Category Archives: eThoughts

September 1, 2019: The Right to Vote Will Not Alone Fix Democracy

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.  Harry S Truman Resources tend to follow the money and voting is a resource.  Hoo-nōs If the currency of our lives is to avoid fear, we pay dearly.  But it is a […]

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August 1, 2019: Wonder

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.  Socrates The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.  Rachel Carson Wonder is not really about pondering the stupidity of others or considering how to regulate the “unworthy” to lessor status.  […]

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July 1, 2019: Stoical in a Time of General Sorrow?

Stoic n. a member of a Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno about 308 B.C., holding that all things, properties, relations, etc. are governed by unvarying natural laws, and that the wise man should follow virtue alone, obtained through reason, remaining indifferent to the external world and to passion or emotion. Webster’s New World […]

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March 31, 2019: Grokking the Strangers and the Strange Land

A conforming citizen is not a requirement, though some agreement is necessary.  Hoo-nōs      The title above is a nod to the 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein, who also introduced the word “grok.”  My understanding of “grok” is it is a multilayered and nuanced term involving being thoroughly one with—whomever […]

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November 27, 2018: An Umbrella Does Not Stop a Meteor

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Mark Twain Mostly do not rise to the Bullseye position nor fall to the Bullshit position. Hoo-nōs Having something to fear does not take much intelligence. Learning to not let fear consume us, does. Yet the main currency of so much of our political […]

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October 30, 2018: The Politics of Division and Derision Instead of Stewardship?

When you discover you’re riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. Attributed to an old Dakota saying All politics are both interpersonal and intrapersonal, which is as local as it gets. Hoo-nōs Two seemingly disparate ideas and emotions that exist at the same time and in the same space can be like […]

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September 30, 2018: A Very Partial Story of Dr. Brigitte Pointeck-Delay

It has been a hard summer of many things, interspersed with moments of tranquility. Personally, I am better dealing with hard things when tranquility is the pattern, so it has been a struggle. Politics have been outright disgraceful, shameful—and they continue. And while it has been said that all politics are local, in this world […]

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August 30, 2018: Swamps versus Cesspools

Brought to you by More Turd Talks™ (© 2018), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ All rights reserved. Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, […]

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July 29, 2018: What’s the Default?

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office. Aesop Too often we put saddlebags on Jesus and let the donkey run loose in the pasture. Rumi I was wondering about default behaviors under pressure and what it might say about ourselves—as in just how much grace we exude as opposed […]

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June 28, 2018: A Very Partial Story of Robert James Galbreath

Death is a horizon and a horizon is only as far as one can see. Hoo-nōs On June 7, 2018, Bob Galbreath passed away, just about the time that commencement had wrapped up at the college where I teach. He was 94 and his passing had been expected, but the “graduation” of his life left […]

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May 28, 2018—Memorial Day: Meritocracy is Not Democracy

Memorial Day is more than honoring our fallen and our living, our memories and our struggles, it is also a day to remember to live presently while facing forward. Hoo-nōs Many have fought and died in a struggle for the opportunity to live well, much less to live at all. In so doing, the rest […]

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April 29, 2018: A World of Full of Intersections

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church (236), by Emily Dickinson Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – I keep it, staying at Home – With a Bobolink for a Chorister – And an Orchard, for a Dome – Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice – I, just wear my Wings – And instead […]

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March 26, 2018: Part IV: Courage

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor Frankl Whoever we are, we share life, death, happiness, sadness, and struggle as common ground. When we decide to judge ourselves or others, shouldn’t we recognize the […]

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March 25, 2018: Part III: Follow the Leader?

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. Alexander the Great And yet sheep elect lions? Or perhaps pseudo lions? Isn’t a true leader one who reminds us of our compass heading? We follow that heading, not the […]

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March 24, 2018: Part II: Agreements

Victor and vanquished never unite in substantial agreement. Tacitus If things get overwhelming, as they certainly have been, attention can shut down in favor of not paying attention. That latter state of affairs is a mother lode for the victor-seekers. If the meek are to inherit the earth, they must not become the vanquished. So, […]

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March 23, 2018: Part I: Myriads of Attention

When you pay attention to boredom, it gets unbelievably interesting. Jon Kabat-Zinn If one wonders about the state and evolution of civilization, just pay attention to driving on our nation’s roads. Are we so afraid of boredom, of nothingness, we stay busy—think cell phones for instance—even though when driving our attention should be focused on […]

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February 12, 2018: Promises and Salvation

Promises made and not kept are not the same as promises made that cannot be kept. Salvation, however, is not just about promises made. Hoo-nōs Whether in politics, religion, education, economics, etc., etc., promises seem to be the food of hope and hope seems to be the cornerstone of salvation. Yes, it is important to […]

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January 1, 2018: The Consciousness Adolescent

What if Judgment Day was really the end of Judgments? Hoo-nōs So, Judgment is not equivalent to judgment/decision-making? From 30,000 feet, the light and color of us can look luminous—shimmering. From one foot, the light and color from one of us could be shorting or just plain out. From 30,000 feet, there could appear to […]

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December 8, 2017: The Politics of Disparate Approaches—Time for a New Politic?

The art, philosophy, and science necessary for a healthy populace is realizing the necessity of maximizing opportunities for thriving and minimizing intrusions in doing so. It is also necessary to realize the balancing point is dynamic, not at all static. Hoo-nōs Majority versus minority political party my rear aperture. What we’ve really cooked up is […]

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December 7, 2017: Maintaining the “Golden Gate Bridge”

If it’s a big circle, it simply takes longer to realize it’s a circle. Hoo-nōs Maintenance is a normal part of existence, but so is change. It can be very difficult to move off of an old and familiar plateau and transcend to other areas of existence. Think caterpillar to butterfly or an infant to […]

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November 20, 2017: Trust

Do not trust more than you are able, but strive to be more able. Hoo-nōs It is difficult to trust when one is unsure. That’s a default condition. Just look at how wildlife approaches it. It seems to me those who advocate “trust me” as opposed to others, are spinning tales. They want control/influence. They […]

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October 27, 2017: Fake News, True News

Figuring out if information is one-sided is easy. Hoo-nōs How is it possible for someone espousing transparency to leak or provide information obtained from just one source? Hmmm.

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October 25, 2017: Are We Kidding? Life from The Daily Nutsville Noise

Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it. Edmund Burke Perhaps who we are is manifested all around us. That’s not the same as who we can be. Hoo-nōs What’s the plan exactly—to manifest our frustrations by dividing each other into silos and then to isolate ourselves from the world? We seem […]

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September 18, 2017: Awake, Focus, and Come Together?

Brought to you by It’s All Been Noted Before!™ (© 2017), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ All rights reserved. Wake up the fourth branch of government in America and see what happens. Hoo-nōs For the record, what follows has, in one form or the other, been brought up before. I am not inventing or improving […]

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August 29, 2017: Talking into the Wind?

All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:5-6 Vision without action is […]

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July 16, 2017: National Fart in the General Direction of Washington D.C. Day—Let’s Do Something Together

Maybe it’s time to go all Monty Python on the politicos in D.C. After all, what’s coming out of D.C. stinks. Forget the high road, let’s stink ‘em back. It would be a bipartisan stand to show the politicos that the fourth branch of government—us—are not just here to cast votes as they’re not much […]

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June 29, 2017: On Pom-Poms, Shovels, Egos, and Enemies

Attempting to dig oneself out of a hole can often have the opposite effect. Hoo-nōs It is interesting to watch those who cheerlead for themselves and garner others to do the same. It is interesting to watch someone dig a deeper hole for themselves when others are trying to keep that person out of holes. […]

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May 19, 2017: Love First—Make Love Great Again, Again.

The only worthwhile compass heading is love. It is the only way back to the new Paradise. Hoo-nōs Lofty words, that. Crazy even? After all, we need stuff—truly. And what if one has a full-blown deadly disease—love alone will fix that? And look around, what difference does love make with all the contamination we’re breeding […]

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April 28, 2017: Ecstasy, Disappointment, and Other Waypoints

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing or right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. Jelaluddin Rumi There is no solution; seek it lovingly. Harlan Miller I just returned from vacation, one filled with many waypoints. The airline lost my baggage in transit (it is still missing, some 21 days later). That was an unexpected […]

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March 26, 2017: Disturbances and Democracy

It is important to know from whence disturbances blow. The inside manifested out may become the outside manifested in. Hoo-nōs I can imagine being thrown into an unknown world—and actually it’s not much of a leap for any of us at this point. Perhaps one thing to do immediately is to figure out how to […]

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February 26, 2017: The Borders We Need

Having an internal governor to rein in the stampede to solve problems born of neurotic fear or the need for personal power is the cheapest and most effective border. Hoo-nōs There are, indeed, (who might say nay) gloomy and hypochondriac minds, inhabitants of diseased bodies, disgusted with the present, and despairing of the future; always […]

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February 25, 2017: Ratland

Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind. Ralph Waldo Emerson Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations. Alfred Adler Character is destiny. Heraclitus The rats of Ratland had experienced it before: 100 rats and food for 50 will bring about rat-hell. Yet, oddly, enough […]

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January 19, 2017: On New Beginnings, Again.

Being married and being individual are not inherently mutually exclusive. Hoo-nōs I know a couple who are getting married. They have not asked me for advice, though I’ve been invited to their wedding. But I’m going to hold forth regardless. If you are the one who has been visiting this site, you will have seen […]

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December 18, 2016: Wonder

What would the world be without a dragon? Hoo-nōs There is such craziness afoot—again. I was talking with a neighbor who has views I find anathema to the gift of awareness. Crazy-thought is all I could figure, except they were not engaged in evil behaviors, just crazy cognitions. Of course they likely thought the same […]

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December 17, 2016: Home

There’s no place like home, though sometimes it can feel very lonely. Hoo-nōs Belongingness is both a sense of place and being with one’s own kind. One without the other is likely to give rise to some disenchantment. Having neither can give rise to some desperation. However, being in that place and with one’s own […]

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December 11, 2016: Love, Mind-Hacks, and the Holiday Season of Good Will

Love is not the result of antecedents, behaviors, and consequences. Love simply is, and is easily found in an unencumbered mind and being—in the rich emptiness. The path to get there can be messy and involve many tributaries, including much theater and the illusion of paths to get there. Hoo-nōs Our paths to find Love, […]

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December 10, 2016: Mind Hack

The trick to hacking a mind is to make the mind think it is right thinking, freely found. Hoo-nōs Of course free thinking is not about hacking, but good luck telling the difference (yeah, that means neuroscientists who may be stuck in the biological basis of cause and effect). There may be, however, a bread-crumb […]

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November 12, 2016: The Season of Great Bullshit

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is never acceptable. Hoo-nōs Okay, Donald Trump is our President-elect. Whatever we believe, whomever we believe, that’s what has happened (short of some unknown issue in the verification process). Time to get over it. Yes, this political season has been a rough one, rife with nonsense and division, […]

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November 1, 2016: Excalibur, Betrayal, Acceptance, and Love

Acceptance is reserved for those times and places where nothing else good can be accomplished. Hoo-nōs Considering all the good that can be accomplished, true acceptance is a rather rare occurrence. Temporary acceptance is another issue, as in getting some rest before the next effort to contribute some good. Let’s call the effort to contribute […]

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October 9, 2016: Craziness, Busyness, Consequences, and Navigation

It’s all very interesting—by way of bottom lines first. It can be crazy, though that’s what we choose when we create it or participate in it. Madness is another matter and may not involve choice—think zombieism, like rabies, etc. It can be busy, some of which is a choice and some of which is not. […]

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August 26, 2016: It was Profoundly Anticlimactic

Sometimes expecting something and getting nothing is a much richer gift. Hoo-nōs My annual wilderness trip (it was official wilderness, but about an hour from the trailhead, so I was not in the middle of nowhere) had been amazing for the second year in a row after about a decade of semi-contrary weather. I had […]

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August 8, 2016: Promises, Promises

If it’s true one is only as great as their last success, it’s important to get paid as soon as possible. Hoo-nōs Maybe that’s why some folks—and I don’t just mean some politicians—make promises as it can make for a good payday. And don’t think payday is only about money. And don’t think this is […]

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July 17, 2016: Making American Great Again? Telling it like it is?

Bumper-sticker philosophy has all the nuance of a shiny barbed fishing hook and can be just as deadly. Hoo-nōs There is a person in my neighborhood who parks their vehicle in various places, goes online via their phone and tosses out their cigarette butts—and lots of them (I pick them up, along with trash other […]

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June 10, 2016: The Ratings Phenomenon

“…not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize.” Pico Iyer I can’t seem to simply get good products or service and then take a deep breath and relax about things […]

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June 9, 2016: Muhammad Ali

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. Mark Twain I’m no pundit, but I do think there is something to be learned from Ali’s life: It seems to me for all the rights and wrongs surrounding him, we, and he, would’ve done a lot […]

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June 7, 2016: Who Can Use the Toilet?

“…it really is like raising a storm in a teacup.” Catherine Sinclair I can tell you why I worry about gender-neutral bathrooms: Long lines. I’ve asked women what they do in there and mostly I get answers like “check themselves out” or “get pretty chatty” or “I really don’t know.” I can tell you why […]

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May 16, 2016: Work

Brought to you by Nuts to the Nut House!™ (© 2016), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ All rights reserved. The proper ratio of good work, good play, and good sleep will move us further toward Paradise than any other single human endeavor, no matter how heroic it is. Hoo-nōs It’s difficult to get anything done […]

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May 1, 2016: Distance

Empathy is not concern for others, it is the art of being an other without getting lost in the transitions. Hoo-nōs There are those who “love” and “care” born of a hurt they don’t want others to experience. I’m guessing (and I mean it) that “God” does not love and care in such a manner. […]

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April 21, 2016: Rights, Privileges, Emptiness, and “God”

Vibrant Emptiness is fine for understanding the inherent nature of existence, including from whence all comes and goes, but it is of little use for explaining good or evil or that which is in-between, other than there are many beings acting from form as opposed to that Emptiness. But those acts are understandable as form […]

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April 20, 2016: Rights and Privileges

Rights: Innate, basic, as in the right to life, liberty, happiness, opportunities—none of which are exclusive to humans only. We must tread carefully to not take them away. Privileges: Entitlements, earned, as in an education, benefits, titles, ownership. We must tread carefully to not give them away.

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April 12, 2016: Reckoning, Part II: The Null Hypothesis

Reckoning stories that point toward emptiness may be the ultimate lazy outcome of present-day geriatrics nurtured by a laidback, 60s California, hippy-hoppy motivation to justify doing nothing much at all—even if many of those geriatrics did a lot to be able to do nothing much at all. The Null of the Null Round: Nevertheless—do not […]

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April 12, 2016: Reckoning, Part I

Whether from on high, from down below, or somewhere in-between—all really one “place”—there will be a reckoning. Hoo-nōs Though we may be dispersed to the cosmos never to congeal quite the same again and though we may remain coalesced more or less as we know, whether in death or in life—as we may presently label […]

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March 27, 2016: Resurrection Day

Brought to you by Zero Arrogance!™ (© 2016), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ The standard joke is of course there’s resurrection—look what happens on Fridays at 5 P.M. Of course that assumes one has a 9-5 job during the week, or a job at all. Jokes aside, if one believes in reincarnation, one believes in […]

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March 26, 2016: Turning Around

If everything reminds us of our past burdens, then we lose the future, no? All this victimization makes us beggars. Elvira Meliksetyan “I understand you insist on your voice, while you try and censor mine. I can only speak if you approve. I do not approve of such insistence. But you shall have your voice […]

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March 20, 2016: Integrity

Integrity is always a priority, but priorities don’t always involve integrity. Hoo-nōs Integrity: 1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. 2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished. Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (2001). Thunder Bay Press. Psychologist Erik Erikson named his last developmental stage in […]

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March 15, 2016: Bullying

Bullying begins when intelligence and empathy are absent. Hoo-nōs Bullying comes in many forms, from the hard-to-detect to the hard-to-ignore. But the heart of bullying is resentment and revenge. The politics in this Presidential election year seem to be fundamentally fought on the grounds of bullying. And why does it work? Because we humans are […]

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February 9, 2016: Push, Part II

The saying “it’s all going nowhere,” could infer that nowhere is a destination. Hoo-nōs The young man, a kid really, was bright-eyed, full of hope. “We just have to make it better,” he offered. “Otherwise, it all seems so needlessly stupid.” “Perhaps it’s just a push,” the old man said. “Perhaps hope lives in the […]

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February 8, 2016: Push, Part I

The saying “as luck would have it,” could infer that chance has intention. Hoo-nōs It had been a long night at the blackjack table and the man was even. He was restless and didn’t want to be even as there just seemed nothing dynamic about it. He elected to play $1,000, 10 times the maximum […]

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January 25, 2016: On Becoming Weird

How did I get this way the opossum asked? The crab said there was no reason to ask, it was just that way. The biped said it was God’s will, but it was up to us, though environs had a hand. The mockingbird had a field day, while the shark circled. Hoo-nōs I was truck […]

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January 10, 2016: Changing Our Minds about Control and Regulation

Brought to you by You Don’t Say,TM a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.TM Copyright 2016: All rights reserved. Gun control, traffic control, people control, intimacy control—it seems like we’re getting even deeper into control and regulation as it seems much more likely to ensure behavioral prediction. Such a sense of control and prediction is tantamount to […]

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January 1, 2016: Forgetting to Remember; Remembering to Forget

Brought to you by I Forgot, But I’ll Remember,TM a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.TM Copyright 2016: All rights reserved. Of course living results in forgetting. That’s what we need to remember. Hoo-nōs It’s 2016, 16 years past Y2K. We still seem to be here. Personally, I’m pretty sure I’m still circling in the woods. I’m […]

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2015’s Holiday Season: Love is Not All We Need (In this Incarnation Anyway)

Brought to you by No Offense to Romantics,TM a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.TM Copyright 2015: All rights reserved. In our particular incarnation at least, we need more than love—we need the opportunity for access. Having a sense of access is like being hungry yet having access to food, or feeling dry yet having access to […]

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2015’s Holiday Season: The World is Not Ours for the Taking

Brought to you by Not Our Oyster,TM a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.TM Copyright 2015: All rights reserved. It’s the season for celebrating gifts, which is not at all the same as taking. Yep, giving a gift is difficult without acceptance, but gifts can be all around regardless of any acceptance. However, taking the gifts life […]

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2015’s Holiday Season: Not Smart Enough to Move On, Not Dumb Enough to Stay

Brought to you by The Conundrum,TM a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.TM Copyright 2015: All rights reserved. The holiday season is a great time for reflection, realization, re-cognition, and—well—lots of humor. After all, there’s a lot to laugh and smile about when we’re stuck somewhere between where we can’t seem to go and where we don’t […]

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December 14, 2015: C’mon!

I understand people are frustrated with politicos and doublespeak. It isn’t a new phenomenon. But here’s a clue: The problem and the solution aren’t politicians, it’s us. What’s at least a better way than sniping at each other and siding with some current politico who has tapped into people’s frustrations? How about folks getting off […]

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December 11, 2015: Some Kind of Awareness

What if it is not just energy that is conserved, but awareness? Form can matter to form or sometimes not. And sometimes there is simply nothing that form can do about it anyway. Yet form in awareness can seem so pervasive, except for some dim notion there is something more. Which can be yet another […]

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December 11, 2015: Some Kind of Panda Bear

What is it like to be a panda, ecological narrowed, thriving in a thimble and dying just beyond? We all have a niche—a thimble of a boundary. And we live and die in that thimble. Perhaps a niche is simply home for a while and moving on yet another call to thimbledom, which we can […]

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December 11, 2015: Some Kind of Emptiness

I will go no more, because it is not me alone who can help—or perhaps me at all. I will wait no more, because it is not coming. Perhaps it never left to begin with. I will not want it anymore, because it is not mine. Yet it is all around despite going or not, […]

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November 26, 2015: Days of Gratitude and…

…Thanksgiving. It is sometimes difficult to live and love and prosper and thrive. But the difficulties are mostly of our doing and our perception, rather than life out to get us. So today, whatever I have won or lost or both or neither, I am simply grateful. Tomorrow I may cuss again, but even then […]

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November 20, 2015: Diversity…

…is not a single identifier, but rather many elements that make up the constellation of life. When we recognize and relate to the many elements of diversity, we connect not just with others, but with ourselves and with all of life. Then it becomes impossible for the darkest parts of our being to cohere around […]

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November 1, 2015: Retirement

Part of the series You Don’t Say!™ (© 2015), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Retirement is not a cessation of work, but a shift in it—at least that’s likely the best scenario. At 68, I’m sure thinking about that shift. I’m hoping to eventually be paid for what I think and not to have to […]

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October 31, 2015: Looking for Treats and Getting Tricked

Part of the series You Don’t Say!™ (© 2015), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Costumed up or not, the trick of civility is to treat all of us as humans. However, that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not pay attention—as though having acquired the civility costume means we can go to sleep at […]

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October 30, 2015: Ownership

Part of the series You Don’t Say!™ (© 2015), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Whether individual, corporations, government or any human institution (including marriage), it seems someone always owns or controls the resources. Mostly such ownership is not about being a steward, but more about being in control and having power. Somehow that all gets […]

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September 28, 2015: One Life, Many Lifetimes

I’m only 68, but it does feel like lots of “reality” iterations have been and are afoot. Some have seemed unnecessarily uncomfortable. Some have seemed unbelievably extraordinary. However, when I breathe deeply and relax into what has seemed like my life, it is neither the uncomfortable nor the unbelievable that is emergent. It is a […]

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September 27, 2015: How about a new dating site?: Enlightenment Only Dot Com: Because “Normal” Folks Just Don’t Get It

Real money maker this one. Not much of a match maker either as it would likely be an empty set—I mean who would qualify? It would certainly be above my pay grade. Besides, just what does enlightenment mean—omniscience? Probably we’d have to go with inputs like “every once in a while, I just nail it.” […]

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September 10, 2015: All That Noise

Populism is what passes for citizenship among those who don’t pay much attention. It is, to actual democracy, what vinyl is to leather—too smooth to be real. Joe Klein, Time, August 3, 2015 Klein was referring to toxic populism born of the “populist showbiz lane” that is apparent “In the trumped-up train-wreck politics of the […]

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September 5, 2015: Hope in the Time of Cabals

Okay, I’m tweaking the language of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, but somehow it seems very apropos (I’m thinking about the recent picture of the young Syrian boy lying dead on a beach in Turkey after his family tried to escape the violence in Syria—his brother and mother also died […]

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August 30, 2015: Purgatorians Involved With Purgatorians

It’s interesting being a Purgatorian—sometimes outright hilarious, sometimes not so much. Certainly the landscape of Purgatorian relationships is part of the conundrum of such joy and sorrow. I mean the point of getting together is what exactly? It’s easier to chop wood and haul water, etc.—in other words, a divided workload is easier than an […]

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July 22, 2015: Being Away

Thank you for my victories, and for my defeats! Old Lodge Skins (Chief Dan George in the movie Little Big Man) I have not been here for nearly two months. That’s the longest time away in over ten years. New life phases are afoot and I’ve been navigating the transition busyness and getting ready to […]

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July 25, 2015: Energy Drains, Energy Gains

Being too busy or too lazy may be nothing more than attempts to avoid demands on attention. It’s certainly easier to recognize the problems with a lazy propensity if one is busy and easier to recognize the problems with a busy propensity if one is lazy. What if paying attention, however cyclical attention may be, […]

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July 24, 2015: Being Lazy

It’s good to do, but only if one is not frightened by being busy.

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July 23, 2015: Taking “Time Off”

It’s good to do, but only if one is not frightened by what may be “catching up” with them.

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May 25, 2015: Memorial Day

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” the Queen remarked. Lewis Carroll Let’s learn the lessons forward and quit adding to the list of those to honor on Memorial Day. Perhaps the best way to honor all those who served?

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May 15, 2015: Guardians

Personally I do not think we are the guardians of the gates of others, but we might be the guardian of our own gate. However, given the problems with constructive memory and eyewitness testimony, perhaps we’re not even qualified to be the guardian of our own gate.

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May 12, 2015: Getting Right?

Many of us have heard the saying “Getting right with God.” What if God is already right with us and the problem is us believing we are not right with God? What if the major sin is not believing we are worthy? Note for the Espousers: There is a difference between espousing and wondering. I’m […]

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April 5, 2015: Easter and Luminescence

Can luminescence create invisibility—as in blending in with light around us? Can luminescence create camouflage—as in appearing the same as the light around us? Can transparency let all light through, thus rendering “physicality” invisible? Perhaps all three statements are one in the same. Is this why “God” is invisible—because “It” is transparent and luminous? Is […]

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April 4, 2015: Emotions like Cats and Dogs?

Put a box in a room and a cat will generally need to size it up, albeit by sneaking up on it. A dog may just bound up to the box and bang into it, assuming they are interested. It seems to me human emotions are like the cat and dog’s approach to a box […]

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April 3, 2015: Comply or Die

…almost always comes from those who own the “high ground.” As near as I can tell the Purgatorian definition of “high ground” is about power and specialness and hierarchy. Interesting…

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April 2, 2015: Transcendence

Is transcendence really getting past the need to account for ourselves? I asked someone about it and they said no, not at all—transcendence is about going beyond, about rising above. It is not about accountability. I was a bit confused as I thought that’s exactly what I’d said—since accounting for ourselves seems so much a […]

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April 1, 2015: Fools

In the midst of so much foolishness and so many tricky interpersonal landscapes and so many demands for accountability, I thought that I may be fool and a fellow Purgatorian, but all-in-all I’m a pretty good fool and a pretty good Purgatorian. There was some modicum of comfort in that thought, however self-induced.

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March 12, 2015: Free-range Ideas & Feelings IV

What can be said thoughtfully and beautifully is nothing to living it. Hoo-nōs Of course words are part of our lives—symbols used to sculpt our sandcastles. We can enjoy both the symbols and the sandcastles. Of course there are many ways to enjoy—like laughing or crying or worrying or avoiding hell or searching for heaven […]

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March 10, 2015: Free-range Ideas & Feelings III

Looking back and looking forward are best done by being present. Hoo-nōs Of course it’s impossible to be anything but present. The trick is to realize it.

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March 8, 2015: Free-range Ideas & Feelings II

What does it take to catch one’s breath? What does it take to lose it? Hoo-nōs The rhythm of breathing is fascinating. Shallow breaths, deep cleansing breaths, losing one’s breath are all part of a dashboard announcing what’s afoot.

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March 6, 2015: Free-range Ideas & Feelings I

It can be tricky attending to emptiness as we tend to put stuff in there. Hoo-nōs It is interesting that we seem to attend to stuff more than the space around stuff. And I don’t mean just concrete stuff, but abstract stuff, ephemeral stuff, cognitive and emotional stuff, and so on. Just how did stuff […]

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February 1, 2015: Why Bother?

Well, because it can be full of fun to: Be part of the conversation to engage with others, rather than to just win. Ask difficult questions in order to understand, rather than to just be difficult. Get involved to be involved, rather than to be involved to gain recognition. Be a friend to find a […]

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January 1, 2015: Celebrate

I’ve heard it said we have to find that one thing that will make us happy. I’ve heard it said that there is never just one thing that can make us happy. I respectively agree and disagree in both cases. There is one thing and it is nothing—the vibrant emptiness. As for the somethings in […]

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December 16, 2014: Balancing, Anima and Animus, and “The Baloney-Detection Kit”

During my recovery from surgery, I watched the movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (a bit silly with hugely undeveloped feminine roles). I thought about all the racial tension that is afoot, this time created in part by the recent confrontations with police that led to the separate shooting deaths of Michael Brown […]

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December 14, 2014: Pain and Joy

I had surgery two days ago. It was not joyful before or immediately after. It is interesting to know there is pain, but yet not to feel it—anesthesia does that. If one ignores the pain, even more will gather. If one seeks pain, it can become a litmus test for feeling—something, anything. In injury, too […]

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November 5, 2014: Travels In and Around Space/Time and Substance

We’ve forgotten who we are, explorers, pioneers—not caretakers. “Cooper,” Matthew McConaughey’s character in the movie Interstellar. I think we become a mess if caretaking is our main task. Do we really want our journey to be about maintaining our relationships (with anyone or anything) or do we really need the fix of novelty? Yep, exploring […]

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October 28, 2014: Education and the Community College Concept

With the increased emphasis on student success and performance-based funding in education, I think the following op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sunday, October, 26, 2014 bears reading: The American Dream is Leaving America, by Nicolas Kristof (http://nyti.ms/1z8uOlb). I think it a timely observation about the importance of educational access. I agree with […]

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October 3, 2014

Uncovering problems should not be the same as identifying with them. Anon One’s identity is an ongoing dynamic—there is really no “place” one can land and declare it done. But the fact that one has a cold, does not mean one is a cold. Easy one, eh? But what about gender or culture or age […]

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September 30, 2014

Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear. Buzzy Trent, surfer Some patterns do seem to bear down on us. Getting lost in the particulars can be a recipe for disaster. Of course some particulars also bear down on us. Getting lost in the patterns in such a […]

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September 29, 2014

The most fundamental problem of politics is not the control of wickedness but the limitation of righteousness. Henry Kissinger Humans do seem to get their knickers in a twist when it comes to controlling “evil” much more often than when it comes to limiting self-righteousness. Perhaps we mistake righteousness as being a call to good. […]

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August 24, 2014: Defining Hierarchy

Hierarchy can be measured by the difference between those who have to pay attention to others and those who do not. There is a paradox there we might want to be mindful about in our interactions. And for those who like to assume stuff: I’m still practicing.

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August 23, 2014: Defining Enlightenment

Enlightenment can be measured by our ability to keep the filing straight—as in facts versus interpretations, theater versus reality, subjective versus objective reality, freedom versus determinism, etc. In other words, enlightenment is the degree we can live in a paradox without getting thrown off by one side of it or the other. And for those […]

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August 22, 2014: Entertainment

We are in an Age of Entertainment. Again, I like theater. I like entertainment. A lot. But when we confuse entertainment with enlightenment, we are merely entertaining ourselves. That’s okay, unless we think we’re actually enlightened. And for those who like to assume stuff: I’m still practicing.

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July 26, 2014: Patterns and Particulars—and more?

Sometimes I get sick of language—it can just be so much noise. Sometimes I get sick of behaviors—they can be so much ado about nothing. Like physicist Niels Bohr’s theory that particles and waves are not separate, but are complementary, I suspect the same about words and behaviors. I suspect the same of all rhythms […]

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July 25, 2014

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” What if one doesn’t get the picture? Sometimes it can take a thousand words to see the picture.

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July 24, 2014

“You can’t put a square peg into a round hole.” I guess it depends on the size of the peg and the hole. Or maybe the size of the hammer or the drill.

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July 23, 2014

“Find a penny, pick it up. If it’s heads, you’ll have good luck.” I found a penny while walking today. It’s was tails so I turned it over. Sometimes intent can make a difference.

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June 3, 2014: God and Machine

We build machines to alleviate the work of living, yet somehow manage to create more work to live. We use machines to build houses to protect us from nature, but have managed to become disconnected from nature. We build machines to make travel easier, but often find travel harder, not to mention getting along with […]

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June 1, 2014: The Sandwich

We are always in a sandwich—living between this and that. Sometimes we’re the main ingredient, sometimes the condiment, sometimes the salt or pepper, sometimes the tomato, the lettuce, the onion… Nonetheless, our job is still the same. How we answer what our job is can enhance the sandwich, ruin it, or transcend it, even if […]

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May 7, 2014: Dancing With Paradoxes

What is the difference between imagination and reality? They’re both here so do we favor one or the other or do we navigate both? After all, lots of reality, good and not so much, begins with imagination. On the other hand, imagination alone can be a fairly weak reality. What is the difference between intensity […]

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May 1, 2014: More on Personality

It may be inappropriate to decide personality is the problem, especially when the problem is big. If we go with personality-solving rather than problem-solving, it’s down a rabbit hole for sure. The former is a nearly impossible task, the latter can be, but at least we’re trying to solve something that could be solved. What […]

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April 17, 2014: Paths

It seems to me that folks who tend to navigate personalities and form connections tend to make more money. It seems to me that folks who try to get it right don’t tend to navigate personalities and they tend to make less money. Well—some artists make money after they’re deceased. Come to think about it, […]

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April 3, 2014: Technology, Part II

In any case (see yesterday’s post), technology will not eliminate the problem, only the excuse. Explanation Round?: When we’ve got all the technology in place so we aren’t just wallowing around trying to survive, we’re still us. What’s our excuse then to not transform? I’m fairly sure we’ll come up with something. Coming face-to-face with […]

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April 2, 2014: Technology, Part I

I was in a technology meeting recently. What was our vision for the future was the theme? Are you kidding me? We need the equivalent of a pencil. Any idea how amazing a pencil is? It works across all kinds of platforms. It allows expression in words, in numbers, in musical notations, in art, in […]

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April 1, 2014: April Fool’s Day

I’m thinking every day is Fool’s Day. We don’t need a special day to say so. It’s kind of like having a Breathing Day. I know, I know—it’s a day to fool people and be fooled and laugh. Being made a fool of is also a common event, almost like breathing. We can fool folks […]

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March 17, 2014: Taking a Leap and Surviving It

Leaping into the abyss may require faith, but surviving it requires science. Bonus Round?: Thriving seems to require both.

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March 10, 2014: Influencing The Influencer

I was watching Cosmos the other day. I had forgotten that our moon used to be much closer—apparently 25,000 miles away instead of 250,000 miles away. Apparently the tides were so powerful they helped to push the moon away. Bonus Round?: There are a world of facts that are important, but not as important as […]

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February 24, 2014: A Koan

What’s the difference between dying while sitting on a hill grinning at the sunset or dying face down in the mud? Watch out for appearances. One answer to the koan depends on whether the dying was the best one could do. Grinning at the sunset could be an act of unmitigated defiance. Dying face down […]

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February 6, 2014: Wolves and Sheep

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. James Bovard Participative governance can be empowering and it certainly is necessary—we need the input. But just how much input does a sheep have in the company of wolves, though the wolves can technically say the sheep […]

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February 1, 2014: Being Set

Sometimes when humans are all set, it’s hard for us to really listen. For example, when we’re all decided about something (we’re a political conservative or a liberal, religious or not, etc.), that decision tends to become the filter through which our attention works. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it isn’t. Clarity is a […]

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January 20, 2014: Holographic Universe and Experience–Don’t Worry, It’s Short and Pithy

A holographic picture (hologram) is a made up of pixels in which each pixel contains all of the information. The clarity of a hologram depends on how many pixels are involved in the picture. If it’s a holographic universe, then everything is in everything. One does not have to seek out an experience, only pay […]

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January 16, 2014: More Stuff N’ Space; More Space N’ Stuff

All intellectual property rights still remain (yeah, I know–doesn’t it have to be intellectual before the intellectual property rights kick-in?). Points of no return eliminate choice. Of course one can go in circles and have many points of no return. Bonus Round?: What if we didn’t go in so many circles, yet still had many […]

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January 7, 2014: New Year’s Ponderings

Copyrighted, trademarked, and all the usual declarations about intellectual “property”! What is your mind doing to shape your experience? Attributed to a Buddhist saying It’s a new year, a somewhat arbitrary designation for sure, but one that is good for marking endings and beginnings. As is the usual pattern, the preceding year was marked by […]

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December 18, 2013: More About Greatness

Okay—about greatness again: Maybe what wears most great folks out is being great because of great quests. Sometimes, however, greatness is also about the accumulation of small acts of kindness—in addition to small insights gained. That isn’t likely to wear anyone out. In fact, it is likely to make both the giver and the receiver […]

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December 15, 2013: Greatness

Got to have permission per all those copyright rules! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be great? When I see greatness in people, I see a lot of worn-out folks. It seems to be great, one has to be a kind of successful Sisyphus—you know, the character from Greek mythology who […]

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December 7, 2013: The Time It Takes to Have Time

All the usual copyright stuff applies… Have you noticed it takes a lot of time to have time? It’s a lot of work to not have much to do. And if you’re the kind of being who likes to sit and watch sunrises or sunsets or birds flit about or if you like to sit […]

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More Same Ol’, Same Ol’: November 25, 2013

The usual copyrights and disclaimers still apply. Let’s pretend there’s Karma—after all, stories can be rather useful in finding a truth. That’s not to say there is or isn’t Karma, but it is to say that in situations like this, we know the truth is we’re telling a story. So here’s our story: Karma is […]

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November 21, 2013: Same Ol’, Same Ol’

All the usual copyrights and disclaimers apply The compass heading is always the focus of our attention—meaning that our attention determines the compass heading. That attention/compass heading can shift as rapidly as there are directions or it can land on something as seemingly regular as the North Star. The point is if one wants to […]

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November 12, 2013: The Still-Not-Ready-For Whatever

And still the usual copyrights with the usual “who knows why?” tag. So, I have a question. Is deliberately doing the one best thing the only thing to do for the practiced mind or is it in some way being tethered to an unrelenting task-master? Sometimes there is great beauty in deliberately screwing up—effectively not […]

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October 15, 2013: The Not-Ready-For Whatever

Still copyrighted, though who knows why. There is a difference between going to sleep with everything accomplished and going to sleep having done all one can do. In the former, the to-do list is empty. In the latter, the to-do list remains. There is nothing quite like sleep when one is free from the to-do […]

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September 9, 2013: The Not Even Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The barometer of our evolution towards getting it right is our attitude. Much of human attitude stews in our resentment. We resent. Perhaps it’s about being born, a kind of abandonment. Perhaps it’s about needing so […]

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August 17, 2013: The Not-Even-Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Remember summer vacations? Remember doing good work? When was the last night you spent outside yet felt safe? When was the last time you appreciated home? When and how did we get so out of rhythm? […]

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July 20, 2013: The Not-Even-Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. A man I know passed away. I attended his memorial as I like him (yeah, I know about the verb tense). He was hard not to like. I’ve been to some memorials in my time. There […]

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June 6, 2013: The Not-Even-Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Take away an army’s boots and you have crippled them. Author In war, when it comes to the need for “boots on the ground,” bare feet on the ground just won’t work—it’s a bit hard to […]

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May 12, 2013: The Not-Even-Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. May 12, 2013: Mother’s Day Father’s may not know, offspring may wonder, but a mother always knows the child is hers. Author Such knowing is the purview of motherhood and the basis for a bond that […]

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April 21, 2013: The Not-Even-Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The trick of the “devil” is for each of us to grow tired and to feel put upon. Author And it’s easy to fall into. Relationships, work, driving, traveling—anything that demands our attention. I heard recently […]

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April 9, 2013: The Not Even Ready For Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I really like not having anything to do, especially after having a lot to do. Author I went into the desert for a sojourn. Truck camping it was. Four days were planned. The Gods laughed. It […]

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April 1, 2013: The Not Even Ready For Bumper-Sticker Philosophy

Brought to you by Blah, Blah, Blah, a division of Book-in-a-Drawer Publications. Trademarked, copyrighted, imprinted, branded, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. Groucho Marx Tough to type as my hands hurt from handling barbed-wire to repair a fence my neighbor’s horses have broken down. Of […]

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March 1, 2013: Being a Purgatorian, Part I

Thus you may understand that love alone is the true seed of every merit in you, and of all acts for which you must atone. Dante Alighieri Have you ever wondered what language they speak in Limbo? Lee T. Gallup Are you carrying a big stick or are you just one? Author As I am […]

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Being a Purgatorian, Part II

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply Purgatory. Abraham Lincoln They have come up with a perfect understanding: He won’t try to run her life, and he won’t try to run his, either. Anonymous Marriages don’t last. When I meet a guy, the first question I ask myself is: is this the man […]

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February 1, 2013: Musings: The Idle Mind as Heaven’s Workshop? Part I

Some people make sharp distinctions sort of between their recreational musings and their professional work. I don’t make that distinction very much. Whitfield Diffie Kicking a can down the road can be a great way to spend a day. Author As I’ve written before, the folks I know are busy people—I think kind of borderline […]

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Musings: The Idle Mind as Heaven’s Workshop? Part II

There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know. Harry Truman Nothing against Harry, but I’m guessing we can create new histories. I mean, look at the difference in human history because of technology. As best as we can tell, that technology was new to human experience. However, give Harry […]

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January 1, 2013: Things I’m Still Learning, Part I

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. F.M. Knowles It wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t have regrets. William Thomas 2012 was an interesting year, as most of these years are and will likely continue to be. We seemed to have survived yet another catastrophic prediction, […]

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Things I’m Still Learning, Part II

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions. Joey Adams Even with stopping at two parts, it looks like I’m heading into the New Year with a list of needed learnings that could fell me on my best day. Maybe I’ll be satisfied if I comfort myself on knowing how much […]

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December 1, 2012: Holiday Thoughts, Part I

“At this time of year I find myself falling into a condition that I like to call Infectious romanticus or Sentimentalicous irrationalico.” Lewis Black Yep, it doesn’t matter what I do trying to stop it, it’s sentimental tsunami time. I won’t go into all the reasons why this is so over the years other than […]

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Holiday Thoughts, Part II

Who decides when the applause should die down? It seems like it’s a group decision; everyone begins to say to themselves at the same time, “Well, okay, that’s enough of that.” George Carlin The Holidays will be over soon enough and the applause, such as it was, will die down and we’ll all forget about […]

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November 1, 2012: More Caring and Less Carrying?: Political Diversions, Part I

“…it’s only when you stop trying to make sense of things that you start seeing.” Eugene Richards Warning: This is the vision part. The action part follows. It’s major election time again and as usual uninformed and low-informed opinions are appearing like locusts in a plague. Hopefully I won’t be one of those pesky beings, […]

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More Caring and Less Carrying?: Political Diversions, Part II

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Japanese Proverb The best time to plant a tree was twenty-years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese Proverb I am basing what follows on a central premise: None of us is so dumb that we don’t have the ability to listen […]

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October 1, 2012: Personal Sabotage

On the surface, sabotage sounds unidirectional and that direction is all bad. However, what if there was an underlying silver lining when we sabotage ourselves? Let’s start with asking if personal sabotage is necessary. I’m thinking such sabotage doesn’t kick-in unless it’s a facet of required change. Even the word “required” is a bit suspect, […]

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Group Sabotage

Sabotage is not just a personal undertaking, but one that can involve a group of folks, like the gathering-of-idiots example in the bit on personal sabotage written previously. And again, like personal sabotage, group sabotage could actually be a guiding light—a wake-up call that the body-whatever is wandering off trail. In writing this, I’m not […]

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September 1, 2012: A Grin and Grim Short Story, Part I

Brought to you by Fun with Words,™ a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications. ™ Warning: The following may seem cynical and depressing, but is actually meant to be an inoculation against cynical and depressing. Somewhere in a “beginning” was communication. It was tough because communication requires at least two voices, whether within one entity or between […]

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A Grin and Grim Short Story, Part II

Still brought to you by Fun with Words,™ a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications. ™ Warning: The following may seem cynical and depressing, but is actually meant to be an inoculation against cynical and depressing. All right, the part I scenario above all seems kind of grim and not much grin—and for good reason. It is […]

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eThoughts : Dick and Jane, Part II

Brought to you by Keeping It Simple,™ a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications.™ Warning: The following may seem cynical and depressing, but is actually meant to be an inoculation against cynical and depressing. Dick and Jane are married and have children. Dick and Jane have a home and stuff and careers. Dick and Jane are upstanding. […]

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eThoughts : August 1, 2012: Dick and Jane, Part I

Brought to you by Keeping It Simple,™ a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications.™ Warning: The following may seem cynical and depressing, but is actually meant to be an inoculation against cynical and depressing. See Dick notice himself. At first others think it’s cute. When Dick is older, others will worry he is self-absorbed. So will Dick. […]

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eThoughts : Decisions, Part II

Brought to you by A Beta-Society Member Speaking Up™, a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications™. “Sir, What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president. “Two words.” “And, sir, what are they?” “Good decisions.” “And how do you make good decisions?” “One word.” “And sir, what is that?” “Experience.” “And how do […]

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eThoughts : July 1, 2012: Decisions, Part I

Brought to you by A Beta-Society Member Speaking Up™, a division of Book-in-Drawer Publications™. A “No” uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a “Yes” merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. Attributed to Mohandas Gandhi The upfront disclaimer is that the following is simply a beta-society member speaking up. I will […]

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eThoughts : Slouching Towards Thriving?

Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid. Heinrich Heine Beware again, now it’s random musing that follows. The ants used to build colonies in the garage. I chased them out many times. Then they came to forage and I was okay. As it turns out, it is not […]

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eThoughts : June 1, 2012: Thriving

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. J. Krishnamurti Beware, musing follows. Thriving, like surviving, is a very individual thing, though there are likely similarities with all folk. However, unlike surviving, I consider thriving to be a win-win—and a win-win in so many facets of our lives […]

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eThoughts : Wild Boar in a Tree

We were on an eight-mile, round trip hike to Hanakapiai Falls—a rugged hike if not a long one. We had to cross the river at least three times in each direction, slogging through mud, over trails that disappeared, traipsing along slippery rocks, having to use our hands in numerous places to hoist ourselves up or […]

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eThoughts : May 1, 2012: Beauty, Delight, and Adventure

Kauai was an interesting adventure, though a week is certainly not enough time to unwind. Nonetheless, it was a week I will not soon forget. I’m clearly the kind of being who loves having nothing to do except what can come up as I’m going along. My lady friend, a being with a to-do list, […]

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eThoughts : Our Relationship and Influence With Perception

One thing about the involvement/no involvement paradox is that it is always about involvement. Even a hermit is involved in one way or the other. Spring break looms and my lady friend and I are headed to Kauai. Besides being a professor, I’m also an Academic Senate President. That means that vacations are not the […]

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eThoughts : April 1, 2012: To Be Involved or Not To Be Involved—That is the Question

Interpersonal interactions can be a bit frustrating. One wouldn’t think there would be so much politics in such interactions, but alas… I get we’re all scared in some way or another. We all need help in some way or another. But until we learn that we don’t need others to be lessor for us to […]

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eThoughts : Courage

Forget the dictionary definition on this one—we’re venturing forth without it. What does it take to realize and practice freedom and determinism, the consequences of each, along with acceptance and goodness of fit? I’m thinking it takes realizing and practicing our courage. I think we should lift the veil that makes courage an attribute for […]

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eThoughts : March 1, 2012: Goodness of Fit

Okay, freedom seems to interact with determinism and vice versa. There are consequences in any case. Acceptance of the consequences, despite how much work we might face because of those consequences, seems important for our overall health. Besides, if we fully understand there are consequences as a result of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we might […]

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eThoughts : Consequences, Part II

Perhaps consequences have not much been the lead sled dog in our framing of reality because arguments about freedom or determinism or morality seem so much more spectacular, if a bit ambiguous. For instance we can be inundated with dictums such as, be good go to heaven, be bad go to hell. Kill for sport […]

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eThoughts : February 1. 2012: Consequences, Part I

60 Minutes can be an interesting television program. Recently there was the story about Leon Panetta, President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. A good story and a hard man not to like. But I took umbrage with his telling families who have lost a loved one in war that their son or daughter will not be […]

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eThoughts : Clutter, Part II

We saw each other at that moment—a moment without agenda. It was strange as it had always seemed that to connect required some agenda or the other, whether it was biological, environmental, spiritual, emotional, cognitive, social, individual, whatever. There was vastness in her being. There was vastness in mine. Yet in that vastness was something […]

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eThoughts : January 1, 2012: Clutter, Part I

There she was, coming in like she owned the world. Beautiful, tall, lean, shapely, stately, poised, sensual and sensuous. She commanded—not demanded—attention. She was why the word “breathtaking” came about. I wondered what would take her breath away. And then I knew—and that was when she noticed. As we all know, the New Year is […]

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eThoughts : Holiday Thoughts, Part II

Continuing in the spirit of being thankful for all we do wrong, let’s grin a bit and keep ‘er going. All right, humans are directionally challenged. For all of our intent, our behaviors are like a shotgun blast on a distribution chart—all over the place with no real arrow of direction. Our attentions are so […]

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eThoughts : December 1, 2011: Holiday Thoughts, Part I

Resentment may not be a wonderful holiday thought, but resentment is definitely a holiday sentiment. Interesting. And the motivation for resentment? Perhaps it’s because we already feel so pushed around that anything constituting another obligation is bound to be met with resentment. If we were not so overwhelmed, we might feel a bit better about […]

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eThoughts : Sometimes I Doan Wanna Pay Attention Any More

Motivation. Hmmm. Sometimes I get lost. What are we doing exactly? I get survival. Seems like a way to keep a certain constancy. There’s some comfort in that. However, one problem with trying to maintain constancy in a dynamic environment is massive energy expenditure. Calorically, it can be a bad return on investment. Unless one […]

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eThoughts : November 1, 2011: Intimacy is Not One Thing

I was talking with a woman recently about various things. Along the way, intimacy came up. She railed about that. Intimacy, she claimed, is not about talking, intimacy is about being. If one talks about intimacy, that is not only not intimacy, it actually detracts from intimacy. She then proceeded to ask me what I […]

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eThoughts : Keeping One’s Head Down and One’s Attention Up

Brought to you by Theater of the Mind,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Sometimes it may seem like all I write about is a form of lament. Actually, my natural pattern is this grin—it’s all really pretty funny. It’s like the mother lode of comedy “out there” or “in here” what with humans running around […]

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eThoughts : October 1, 2011: Badges, Prison Stripes, and Other Defining Garb

Brought to you by Theater of the Mind,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Sometime in the early 1970s, Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University ran an experiment called the Stanford Prison Experiment. It was terminated after about one week. I am going to take the idea and run with it, though I’m not the first and […]

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eThoughts : Conversations With a Magical Raven

Brought to you by Adventures in the Wilderness,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ After my conversation with Deer, I walked the fifteen or twenty minutes from the lake back to my campsite. I made some tea and moved about while enjoying the tea and the beginnings of evening. Soon I found myself exploring what had […]

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eThoughts : September, 1, 2011: Conversations With a Magical Deer

Brought to you by Adventures in the Wilderness,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ I was napping in my camping hammock (eleven ounces and worth every cent) by a lake in the mountains, near where my camp was, when I was awakened by a deer moving about. Apparently the deer had not noticed me or noticed […]

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eThoughts : More Nonsense?

On a micro level, relative to my small world, the institution of higher learning has been an interesting ride lately. The economic meltdown has driven up the amount of paperwork documenting accountability and driven down the time needed to polish learning. Joe Klein, wrote an article in Time (March 7, 2011) about the “…crusade to […]

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eThoughts : August 1, 2011: Weirdness

Our real problems are almost entirely about us—about people. What is weird about living is us. We’ve made the context—we’ve allowed it. And now the weirdness of us seems to have a life of its own. Such momentum seems difficult to break. Our institutions don’t help—can’t help. As conceived, those things simply promote further separations […]

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eThoughts : The Palaces of Hell

Brought to you by, Attempts at Sobriety and Levity,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ I am not going to pine for the past. I cannot imagine trying to live off the land or water. I cannot imagine being constantly at their mercy. I like cell phones, computers, television, and all of our technology and conveniences. […]

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eThoughts : July 1, 2011: The Slums of Heaven

Brought to you by, Watch Out for Lightning,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Going on vacation to visit relatives, friends, and old acquaintances is always interesting and my latest visits were no exception. Those close to us are an important part of life, a respite that can help mitigate the hell that sometimes swirls around […]

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eThoughts : The Smartest Person in the World: How Frightening Would That Be?

Brought to you by, More Knucklehead Philosophy,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ It’s one thing to have an occasional idea that no one seems to have thought about and it’s entirely another thing—I imagine—to be that kind of person on a regular basis. I mean, just how unnerving would it be to be the smartest […]

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eThoughts : June 1, 2011: Reality-Making: Is Our Notion of Time in the Way?

Brought to you by, Knucklehead Philosophy,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ All of these differing human attentions are a bit like the stories of leprechauns or ghosts intersecting with humans and how what we think are realities are only partially true. In other words, such stories are about puncturing our ideas (or other entities’ ideas) […]

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eThoughts : Equanimity

Brought to you by, Reality Theater,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Navigating through life seems to be a lesson in equanimity—though that doesn’t mean one has to sit idly by while life’s carnivores chew away on them. It does mean that we might be careful making attributions about why such events happen. Cause and effect […]

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eThoughts : May 1, 2011: Reality?

Brought to you by, Random Musings After Another Weird Day,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ This reality business is rather interesting—and annoying, at least to the degree we struggle with trying to be clean about our interpretations so they don’t masquerade as facts. But we’re working with a limited apprehensional skill set. And that’s yet […]

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eThoughts : Let’s Misbehave

Not to dampen the misbehaving enthusiasts, but this misbehaving idea is nothing new. It’s been around for millennia and it doesn’t appear to have helped much either. In fact, it is clear there are cases in which misbehaving has run us off a cliff, if that is possible in Purgatorio (well, there is Inferno). So […]

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eThoughts : April 1, 2011: Trying to Find Joy in Purgatorio

It’s been a bit serious lately: Clear shifts in political structure in the Middle East, a new war with Libya, our continuing war in Afghanistan, the earth rumbling off the eastern coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami and nuclear reactor problems, continuing global economic hardships, etc. And none of the above is about all […]

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eThoughts : To Breathing

Breath is an interesting rhythm. I have noticed in myself and many others how discomfort makes shallow, breathing’s rhythm. I have noticed in myself and many others how joy deepens breathing’s rhythm. I have noticed far too much discomfort compared to joy, except perhaps in children not yet schooled by adults in life’s harsh ways. […]

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eThoughts : March 1, 2011: Thoughts in Bad Poetic Form

Brought to you by, Really Bad Poetry,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Awakening Are humans at a place between our bodies telling our minds how it is and our minds telling us how it is? It is sometimes true that our bodies are formidable, as it is sometimes true of social input and certainly of […]

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eThoughts : Still Sleepless in Nuevo

Brought to you by Women Don’t Give up Ribs,™ a subsidiary of Conscious/Unconscious, Figure/Ground Reality, AKA Red-Monkey Butt Alchemy,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ ©2011: All rights reserved, of course. We’ve got tongue-in-cheek ads! Most-of-the-time requirements for You: Intelligent, gorgeous, physically fit, economically stable, playful female. Must be agreeable without being whiny-dependent, conscientious without being […]

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eThoughts : February 1, 2011: Sleepless in Nuevo

eThoughts : February 1, 2011: Sleepless in Nuevo Brought to you by Men Give up Ribs,™ a subsidiary of Conscious/Unconscious, Figure/Ground Reality, AKA Red-Monkey Butt Alchemy,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ ©2011: All rights reserved, of course. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” says she, as though asking for permission. “Okay,” says I. “I’ll […]

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eThoughts : More For a New Year

So, what if the end of the Mayan Calendar—apparently set for December 2012—is correct? How shall we live until then? I’m not suggesting we cash out and spend like crazy—that could be a monetary mess if we keep on living. I am suggesting we cash out on the current economy of our interpersonal interactions. Personally […]

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eThoughts : January 1, 2011: Auld Lang Syne

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the […]

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eThoughts : Holiday Thoughts, Part II.

I do like appearances, both for their help in my apprehension of reality and for the beauty of their existence. My choices are my preferences. I understand this. I do not celebrate my preferences as though they should be others’, I celebrate them because they are part of my apprehension. Celebrating Preferences I celebrate a […]

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eThoughts : December 1, 2010: Holiday Thoughts, Part I

For those who are not chronologically advanced, the Holiday season may have been very slow in arriving. But for those like me, 63-years along, I simply cannot believe it—again. However, one distinct advantage for the chronologically advanced is the accumulated memories and experiences of all the years of living. I have a lot of those […]

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eThoughts : A Grandfather’s Vision.

Tyler-Grandson: What follows is not an inclusive list of a grandfather’s hopes for his grandson, but a reflection of some of what I hope you learn as you go about your journey. I hope you will be keen on living and that you will be full of wonder and that wonder will grow with your […]

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eThoughts : November 1, 2010: Welcome to My Grandson

On October 6, 2010, Tyler Ashton Gibbs was born. My son now has his own son and both he and Tyler’s mother gained a sacred stewardship that will in one way or another, last for lifetimes—whether they like it or not! I’m not being smug, but it appears the new parents are getting about as […]

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eThoughts : Leaning Towards the Light, Enjoying the Shadows, and Loving the Night

The other night while I was enjoying the outdoor fire, the stars, the trees, and the silence, I began to wonder about my writing and why it can come off as so pedantic, though I have a pretty good sense of humor (really!). I think my humor is more objectively contextual—I work off of the […]

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eThoughts : October 1, 2010: The Change/Stability Paradox

Recently, after looking for a new home, I discovered I was semi-broke. Yes, I have a home and I am not likely to lose it—it’s paid for and has been for maybe 25 years. Like most people the home has plummeted in value, but I don’t owe, so I’m not in much danger of being […]

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eThoughts : Leadership and Awareness: Who or What is in Charge?

Do you know why we like babies? They’re innocent, as in not running the world through their experience. Do not get me wrong, babies are not born with a blank slate—a tabula rasa—they are born with personalities, and hence with certain predilections. Babies clearly influence their learning. However, as babies, their predilections are not their […]

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eThoughts : September 1, 2010: Leadership and Intimacy

I read many years ago that managers try to do things right and leaders try to do the right thing. I’ll take that as those who manage try to follow established guidelines and those who lead try to create new and appropriate guidelines. It is my thought as well, that leaders are simply those who […]

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eThoughts : We Are

It seems to me that any good relationship deserves an occasional deep look. It’s a risky situation to be sure. Try finding out that the real basis of a relationship is a house of cards. However, we need people and sometimes it’s better to have some kind of relationship than no relationship at all. But […]

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eThoughts : August 1, 2010: More About Moving Beyond “I am” to “We Are”

I seem to be up—it’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m a busy mulling. The usual disclaimer ensues: Random musings and a bit of a caustic mood follows—blah, blah, blah. Take the disclaimer seriously, the caustic mood not so much, and watch out for sudden thought-turns. And furthermore, please note that I certainly don’t do […]

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eThoughts : Unfettered Awareness.

Recently I heard part of a discussion between some students about what appeared to be the nature of reality. In response to a student saying they saw the good in everything, another student replied, “Well, I’m realistic.” I blurted out, uninvited, “that doesn’t sound very realistic.” It seems to me that striving to be something […]

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eThoughts : July 1, 2010: Life Doesn’t Repeat Itself, We Do”

I have had occasion lately to think about the human debris field that can be interpersonal relationships. And yep, that includes my screw-ups. And I have had occasion lately to think about the beauty that can be interpersonal relationships. And yep, that includes a contribution or two by yours truly. The debris field doesn’t just […]

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eThoughts : Rejection, Part II.

This muse is sounding humorless, I know. It is not a pleasant subject, but it is a pleasant resolution. So bear with me. Besides the thread of war in human existence, we also have a thread of maladaptive individuals living among us, regardless of the political/philosophical/religious/ orientation of a nation. The sum of these problems […]

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eThoughts : June 1, 2010: Rejection, Part I.

Memorial Day has come and gone—a holiday to think about all those military veterans who have gone into harm’s way, including those who have given or have had their lives taken in the process. When I wonder about those who went into harm’s way, I cannot help but think about agendas. I suspect some of […]

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eThoughts : Conundrum, Part II

When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have. Stephen Hawking The rest of this is brought to you by Speak, Bozo, Speak,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ ©2010 All rights reserved (like anyone wants to rip off Bozo-Speak). All of this traversing paradoxes can be a bit intimidating. How […]

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eThoughts : May 1, 2010: Condundrum, Part I

Yearn to understand first and to be understood second. Beca Lewis Allen The rest of this is brought to you by Speak, Bozo, Speak,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ ©2010 All rights reserved (like anyone wants to rip off Bozo-Speak). We live in a world—a universe (multiverse?) I think—of paradoxes. Paradoxes cannot be eliminated, but […]

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eThoughts : The Extinction of Idiocy: The Cry Over Big Government Versus Individual Rights.

I have no idea whether the recently passed health-care bill will be a solid contribution to our society or a weight to drag it down. But I do know one thing: In general, private corporations were not taking care of the problems of adequate medical care. All of this talk about the advent of a […]

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eThoughts : April 1, 2010: Extinction

There’s more to extinction than dinosaurs. In terms of Pavlovian or Skinnerian psychology, extinction is the apparent loss of associations between stimuli that had previously been learned. You know, repeatedly ring a bell and put down food and a dog will eventually associate the ringing bell with food and begin drooling at the sound of […]

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eThoughts : The Cognitive/Emotional Strobe-Light Effect and Bumper-Sticker Philosophies.

In the midst of all my semi-rehabilitation, I still notice how disconnected we, including me, can be. It’s as though one’s feelings and cognitions are not connected to the continuum, only to a picture-frame reference. Odd thing that. Without a continuum, how can we discover the connecting links? With only a picture-frame reference, how do […]

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eThoughts : March 1, 2010: Doing Much of Nothing

Apparently life is a lot more difficult when one is a newbie at this physical rehabilitation stuff. But newbie or not, and realizing that so many are doing so much more and with likely a lot less to work with, I’m still struggling with trying to heal and to continue on with my life. It […]

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eThoughts : Clamping Down

When one learns to live with pain, one takes a chance that the grip on one’s life necessary to live with pain will become a living appendage itself. In fact, it is not just physical pain, but cognitive, emotional, and spiritual pain that become a living part of us. When this happens, divesting ourselves of […]

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eThoughts : February 1, 2010: Pain and Mobility

I went in on January 18, 2010 to have the so-called hip-replacement surgery. The spinal block didn’t take as needed so I was given general anesthesia. I went to sleep and woke up what seemed like an instant later in the recovery room. The surgery went well and now my attention is turned to preventing […]

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eThoughts : A New Year and Shifting Identity

The psychologist Erik Erikson thought that one’s identity is ever changing and that one of the major tasks as a human being is to keep up with that change. January 1, 2010 marks the beginning of a new year for a lot of us as well as the beginning of a new decade. As many […]

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eThoughts : January 1, 2010: Holiday Adventures

Christmas 2009 was amazing. My entire family, excluding my brother, showed up and stayed around for a bit. My sister brought her two dogs and my son brought his. I’ve not had animals in the house for a long time, short of accidentally when my one remaining pet shoots past the unaware. And though my […]

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eThoughts : Holy-Days, Part II ©2009. All rights reserved.

Brought to you by, Random Musings from the Stream of Semi-Consciousness,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ There is little question in my mind that powers greater than us exist. There is also little question that whatever intelligence really is, there are those that have more of it. And there can be little doubt that stability […]

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eThoughts : December 1, 2009: Holy-Days, Part I ©2009. All rights reserved.

Brought to you by, Random Musings from the Stream of Semi-Consciousness,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ For many of us, the days from Thanksgiving through January 1st are about holidays, a term dictionaries tend to define as a break in work for festivities and celebration. I don’t know why that definition only—aren’t holidays supposed to […]

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eThoughts : Songs, Part II ©2009

Brought to you by, Really Bad Poetry,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Listening We were on the phone, Talking. I heard her peeing And the toilet flush. “What? Were you listening?” I had to ask. “I heard you,” she said. I suppose she did, Though she wasn’t listening. But then again, Maybe I only heard […]

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eThoughts: November 1, 2009: Songs, Part I ©2009. All rights reserved.

Brought to you by, Really Bad Poetry,™ a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Cooperation In the late afternoon I walked, Though one of my legs was not cooperating. Or maybe it was I that was not cooperating With my leg. Still we went along, As we all seem to do. Lament There was a song that […]

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eThoughts: Marriage

Why is there so much trouble with marriage? Okay, I don’t have easy answers. But I do have a thought about the societal structure of gender involvement (notice how I dodged the heterosexual versus homosexual issue?). And yes, naysayers, I am divorced. Consider this: Sometimes we learn more about our lives from the mistakes we […]

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eThoughts : October 1, 2009: Soul Mates

The concept of having a soul mate almost always refers to a human-to-human relationship, though some humans seem to have animal pets as soul mates (as opposed to human pets—and don’t send your cards and letters to me, it’s a legitimate observation). And the concept of soul mate always seems to infer a good thing, […]

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eThoughts : This and That, Part II

My son and I went backpacking again this year. I’m not talking anything more than finding an out-of-the-way spot in beautiful surroundings that is not hours from the car. And it must be quiet and serene. We know of a couple of places, even if we have to put in some driving to get there. […]

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eThoughts : September 1, 2009: This and That, Part I

It’s been an interesting summer vacationing and getting things accomplished. The house and land are pretty well handled, though when I returned from my last vacation of the summer, I returned to a couple of non-working irrigation valves, a kitchen faucet that leaks a bit, and a toilet that now really won’t fill up. And […]

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eThoughts : Just Beyond Projection, Part II

It was 1972, the year I turned 25, and inflation was afoot—at least in my small economic world. Though the year or two before, I could manage to live on five-dollars a day, I now had to have a budget of six-dollars a day. So, when I bought the car while traveling in France—a 1960 […]

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eThoughts : August 1, 2009: Just Beyond Projection, Part I

It was summer of 1971 and we were in a later-model Volkswagen Beetle off on the first leg of a three-week tour of the U.S.—well, as much as we could see in that short a time anyway. It was late at night and we were somewhere east of Phoenix, Arizona. The three of us were […]

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eThoughts : Speaking of Commencement…

A funny thing about taking care of each other is that it generally requires each other. A medical doctor is not going to get very far without the cooperation of the patient. An intimate relationship is not going to get very far without the cooperation of both parties (or all the parties—insert your own joke/interpretation […]

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eThoughts : July 1, 2009: Commencement, Graduation, Discipline, Freedom, and Stewardship

I was not the keynote speaker, but I was asked to give a speech at graduation—a tough job I think. I’ve heard a ton of them before during these ceremonies and I only remember part of one. But I think there is something to be noted, so I noted it and kept it short—under five […]

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eThoughts : Dreaming

Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for the night. Light a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. Terry Pratchet I have been dreaming and it is weird. I see people—myself included—with a big hole in our beings and reaching out, kind of clumsy and yearning […]

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eThoughts : June 1, 2009: To-Do-List Alphas and Evolution

This is the time of year for me—actually this occurs twice a year—in which my to-do list is running the show. I put up with it because I know it’s temporary. But the older I get, the more I suspect that “knowledge” is a bit of trickery. I work in academics, the supposed vehicle in […]

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eThoughts : Community

It is clear that the welfare of the community is directly related to the welfare of the individual. Do not think I’m downgrading the importance of the individual. Healthy individuals make up a healthy community. But a healthy community can heal unhealthy individuals much better and faster than the individuals could otherwise do themselves. And […]

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eThoughts : May 1, 2009: Conflict

The mark of civility cannot be solely measured by our ability to be courteous and considerate to others, but must include the ability to handle conflict in a constructive manner. In fact, if we can do that, the rest comes naturally. What most of us do much of the time is to practice being courteous […]

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eThoughts : Perfection

Speaking about psychology running through it: How is it that humans get so caught up in either the pursuit or avoidance of perfection? I find it interesting that we base much of our worthiness on perfection. We are less than because we are not royalty, or president, or stars, or billionaires, or parents, or married, […]

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eThoughts : April 1, 2009: Psychology Runs Through It

  For those of you (such as Tom Cruise) ready to leap on the title as a product of a mental disorder, I’m not suggesting that psychology is really God. I’m suggesting that in any human endeavor that aspires to ascertain, create, or attach meaning, psychology is involved. Heck, even fact finding is about psychology, […]

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eThoughts : Passion and Commitment

Besides the role of intimacy in interpersonal relationships, passion and commitment are considered by many to round out the best of relationships. Keep in mind that these big three are not meant to have a static relationship, rather that the three interact in such a way that sometimes intimacy is the lead, at other points […]

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eThoughts : March 1, 2009: Intimacy

Let’s start with a human relationship definition and not a completely dictionary one: Deep intimacy is the sharing, acceptance, and growth (declines can lead to growth in truly intimate relationships) between two or more people of all things personal, including strengths and vulnerabilities. This definition is not just about the individuals involved, but includes the […]

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eThoughts : Psychology and the Economy: A Psychological Stimulus Package?

Recently I had a discussion with a woman who has a client—an author—interested in discussing, via the radio, the rise of unemployment during this economic crisis. My input was that unsought unemployment was the psychological equivalent of abandonment and associated with feelings of suffering, scarcity, and helplessness. This is especially true of midlife humans in […]

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eThoughts : February 1, 2009: Psychology, Rhetoric, and Grace: Prayer and the Presidential Inauguration

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States is complete. The legacy is anything but. The amount of work the world, the nation, and this man have to do is monumental. What is likely to make the task really difficult is that despite the enormous problems we all recognize, few […]

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eThoughts : The Big Things

Okay, the previous post aside, let’s face it, sometimes it feels good to feel bad. And sometimes it feels good to create the bad—in big bold strokes. Think Revelations in the Christian bible. And no, don’t send your cards and letters to me, I’m not disparaging anyone, I’m thinking about how we manifest our craziness […]

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eThoughts : January 1, 2009: The Little Things

I recently went to see the movie Seven Pounds, with Will Smith. I liked the movie though I saw the potential to add to the human karma-drama and the need for an epic reconciliation of bad deeds with good ones. I see nothing wrong with doing good, but I suspect that the human propensity to […]

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eThoughts : More Holiday Cheer?

All right, we’ve got this party started I think. Let’s push the envelope of cheer and see what we come up with. It’s called play, folks—and I think we need some of that. Let’s practice something in the spirit of play—not doing what we usually do. Let’s upset the expectation apple cart. I’m not going […]

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eThoughts : December 1, 2008: Holiday Thoughts

This ought to be an interesting holiday season. The economy is somewhere in the tank with no obvious sign of recovery. War still wages. Belief is more powerful than ever, holding reign over other ways of creating and apprehending reality. It’s a slippery slope and gaining momentum—one foot is on the banana peel and the […]

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eThoughts : Gaining Wisdom: Checking Belief and Truth With Reality

Both belief and truth are potential tyrannies. Witness California’s passage of Proposition 8 defining marriage as that between a man and a woman. A group of people—homosexuals—are denied marriage. How about the laws, passed by a majority, that governed the interaction of blacks and whites—or not as the case actually was. Separate facilities, no intermingling—including […]

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eThoughts : November 15, 2008: Truth, Belief, and Wisdom

After the fiasco of the majority vote for California’s Prop 8—the one that defines marriage as between a man and a woman—I think it time to point a finger at belief. Before heading out on this musing, I think it may behoove us to go over philosophy’s basic tests of truth. The first one I’ll […]

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eThoughts : Helping All of Us

Lots of rhetoric in the previous post—almost like I was running for office. I’m not. I am interested in all of us being well. And I’m interested in that for very selfish reasons—I literally function better when all of us are happy. Want to know why we are so much better at enduring misery rather […]

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eThoughts : November 1, 2008: Election Time

Sometime back, before the primaries, I wrote in one of these posts about my support of Barack Obama. I also noted at various other times, both before and after that post, about my take on politicians. I’m staying with Obama and I’m staying with my take on politicians. The kind of person it will take […]

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eThoughts : The End of Crucifixions

And while I’m at it… I’m sick of honoring the crucifixion as though it needs to be emulated. The entire point of the crucifixion was for that kind of cruelty to cease. However, we still nail ourselves and each other to the cross on a regular basis. We engaged in suffering as though the scar […]

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eThoughts : October 1, 2008 The Lazy Mind

Some days, some weeks, some months, some years, likely some lifetimes, some of us don’t feel like doing anything more energetic than powering our basic respiration. Struggling against the odds may be the stuff of movies, but as a way of life, it can just suck. It’s easy to fall into lazy mind—in fact when […]

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eThoughts : Purgatorio and Presidential Elections

I do not like the politics of hate, or of dislike, or of ego-epics. When hate is so generalized, it cannot serve the truth, it can only be self-serving. Is there any religious group that is unilaterally evil? Is there any political party that is unilaterally evil? And so on. Generalities are fine in some […]

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eThoughts : September 1, 2008: Purgatorians

Traveling, as I said in the last post, is, among other things, about learning the art of saying hello and the art of saying goodbye. This is a valuable learning for Purgatorians, especially those with that darn helper gene, when it comes to the latter art of saying goodbye. All right, stay with me through […]

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eThoughts : More about Wanderlust

I celebrated my 25th birthday at the base of the Matterhorn that summer of 1972. I told no one and it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. It had been a journey to get there. I had eschewed a business, a marriage, and college. I knew that I needed to get out […]

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eThoughts : August 1, 2008: Wanderlust Begins Again: Random Musings Before a Journey

Vacations are important, but getting ready to leave the home fires and returning to see if all is well can be very taxing—that to-do list can be quite an alpha in one’s life. However, this particular vacation is significant as I’ve not been back to Europe since my wandering days, during which I spent about […]

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eThoughts : Vulnerability, Part II

Vulnerability is an interesting polarizing force. And no matter how hard we try, we can mitigate the circumstances sometimes, but we cannot become invulnerable. However, that doesn’t stop us from trying. And in the name of preventing or protecting vulnerability, we have created a lot of human woes. One of the worst woes is the […]

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eThoughts : July 1, 2008: Vulnerability, Part I

Okay, I could write about a lot of contemporary things like the credit crunch, the collapsing housing market, gasoline prices, global warming, the presidential election, etc. (note to the sarcastic ones out there: I didn’t say I could write about them well, I just said write). But a lot of people, and competent ones at […]

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eThoughts : Communion and Crucifixion

When my mother passed away in February of 2002 and my third love and I went our separate ways, I wrote Renewal as a way to heal. Renewal, however, was a hard time coming, so I took up writing some more—now listed as eThoughts on my website (travisgibbs.com for those of you that may not […]

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eThoughts : June 1, 2008: Ben Stein’s Movie

I recently saw Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which was at times an annoying blend of Al Gore’s and Michael Moore’s movie styles. Though I think the subject of creationism, intelligent design, Darwinism, and evolution is an important subject and should be on the discussion table, I just don’t think the proper variables […]

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eThoughts : Our Yes and Our No, Part II

And then there’s the issue of affirmation, saying and hearing yes. As you might have guessed, there might be some potholes in this road as well. While we can spend a lot of time closing in on ourselves and others by saying no, saying yes on the other hand can be seen as an expansion, […]

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eThoughts : May 1, 2008: Our Yes and Our No, Part I

I’ve been reading and thinking a bit about 1968. There is no question that it was a tumultuous year—riots, war, assassinations, circling the moon, weird elections, etc. Some are saying that it was the year that shaped who we are. Okay, it was a seminal year, even if there have been many years before it […]

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eThoughts : Learning to Listen: The End of Relationship Chaos

When we only hear the pain or embrace in ourselves, we have effectively blocked out a major part of the world around us. Those screams we hear that announce we haven’t received what we want can be siren songs calling us to crash on the cliffs of our fear. And that satisfaction in getting what […]

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eThoughts : April 1, 2008: Blame and Fault

It can be an interesting human characteristic to find fault and assign blame. Sometimes such endeavors are appropriate, as in murder, robberies, car accidents, and those who lie for gain at the expense of others, such as politicians (Henry Kissinger was reputed to have said that “ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent […]

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eThoughts : Expanding vs Narrowing Awareness

One of the ways to know it’s truly safe is the ability to both contract and expand one’s awareness. We all live in some sort of a bubble of perception, yet we all need to know that our bubble is somehow in the same sea as others and their bubbles. That’s a connection expanded awareness […]

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eThoughts : Civility vs. Genuineness

Civility is a good thing. Without it there is no telling how much more chaos human interactions would provoke. After all, we live on an incredibly beautiful planet, in a time ripe with the promise of heightened awareness (actually the time has been ripe for some millennia), yet populated by an abundance of human idiots […]

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eThoughts : Politics, Voting, and Economics

There is a political saying that people vote their pocket books. While that statement seems true, the problem is the timeframe—immediate pocket books or long-term, or both? Mostly immediate it looks like. That’s not wisdom, that’s just plain preadolescent—no offense to preadolescents. Boom or bust, bears or bulls, inflation or recession and robust or economic […]

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eThoughts : Politics, Voting, and Slogans

Super Tuesday is coming quickly and it’s time to do the preliminary casting of votes for President. Naturally, I’ve got some thoughts about that. I’m casting my vote at this time for Barack Obama. We’ll see what the fall brings. Here’s the way I see it: I gave the nod to Obama because I’m assuming […]

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eThoughts : The Need For Devils, Part II

If there are going to be “us and them” distinctions, then why does it have to include a villain? And I’m not buying the argument that such “us and them” distinctions isn’t about devils—just look at what’s afoot in the world, it isn’t exactly joy and communion that are running our distinctions. And I’m not […]

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eThoughts : January 1, 2008: The Need for Devils: New Year’s Thoughts, Part I

I recently had a conversation with a person—let’s call them Jane—who told me about a series of dreams over a two-week period, all involving the same individual—let’s call them Mary. The common theme was about Jane being victimized by Mary. Jane told Mary about her dreams, but offered a disclaimer, saying she knew her dreams […]

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eThoughts : Random Holiday Thoughts: Part II

You didn’t think I had finished did you? Nope, I only took a breather, and if you’re here, you went to another page. Hey, it’s a kind of commitment on both our parts. Why do we have pets? Have you ever thought about what the word pet actually means? It’s either we have ownership or […]

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eThoughts : Random Holiday Thoughts: Part I, December 2007

Random Holiday Thoughts: Part I, December 2007 It’s not like I’m a guru or anything even close, so this entire topic of sage little thoughts seems ludicrous. And, besides, even if I was capable, why would I be a sage—they either live lonely lives, get killed, kicked out of their countries, or some such thing. […]

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eThoughts : Endings and Forevers

Maybe I’ve read one too many books or watched one too many movies, but it seems to me we’re conditioned to focus our energy and our lives on the importance of endings or forevers. Yet, I think between endings and forevers is our life. Think about it—we want to live happily ever after, we don’t […]

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Energy is available to us all of the time—there is no shortage of it.

At best, such a statement sounds a bit contradictory doesn’t it? At worst, the statement sounds like an outright lie. We all have experienced a lack of energy. We live in a world where people die because there is not enough water or food, or warmth or cool, or medicine, goodness, wellbeing, etc. So how […]

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eThoughts : Entertainment and Information

I deal in information, and entertainment—well, sometimes, this stuff may be neither. Nonetheless, both can and do go together very nicely. After all, if I cannot capture the attention of students, I often cannot get their attention, which is what they are in school to practice—even if they think they’re only there to increase future […]

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eThoughts : Psychology and the Media

I object, strenuously, about entertainment masquerading as psychological therapy. Most of you can guess that I’m talking about psychologists (real or imagined) who have radio or television shows and who purport to be helping others by showcasing (parading?) their guests’ (clients?) maladies in front of an audience. Oh I’m sure that all of the legal […]

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eThoughts : Vacations, Part II

For many, many years it has been a practice of ours to take a family vacation. Even when my children moved out and started their own adult lives, we kept the tradition. This year my oldest daughter procured a free condo—a very nice condo I may add—overlooking the bay in Monterey, California. This is the […]

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eThoughts : August 31, 2007: Vacations: Part I

About four years ago, in August of 2003, I went backpacking into the Caribou Wilderness of Northeastern California. I had been to this particular place about once a year out of the previous twelve years or so, going to different locations only twice in that timeframe. The trips were always wondrous and enormously soothing, something […]

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eThoughts : A Call to Politicians

As yet another presidential election looms, and as all you candidates are vying for attention and influence, perhaps it’s time to not do business as usual. Consider a world where influence is less important than well-being. Perhaps it’s actually crazy to think that you can’t do much if you don’t hold office or institutional power. […]

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eThoughts : The Age of Ignorance?

It seems to me that future generations from now will look back on the present state of human reason, emotion, and spirituality, at least regarding politics and human interaction, much like today’s medical community looks back at the state of medicine during the Civil War—as relatively uninformed. Perhaps the Dark Ages are not at all […]

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eThoughts : Individual and Group Intelligence and Retardation

There is an article in the July 2007 edition of National Geographic about swarm theory, which essentially is about swarm intelligence and how bees, insects, some birds, herbivores, etc. work in tandem. Such organization seems like a stark contrast to the leader-driven hierarchy of most predators—including humans (but excluding such predators as the piranha). However […]

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eThoughts : What Our Soldiers are NOT Fighting For

It’s been yet another run in which human lack of responsibility has reigned in the local arena. The ongoing effects of irresponsible dog owners, drivers, neighbors and music, cell-phone users, tossed-trash, and, well, add infinitum, sometimes seems to trump peace and beauty. Freedom and liberty and privacy cannot be used as an excuse to avoid […]

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eThoughts : Change and Stability, Living and Dying

Our college lost another colleague a number of years ago that was also a tough loss. Jim was a stabilizing and intelligent presence, avoiding gaining influence just for the sake of influence. He was not about winning, he was about making sense. He also died of a heart attack. In his early 50s, he was […]

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eThoughts : May 20, 2007: In Memoriam

We argued when we first met. Not a disrespectful, knock-down, dragged-out assault, but one born of incredulity. She hadn’t wasted any time wondering what I thought, broaching, shortly after hello, the subject of discrimination—after all, she said, I’m in psychology, she in philosophy. In the course of the discussion, I mentioned how I had been […]

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eThoughts : Ahhh, Dissociation

Yeah, now that I’ve beat up on avoidance as a long-term strategy, let’s talk about the art of dissociation. Yep, we don’t much get along and we don’t much feel good and it doesn’t much look good, despite the pockets of well-being. But embracing depression or whatever is wrong isn’t the same as parading our […]

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eThoughts : Ahhh, Depression

Depression is inevitable, however it manifests itself. It’s a depressing world. More often than not, it’s depressing interacting with people. More often than not, our politics are depressing, our work is depressing, it’s depressing we don’t play more often, it’s depressing that things seem to be getting worse. It’s depressing how long a list it […]

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eThoughts : The Soul of Us

What if we defined and lived like soul is a state of being nurtured? What if our work not only brought us money, but peace and healing? What if our schools taught in such a way that students felt it safe to learn—that being wrong and having time to learn were positive and basic ways […]

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eThoughts : Journeying Through Purgatorio

Some time back I wrote about the illusion of correcting the trouble created by the human occupation of Earth. Perhaps the concept bears revisiting. The point of the previous post was that one can’t fix Puratorio, but one can learn how to journey in Puratorio. This notion is usually translated Scarface style—one keeps going for […]

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eThoughts : Possessions, Needs, and Satisfaction

Possessions are necessary, as we all know. The trick is to not become some kind of possession packrat. Accumulation may seem like an important reality for a people afraid of being dispossessed, but a funny thing about accumulation is that we can find ourselves possessing a burden rather than the instruments to relieve us of […]

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eThoughts : Change and Maintenance

I finally had enough sense to get out into the hills recently and breathe. All of these nagging possessions are still having a go at me—and I live rather modestly. My muse has all but deserted me and I think it shows. In my best state of being, I can get still and become a […]

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eThoughts : Life in the Way of Living: Is Life an Intrusion Upon Our Sacred Space?

Sometimes my being is assaulted by all of the things in life that “should” not be the way it is. My reaction seems to be based on the premise that if these anomalies were corrected, the environment would be so much more supportive and it would be easier to learn what there really is to […]

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eThoughts : Fixing a Hole

About seven months ago, my aging car and house began to reach a point that became impossible to ignore. I’ve been at this kind of place before and it is not something that I relish—finding honest and reliable people is like trying to find diamonds lying along the roadway, it just isn’t easy. Buying a […]

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eThoughts : Struggling vs Suffering

Perhaps a helpful evolution for 2007 would be the ability to distinguish between suffering and struggling. Life appears to be a struggle at times and it appears that while we can dodge the struggle on occasion, we cannot avoid it altogether. Any kind of birth, learning, growing, etc. is marked by struggle. A baby chick […]

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eThoughts : 2007 New Year’s Thoughts: Soul, Integrity, and Terror

2007 New Year’s Thoughts: Soul, Integrity, and Terror 2006 seemed to be quite a year—or maybe it’s only because it’s just the most recent year. The month of December, 2006 saw some passing of well-known people. I’ll only choose three of them and those choices are arbitrary in the sense that they fit my scheme. […]

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eThoughts : We Are and the Age of Clarity

(For more Holiday thoughts, go to: Holiday Thoughts for 2003, or 2004 Holiday Thoughts and 2004 Holiday Thoughts Continued, or Holiday Thoughts for December 2005 and 2005 Holiday Thoughts Continued), or Holiday Thoughts: December 2006.) As I previously said, a realization that we’re all in this together and the clarity to see what really is […]

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eThoughts : Holiday Thoughts: December 2006

(For more Holiday thoughts, go to: Holiday Thoughts for 2003, or 2004 Holiday Thoughts, and 2004 Holiday Thoughts Continued, or Holiday Thoughts for December 2005, and 2005 Holiday Thoughts Continued), or We Are and the Age of Clarity.) It seems to be yet another year. Funny how the Holidays never came around fast enough when […]

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eThoughts : The Art of Reversibility

Part of the series It’s All Been Said Before™ (© 2006), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ From a movie to an email. I recently received an email from someone that noted a moral philosophy is one thing, the application of morality quite another. Yep, that seems like a good revelation to me. But what do […]

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eThoughts : The Art of Decentration

Part of the series It’s All Been Said Before™ (© 2006), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ I was watching a movie recently and realized that the dialogue was supposed to be a kind of “European” versus “Native American” pattern of thinking. For me it raised some interesting questions—like who is seeing reality correctly, or are […]

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eThoughts : Cohort Communities: Housing People of Like Minds

Part of the series It’s All Been Said Before™ (© 2006), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ What prompted my previous cognitive meandering was a lot of email about terrorism, supporting our country, supporting our policies, etc. As I and others have said, supporting the principles our country was founded upon does not mean we have […]

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eThoughts : Our Problems: Global or Local?

Part of the series It’s All Been Said Before™ (© 2006), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Once again this morning I awoke to the neighbor’s dogs on my property tearing up part of my new redwood deck trying to get at something underneath. The damage is about $150, but the owner knows and the owner […]

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eThoughts : Sacred But Not Exclusive: Part II

Part of the series It’s All Been Said Before™ (© 2006), a division of Book-In-A-Drawer Publications.™ Perhaps it’s the way things blend together, perhaps my attention is being or has been directed towards this sacred-but-not-exclusive focus, but another conversation about a different subject, broached by my friend, seemed to land on the same nail. So, […]

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