What is the major event that has shifted the way you experience your life? Or life around you?
Getting the flap of skin under my tongue cut, so that I could begin to make “r” sounds (1960).
The school bus driver saying to me when I joined other kids in teasing one kid “I never thought I’d hear you say that” – in a way that I got that he saw the pain that the teasing of other kids gave me. Haven’t teased anyone since that day – 50 years ago.
Straightening my feet (1969 – they used to point outwards at about 30 degrees, and made running very slow and painful for me) – by conscious effort and hours of practice every day for months, then learning how to run.
Realising that the default mode for living cells is actually immortality, and that age related senescence is an invention of somatic cell lines in multicellular organisms, and that indefinite life extension is a logical possibility (1974).
Understanding how we our subconscious brains create intuitions (also 1974 – a couple of weeks away from the above).
Learning how to slow my breathing and heart beat. Getting to a state where I could hold my breath for over 7 minutes, and get my heart rate down to 20 beats per minute, and be able to stop it completely for up to 20 seconds. (1975-7) Hours of practice every day.
Understanding how evolution operates recursively at competitive and cooperative levels to deliver the mass of life forms we see around us, and how the next level of cooperation must logically emerge from human behaviour (1978).
My first foray into standing for parliament as a candidate in our general elections – 1984. Feeling the elation depression cycles in my own moods get down to 20 minutes as election day arrived. Meeting so many people, getting so many insights in to the reality of human behaviour, the false fronts that so many erect – image over substance at so many different levels.
Meeting Ailsa 1991.
Doing the Landmark Forum in 1994, and discovering a whole new level of operant and previously undistinguished strategies within my own behaviour, and thereby creating a whole new set of levels of access to creativity and distinctions and choice.
Understanding the incentive structures upon which money and markets are founded, and seeing how the very concept of valuing something in a market actually requires that any universal abundance has no value, and how counter to actual human welfare that is. Realising that markets and market based values (money) are actually the single greatest existential risk facing humanity (2010). Developing ways of clearly expressing that, and developing strategic plans to mitigate that risk.
Dealing with cancer – surviving a terminal diagnosis. Giving up sugar, chocolate, alcohol, meat, cheese, (all my favourite foods, all my “pleasers”) and choosing life over any like or dislike.
So many more, so many interesting people in my life (George French, Jim Dahm, Chris Hickey, Peter Molan, Rex Smith, Rob Billings, Nick Jarman, Peter Stevens, John Murphy, Rachel Garden, Caspar van den Broek, ……) – but these give a general flavour.