles, approval, money, feelings) and costs (boredom, disapproval, being misunderstood) for the people involved.

Variations in speech other than the actual verbal contact, called para-language, carry a great deal of meaning. Voice pitch, loudness, rhythm, inflection, hesitations convey information.

This is why sometimes we intuitively “know” what the other person is about, or what is saying, or what he/she really means.

Multiple channels are the three channels of communication, verbal, visible, paralinguistic and provides most information about a person’s real emotions. Conflicts across channels are particularly important in interpreting apparently deceptive communications.

In conflicting situations, the non verbal communication is the one relied upon most heavily. The instinct as one can calls it.

People tend to imagine that everyone responds the way they do. They tend to see their own behavior as typical. This tendency to exaggerate is called the false consensus effect.

…….. Self Regulation:

 

Self Regulation, refers to the ways in which people control and direct their own actions.

EVERY

SITUATION IS DIFFERENT

and therefore needs to be assessed according to the particular Self Concept.*


An aspect of Self Regulation involves self-complexity, which is the way people think of themselves according to the different groups they belong. For example, one can be a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father and a man, at the same time.

Another aspect is self efficacy, which is the expectations that we hold about our abilities to accomplish certain tasks. The smoker will not stop smoking unless he believes he can do it, however much he may want to stop.

Self Awareness, leads people to evaluate their behavior against a standard and to set an adjustment process in motion, for meeting the standard they set for themselves.

Self Attention, causes people to compare themselves to standards such as physical appearance, intellectual performance, athletic prowess or moral integrity.

We attempt to conform to the standard, evaluate our behavior against the standard, decide that it other matches the standard or does not and continue adjusting and comparing, until we meet the standard or until we give up.


An accurate *Self concept is knowing who we are and what we want to do.

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United Kingdom

The only reason I miss England is because of the randomness and the people I’ve met there.

The okayness concerning all absurd appearance and preference is shocking, at first, but then gives you enough room not only to become yourself but to outstretch your limitations and become a person you are not, as in living in places you would normally consider below standard, feed on cheese and toast or green beans and peas. Never cooking, vintage clothing, underground clubbing, salsa nights, walks in the park..

Going to the supermarket with a friend and ending up just browsing and not buying.. Walking in the never-ending flat streets at night (sober) and realising you are the only sober one – whilst crossing a wave of out-of-control lunatics, attending the gay parade even if you are not gay, just for the heck of it. People-watching, bar tending, matching your outfits in a creative obscure way – yet in perfect understanding with mancunian fashion law, drinking pints of draft in dodgy pubs, walking in the street and suddenly being engulfed in pungent fish-n’-chips oily stink (as if the particles of deep-fried oil actually penetrate your nostrils), the vast wide variety of sandwiches available, room with a view, the smell of rugs everywhere, endless escalators and elevators, shopping malls, cute cafes..

Roaming around english country in a train for hours.. green endless fields, silly cows, remote essex, intellectually posh york, rave sheffield, hen-night blackpool, tubed london, yoga manchester, bmx derby, everything that ends with shire, fucking stoke-on-trent, damned crew and alsager, birming ham, eggs on toast, baked beans and hash browns, paper-cup tea held by frozen fingers, smoothies, cordial, woollies, hoodies. The rain..

Leg warmers, King’s cross, piping hot tea no milk, Liverpool street, the tube, pedestrian streets and bicycle traffic lights, Brick Lane and 1001 thoughts..

Penny Lane and rainy skies, Paddington and our backyard with a small marble statue right in the middle of it, high-tech minute-small kitchen and nutella in the refrigerator.

A scriptwriter, an artist, an anthropologist and an economist, living under the same roof, combining perspective and sharing moments.

Smoking cigarettes, drinking earl gray tea with milk (even if not supposed to put milk in earl gray..) creative afternoons, living-room meeting at nights, talking endlessly about philosophy, getting lost inside our thoughts, watching movies, cuddling under soft blankets, deep sleep, Morpheus and the traveling lucid dreaming of Don Juan..

Going out. Laughing loudly inside the the bus, in the middle of the street, wherever. Nothing matters here. There’s always someone louder or weirder. No one is paying attention to you. You can be anyone.

Soho’s record stores (somewhere/something inbetween Empire Records and High Fidelity), So-High-Soho and the weird assortment of arbitrary stuff it sells.. Snowflakes on the tip of your tongue. The smell of skunk on your fingers. Constantly feeling cold. Even if wearing layers and layers of clothing. Getting lost in the rain. Hurrying home. Putting the kettle on to make some home-free tea..

Feeling free. Feeling different and individual, even if within a whole.

Hyde Park. Walking on moist grass and being able to hear it. Licorice smoking rolling papers. Humid air. Breathing-in fog.

Loosing yourself inside Hyde Park and feeling ridiculous. Night falls and mist covers the park like a mystery blanket taken out from a Sherlock Holmes story.

Being in love from a distance.

Missing Home. Missing the sun.

Making the return home so much more worth it..

Being young. Feeling creative..

Growing up..

Being content.

Forever.

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The answer

There must be a good reason why certain cities, certain places, inspire such loathing and dread. There must be some kind of perpetual murder going on in these places. The people are of the same race as you, they go about their business as people do anywhere, they build the same sort of house, no better, no worse, they have the same system of education, the same currency, the same newspapers – and yet, they are absolutely different from the other people you know and the whole atmosphere is different. It’s almost like looking at yourself in another incarnation. You know, with a most disturbing certitude, that what governs life is not money, not politics, not religion, not training, not race, not language, not customs, but something else. Something you are trying to throttle all the time and which is really throttling you, because otherwise you wouldn’t be terrified all of a sudden and wonder how you were going to escape.

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taken by:

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.

Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published in Paris in 1938.

The novel was subsequently banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.

A lifetime

I wish I could take photographs of this place.. I wish I could somewhat, someway record this. To arrest this, exactly as it is.

As simple as it may sound, life is good when you are doing what you want to do and life is suffocating when you are forced to live a life that does not suit you.

This moment, which captures and encloses an entire lifestyle, this choice of living, is where I belong.

But for how long I can postpone I do not know. It doesn’t seem fair. As if all this is still temporary, even though years have gone by… This feels like home. But I will always be an outsider. Even if I am inside of all this.

I fear, the only thing I do really fear of, is that I am wrong, in my thinking, that one can survive unaided. A quest for company? Far from it. It is the fear that what I want to do, will ultimately be my own downfall.

Solace, is beautiful.

To be alone, is for me the greatest luxury. To admire the wise manners of nature, how there is a balance within cruelty and purity. Justice. The magnitude of accepting life as it is and not some double-coated illusion. To be content within ones self.

Relaxed, at ease, light, yet anchored. Grounded yet flowing. And I suppose that’s what it’s all about. Flow. Occurrences, instances, all these fragments that put-together, constitute the moving picture of a lifetime.

Life is all about flow..

Some things you control, some far from it. It all comes and goes. The good days and the bad come, and go.. and when the wave washes away all that’s left is the small shaped stones and shells, slowly morphing into sand.

That’s all that’s left, I suppose.

Multi-coloured pixel sand, in numerous variations..

Sometimes we are a shore, hosting different shells. Friends. On occasion, a big chunky shell washes up in your shore and throws you out of balance. I think that is called Love. Initially.

And shells can stay in between sand for ages you know. They become part of the scenery. They co-exist, in what seems eternal, as the waves wash in and out, shaping them, together.

But every now and then a shell wants to be more, or less even. For which reason, I have yet not fully understood… other than.. ambition?

This, and many other, have led me to the assumption, that one is better off alone, to be engraving his course, collecting along the way, moving towards something / somewhere (where one finds substance), where one finds peace.

Surely there are moments better shared. And this is why we have family and this is why we have acquaintances and this is why we are intrigued to meet and get close to people (in any way), even though we are not lacking anything.

And somewhere along the way we lose hope. In people.

You see, I see, that animals have respect for one another. There are some ground rules, never to be disregarded. They are a given.

Humans on the other hand, even though are bestowed with the gift of social conscience, we chose to look past it and feed other “virtues” (needs, traumas, fucked up mental knots) which are washed up in the most random of situations.

Why bother with human contact, either friendship or any form of social exchange, if the world has become one big clinic of psychotherapy where you say Hello and in response you get a paragraph of emotional trauma, blame, guilt and anger. It’s best you follow your own path, course-correcting along the way, feeling lighter, more assertive, more composed, as you grow.

Then times change and your ever-eager, ever-curious self wants to discover more, to feed, to move further.

So you end up being in need of assistance, some other complex assortment of characteristics to observe, share, attempt to approach – in variation of ways – surely.

Dare I sound as idle and naive as to be thankful to have lived so many diverse moments, sharing silence, sharing the sun, where comfort and this shared unity is present.

But where passion is, then so is line of error and sooner or later one of the two will fall out of line.

Out of line, out of order.. Dysfunctional. Insufficient. Problematic. One finds ways towards decline. As if it is interlaced in human instinct to disappoint one another. As if we find pleasure when things turn sour. (or not. But then again, why did you let it go so far? Why do you care, even? Do you choose a life less lifeless? Or do you rather hurt as much as you love?) Where does the pleasure end and pain begins?

And this is a never ending circle. One does to another, another to another, and we end up with broken telephone lines, tangled into ill-communication.

Baggage. Passed from one journey to the next….

If there could be an animation describing this exchange then Imagine the common lighter. No one recalls buying one, yet you end up having someone else’s.. People get into relationships – in a healthy mental state – and at some point in life, during one of these serious relationships, someone imposes their whims and turns your head inside out (we all make a mistakes, become victims of wrong judgment, we live – we learn) and so the next person, which is in a healthy mental state, ends up paying for what the previous person did. Ghosts from the past do not allow someone to be unbiased.. and so on and so forth.. paying it forward. This circle of excess luggage has to stop and people need to recover, mend themselves before sailing into another adventure..

It is all so functional. So automatic. So absolute. A self-fulfilling process? I refuse to accept so.

Man can be a creature of creativity, of greatness. Surely these self-destructive tycoons, weigh him down into the pitfall of his gloom, his own worst enemy. But all it takes is a crumb of self respect (usually down there at rock bottom) and a pinch of determination, to break the cycle. To be self-sufficient. To mend all broken links and stitch the skin back together. Until it heals.

Even if one heals, and is on his lonesome track, he tends to care for others, Since man is both an independent as well as an interdependent being.. And others might be lighter (in conscience) or heavier (residue of pain), further ahead, or left behind, others closer, others further, adding to one’s life, but nonetheless holding them back. Even if you get rid of your own baggage, you are forced and weighed by the other person’s luggage.

Trying, to take a step back, to see the bigger picture, to see the show behind the curtains, is a never ending battle. Even if achieved, each person sees what they chose to see.

Consequently this adds variation, interpretation, spice.

But it is far more fulfilling, as well as tempting, to communicate with some, on the same level of understanding, boldness, bluntness and raw elegance. When one puts down a piece of the puzzle and the other one knows which piece to put next to it, instead of simply turning their sachet upside down and laying all of their mixed unmatched odd pieces, on the floor..

These statements are real. And have led me to the bleak conclusion, that I can not be with anyone, truly, for I value life too much. For I appreciate the sea too much. For I enjoy wilderness too much. And everything else would always come second..

No person could ever survive, for I remain compulsive even if terribly composed. Compulsive.. Impulsive.. For I give, not to be given to, not to be thanked, but to be silently and internally, secretly even, appreciated.

I find no point in endless discussions about change. Change is something that happens, not talked about. If you accept you accept for what is, and not for what it isn’t. If lucky enough, you get to see a side of man which is private, tender, unguarded. And then, there, is the final trial. The test of all tests. To play with the cards you have been dealt, no hidden aces. You know yourself, you know them all. You are the vicar and the victim, in one instance. The judge and the accused. There.. you either win, or lose it all.

Why jeopardize one’s fearless flight, one’s perfect composure, to become disarrayed?

Why not choose to glide through life in ice-skates, seeing people, catching glimpses, forever moving, ever changing, enriching.. Living.

Wild.

Untamed.

We the people (WARNING: pessimistic)

We, the people. The delegates of a fallen empire…

The ones forced to subsist. To endure the consequences, of their sheer megalomania.

The ones raised, to become. Nurtured, with a false identity. Cultivated to believe in power and prevail in dominance. Raised, bred, to conquer, now assigned to the disgraceful task of straightforward survival. Sent out to live, amongst the ruins. Convicted. To lose all authority, all valor and all honor, committed the crime of all crimes, acceptance. Breeding a generation of defeated.

Entrusted with the very last crumbs of wisdom, morality, humanity, integrity, decency, responsibility… Appointed Kings of a rotten empire, we are the fallen.

Designated drivers of an unrestrained monster… we struggle daily to kill our sentiments and drink the pain away. Forget ourselves in becoming more and more apathetic. Ignorant. Lulling our senses and poisoning our brain. All this, to turn into one of them. To fit in the herd of followers.

Questions not raised, emotions not felt, sympathy forgotten, empathy disregarded.

We are led to forget our Self and be embroidered into some fabrication we do not control. Consumerism is devouring our souls while our morality is degenerated into decay. We are molded into one, one unity, one mass, ghosts that have no willpower. We are one. The nail that sticks out will be stricken, again and again until nailed down. Flattened out.

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Mornings

Good Morning

The word “Morning” may be used in a strictly personal sense, to refer to the period immediately following waking up, irrespective of the current time of day.

 

In this sense, morning encompasses the (mostly menial) prerequisites for full productivity and life in public (i.e. cleaning, a morning meal—often breakfast, coffee, dressing, etc).

The boundaries of such morning periods are by necessity idiosyncratic, but they are typically considered to have ended on reaching a state of full readiness for the day’s productive activity.

er…full readiness?

Okay so you wake up looking like a mess (which in my situation, is usually the case). How do you attain “full readiness” after 5 hours of sleep? How on earth do you stimulate the senses?


There is only one brain link possible in my head, accompanying the word “Morning”..

The health effects of coffee have been studied to determine how coffee drinking affects humans.

Coffee contains several compounds which are known to affect human body chemistry. The coffee bean itself contains chemicals which are mild psychotropics for humans as a defense mechanism of the Coffee plant. These chemicals are toxic in large doses, or even in their normal amount when consumed by many creatures which may otherwise have threatened the beans in the wild.

Numerous studies show that this vastly popular stimulating beverage offers significant benefits to mind and body. Coffee’s stimulating effects are due to its caffeine content. An analysis of caffeine studies performed at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research concluded that at around 300 milligrams per day, caffeine improves mood, vigilance, alertness and an overall sense of well being.

This translates into two or three average strength cups of coffee per day.

Coffee stimulates the flow of blood in the brain, and invigorates the mind.

It enhances alertness and motivation, facilitates thought formation and concentration, and decreases mental fatigue. Within the daily dosage range of 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, coffee increases general happiness and feelings of pleasure, and increases positive mood overall. Coffee awakens the senses.

Do you still wonder why those ancient people used to worship the coffee bean.. ?

Cultivation of the coffee bean originated in Ethiopia, in approximately 850 C.E. Farming of the coffee plant then spread to Arabia, where it was first mentioned in writing around 900 C.E. The Arabians guarded it carefully, but some plants were eventually smuggled out to the Dutch, who kept a few plants for gardens in the Netherlands. The Americas were first introduced to the plants around 1723. South America is now responsible for over 50% of the world’s total coffee production.

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Then again.. there is the dark side..

“..coffee stimulates your adrenal glands, which makes you feel like you could take a bullet and eat glass. When the adrenaline runs dry, you feel like you’ve been running a marathon, which leads you to look for more coffee to get those glands pumping again. After a few rides on the adrenal roller-coaster, you crash. You might think all of this probably takes a while, but it takes about seven days to become addicted to caffeine.”


“Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist. This means it prevents adenosine from doing its job. Your brain is filled with keys which fit specific keyholes. Adenosine is one of those keys, but caffeine can fit in the same keyhole. When caffeine gets in there, it keeps adenosine from getting in. Adenosine does a lot of stuff all throughout  your body, but the most noticeable job it has is to suppress your nervous system. With caffeine stuck in the keyhole, adenosine can’t calm you down. It can’t make you drowsy. It can’t get you to shut up. That crazy wired feeling you get when you drink a lot of coffee is what it feels like when your brain can’t turn itself off.”

more found here: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/02/22/coffee/

 

So it’s best you decide when exactly is the right time, for a cup of sin.

 

“Regular use of caffeine produces no benefit to alertness, energy, or function. Regular caffeine users are simply staving off caffeine withdrawal with every dose – using caffeine just to return them to their baseline. This makes caffeine a net negative  for  alertness, or neutral at best if use is regular enough to avoid any withdrawal.”

– Neurologist Stephen Novella from his blog, Neurologica


………………………………………………………so what about mornings?…

Best kick-start for the day is… ? Breakfast is the first meal of the day, usually consumed in the morning (relevant to time of wakefulness).

The word is a compound of “break” and “fast”, referring to the conclusion of fasting since the previous day’s last meal.

Breakfast meals vary widely in different cultures around the world, but often include a carbohydrate such as cereal or rice, fruit and/or vegetable, protein, sometimes dairy, and beverage.

Nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, and weight.

So basically.. all you need to spark up your entire mood is:

… good coffee, good music, sunshine.

* great Morning music, can be found at:   Radio Paradise

Have a Great Day

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Bohemian

For some reason, people need to tag other people.. categorize them into social groups, in order to be able to understand them. In reality, one is no different from another and we all live knowing we are equal, even though each person has a certain individuality – a line of thought, a character, a certain manner.

Since childhood it’s been a long journey, with ups and downs and everything changing, evolving, collapsing, re-building, constructing, creating.. hurting, loving, living.

Moving away from the mainstream consuming lifestyle and looking into a simpler way of living, a life full of ethnic music, ethnic colors, ethnic flavors, all sorts of books, paintings, artifacts, various cultures, different components of a well blended interlaced societal mix, seemed like something inevitable, to me at least.

In time, this proved to be perceived as “bohemianism” since whomever I met, after 5 minutes of general conversational interaction would mention the term to me. I despise all labels so naturally I did not like being called “boem”, even though if, looking back I can see how this might seem like so..

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties.

Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds..

The term bohemian, of French origin, was first used in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalised and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors  in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty.
The term ‘Bohemian’ has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gypsy, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits ….

A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art.

Bohemia (by Gelett Burgess):

“To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art—this is the temper and spirit of the modern Bohemian in his outward and visible aspect.

It is a light and graceful philosophy, but it is the Gospel of the Moment, this exoteric phase of the Bohemian religion; and if, in some noble natures, it rises to a bold simplicity and naturalness, it may also lend its butterfly precepts to some very pretty vices and lovable faults, for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. …

His faults are more commonly those of self-indulgence, thoughtlessness, vanity and procrastination, and these usually go hand-in-hand with generosity, love and charity; for it is not enough to be one’s self in Bohemia, one must allow others to be themselves, as well.”

Bohemian lifestyle has it’s roots in counter-culture, which is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition.

 

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialist interpretation of the American Dream.

White, middle-class youth, who made up the bulk of the counterculture, had sufficient leisure time to turn their attention to social issues. These social issues included support for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements, and a rejection of the Vietnam War.

Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States. The counterculture also had access to a media eager to present their concerns to a wider public.

Demonstrations for social justice created far-reaching changes affecting many aspects of society.

Rejection of mainstream culture was best embodied in the new genres of psychedelic rock music, pop-art and new explorations in spirituality.

Musicians who exemplified this era include The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Cream, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin.

Sentiments were expressed in song lyrics and popular sayings of the period, such as “do your own thing,” “turn on, tune in, drop out”, “whatever turns you on,” and “light my fire.”

Spiritually, the counterculture included interest in astrology, the term “Age of Aquarius” and knowing people’s signs.

This led Theodore Roszak to state “An eclectic taste for mystic, occult, and magical phenomena has been a marked characteristic of our postwar youth culture since the days of the beatniks.”

The counterculture has been criticised for several reasons: mainstream troubles caused by excess; the death of many notable counter-cultural figures; the passage of remedial legislation.

The counter-culture continues to influence social movements, art and society in general.

Independent Self

There have been many attempts to describe the levels of intimacy in human behavior. The basic categorization concluded in three major states of being, either in such a state or between states. That is, the relationship between dependence – independence – interdependence.

My personal favorite (discussing mostly the state of being when one is dependent, then moves to independent and then is able to be and chooses to become: interdependent) is Jorge Bucay (which I undoubtedly suggest for further reading).

Moreover, the foundation of this concept is to understand the following (which I quote from various sources, since I couldn’t have put it better myself and is thus a collage of theories):

Independent Self is a bounded, unique, more or less integrated, motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastingly, both against other such wholes and against a social background.

Taken by: Social Psychology textbook*

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.

Taken by: Marx first used the term interdependence in the Communist Manifesto (1848) in describing the universal interdependence of nations in comparison to the old local and national seclusion of independence and self-sufficiency. Will Durant made one Declaration of Interdependence on April 8, 1944. Others have been written in the years since, and interest in the United States has picked up in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Leaders as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Stephen Covey have written and spoken at length about interdependence.

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As I see it,
basically, Independence is what derives from our personal struggle to become a whole individual. To be free. To be emotionally mature and responsible, in theory and in actuality, for our own actions.
Interdependence could describe the bond of man with social factors but in a healthy relationship and not some form of dependency or extreme intimacy.
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The best way to put it is:
Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality.  

Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, March 21, 1929, p. 93

Explanation: A child is born dependent and is celebrated, in an independent society, when they can say “I can do it for myself.” However a tribal child is encouraged to grow beyond independence into interdependence, so they can say “I can do it for others”. Truly successful tribes and organizations are by their nature inherently interdependent, whose elder leadership’s multi-generational visioning skills are guiding and evolving diverse competing interests into completing interests, for the benefit of all. The independent is grandchild to the interdependent. by Tom Harris


The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.  

William James, Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment, Atlantic Monthly, October, 1880

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.  

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, Houghton Mifflin, 1911, Chapter 7

…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.  


Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.  


Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.  


Hence, international co-operation and solidarity and the relentless search for consensus become an absolute imperative. They are the only possible alternative for all nations, whose interdependence is being made increasingly manifest by the rapid development of production technology, of transport and communications, as well as by the overhanging threat of deterioration of the environment and exhaustion of natural resources. And what is one to say of the frightful accumulation of means of destruction in a world facing the no less frightful problems of hunger, disease and ignorance?  

Federico Mayor, Address to the “Symposium 80” on International Cultural Relations: Bridges Across Frontiers, Bonn, 27 May 1980

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and here comes the twist..

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Illusion of Self:

“According to research by Anne Wilson and Michael Ross in 2001, you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with an awful haircut, but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least three times the praise.”

“The findings of these studies showed you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, cheaters and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame.

This behavior can be observed in board games and senate races, group projects and final exams. You attribute everything to your amazing skills when things are going your way, but once the tide turns, you look for external factors which prevented your genius to shine through”.

Taken by:  Mr. McRaney.

More on his blog here: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2009/10/20/self-serving-bias/

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references:

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* Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

 

PS:: Further reading here http://www.panarchy.org/rogers/person.html


Rebel.

Things have to be destroyed in order to create,

so it has an appeal for both –

those who are interested in destruction and those who are interested in creativity.

It is not a crowd phenomenon.

It is your own individuality.

And if millions of people go through rebellion, then the power of countries, nations is going to be in the hands of these people – rebels.

Only in rebellion can revolution succeed; otherwise, revolution has a split personality.

Rebellion is one, single.

Tropic of Capricorn (good vs evil)

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“The story of man on earth bored me. Conquest, even the conquest of evil, bored me. To radiate goodness is marvelous, because it is tonic, invigorating, vitalizing. But just to be is still more marvelous, because it is endless and requires no demonstration. To be is music, which is a profanation of silence in the interests of silence, and therefore beyond good and evil.”

“Music is the manifestation of action without activity. Music neither goads nor defends, neither seeks nor explains. Music is the noiseless sound made by the swimmer in the ocean of consciousness. It is a reward which can only be given by oneself. It is the gift of god which one is, because he has ceased thinking about god. It is an augur of the God which every one will become in due time, when all that is will be beyond imagination.”
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taken by:

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.

Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published in Paris in 1938.

The novel was subsequently banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.

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Tropic of Capricorn

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“Everything that happens, when it has significance, is in the nature of contradiction.

I imagined that somewhere outside, in life, lay the solution to all things.

I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live – if what others are doing is called living – but to express myself.

I realized that I had never the least interest in living, but only in this which i am doing now, something which is parallel to life, of it at the same time, and beyond it.

Wether I die today or tomorrow is of no importance to me, never has been.

The stabbing horror of life is not contained in calamities and disasters, because these things wake one up and one gets very familiar and intimate with them and finally they become tame again…

Suddenly you are in a city that you never expect to be in again and you have only to pass the night there, but it takes all the courage in the World to do so.

The people are of the same race as you, they go about their business as people do anywhere, they build the same sort of house, no better, no worse, they have the same system of education, the same currency even, and yet, they are absolutely different from the other people you know, and the whole atmosphere is different, the tension is different.

It’s almost like looking at yourself in another incarnation.

You know, with a most disturbing certitude, that what governs life is not money, not politics, not religion, not training, not race, not language, not customs, but something else, something you are trying to throttle all the time and which is really throttling you, because otherwise you woulnd’t be wondering how you were going to escape.

This bridge is the end, the end of me, the end of my known world.

This bridge is insanity, there is no reason why it should stand there and no reason why people should cross it.

People everywhere are producing crops and goods for other people – and I am like a ghost sliding between all this unintelligible activity.

I want to find some kind of work, but I don’t want to be a part of this thing, this infernal automatic process.

I was a contradiction in essence, as they say.

People took me to be serious and strong-minded, or to be happy and reckless, or to be sincere and earnest, or to be negligent and carefree.

I was all these things at once – and beyond that I was something else.

I searched the known and the yet unknown world and all the answers are over the bridge, that binds all that is true with what is real with what is imaginary and what is going to be.

At this point nothing is hardly enough. nothing.

At the point of rock bottom, at the point of peak, in any isolating true moment, music is very important.

Music is a tonic for the pineal gland.

It is the can-opener of the soul.

It makes you terribly quiet inside, makes you aware that there’s a roof to your being.”

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taken by:

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.

Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published in Paris in 1938.

The novel was subsequently banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.

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Rituals. Examined from the anthropological side to the historical and into the spiritual.

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A ritual can be anything.. from taking a bath, to drinking a cup of tea.. preparing coffee or rolling a cigarette.

A ritual is (by definition) a specific set of actions done privately or publicly.

The purposes of rituals are varied..

satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social bonds, social and moral education, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one’s affiliation, obtaining social acceptance or approval for some event or, sometimes, for the pleasure of the ritual itself.

Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature.

Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello are rituals.

In psychology, the term ritual is used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anthropological studies support that rituals carry a greater meaning in human spirituality and concentration, acting as a form of meditation being carried out meticulously.

Such a ritual, is the chillum. Used in American-Indian tribes, as well as throughout Asia, smoking in a circle joins individuals together in a circle of trust.

A chillum is a conical or cylinder pipe used since at least the 18th century by sadhus (wandering Hindu monks) in India and more recently by Rastafarians in Jamaica.

The chillum is a slightly funnel shaped smoking device used for smoking charas and tobacco mixtures. The holy men of India, the Sadhus, have been smoking the sacred chillum for thousands of years. Chillums to the Sadhu is like wine to the Catholic priest.

The Sadhus believe in Lord Boomshankar — the god of pot and another aspect of Lord Shiva. Boomshankar is brought into the chillum when his name is shouted. The Sadhus claim that summoning Shiva into the pipe will get the smoker much more dazed. Hence, closer to God.

The Chillum specifically is said to force great concentration and centering into the person breathing in the smoke.

The Chillum is filled with a high quality oily dark substance, extracted from cannabis plants.

Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual usage as an aid to trance and has been traditionally used in a religious context throughout the Old World. Herodotus wrote about early ceremonial practices by the Scythians, which are thought to have occurred from the 5th to 2nd century BCE.

Anthropologist Sula Benet’s evidence was confirmed in 1985 by Hebrew University in Jerusalem and etymological comparison show that the Holy anointing oil used by the Hebrews contained cannabis extracts, “kaneh bosm” and that it is listed as an incense tree in the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament.

Early Christians used cannabis oil for medicinal purposes and as part of the baptismal process to confirm the forgiveness of sins and “right of passage” into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Unction, Seal, laying on of hands, the Counselor, and the Holy Spirit are all often synonymous with the Holy anointing oil.Early Gnostic texts indicate that the Chrism is essential to becoming a “Christian”.Some Muslims of the Sufi order have used cannabis as a tool for spiritual exploration.

The use of Cannabis as a hallucinogenic drug by necromancers or magicians is especially notable. It should be pointed out that in ancient China, as in most early cultures, medicine has its origin in magic. Medicine men were practicing magicians.

In northeastern Asia, shamanism was widespread from Neolithic down to recent times. In ancient China shamans were known as wu . This vocation was very common down to the Han dynasty. After that it gradually diminished in importance, but the practice persisted in scattered localities and among certain people. In the far north, among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and Siberia, shamanism was widespread and common until rather recent times.

Researchers claim that in the 5th century BCE Siddhartha ate only hemp seeds for six years, prior to becoming the Buddha.

Most interpretations of the fifth precept would include all forms of cannabis amongst the intoxicants that a Buddhist should abstain from consuming. However, the Buddhist precepts are, in a sense, guidelines whose purpose is to encourage a moral lifestyle rather than strict religious commandments, so some lay practitioners of Buddhism may consume cannabis and other mild intoxicants in moderation. In addition, cannabis and other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed in the Mahākāla Tantra.

Modern spiritual figures like Ram Dassand Eli Jaxon-Bear openly acknowledge that the use of cannabis has allowed them to access “another plane of consciousness” and use the herb frequently.

http://kck.st/rrc8V5

A chillum is a conical pipe traditionally made from a cows horn. Chillums are used as ritual pipes by Sadhu in India to imbibe charas. Also, they have recently been used by Rastas in reasoning sessions and grounations. It is a very social form of smoking as a chillum is generally far too strong to be smoked alone. The whole operation of preparing the mix and smoking the herb, ganja, or charas is something of a ritual. The Hindu god, Shiva is invoked with the ceremony and the smoker considers the spirit of Shiva to enter him with the act of smoking. Rastas believe ritual smoking purges body and mind of impurities, thereby facilitating meditation.

Originally the Chillum was made from fired clay but they also exist in wood, stone and glass. It is thought to originate in India, although they were also found in South America. The Chillum is special as its origin is purely spiritual. Following the 1980s legislation against charas in India, the ready-made clay chillums fell out of fashion. These had been disposable chillums that were simply thrown back onto the ground from which they were made.  The Chillum is a pipe used by Indian sadhu, as well as Rastas of Jamaica. Chillums are still for sale in shops and can be incredibly ornate, set with snakes or Indian gods. The longer the chillum the cooler the smoke will be. Smoking small Chillums brings hot smoke directly into your throat. The larger the pipe, the colder the smoke gets, and the more smoke you’ll get in your lungs.

Hindu Ceremony: The safi cloth is wetted, the stone inserted and then the mix is deposited in the chillum until it is full. Then the mouth piece of the chillum is cupped between two hands forming a closed prism so that the smoker may inhale the smoke without touching the chillum with his lips. To do so would no doubt provoke a violent reaction from all present for such a break of etiquette. A match is struck by a second party and before the smoker inhales various praises to Shiva will be chanted such as Boom Shankar or Boom Bolenath The smoker must puff violently to ignite the chillum adequately which he will then pass always to the person on his right, preferably supporting his right arm with his left (except for Kali chillums which are passed to the left and usually include opium and ganja in the mix). The required etiquette can become quite complex and the average Westerner has little or no chance of meeting the ritual standards of a sadhu. Rastafari Ceremony: A ritual chillum used in Rasta sessions and grounations is made of a cows horn fitted with a large, wooden bowl.

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