Catchup Blog 2nd December

Amazing how time gets away.

Jewelia left for her trip to the USA, then we had everything that that entailed. She had a great time, meeting her eBuddy in the flesh, and seeing her two favourite bands, amongst many other things, and it was an eventful trip. First she was held up by customs in San Fran, and missed her connection, so had a layover, and eventually got to Orlando 12 hours late, via DC. Then the folks she was staying with had one cell phone die, then their second cell phone died – so we had no way of contacting Jewelz, we had to wait for her to find a payphone and call us.
Then on the flight home, her plane had some sort of mechanical failure that required it to divert to Las Vegas, and change planes, which meant she missed her flight back, so had an unscheduled day in LA. The getting into Sydney on a Tuesday, meant there was no equivalent flight to the one on Monday, so a further couple of hours delay – eventually she got back to Christchurch, 50 hours after leaving Orlando.
I managed to put that in context by thinking about my great grandfather’s trip from England to New Zealand in the 1880s, at age 15, alone, taking 4 and a half months, with many people dieing on the journey.

Anyhow – here are all my posts in that time, first on Laurie’s blog, then those on


D is for Destiny

I love the way you characterise this Laurie.

The Henry Ford quote comes to mind “whether you believe you can, or you believe you cannot, you are right”.

We are not in control of what has happened or what is – that must be accepted.
We are not in control of the laws of nature – “Nature to be commanded must first be obeyed“.
And we can use our creative abilities to create some outcome other than the “probable, almost certain” outcome.

It seems to me, that at whatever level of awareness we find ourselves, one gets to a point that it is hard to distinguish where one gets choice, and then one creates a new context of choice, and starts again in a new level of awareness. It seems to me that infinity is big enough to allow one to continue this recursive process for the remainder of existence (should one be fortunate enough to live that long).

There is also the dimension of the tensions between the habits of the conscious mind (ego), and the holographic “intuitions” that we derive from the mix of the subjective us with our impressions and distinctions of the objective reality that connects us to everything that is and has been (variously named as subconscious, spirit, soul, theos, ….).

Then there is the fact that the deeper our understanding of the various layers and levels of reality, the more power we are able to exert in bringing our visions into reality. The tension here is that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know, and the vastness of the unknown is often intimidating. Sometimes it feels like ignorance is bliss, and at other times there is the sheer bliss of a pattern discerned, and a choice made, that really does make a difference for someone(s).

D is for Destiny – further comment

Hi Laurie

Have been thinking about that idea of tension, and still not sure about the “bow” analogy.

It seems more of a thing to be “held lightly”.

On the tension between habits and intuition, they are very different, and both have aspects to recommend them. The law abiding bureaucrat is the epitome of the “habit” mode, and the lawless “mystic” is the epitome of the “intuitive” mode.
For me, it is almost operating with both modes simultaneously, and maintaining a third “overview” mode, to select between the other two, which is a mix of both. A bit strange when I try and characterise it in words, as we don’t really have words that work for it (as it isn’t something that most people discuss).

The tension of the depth of the unknown, the fact that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know, seems to me to be of a different order.

It seems to me that most people under 20 think that it is possible to know everything, that they just need to learn a bit more and it will be all under control (if they don’t already think that they know it all).
After a few more years experience, and a few more paradigm shifts, one starts to get a bit of a “feel for” the idea of infinity, and of infinities within infinities, and the fact that no matter how much we know, there will always be infinitely more to find out than we already know.

Sometimes, the sheer depth of the unknown is intimidating (terrifying) and at other times it seems inviting. One’s sense of “security” seems to have a lot to do with that – complex contexts again.

So perhaps their is an element of “taut line” in both, and perhaps also an element of “fear of the unknown” creating an altogether different sort of tension.

E is for Elements

Hi Laurie

For me, the old idea of four elements has a certain historical interest, about equivalent to the notion of a flat earth being the centre of the universe. For me they contain no more meaning or information than that. They were a stage of development that we had to pass through to get to where we are now.

The concepts of elements, matter and energy that I use now, and are used by most scientists are far beyond the four elements – so far that the idea of four elements (even 5 elements) seems like a child’s tale.

Earth, the solid stuff on which we find ourselves, we now understand to be composed of mixtures of about 100 elements (from hydrogen up through helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, etc and up through the heavier stuff to the really strange and exotic ultra heavy metals.
We understand that all of those elements are composed of smaller particles (electrons, neutrons, and protons), which are themselves made up of even smaller things called “quarks” with properties so unlike anything in the observable world of our common sense reality that we have given them names like “charm”, “up”, “down”, etc.

We now understand that all matter and light are interchangeable, and that matter is in a sense, a form of condensed light, and that both seem to be manifestations of something described by “super string theory”.

Air was the wind, the stuff that moved without being seen. We now call this atmosphere, and know it is a thin layer surrounding this rock on which we live. We now understand that this atmosphere is composed of many light elements, mostly nitrogen and oxygen, with traces of many others; and it owes its existence in the firstinstance to exploding stars, then to that exploded star stuff condensing into comets, and then to those comets crashing into the early earth; then to evolution by natural selection producing early simple bacterial life that altered the structure of the oceans and the atmosphere, producing the free oxygen and removing almost all of the methane, carbon dioxide and ammonia that was initially present.

Fire we now know to be the chemical combustion of hydrocarbons with oxygen, with the release of a certain spectrum of photons. Fire was also associated with the sun, but we now know that the sun operates on a very different set of principles. The sun is powered by the conversion of matter itself, 600 million tonnes of hydrogen to helium every second, giving the sun it’s enormous power output, so high, that even here, 93 million miles away, we can still be burned by the intensity and the energy of the very tiny fraction of its total output that actually makes it to the earth’s surface. We also know that the sun is a vast ball of gas, vastly bigger than the earth. If you could drive straight through the earth, it would take you roughly two weeks traveling at the speed limit (60mph/ 100kmph) for 12 hours a day. To travel through the sun (were it possible) in such fashion would take over two years.
The sun has been “burning” (converting matter in a nuclear furnace) for over 5 billion years, and it is big enough to continue doing so for the best part of another 5 billion years before running low on fuel and changing dramatically. So even the sun is not renewable, it is being used up, and it will eventually die, but on a time scale that is measured in billions of years. And until then it could conceivable continue to power life, vastly more life than currently exists, for billions of years to come.

Water is an amazing molecule, composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms arranged asymmetrically around it. It forms most of the ocean, and is fundamental to all forms of life that we know. It is as close as the universe has come to creating the “universal solvent”. Over time it can dissolve almost anything.
It shows us the gravitational influence of the moon (in the tides) and has so many layers of effect and influence on us that it is truly amazing (almost magical) stuff. {I am reminded of Arthur C Clarke’s famous quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic“.}

Spirit, to me, is pattern manifest in matter, that is not itself matter. When we look at computers we can see the patterns of software running on the hardware that is these silicon based machines.
Our spirits, are software running on the hardware of our brains and bodies, which are machines evolved through billions of years of differential survival of slight variations at different rates in different environments; eventually, over almost 4 billion years, leading to the diversity of life we see about us.

Our brains are very different sorts of computers to the silicon based machines we are currently used to. These silicon computers use “one to one” correspondence in all their primary functionality. Our computing machinery is much more closely analogous to LASER holograms, we are fundamentally based on “one to many” relationships. Every bit of data stored in our memory is related to everything we have observed or experienced up until that point. The complexity and associative power that such properties gives each of us are many orders of magnitude beyond all of the computing capacity available on planet earth today.

F is for Feathers

Hi Laurie,

Interesting metaphors.

For me it is different.

I can acknowledge the sense of wonder, and the sense of connectedness and complexity that many of the ancients felt.

I acknowledge that many of those who pursue narrow focus in today’s culture miss much of the complexity, and have too little respect for the power of evolution over time, both from the sense of damage to ecosystems and in the sense of destruction of cultural depths of understanding and practice.

And at the same time, the modern understanding of science and the deeper understanding of awareness and the connectedness of life it can bring is so much more powerful than any of the old ways, that the disjuncture is worth the risk and damage.

I am often amazed at the diversity of feathers, and the diversity of uses that they have evolved to in different species. Fascinating.

I have handled millions of feathers.
We have lots of birds here.
On our half acre section there are probably close to 50 resident birds of various species.
When at sea nearby, I am often surrounded by flocks of birds numbering thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands. It is very common to have well over 100 birds within 50 yards of the boat, some of them albatross, with wings over 7ft wide.

As a hunter I have killed and plucked many thousands of ducks, and many other birds, pukeko, quail, pheasant, turkey, geese, swan; though I have not hunted much for quite a few years now.

I have been in flocks of fledging ducks that have been over 30,000 birds. One day I counted over 150,000 godwit flying overhead.

So I have seen, and handled a lot of feathers, millions of them, from hundreds of different species of bird.

For me, taking the time to understand how things actually work, at the deepest level I can, acknowledging that all knowledge is at its limits merely a useful working approximation, and not any sort of substitution for the thing itself, is both fun and critical for our common future.

For me, a feather is an example of a tool evolved by means of natural selection that started out providing its owners with protections from attack, which then morphed into a dual roll of defense and warmth, which then sacrificed defense for a third use in lift in air flow, and then to active flight, and then developed fifth level of use signaling characteristics under the pressures of sexual selection. Some feathers have evolved into all sorts of other uses, and most feathers have at least 5 levels of simultaneous use. A truly fascinating story.

Their form, and their signalling characteristics are almost as attractive to our brains as to the brains of their sexual partners and rivals.

The power of flight, and the ability of bird to soar, sometimes without apparent effort, has always fascinated humans. Little surprise therefore that the feather has acquired symbology relating to freedom, travel, heights, transcendence and phenomena connected with the atmosphere.
And for me, it is the real reasons that these things are there that is interesting, not the feather and its symbolism, but the stories underneath the feather – evolution, cosmology, meteorology, systems, infinity, possibility.
Again, most of the symbolism is purely historical in interest, and not really relevant to creating a future that serves everyone (without exception).

For me, it is about transcending the old stories, and creating stories that bring people to an awareness that it is possible to live peacefully and cooperatively, in prosperity; and it will require changes to many of the ways of thinking and being that have served our ancestors well for generations. Changes at all levels.


D is for Destiny – updated comment

Hi Geoff
I really like what you wrote.
“Our choices that rearrange fate to destiny.”
Beautifully put.
That is it in a nutshell, and the idea of choice is recursive.
The choices that appear as available to us come from the context we choose to consider any situation from.
From my explorations, there does not seem to be any limit to the numbers of layers of context we can choose to bring to the context of our choosing. [A bit of a mind bend, subtle and profound – I have this visual image a bit like flipping another pancake from the pan onto the stack of pancakes, and yet each new pancake influences every one in the stack below it – the pancake stack of contexts of choice. It is not easy to take the human mind beyond 7 levels, and I have managed it at times, sometimes for extended periods. Can’t see any logical reason why there should be any sort of theoretical limit – seems potentially infinite.]

G is for Gratitude

Hi Laurie,
We are totally aligned on this one!!!
So many different aspects to gratitude.
So often in life we see what we look for.
A couple of major aspects even to that.
We are bombarded with so much more information than our conscious awareness can process that it must be filtered down to what the conscious can deal with. A part of our brain called the RAS (Reticular Activating System) normally does that for us, and it is very sensitive to context.
At another level completely, it is possible to be grateful for absolutely anything. That we are alive, and able to experience it, however “painful” it may feel at some level, is sufficient cause to be grateful.
One of the things that affected me profoundly from my school days was reading about what people thought was the greatest technological progress (this was in the early 60s). One very old lady said “running water”. Not having to walk 2 miles to the river every day, then walk the two miles back carrying two heavy pails of water, and the wet washing, made the biggest difference in her life.
Reading that, I really got how profoundly different and more privileged our lives are than most of those who went before us. And yes the romans had water, reticulation, and they used lead pipes (from where we get the term plumbers, from the roman term for lead – plumbous), which caused poisoning in many people.
We are still learning, about levels of toxicity of various substances that we use, both from their actual use and from their manufacture, and we are, on the whole, getting more aware, and more friendly to the environment; and we have a lot still to do.
So yes – gratitude fr the extraordinary privilege it is to be alive at this time, to have had the experiences I have had, to be who I am, and to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
In every mouthful of food, every breath of air, every step taken, every sound heard, every hug, every pat of the dogs.
Gratitude is one of the greatest antidotes to stress, and in that simple way, one of the most healthful things we can engage in.

H is for Heart

Hi Laurie,

Great post.

And I think it is useful to look a bit deeper, both at the heart, and behind the symbology of the heart.

Most people think of the heart as something that works constantly, yet if you look closely at any given muscle in the heart, most are working 15% of the time or less, and resting for the balance. The heart has multiple chambers, that work in sequence, and the blood flows continuously, and most of the time the muscles of the heart are at rest, recovering, ready to work again.

On the symbolic level, it seems that we refer to the heart as a place of emotion because it is where we first feel most emotional responses. We feel these things in the heart because it changes it’s activity patterns very quickly in response to emotions – be they chemically or electrically mediated.
Emotions are generated in the brain, by the subconscious.
Emotions are very complex, and are a mix of physical movement, chemical messengers, and electrochemical activity within the brain – each of these general classes of things interacting with the others in multiple ways – influencing and being influenced.

Probably the most important factor in all of this is the “context” of mind.
If the context of the highest level of mind is such that the lower levels of mind distinguish sensory input as representing “threat”, then the body responds to this “stress” with the “fight or flight” response.

What is fascinating to me, is the actual mechanism of mind that allows us to distinguish context, that powers both the subconscious and the higher levels of consciousness (when present). It is a side effect of storing and retrieving information as interference patterns (“holographic” storage). Holograms are one example of a class of mechanisms that store information in a many to one form; where every bit of information stored relates to every bit of the situation observed.

In photographs there is a one to one relationship between storage and image, in a holograph (or in our brains) this is not so.

In our brains, information is stored in a fashion that automatically relates everything to everything else, and the nature of the relationship is very sensitive to context (at every level).

This ability to relate things is virtually instantaneous.
This is what gives our subconscious the ability to distinguish threats very quickly, and to alert us to things we have not consciously become aware of.

Being sufficiently “sensitive” to these “intuitions” is a key factor in our survival (at all levels).

The thing to get is that our brains can do this trick at any level of awareness we manage to attain. And at every level one aspect is essentially the same, these “intuitions” are fleeting. They are very fast, and they have no supporting rationale or explanation – they are just there, then they are gone. Either we train ourselves to capture them, and store them, for conscious consideration; or we become blind to them.

Some of us get very fast at creating “rationalisations” to support them. I am forever indebted to my cousin Ian for his observation to me one Tequila filled summer afternoon some 30 years ago when he said to me “You think you are rational, but you are not; yet you are the fastest rationaliser I have ever met“.

I think that was a particularly astute observation, and not one I was ever likely to have made of myself; and it is one that has profoundly shaped how I view myself and everyone else, and how mind actually works.

So yes – in a metaphorical sense – listen to your heart – and in a scientific sense, understand that what you are listening to is your own subconscious, the level of being upon which our conscious awareness resides and depends, on so many different levels of dependence and relationship.


I is for Inspiration

Hi Laurie
I’m with Colleen on this one.
In the literal sense, I prefer to be outside, on the golf course, tramping, riding, when breathing deeply.
In the figurative sense, it can happen anywhere, and usually when engaged in conversation with others, but not necessarily.
For me, the biggest thing is creating an internal mental space where I reduce (or preferably eliminate) the preconceptions and judgements that by default flood into my mind. When I can manage to create an empty space, it is often amazing what manifests to fill it.
For me it is very strange. I have one side that understands in great detail the systemic processes that allows new distinctions to form in such a vacuum and the power and relatedness of levels of context in determining what shows up; yet none of that understanding is any use in predicting exactly what will show up next, it is all just far too vast, complex and interrelated for any consciousness to consciously consider – it must be left to the vast subconscious machine that is a mind in a reality.
The often frustrating thing is trying to convey to others something of the beauty of what I see in the mind’s eye. The use of language is so slow and cumbersome, that before I have described even a small part, the whole is lost, with just a shadow remaining.
So it is like Colleen says – sources of inspiration are everywhere, even in the deepest pain and anguish. We are always connected to everything, whatever our physical situation, and however tenuous those links may appear to us; they are still present – even if our minds seem unable to distinguish them.
So often it is our own habits and judgements and failure to accept what is; that blinds us to beauty and the infinite possibility that surrounds us.
PS just heard from Jewelia, having a great time in South Georgia – about to go to Wallmart (something on her “to do” list).

J is for Joy

Hi Laurie
My objective is joy, and I seem to manage it most of the time, and sometimes happiness and it’s compliment overwhelm.
Interesting that the last three books I have read are Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Jared Diamond’s “Guns, germs and Steel”, and Lance Armstrong’s “It’s not about the bike”.
Currently I have two on the go “The rise and fall of the Third Chimpanzee” (another of Jared Diamond’s) and Roger Penrose’s “The Emperor’s New Mind”.
Huia is 3 years old today, and Ailsa is Facebook chatting with Jewelia – who is in Thomasville South Georgia at present.
Having read Frankl, I don’t believe it is true to say that he experienced joy in the concentration camps, and he seemed to experience moments of it. What he did do, which kept him alive, was hold on to purpose and meaning of his choice.
Reading Armstrong, and his fight with cancer, and journey through chemo therapy, as well as the path to competitive cycling was also fascinating. His description of riding a bike as being a battle with pain, and a determination to beat it, matches my own. When I was doing a lot of riding, after a 4 or fives hours on a hard training ride there was only the pain, and the determination not to let it beat me, to keep going, even if I could only imagine keeping going for an inch, I would travel that inch, and then the next one, ……
The joy was there in the times that the pain eased, and sometimes even in the knowing that i could experience the pain, and was still breathing.
Had planned to get back out on the bike this morning, but have been chatting to Jewelia for an hour. Dishes are to be done, Ailsa has requests for weed eating and some tree pruning. Once client needs an update to modify debtors system, another is waiting for a GPS based recording system for his vessels.
Better get to it – Jewelz just stopped chatting.
What a joy to be so wanted!

holessence said: November 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Ted – You’re a reading machine! Happy birthday to Huia. I’m so glad that Jewelia is having a complete and total blast – she’ll remember this adventure for the rest of her life.
I, too, have read lots of Frankl and we clearly read through different lenses. I suspect it’s “the eye of the beholder” thing again. My perspective is that he experienced joy (again, my definition of joy being inexplicable peace).
I haven’t read Lance Armstrong’s book, “It’s Not About the Bike” yet, but based on your description, I just placed it on my must-read list. Thank you.
Dishes, weed-eating, pruning, and client work — Whew! You’re definitely not one to let any grass grow under your feet.

Ted Howard NZ said: November 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Hi Laurie
On reading Frankl, it was clear to me that he certainly had some moments of peace while in the camps, and a lot more and more regularly since leaving them; and yet for most of the time he was in the camps, he seems to have been as susceptible to happiness and sadness as most others; and he always had a little “something extra” in reserve, and he didn’t bring it out on a regular basis (just too dangerous – it would be to invite attacks and beatings – he had to be seen to be really suffering to escape the worst of the beatings, and he did).
Don’t get me wrong, I have enormous respect and admiration for all that he did and accomplished. Amazing man.
And I don’t think he would say that joy was present very often in the camps.
I passed on your greetings to Huia, she looked up and wagged her tail
Dishes are done, one lot of client work complete – will get into the chainsaw and weed-eater department this evening.
We’ve decided that I will cycle (while Huia runs) down to the South Bay beach for her to have a swim as a birthday treat.

K is for Karma

Hi Laurie

For me it is very different, with some notable similarities,

For me, the notion of Karma as described “ that karma is a force in this universe and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime but in the next, or the one after that ” is clearly false, and it has an interesting hostorical development (from a Games Theoretical perspective).

The idea of Karma applying over many lives had to be added, because it is clear to even a casual observer, that while there is a relationship between what we do, and what we receive, it is not a very tight one. Cheats often win, and “good guys” often lose.
In order to keep people believing in the “faerie tale” of “Karma” (which has many positive social outcomes), the many lives thing was a necessary addition.

Clearly, in a modern understanding, such is not the case.

Clearly, in a modern understanding, it is easy to see how the idea of Karma evolved, and what it’s social utility was; and equally clearly it is not how things work.

For me, I am confident (as confident as I am that the earth will still be spinning and orbiting the sun tomorrow), that each of us is, as a “spiritual being“, an emergent property of the very complex systems that have evolved from our biological and cultural heritages. Each of us, as individuals, had specific start times at each of our many and various levels of organisation, and each of those levels of organisation has a long history, in which we find ourselves the current expression.

So no – nice idea, and for me, Karma is, without any shadow of reasonable doubt, a faerie tale. A perspective that has an interesting historical development, and no real place in a modern understanding; except in so far as it illustrates the power of competing strategies, in the abstract wars that Games Theory predicts and explains, that is human social evolution.

M is for Mindfulness

Great Blog Laurie
For the golf enthusiast, Joe Parent’s “Zen Golf” is a masterful work.
The many different aspects of mindfulness that he brings out in advocating the power of Zen in the mental game that is golf are profound and beautiful.
The practice of “big mind”, making our awareness as large as possible, encompassing as much as possible of what is.
The practice of simply noticing what works, and what doesn’t, without doing anything about it, and just letting the subconscious deal with it in it’s own way, is amazing – not easy, and when achieved, superbly powerful.
Bringing ind an body together in the place.
On a separate topic, that of inner peace, I recall the first time I really experienced that. I was doing the Landmark Advanced course, about 15 years ago, and we had been doing the “being with” someone else exercise, which involved simple standing there, and being with someone; which I did on as many levels as I could. After about 2 hours I find myself in a state that was sort of like being at sea in a small boat, out over the horizon, on a flat calm day. So profoundly peaceful and alone, and not at all frightening.
I don’t often achieve the profoundness of that moment, and there does seem to be a lasting shadow, an ongoing access to a sense of peace and tranquility.
Jewelz in LA, at the Westin, delayed by a day, caught up with another friend – now has 10 hours to kill.

N is for Numerology

Hi Laurie
This is one area where we are definitely widely apart.
In so far as numerology does seem to work, it seems to me that it does so because we are all very similar to start with, and we all live in very complex environments, where we normally only actually notice a very small fraction of what happens around us.
Normally we are blind to most of what is going on, because our conscious awareness is too slow to deal with all that is there.
Thus, for the most part, we get to notice what we look for.
Thus any of us, can, when we look, find examples of most things in our lives, that we normally are not aware of.
For me, there is no basis in reality for numerology. When I have designed hard tests, it has failed (consistently).
We are certainly very complex beings, of many layers, with many layers of connection to each other and reality.
Mathematics is certainly a great tool for understanding most of those relationships.
And these things are very different from numerology.


This next set of comments all come from various threads within

The Question of The Day, November 14, 2010

What would you rather lose, your previous memories, or the ability to create new ones?


In my understanding, most of what I am comes from the interaction of many layers of recursive pattern built upon the contexts abstracted from my memories and experiences.
In a very real sense, removing those memories, or interfering with the ability to make new ones, alters “ME” in ways I do not wish to be altered.

Without those contexts of memory to “trigger off”, I would be nothing; certainly not the identity that I am known to be (by myself or others).

In a very real sense, we are all our memories. True, we are more than just our memories, and our memories are the foundation on which all else is built, without them – nothing!!!!

[Plus a few followups:]

Reply by Thomas

Ya, Ted. We are memory repositories. Memories are information (in-deposited formation), and that information is active, active in a creative sense with real freedom, latitude and auto-action to search, discover, integrate. Memory in that active sense is the base on which our operating grows and from which it derives, that operating being, in a sense, but memory in action. The entire universe, as I see it, is memory activity.

Hi Thomas

Yep – agreed.
Was listening to some of those Bohm lectures as I drove back from putting our 14 year old daughter on a flight that will eventually take her to Orlando tomorrow (40 hours of travel – big adventure). Communication then Mass (QED/QCD) – great stuff.
My conceptualisation is very similar to his, but with rather more layers of evolutionary and biochemical structure I suspect, and perhaps a few subtle differences in the nature of time as a construct.



Reply by Thomas

Yes, Ted, Bohm, like most physicists, overlooks evolution and biology. It’s too bad because his thinking was sufficiently subtle to bring something new to bear on understandings of process. Glad you enjoyed the lectures and good luck to your daughter.

Back to memory. One simple way to realize the auto-action of memory is to simply look at a feeling. Somebody did something to me. That event deposits in memory, and that memory works. I feel that working.

What does the feeling want? Evolution, resolution, something new, something fresh, a creative synthesis and act.

Reply by Rev. O.M. Bastet

Quite right, Ted and Thomas, and eloquently expressed. I’ll go even further and say without our memories, we’d be vegetables in a coma. Everything which is, depends on its past. (And yet, and yet, might be said to be created anew each zillionth of a nano-second, and IMO can transcend “memories,” aka “be a miracle.”)

However, the question was a fantasy, playful, just to evoke some answers, and it has admirably served that purpose! Quite a variety and so many different angles!

40 hours of travel (twice) can age one very quickly, Ted. Your daughter might be MUCH older when she gets home, LMAO!!!!


Reply by Ted Howard

Agree with you in the transcendence, and I do not see it as “miracle” any longer.
That holographic relationship, that ability to abstract, to intuit, seems to be a fundamental part of our structure at multiple levels.
It certainly seem miraculous from a paradigm of linear sequential one-to-one relatedness – and I no longer operate from such a paradigm.

Funny how we view fantasy from different contexts.
For me the question has the same flavour as the fantasy question “Who would you most like to murder next?”. It doesn’t feel “playful” to me. I dislike “playing” with such concepts as personal death, by whatever means.
I am perfectly capable of building weapons of mass destruction, and I don’t do it; I dislike building any such habits or contexts in my brain, there are too many such in there already.

You may be right with respect to our baby. She was already a young lady, she may be even more profoundly grown. And I will still love her, without reservation, and probably to her continued embarrassment. I suspect that my tears gave her the freedom to cry this morning, which was probably the most powerful thing I could do for her at the time.



I agree with you, that the more viewpoints we can entertain, the greater our capacity for compassion and empathy. I would add that our experience is also a limiting factor. We can only put into our models of others aspects of our own experience. Thus, we can only appreciate the suffering or pain or joy or anything else of another to the extent that we have ourselves experienced similar depths of those experiences. We are at least two, and usually three, levels removed from direct experience of another’s experience, and I suspect that in most situations our automatic systems are remarkably accurate.

Judi et al,
I agree with your experience of “doing without thought”, and of related experiences of “flow”.

It seems to me that I understand the general form of such experiences, without being able to predict the outcome ahead of time with any great accuracy for any specific experience.

To get a rough handle on it, consider that there are two distinctly different types of memory, and that both are in operation continuously.

One sort of memory is reasonably straight forward pattern copying – “monkey see monkey do”. We are all good at it, particularly as children – it dominates our behaviour.

The other sort of memory is “holographic” and through that “associative”. It “distills” pattern and relatedness. This form of memory is very sensitive to the total “context” of mind that is present at the time. It delivers us intuitions and context sensitivity.

The next thing to consider is that our brains are not single processors. Our brains are in fact massively parallel processors. There are on average about 23 major processing centers operating simultaneously in our brains, dealing with processing different aspects of our perceptual and behavioural repertoire, and there are millions of simultaneous processors within, and leading to, and connecting between, those processing centers.
All of these thing are operating all of the time.
Our awareness of self is based on the same operating hardware, and is operating at a different level.

What some call subconscious, what some call flow, is when we get our conscious awareness out of the way, and just let our lower levels of process “do what comes natural”.

What is most powerful, is if our highest level of awareness is able to set a context for the next level down, and then get out of that next level’s way, and let that next level do what it knows how to do.

It seems possible that one may be able to construct an infinite series of such abstracted levels, but only by inhabiting each level of conscious awareness for sufficiently long to build up an effective repertoire of behaviours that one can abstract one’s awareness to the next level up, and work just with context at that level.

The thing that works against us is the old habitual (monkey see monkey do) aspect of brain, which is continually trying to drag our awareness back down to the “familiar” and “comfortable” operating levels of awareness.

There is another whole class of problems that relate to our evolutionary past – which generally go under the title “stress”. Our systems have evolved to revert to basics under extreme stress. When we feel threatened, our ability to process at higher levels is shut down, and our brains are forced to deal with the immediate threat. In the evolutionary history of humanity, dealing with near and real physical threats, a sabre toothed cat or an enemy fighter, this was an effective strategy. In today’s environment, where sources of stress are abstract and diffuse, and we cannot immediately deal with them, this aspect of physiological function is a major source of “dis-ease” in society.

One of the other responses of bodies to stress is to shut down all repair systems and divert all energy to muscles for “fight or flight”. If we can neither fight nor flee, then our repair systems simply stay “off line”, which further contributes to disease.

So, lots of things going on here, at many different levels, all related in various subtle and not so subtle ways, all at the same time.

It is certainly very efficient, in real world terms, when we get our conscious mind out of the way of trying to direct immediate real world tasks, and put our conscious awareness clearly in the more abstract realm of setting contexts, and leaving the automated systems of the lower levels to do their own thing. This is, in my experience, being in “the zone”, or “flow”, or whatever we care to call it. In some tasks I am very efficient at it – like in writing this; in others, I am far less consistent (as in playing golf – the child in me keeps shouting out “hit it harder, hit it now”, which does not deliver the desired result – I never have been a “sporty type”, never great with balance or hand-eye coordination, and I am getting better).

“Muscle memory” is a misnomer, it is not anything to do with the muscles, it is training the low autonomic levels of brain, and then getting the higher levels out of their way, and letting them do their stuff. Definitely “sub””conscious”, but not so low level as “muscle”.

I tend to disagree with OM on the source of impulse.
It seems to me that many of the low level “impulses” are delivered as a “side effect” of the “holographic” storage and retrieval of context within the various layers and levels of mind and brain. Each “holographic” recall event is sensitive to the context present at that instant, which is influenced in part by the immediate sense input, in part by the model of interpretation, in part by the history of sensory input, and in part by wider contexts available (cultural and post cultural).

One of the levels of context which is always present is the widest level of reality. Thus there is a sense in which we are connected to everyone and every thing else in reality, via this interaction of current sense data, historical memories, and current context(s).

All an amazing stack of layers of amazing interrelated complexity, pattern, upon pattern, upon pattern.

I so want you to be accurate in your forecast OM..
Will we be fast enough is the big question?
So many things coming to a confluence, so many tipping points, so many levels.


Question of the Day for November 18th
What do you think about “ownership”? What do you truly own?

This is a really interesting question.

The concept of ownership varies greatly between cultures.

It can variously contain elements of exclusive possession, of control; of guardianship, and of temporality (a span of time).

Part of the concept usually contains distinctions between the set of things that are ownable, and the set of things not ownable.

In today’s world it is no longer acceptable to own another human being, yet for most of history that has not been the case.

Even when we apply it to land, it is still very problematic. We recently had a large earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand, (about 100 mile from where I live in Kaikoura), and one of the consequences is that the land has moved. Suddenly the boundaries and relationships of parcels of land are not as they were. Do we rely on GPS coordinates, or on pegs in the ground?
Over longer timeframes, plate techtonics will create and destroy land, and move other bits in relationship to each other. Nothing is static!

Then there is the deeper question implied by ownership:
What is “I”, and what is not “I”.

What aspect of self do I “own” in the sense of full and exclusive control; and what aspects /elements are not under my control?
How do these vary over time?
One can approach this inquiry from many possible levels, from the lowest levels of physics and chemistry
to the highest levels of abstract thought and awareness, and the myriad of links and relationships between them.

A person could spend many hours contemplating this (perhaps even years) – it is perhaps an infinitely deep question.


Question of the Day for November 19th 🙂

How are you “being the change” you would like to see in the world?

For me, many ways.

On one level, I am now a strict vegan, even hand grinding my own wholegrain flour. As such, creating a very small “foot print” on the planetary ecosystem.

At another level, doing my best to share with folks about the depths of relationships I see, and the abilities that each of us have to make a difference for everyone.

Do what I can for the long term future of life on this planet.

Having fun along the way.

Doing my best to avoid engaging in fads and fashion, and encouraging everyone to make their own choices (rather than following the trends of others).

Working with many groups, locally regionally, nationally and internationally.

Accepting what is.

Working to create systems that work for all.

Question of the day for November 20th, 201

There are some gurus out there who believe we must strive to “totally” submerge the ego. Can we totally submerge/vanquish the ego?

Interesting question.

What exactly would submerge the ego, and what would it go under?

It seems to me that what works is to have the logical high level (and slow) egoic self working with the intuitive and very fast subconscious self.
Either by itself is prone to error from multiple different sources.

Building new levels of self that “transcend and include” seem to me to be the way forward.
To me this does not involve submergences, and it does involve a change of focus and context.

So no – I do not agree with the idea that the egoic self need be completely submerged, and nor ought it to have dictatorial powers. The most effective strategy seems to be more of a commitment to consensus.


Hi Torch

It is kinda weird for me. I sort of agree with you, and I sort of agree with Gil.

For me I use a different distinction set than id, ego, and superego; and I can see some validity in those distinctions.

For me, as biochemist and computer systems designer, my understanding of the levels of pattern, and the levels of signaling and influence between levels of pattern, is different.

For me, every level of pattern requires a bootstrap routine – something to get it started (“To lift itself up by its own bootstraps”). Every such routine will leave a “signature” in the system it spawns. For the ego, it is spawned from a declaration resulting from a judgement in the realm of right and wrong – so there is a fundamental attachment of the ego to being right (above all else), and at the same time a fundamental belief that it is wrong (original sin). For most, these dualities do battle in the realm of the subconscious, leading to most of the neuroses and trouble of today’s world.
In one sense, there is no avoiding it. It is a necessary stage in the development of all people. Unfortunately some never get any further. When we get “leaders” stuck in such a stage, it is particularly problematic.

It seems to me that it is possible to create infinitely deeper levels of awareness; an infinite stack of “watcher” “pancakes”; and each will have its own vulnerabilities stemming from its particular bootstrap logic. Kurt Goedel’s incompleteness theorem is particularly interesting in this context. So it is in that sense that I agree with Gil, they are all ego in a sense.


Hi Torch

We are close, and it seems we may differ a little.

I agree with you that the processes appear to be infinite.

I would not characterise enlightenment as understanding that I have been “fooled”, and I can see how it might seem as such.
To me it is more about gaining awareness of the necessary simplification that any awareness starting from a simple cultural beginning must make of the world.
Awareness starts to be enlightened, in my understanding, when it realises that there is no certainty. Everything is a probability function, and a necessary simplification.
Even logic has its limitations, as Kurt Goedel so famously demonstrated in his incompleteness theorem.

We are not creatures of logic, and there is logic to our operation, and logic is a powerful tool.
We are fundamentally creatures of intuition, at many levels.

It is not a dis-satisfaction, necessarily, that powers anything.
One can be complete and satisfied in the knowledge that all knowledge is limited, and where-ever we are on the potentially infinite journey of awareness is simple that – where we are.
Choice; unbounded, unlimited possibility, is available to us any time we choose it (and how it appears will be coloured by our individual histories).

So apart from the use of the words “fooled” and “dissatisfied” – we seem to be largely aligned.


Question of the Day for November 22nd, 2010

What was your favorite holiday when you were a child? Tell us about it!

Interesting question – two very different ways to answer it.

In one sense, I think my favourite holiday was a trip to Taipa, when I was about 8. We left before dawn, and after about an hour and a half stopped and picked up my dad’s parents, then drove until evening to a small beach in the far north – 4 adults and 3 kids crammed into a small car, with all our gear and food for a week.
When we got there, the pace we had rented was basically just a corrugated iron shack, but it was right by the water’s edge. It was great. Warm, white sand, lots of small fish, lots of bird, no fences, no one knew us, no one to pick on us. It was a superb holiday. I remember catching a John Dory that came into the shallows, just with my hands.
Lots of other stuff, but that holiday really sticks in my mind. Playing cribbage with Dad and Pop and mum.

At another level, my favourite holiday on a recurring basis would be Guy Fawkes night (November 5th). For those not familiar it is a time of big fires, of making effigies of a man and burning them on a bon fire, of setting off fireworks, sky rockets, and crackers.
Even from 6 years old, I could never quite figure out if we were celebrating that the government was saved from being blown up when Guy Fawkes was discovered, or celebrating that he almost managed to do it. I think probably both, in about equal measure.
New Zealand society generally has always had a healthy disrespect for authority, and a healthy respect for individuals – very different to the USA in that respect.

What’s the question you would like to answer?

Hi Amy

You asked

Amy (goddess2day) said:

“Where was I before I was born?”

To me the answer to that is quite simple – you weren’t.

Like everything else, each of us had a beginning. It seems even the universe had a beginning.
And we are made of many different levels, each level with a different start time.
The quarks and gluons of the stuff making up our atoms seems to have had a beginning about 13.7 billion years ago.
Many of the atoms about 100,000 years after that, though many of them came even later, a billion or two years later, in one or more exploding stars.

Replicating RNA seems to have had a start almost 4 billion years ago, with the first cells something over 3 billion years ago.
The first complex bodies seem to be something less than a billion years ago.
The first anatomically modern human, displaying “culture” around 60 thousand years ago.
The first self awareness with an identifiable ego seems to have been less than ten thousand years ago.
Your particular body started when a sperm from your father got together with an egg from your mother.
You first brain cells differentiated a few months later, your first coherent brain waves a month or two after that, your first independent breath a few months later, your first spoken word a few months after that, and then you had sufficient language from culture to declare your higher level self awareness into being at around age 5.
Since then, and indeed all that time, aspects of you have been developing and evolving.
At each level of being, we had a beginning, and at each level of being, we are part of a continuum.
It seems to me that infinitely more layers are possible, given sufficient time, experience, and desire.


Hi Jen
Most of what you write aligns with my own experience and understanding, with a Few differences – which I’ll get to soon.

Yes – the free floaty thing fits very well with a modern scientific understanding. I cannot recall the exact details, but I have read several papers on just what area of the brain is involved in spatial orientation, and how in one mode of failure it can react to starvation of oxygen – providing the “floaty” thing.

Similarly for the “light” thing. There are several modes in which the optical systems of the brain can fail. One of these modes is a decoherence, resulting in a “white noise” and the sensation of bright lights that are experienced by some people who experience that particular mode of failure. I have had one such experience, but most of my NDEs have simply resulted in tunnel vision then failure (darkness). This seems to be the most common mode of failure.

I regard all human experience that has managed to leave some trace of its existence in the present as part of our cultural evolution. That most certainly applies to all major cultural modalities surviving, and many that have left some small trace (like ancient cave paintings, and various other archeological items).

As to “ultimate authority”, that is reality. The common understanding of modern science, as in what most people think it means, is in my understanding very flawed. My understanding is my own, and it relies heavily on the experiments conducted by others, the intuitions made by others, the tools of logic and mathematics developed by others, and my understanding is my particular synthesis of the small subset of all those things, the ones that I have come across in my travels, and have contemplated in my waking and sleeping hours.

I am heavily intuitive. I rely on the intuitions that my subconscious mind delivers to me, on many different levels.
And I test things and do things.
I have made and refined many substances. I have smelted and worked metals and ceramics. I have built radios and computers. I have programmed computers, using hexadecimal Op code, and assembler, and many languages (ForTran, CoBOL, Assembler, C, Pascal, Forth, Lisp, Modular, xBase, ….), I have written a language, and written an operating system, as well as thousands of programs. I have worked through the written works of Newton and Einstein, until I am confident that I have understood what they wrote, and where they have made errors. Similarly with Kant, Tielhard de Chardin, Russell, Wittgenstein, Goedel, Rand, Darwin, Dawkins, and many many others. I have read in other traditions, like Buddhism, the Bible, Theosophers, withcraft, and many weird and wonderful things. I read the Hobbit and the three books of the Lord of the Rings in a day. I have worked as chemist, driver, lawnmower, fitter/turner/welder, engineer, fisherman, teacher, computer programmer, political advisor, legal advisor, politician, team leader, business owner, as well as usually being involved in at least half a dozen voluntary roles at a time.

My mind is full of “stuff”, most of which I cannot consciously recall.

And in all that reading and contemplating of relationships between that which I have read and learned; I have my particular understanding of how things fit together, of how, what we see about us, came to be as we see it. In so far as the common things we see are concerned, I believe the model I have is very accurate (99%+). As one gets out to less common phenomena, the model is correspondingly less accurate. And no map is ever the thing itself, only the thing itself can be what it is, a model is just a model – and some models can be particularly beautiful in and of themselves (yes I have built models too, including a ship in a bottle).

Hi Gil

The idea that everything has always existed simply doesn’t make any sense. There is a clear distinction between possibility and reality. From any particular state in reality some things are immediately possible and some are not. Sometimes to get from one state of reality, to another state, takes many intermediary states. Usually there are an infinite number of possible paths to choose from, and in each case there will be a much smaller number that have particular properties, like shortest distance, least time, least energy used, etc.

So – I don’t do “ultimate authority”. I don’t do “authority” very well at all.
I acknowledge and accept reality, as it is and as it isn’t, which includes the fact that I can never know “what it is” exactly, that I can only ever deal with the model that my brain gives me, that I have do direct experience of reality itself, everything is mediated by my brain’s model, worse still, a model of a model. And yet, in all of that – I am that I am. In all of that, I have choice. In all of that, I am related, holographically to everyone and everything in existence, from the furthest spec of cosmic dust, to the big bang, to every inanimate object, to every other living thing and person.
I have both freedom and responsibility.
I see that.

I would love to be able to share it, so that others could see it too.
It is so much more beautiful than any of the faerie tales of our cultural heritage.


Comment by Ted Howard


Can give a brief summary of a few of my near death experiences.

At about age 12, I was hit on the head by a steel bucket in the cowshed (thrown out of a vat), that split my skull. About 3 weeks later I came down with blood poisoning, and after about 3 days found myself completely paralysed, and in great pain. It seems like I floated free of my body, with just the thinest of ribbons attaching me to it. Shortly after I was injected with penicillin it was like being snapped back into my body.

About 12 years later I was out diving, when a series of incidents caused me to get trapped under a large rock for about 30 seconds longer than I had planned. By the time I got out from under it was like I was looking out of a couple of drinking straws. As I started for the surface (about 40 ft above) the lights went out. It was an amazing experience, just hanging onto consciousness by the thinnest of margins, and wondering how I was going to know when to breath, then I felt a change of temperature on my face, and breathed out and back in again – and it was air, and I’m still here.
That 10 to 12 seconds that it took me to ascend from 40 ft down to the surface seemed like it could have been minutes. It was weird. Some aspects of being were in extreme slow motion, and other aspects were going very fast.

About 18 years ago, I was courting Ailsa. I lived about 300 miles away from here, with a bit of ocean called the Cook Strait between us. I had flown down to see her in a Cesna 172, and we went for a scenic flight. She told me there was a pass behind Mt Fyffe at about 4,000 ft, and so we went to see it. She showed me where to go. We were climbing from sea level, and got close to the Mountain at around 3,000 ft. Unfortunately, she directed me up the wrong valley. I didn’t like the look of it, and went to maximum angle of climb. When we go to the head of the valley it was at the summit of the mountain (5,200 ft), we cleared it by 20 ft. We both let out full throated yells.
For about the last minute of the climb I had been acutely aware that we would likely not make it. I had been looking for places to crash where we might have a chance of surviving, but all the slopes were 40 degrees or more. It was a very sobering experience.

About 30 years ago I went to a friend’s party near Waihi, and got into a drinking game called matches. Two of us sat there facing each other with a glass of beer in front of us. The other one would throw a match, and if it landed in our glass, we had to drink it.
I was not very accurate, and spent most of an hour sculling glasses of beer.
I had been drunk before, but not like that.
Everything started to spin, and I could not stabilise the horizon. I found myself at the back of the house, draped over a rock wall, throwing up, and wondering if I would survive. I did, and I think it was a close thing.

In reading the other responses to the primary post in this thread I have felt a sense of loneliness and despondency that I haven’t felt for a very long time.
To me, it is very clear that awareness is an emergent property, not a primary.
It is as clear to me as the laws of physics that allow us to build computers and cell phones.
Yet it is also clear that while most people use computers and cell phones and cars, most have little of no idea how and why they work. To most, that they work is little short of magic.

The story above is to me of the same type as the story of sleeping beauty – a tale that has come from our cultural evolution, but not one that passes the tests that science has devised.

I had thought that most here would see it for what it is, and feel I am wasting my time here.

Maybe it is time I put my attention elsewhere.



Comment by Ted Howard

I agree with OM, it is not enough to believe what we read – we need to test for ourselves.

In my understanding, I agree with the idea that we are powerful beings, and with the idea that our future is not certain, and our choices make a difference.

I also agree that our belief structures and our confidence in the future has a profound effect on the wellbeing of our bodies.

The nature of the near death experience had by the writer is consistent with the context he had been investigating.

I have had more than my share of near death experiences, and none of them anything like the one described.
I also am someone who is alive after being given a terminal cancer diagnosis, and in my case the belief structure and context were very different.

To me, the idea that souls have existed forever is a non-starter. All the evidence I have, all the logic and understanding I have, indicates that they are an emergent property of a very complex system, involving billions of years of evolution of living systems, followed by hundreds of thousands of years of cultural evolution. System so amazingly complex that it has taken me almost 50 years to get to the point that I can see what seems like the likely general form of the links between all stages of development and operation.


Hi Jen

Last first. Jewelia got back to NZ finally last evening, and we got home about midnight. So I am feeling much less stressed.
I did not plan on subjecting myself to stress like this. The people she was staying with promised they would be in communication, and in the event, both of their cell phones failed, and they did not take steps to get them going, so the only communications we got were when Jewelia managed to find a cell phone or internet access. That was not a good starter for me.
I realised how much I rely on modern communication to manage my subconscious.

As to the other – why did I come to Gaia.
I am looking for one of two general classes of outcome:
1/ I find a way to communicate and enroll people in the idea that it is both possible and desirable to create robotic systems to serve and empower every individual on the planet; or
2/ I am convinced by discussion that it is not possible, and thus I could give up being an outlier and just enjoy a “normal life”.

Writing it down like that – shows me that option 2 isn’t a starter.
I just don’t do “normal” – never have.

I can’t think other than as I think. I can alter the way I think over time, on the basis of new information and concepts, and the new paradigms need to be largely consistent with the old, and to offer greater clarity and possibility at the margins.

I don’t like pain, this cancer thing has given me quite a bit, and just this morning I awoke to an ache deep in my jaw – I suspect another tumour developing there. Probably need to go and get it checked out. What I am doing seems to have cleared my liver, and it doesn’t seem to be having much effect on halting the spread from the original site.

Back on target – the discussions here have convinced me that it is not possible to gain general acceptance by trying to explain to others how what I see as possible makes sense to me – there are just too many steps involved, too much for most to take in and hold at one time.

I am terrified for the survival of humanity, and most other species of life.
If we are to survive and prosper – we need to slow our rate of breeding (we can keep practicing, that can be a lot of fun, and we need to limit the success rate of our practice attempts). I have done that within current paradigm – had my two children, one boy, one girl, and had “the cut” – so no more kids.
One a societal level, we are still a long way from achieving that.

There are so many different conceptions of history, and so many different stories about why the USA is such a great power in today’s world, but the simplest one comes down to the two world wars. The US infrastructure was left undamaged by both wars, and the “lend lease” system of WWII basically meant that the US inherited the British empire. That is the great trend of world history of the last 100 years in a nutshell. Nothing to do with communism or capitalism – simply avoiding getting bombed out of existence.

Well, part of the harsh reality is that the great US infrastructure, which was funded by selling stuff to the British Empire (and ending up owning most of that wealth), is coming to the end of it’s life, and needs replacing. And with modern communications, everyone knows how the luckiest few live, and everyone wants a slice of the pie (the American dream).

My son has recently returned from working in China, my nephew is still over there, and life in China is so different – a cultural gulf. Suicide rates in the high tech industry workers are amongst the highest in the world. These are people who have studied and worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, their entire lives, to get out of unimaginable poverty, and work producing gadgets of the western elite, for a dollar a day, without much hope of ever doing much more than managing to feed themselves. And at some point they ask “why”, can’t find an answer that has any justice, and take the only way out.
That situation builds a deep cultural hostility towards America, and american values, that is growing, almost exponentially, as I write.

Yet it seems to me that most in America are ignorant of history, of science, of the reasons for their relative wealth. And many within America are not enjoying wealth or security right now. Many are living hand to mouth, without housing, or medical security, or job security. The jobs they once did have been exported to China.

The whole silly house of cards is extremely shaky.
The illusion of capitalism is as shaky now as the illusion of communism was a decade ago.

So in this context – what has become clear to me in the last week or two, is that I cannot explain the whys and hows to people in a way that they get any real sense of what is driving me.
Perhaps, what I may be able to do, is to simply paint some sort of word picture of the outcome, and get people aligned on that, sufficiently to get enough people to put enough resources in get something realistic happening.

That is where my thoughts are taking me at present.
There is quite a bit in the original writing that started this thread that to me is clearly false, a sort of pseudo scientific nonsense. And on piece that I utterly reject “Living forever in one body is not as creative as reincarnation“. To me, there is no reliable evidence of reincarnation (there are lots of things that seem to point to it, until you look closely at them and see what is actually going on, which is not that). So living a very long time in one body has a lot going for it in my understanding.

Anyhow – having spent most of the last couple of weeks doing unpaid stuff, and spending most of today on unpaid stuff, I had better get at least an hour’s paid work in before I have to leave the house.



Hi Dawn
I have a very different perspective.
If one wants to create a working computer, then having a desire is a necessary first step, and it requires a lot more. It requires a lot of knowledge of physics, of metalurgy, of abstract programming concepts, of many levels of interaction of physics and logic.

When we desire to create a world where all can live in peace and prosperity, then creating the desire is a good first step, then it needs to go way beyond that, to the very fine detail of the technology of achieving it. That technology must include all concepts from the realms of the political, military, ecological, engineering, economics, sociology, ….

All realms included.
Nothing left out.

We need to be able to see and include all perspectives, and to create paths that allow all perspectives to approach the same goal.

Some of those perspectives are difficult for others to see, let alone accept.

I agree with all that Thomas said – I was making gross simplifications to get a very small “nut”.

Thomas is correct.
All of our communications technology – major advances in radio leading to cell phones, all computers, the internet (originally called DARPANet – for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) – all came from military expenditure on technological development. Same for most aviation technology.

Same for most roading networks in the USA.

All this stuff is important to accept – as it is and as it is not.




We all have a personal philosophy towards food. Do you eat to live, or live to eat? How do you think your choice reflects on your overall life?

For me I was very much in the live to eat category – sweet things, chocolate, lots of meat – I loved very well done steak, cooked deep brown so that it had a rich crumbly texture as I ate it. Always took the crispy edges of roasts, rarely ate much in the way of vegetables, other than peas and potatoes. Loved white bread. Really enjoyed fine restaurant dining, but rarely had enough money to indulge in it.

Once I got diagnosed with “untreatable cancer”, and was basically told to go home and die, then I started to do some serious research on the role of diet. I found lots of very poor information out there, and I also found some very well researched and validated stuff, of which Mike Anderson’s ( ) is an example of the better end of the spectrum.

Since then, you could definitely say that I am eating to live.
I have removed well over 90% of what is found in the supermarket from my diet (probably closer to 98%).
I am now strict vegan, organic if possible, mostly raw.
It often tastes very bad to my sense of taste, which was not evolved in such a high sugar environment, and it has seen the tumours in my liver disappear – which were the really troubling ones.

So now – definitely “eat to live”!

How do you react when you know or find out you are being lied to?

Like all human beings, I am programmed with various versions of the “retaliator” strategy, at many different levels.

Like others, how I respond depends very much on the context and circumstances, and it is usually in a way that removes all advantage gained by the ones who lied, then some. How much more depends very much on circumstance.

When it comes to societal level deceptions, the strategies involved can be very long term.

Reflect on your adult play… Describe how “play” is or is not a part of your adult life.

I often manage to dismantle the distinction between work and play.

In most things I do, I manage to mix work and play, and sometimes the balance tips a bit more one way than than the other.

Golf is great fun for me, and it is also a form of exercise, and a form of mediation (as in Zen Golf).

Programming computers is what I get paid to do, and is also one of the things that gives me the greatest sense of creativity and achievement and fun – in a world by myself, creating things that are of service to others, and getting paid to do it.

If you could have a “super power”, what would it be?

The power to communicate.
To be able to pass to another the experience of being me, and to be able to enter into the experience of another (for a time), and to retain the memories of such experiences.
To be able to do this on a mass scale would be amazing.
To be able to show others, beyond all reasonable doubt, just how amazingly creative every human being is, and how it is possible for everyone to live in peace and abundance – but not by doing things as we have always done them – it is a post cultural reality.


That just about brings me up to date.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
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