Old Zaadz question – Freedom

What does freedom mean to you?

Posted on Jun 18th, 2009 by Ted – last updated 14 March 2015 {Some of this has been edited slightly from the original post – a few typos corrected, a few missing words inserted, and little reformatting – I have attempted to keep clarity and stay true to the original meaning, even where it no longer applies}

This is in Response to the Questions and Reflections for June 18, 2009:

To me freedom means being responsible for all my actions and all their consequences.

Freedom means claiming ultimate power, ultimate choice, ultimate responsibility.

Freedom is a state of being that one claims, independent of circumstances.

Freedom is a power that one claims for oneself, in the face of any and all circumstances.

Freedom is ultimately all we have – the power to make a difference – anything else is simple causality.

This does, lead to the next question – to what purpose do we choose to use our freedom?

Far more interesting than the question of freedom itself – much more of an existential test of character.

37 Comments – views to March 2010 (981)

Tagged with: QaR, freedom, free, life

about 4 hours later

ohmsmom said

very empowering thoughts to start of the day!

thank you 🙂

about 4 hours later

Asteri said

Wonderful said Ted, thanks!

about 4 hours later

Laurie said

Ted –

Did you just feel Gaia seeds landing on your head and shoulders? I pressed the “I endorse this!” button as many times as it would let me. Well stated sir; very well stated, indeed.

about 5 hours later

will said

Hi Ted, I think the existential use of freedom, is to experience it firsthand, live by our own rules created by our free minds and to live our lives consistent with the integrity of our mind and if there’s any value derived from that state of mind and actions, others will naturally follow. I think that true leadership emanates from the fact that a true leader has no need to look back and see if he has any followers.

As Emerson said; “what you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying”.

about 13 hours later

Ted said

Hi Will

The question of leadership is an interesting one.

What level leadership?

Do you want someone to physically do what you do ? (Not I)

Do you want someone to think what you do? (Not really)

Do you want someone to think and act as you would? (At what level).

What I want is for people to look around at all that is, all that has been and is being discovered, then in the knowledge of that, to look within themselves and make their own choice about what to do, where to go, who to be.

In an very real sense, I don’t want people to follow other people, I want people to follow themselves.

I don’t want to lead, I just want to do my thing.

What I do want agreement about, is creating an environment of technology, and legal and social systems, that supports and empowers everyone to lead such a life. Beyond that agreement about the basic playing field – choose your own game.

So there is a sense, in a limited temporal sense, of the time required to create a defined set of conditions (www.solnx.org ) that I want to lead; but beyond that, no.

about 18 hours later

will said


I apologize for any ambiguity in my comment. I am not specifically an overtly concerned about leading people, and I have no wants or expectations of other people, other than my wish for people to experience the joy that is available in any given moment. However, in my long experience of life, I see and experience a duplicity in most human beings. By that I mean that people including myself have private thoughts and public thoughts and the two are distinctly different.

My life’s effort is to stand in the midst of the crowd and have the courage to speak my private thoughts, while keeping my actions in harmony with those thoughts.

The duplicity that I’m referring to, is that in my early years many people have told me they love their jobs, they love their wives, they love their children, etc., but as the years passed those same people were grieving about their wasted life at a miserable job that they hated, a divorce that waited too long during a miserable marriage……. and the story goes on about the miseries of life.

And with that in mind, when I speak with people and hear them say they love their job, or they love their wife or husband I know deep within me that there is an emptiness in their words, because the words are the public words, which are the words a person thinks that others to hear in order to look good, smart and intelligent.

So my view of most people is, that what’s most important to them is; power, seeking the approval of others, looking good, getting respect and position in the community.

When I speak of leadership, I was speaking at a personal level, the level of leading my life from the integrity of my mind; when my private thoughts become my public thoughts and my actions are consistent with those thoughts, then, if there is any value perceived by another, they could perhaps be empowered to live their life from within, experiencing the joy of integrity and the sangfroid that follows. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I lead my life out of the integrity of my mind and don’t look behind for any agreement or approval, then and only then, am I a leader of myself.

As Victor E Frankl discovered (“the last human freedom is his ability to choose his own thoughts.”)in Nazi concentration camps. That being true; why is there so much misery experienced by the majority?Descartes said that: ” men lead lives in quiet desperation”. I think that is well said based on my travels in the USA.

And Schopenhauer put the puzzle of free will and moral responsibility in these terms:
Everyone believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life. …

But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns….”

I like the part where he says; “the very character which he himself condemns”!

Then there is ee. Cummings. ” To be nobody but yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you like everyone else, is to fight the hardest battle of your life and never stop fighting.”

I get the sense that Cummings had lots of experience to live his life from within while keeping in harmony with the integrity of his mind. And it seems to me that most people to poo poo that quote, while giving off the air that “they are themselves.”

about 19 hours later

will said

Sorry Ted, when I sent the above I had paragraphs, don’t know how it happened, but that’s the way it is……………..

1 day later

Ted said

Hey Will

Not a lot to disagree with in what you write.

So many people and philosophers have commented on various aspects of that what we condemn in others is what we most dislike within ourselves. A very good friend of mine who spent over 20 years in our parliament had as his first law of politics, “people condemn others for their own worst faults”.

Personally I have been in the inquiry as to the nature of integrity, and its many levels, for a long time. Doing the Landmark Forum over 15 years ago was a major breakthrough for me. For the first time I got to see my own arrogance in action. I got to call up my ex-wife, and apologise for being such and arrogant self-righteous SOB during our marriage. That was not in my “probable, almost certain, future” prior to that point. Prior to then I was strong on the theoretical understanding of behaviour, but not too strong on the practical example.

Since then I have been putting more time and effort into the practice, while continuing the study and contemplation of theoretical underpinnings.

I love the saying (I think it is of Buddhist origins, but cannot clearly recall) – “it is never too late to have a great childhood”.

My experience of my childhood was of a living hell for much of it – isolated, teased, beaten; yet today, I have only gratitude for the access to empathy for others that those experiences gave me. Without them, I don’t know that I would ever have been strong enough to penetrate the arrogance, even with the tools I now have.

I am not a perfect living example of transcendence. I still have my less than transcended experiences, my periods of arrogance, anger, depression, resignation – and they are becoming less and less common.

I am a stand for continually choosing being the highest self I can imagine – and I fail – often. Then I get up and stand again.

Most of the time I love my job, and accept everything about the existence in which I find myself; and sometimes old habits kick in and I find myself making some aspect(s) (up to and including everything) wrong. In those “wrong” times, there is very little love, vitality, or possibility present.

To the extent to which I bring acceptance to all that is and has been, and to the extent to which I stand for the things that I believe are highest; to that extent I feel complete and fulfilled. Currently that happens most days, some days most of the time. Prior to 15 years ago it would happen some years, for a millisecond or two.

I’ve come a long way – long way to go. The journey is potentially infinite. I do not believe that perfection can be achieved – or more correctly, that even if I do manage to live perfectly to my highest ideals (my definition of perfection) then there will always be a little uncertainty in the measurement, and I will never be 100% certain.

I am still far enough from that to see a few centuries or millennia of work ahead of me.

As to my conduct – I am not yet leading the world to nirvana; and it is something I am working toward. Lots to work on there.

1 day later

will said

Ted, and not to disagree with you, but I’ve seen this stuff for many years and yet see any validity in it, except for getting people to shut-up. >
So many people and philosophers have commented on various aspects of that what we condemn in others is what we most dislike within ourselves<. From my perspective I am not a child molester, or a wife-beater, child-abuser, yet I loathe and condemn them for their inhuman act upon the weak and vulnerable. Does this mean from your point of view that I’m one of those despicable people?

BTW, I did the integrity thing back in 78 which transformed my life which continues to this day. And at 68 yrs old, I am…. living my childhood, my sand box is the 48states of the USA for now. Off to play…

Carpe diem………

1 day later

Ted said

Hi Will

I draw a clear distinction between the two things.

One is my emotional response to who someone else is being. If I find myself getting upset about someone else being too arrogant – then it probably points to my own arrogance, rather than to anything about him.

If I find myself getting emotionally upset about an injustice perpetrated on someone by a 3rd party, then that is a different matter. And I am likely to take quite strong action against the third party, be he wife beater or child molester or rapist of whatever. At the same time as I am preventing him from doing whatever he was doing, or was intending to do, I can still show him a certain amount of compassion (in the sense that if I had his history I would possibly be doing what he is doing). I would still restrain him, and in some circumstance might even kill him, but not from a sense of righteous anger, rather from a sense of something necessary for the safety of another.

I have certainly felt that righteous anger, about 30 years ago when two guys broke into a friend’s place and raped and beat his wife (who was also a friend from school days). Like many others in that community, I took my rifle, and went out tracking down those who did it. Fortunately it wasn’t my group who found them. Fortunately for them they didn’t resist. They got jail time rather than death. I didn’t have to face the question, would I pull the trigger, but feel that I most probably would have, and not from the highest of motives.

There are not many circumstances where I would actually kill another now. I would need to be very confident that there was no other way to stop them killing someone who posed no threat to anyone else.

Your sandbox is somewhat bigger than mine, I live on an Island about quarter the size of Texas, but far more varied geologically. Just got back in from a beach cleaning exercise organised by the local council – about 20 of us turned up and collected three big trailer loads of mostly cans, bottles and plastic (about half a percent of local population).

1 day later

will said

Hey Ted,

I don’t see a clear distinction between the two things. Circumstances are intrinsic to experiences as well as emotions are intrinsic to circumstances.

I see no difference between getting emotionally upset about an injustice perpetrated on another person and a person who is arrogant with me, because I see that as an injustice to me. So I see injustice as an inappropriate action whether it is perpetrated on another person or upon myself, simply because I value myself as much as I do another, perhaps it would be more accurate to say; I value myself highly and do not like to be attacked or abused in any way, shape or form.

What is important to me in situations where my emotions arise, is to respond to this situation, rather than react out of the emotions that I created in those situations. Emotions are an automatic reaction to thoughts and my goal is to intelligently choose my actions producing my desired results.

You mentioned righteous anger, I think anger is anger and it is the human mind that wants to be right at all cost will justify itself.

You mentioned in an earlier post which I totally disagree with and think that it’s psycho babble that feeds the minds of those whose inner peace is lacking, you said:
>So many people and philosophers have commented on various aspects of that what we condemn in others is what we most dislike within ourselves.<.
People yes, but philosophers, I don’t think so. That statement makes no sense to me, no matter how hard I try, it goes beyond the realm of logic.

Life, and life’s experiences take place between the ears of an individual. All meaning to our experiences is either invented by us or accepted by us as hand-me-downs from our environmental upbringing and social conditioning. Einstein said; “there are two things in the universe, Atoms and opinions”.

As the years have gone by I come to realize that’s what’s really important to my well-being is for me to function from the creation of my opinions rather than living by the opinions of others. I do however, respect the opinions of others as long as they don’t try to impose their opinions on me.

I don’t know if you ever saw this piece by Kierkegaard, but I like it and as I look into the world and listen, I see his quote validated which goes like this:

Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion – and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion … while Truth again reverts to a new minority.

I see this validated in people who are say, obsessed with the news and TV media and do nothing with that information, except parrot and argue their inculcated opinions of the media. So the way I see it is, all that babble is for people who have no opinions.

Anyway, after all this babble what’s really important in my life is, integrity. Joy, peace of mind, sangfroid, vitality, aliveness and love are all a function of integrity. The more that I am in harmony with my integrity the more fulfilling are my experiences in life, everything takes place between the ears!!

Carpe diem……….>

1 day later

Ted said

Hi Will

I can see a sense in which what you say about emotions works, and it is not a schema I use frequently.

You say “emotions are an automatic reaction to thoughts and my goal is to intelligently choose my actions producing my desired results” which is in one sense true, and it is actually more complex than that. It seems to me that emotions are a response that is mediated by a number of probability functions. One set of probability functions is supplied by the model of reality that we run, which is informed in part by our experience in the immediate past, in part by our past experiences, and in part by our choices and declarations (which may be considered a subset of our past).

There is another aspect of the model that we use, that can generally be classed as “context”. When we can consciously select the context that we are using in any given instant, we can gain great control over the “automatic” responses that our brain produces.

The default context that we all start with is one based on the concept of right/wrong. Once we learn to distinguish this context as but one of a potentially infinite set of contexts, we can move our awareness into this realm of meta-contexts. At once it alters nothing and alters everything.

When one can consciously choose contexts in which there is no “wrong”, then the emotions that we associate with wrong simply cease to express.

It is not a simple thing. The brain is adept at selecting contexts automatically – as is obvious from an analysis of the language I use on vessels when talking to commercial fishers, compared to the language I use at a Mensa meeting, or as guest speaker to a Christian women’s gathering. I don’t consciously select each word – the words just flow from the context that my brain selects. When I can be sufficiently awake to choose those contexts, my existence takes on a different quality.

Another possible way of getting a handle on how what we condemn in others is a reflection of our own worst faults is to consider how we model the world. When it comes to emotions, the only direct emotional experience we have is the emotions that we have at some time in our life experienced ourselves. When we model another person, we ascribed to them some set of attributes, and a subset of those will be a set of emotions, which will be a subset of emotions we have ourselves experienced at some point. Thus there is a very real sense in which we can only ascribe to others emotions which we have experienced ourselves. Most often, in most situations, this works well, and sometimes, when dealing with things outside our normal experience, it fails us.

Thus to condemn an emotion in others, we must, by definition, have experienced it ourselves. When operating from a right/wrong paradigm, we have trouble showing compassion for something we define as wrong. We often fail to see, (or our subconscious hides from our awareness) those aspects that we judge as being wrong, as being something that we do ourselves (and how frequently we do them).

When viewed from this perspective, it is perfectly logical, and a long way from “psycho babble” – it is actually completely in accord with leading edge research on consciousness – particularly work being done by Douglas Hofstadter, Karl Pribram, and Pentti Kanerva.

I see much truth in what Kierkegaard says, provided one holds the notions of “truth” lightly, and is conscious of measurement error probability functions associated with all perception and conception. In other words, don’t be too sure that what you consider as truth is actually so. Holding on to this notion makes it much more realistic to act like Jesus is reported to, and refrain from judging others.

I’m with you in the experience of joy, life and that the experience of these can be completely independent of circumstance – ie is determined by the context of interpretation that the brain applies.

Be great (I like the addendum – it annoys the hell out of those who had other plans for you 😉 )

2 days later

will said


First let me say that it is a pleasure to speak with someone who can hold an opposing thought and carry on a conversation. I would like to also state, that anything I say is not an attack on you or your beliefs. I would also like to say that I hear a lot of landmark op talk to your writing, not a problem because I did the est thing in the 70s and did the landmark seminar leaders program in the 90s. As time went on I became disenchanted with the organization in that the devout were speaking from a memorized script. I didn’t see any authenticity and therefore faded away.

Taking away the pop talk regarding context, thoughts occur to me in the immediate moment, which in turn, creates an emotion. If I react to that emotion I reinforce that particular thought and emotional reaction. If however, I don’t react, but instead intelligently respond to that thought getting the desired results, it then deflates the energy of that emotion that is attached to that thought. So in a sense, I changed the context in which I hold that thought. I have discovered that I grow and expand by the virtue of my ability to respond to life, rather than reacting to it like an automaton.

It appears to me that most people feel they are broken and need fixing from which they endeavor to fix everyone around them including the world.. This whole concept of an organism thinking that it is wrong, or broken, or not as good as another is a learned concept that has been accepted by the masses that produces irrevocable harm to the creation of a human being.

If my creator, created me to be something, then it is my duty, my responsibility to manifest that purpose. But society, or social conditioning exerts its man-made dogmas that invalidate and disempower the spirit within. Religion to me, simply means my relationship with my creator, nothing more, nothing less. I don’t subscribe to the great orators who read from books that God said this and God said that, simply because, I am concerned with what God is saying and not what somebody says he said. If I have a God, then I assume that he is alive and well and has the ability to speak to me if Castle dental to. To him I listen, and two others I hear and feel the vibrations from their vocal cords. Empty words.

Now it may appear that I am contradicting myself what I say, I am moved by the words of Emerson, but I don’t think so, because his words simply mean to me; shut up and listen when he said; “We live within an immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activities”. And; “let us sit in silence and listen to the whispers of the gods”. And then; “man but expresses himself, because he denies the divinity within him.”

Then there is Cicero 2500 years ago we ;” man’s biggest problem is that he cannot sit in a room by himself.” Today man has TV and all sorts of other distractions.

All things known are known to some end, So then, how are we supposed to know the truth, the truth that is real is real and unchangeable? The so-called studies that you are referring to are manufactured by a careful selection of temporal facts and ideas to support their claim. Those claims cannot be supported scientifically which means it is just food for those who are hungry for something. I.e. I personally do not see any value in being obese and a burden to society. Those thoughts do not arise from the notion that I am obese and therefore repudiate myself, projecting that repudiation on to those who are obese. I could go on and on, but there is no point because I cannot see any validity in your assertion

Well, it’s time for me to go inside and let the divine reveal itself through the privilege of being alive.Carpe diem…………

3 days later

Ted said

Hi Will

I also am enjoying this very much, and share your attitude to the beliefs of others.

I like your description of choosing contexts – it seems to be exactly what I do. Yes – the automaton things is to be avoided – it is the state of not being present, not being awake.

I guess some of the language of Landmark does become a habit, and I have had a lot of value from their work, and I have been close to being thrown off programs a couple of times. Currently in a dispute with the leadership over a couple of phrases they use which are clearly false, and do lead some people into serious problems. Specifically saying that anything is possible. I believe what is possible is infinite, and what is not possible is infinite. The only infallible way of determining what is possible and what is not is to try it and see.

I don’t deny the experience of Emerson, but I do dispute the interpretation. For me the experience is one that is provided by the “holographic processor” that is brain. What it does is use the form of association similar to that provided by holograms, to find similarity and pattern in and between different things.

Thus, when we still the chatter of the conscious mind (with it’s continual conversations with itself) and listen to the associations being thrown up by the other 20 or so processing centers within our minds, it certainly can sound like the whispering of gods. To me it is simply demonstration of the depth of the incredible power that exists in every human brain. In that sense, it is much as Jesus and many others said – that God lies within us – except that I don’t believe in Gods, but if I did, then I would say much the same.

I do not believe in universal ends. I believe in possibility space. In a sense, you might say I believe in Hilbert space – infinitely dimensional, containing infinite possibility. The present is the current end point of some 14 billion years of the development of the particular Hilbert space that is our universe.

Each and every one of us is capable of making an impact on how it develops in the future – we are all that powerful.

Nothing is pre-determined, or foretold with certainty. We are each powerful creators. And in the absence of creativity, we follow patterns that are for the most part very predictable.

I do not see anything that is an unchangeable truth. I can’t imagine what such a thing might be, nor what use it could be.

What I see is the power to make a difference, the power to create. What could be more antithetical to “unchangeable” anything.

I do not follow your obese example – it seems to be a third domain of judgement – unrelated to the previous two.

My original assertion related purely to those occasions on which, when we are ourselves stressed, we accuse another of something. To quote my friend Richard Prebble – “The first law of politics is, that politicians, when under stress, accuse others of their own worst faults.”

I could have said it much more clearly, and must accept full responsibility for not stating it explicitly in the first place.

Need to get some sleep myself – been a long day.

Arohanui (roughly translates to Great Love from the Maori language)

6 days later

will said

Ted, I’m enjoying this also.

I look at life as consisting of two things, experience and language, and the two things are distinctly different. In regards to possibilities, inherent in that word is the possibility that impossibility exists as well. Relative to experience, there are several experiences that I can have, one side is that I’m happy, and the other, is that I’m unhappy, either way, they are like a roller coaster. Then there is the experience of experience/non-experience, which are those moments in which I lose the experience of myself in the moment and that is the place in which I wish to dwell, moments of passion, where the only thing that exists, is that moment. Then there is another realm in which I deal with the present moment and discarded while accepting the next moment, ad infinitum.

As much as I enjoy mathematics, I didn’t find much experiential value from looking into Hilbert’s space theory and surely, I did not put much effort into dissecting it. I look at the unknown as simply the unknown, much of what we can never know simply because we cannot know the cause of the first cause. Much of life is analogous to something like a watch. We can see the secondhand moving as well as the minute hand and the hour hand and if we’ve never been inside of a watch, we can only speculate and conceptualize what is making you tick without ever knowing how accurate our theories are, or simply spurious. All things known, are known to some end and as long as I can keep that in my mind, it gives me this space to be malleable, as well as the space create meaning for myself.

I get the sense that you are stuck with the concept that what we repudiate and others is a manifestation of what we repudiate about ourselves. I don’t believe that, I can’t experience that, except that theory based simply on someone’s status. I make observations, and I make judgments. Observations are what I see, and a judgment emanates from emotion and experience. You mentioned stress and accusing others of our own worst faults. Sorry, I cannot see that, or experience that and therefore, has no relevance to me.

When it comes to philosophy, I enjoy those who lead me through a jungle of entanglements, to a place where only a question exists. Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ludwig Wittgenstein are just two, of the many who can lead me to that place. What Emerson said: “let us sit in silence and listen to the wisdom of the gods.” I don’t think that in the literal sense, that there are gods out there, but in the sense that the answers to my life, dwell within me. I do however, feel that it’s extremely important to ask the proper question and the problem only exists, because I created it, and I think it is foolish to think that the solution to the problem exists within the problem. My definition of a solution to a problem is when; the problem disappears.

Here are a few words from Wittgenstein Council I see as relevant: “My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as nonsense, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.

Carpe diem……………..

7 days later

Ted said

I don’t think we disagree about much at all. I love Ludwig’s inquiry, and those of his mentor Russell. It is strange that I could read Wittgenstein with a knowledge of games theory and systems theory, and years of practice in both evolution and computer systems design, and see clearly the underlying mechanisms that he saw the effects of, but had no real understanding of the mechanics.

Understanding the mechanics does not make it predictable, and it does give one access to a level of power when one is trying to design things at higher levels. It’s much easier to design an efficient jet engine when one is familiar with modern physics and chemistry, and has modern measurement tools, than when one is dealing with phlogiston and the 4 elements.

I see the string of questions and answers as an infinite series of infinite dimensions. In such a reality, no “ultimate destination” is even conceptually possible – there is only the journey, replete with possibility, and no shortage of “nonsense from bath to bath” (one of my favourite Zen quotes – from the bath of a baby at birth, to the bath of the body after death).

For me, I choose to create a possibility in which I get to explore as much of the infinite as I can manage. The only way I can see of doing that with any security is to empower everyone else to do likewise – then there is nothing anyone would want to take from me, as they already have it themselves.

Such a possibility is going to require some major mimetic transcendence.

Win, loose or draw, I’m enjoying the game.

As to people under stress, just spend some time watching your politicians in action – go to your state capital, and watch members debating a contentious issue. I’ve spent hundreds of hours doing it as well as doing a term on our local district council, and time on boards of trustees etc. The observation appears to work for most people most of the time. And it is possible to reach a state where one is not stressed by any occurrence, so the statement doesn’t apply – but not many politicians reach such a state (some, but not many).

That definition of a solution works well, at each level I’ve tried it.

I wish you well.


10 days later

will said

I don’t understand how one can understand the mechanics of something that doesn’t lead to predictability. I thought that was a basic tenant of science or any other form of knowledge.

Phlogiston and the 4 elements? I looked up phlogiston and the def. was; a hypothetical substance once believed………………. How is that relative to the here and now?

Isn’t the desire to empower others to think the same way, a personal quest of power? Controlling and manipulating others for personal gains certainly comes under the rubric of power and control in my book.

As for stress, I see it all around in the struggle for life. As the years have passed I’ve learned and still am learning that the joy of life resides in the present moment. In the moment there is no stress. Stress is a function of not excepting what is so, trying to change the isness of now, into the what isn’t, the perfect formula for the unconscious production of stress.

I think Emerson has the answer for those that experience stress, he said; “A man must carry himself in the face of opposition as if everything were titular and ephemeral, but himself”. Actually, I have worked hard to absorb those words into my being/actions over the years. Brings or centers me in the moment.

The only power that I wish to exercise is the power to step beyond my unconsciously self imposed limitations to experience the myriad possibilities that become manifested along my journey. To me, life is like being in an uncharted jungle, no one has been this exact spot that in which I exist, and therefore any advice or reliance on another is shear ignorance on my part. All that I know is that I exist here in this particular place at this particular time. This place in which I exist is subject to my interpretation of it, which gives me the power to create the circumstances relative to my position in space in the moment. I work on being here and not somewhere else, which results in sangfroid and empowers me with an abundance of energy to consume the moment.

You mentioned politicians; I personally have no respect for them. I see politicians in this country, as parasites feeding off the populace for their own self gratifications, being the centerpiece of greed, corruption, power and all forms of aggrandizement that a devious mind can evoke.

Oh! I was in NY a few weeks ago and met a man from New Zealand. Interesting lad, traveled a lot and was employed disarming bombs around the world, worked 4 months a year, played the rest. That’s living on the razors edge of life, as the possibility of experiencing mistakes or failure is almost non-existent.

Have you any thoughts on solipsism?

Carpe diem.

11 days later

Ted said

Hi Will

Not all things are predictable.

Many things are lawful, without being predictable – like Pi. There is no way to predict a digit of Pi, without actually working it out. The first 10 million digits of Pi have been calculated, without any repeating pattern.

Similarly, with many forms of chaotic systems, the only way to work out what will happen next is to try it and see. There isn’t any pattern that repeats in any predictable sense. There is pattern, and it does follow rules, but there is no repetition of the pattern, it is continually changing and evolving, and the only way to see where it leads is to follow – much like life.

How phlogiston is relevant, is that it is very probable that most of what we believe to be true now, is not – just like phlogiston was back then. Most people treated it as reality – just as for a long time most people treated the earth as being flat.

I desire to empower others to think for themselves. To test everything themselves, in the full light of reality (whatever that is). That, to me is empowerment. Some may think like me, some may think otherwise. We may have debate and discussion, and one or other may change their view in the light of evidence.

I desire to give every person power over the things they need in reality to ensure their own existence. I plan this at several levels. If you are familiar with Abraham Maslow’s work – I plan to provide systems that meet all the external needs he identified. Beyond that I wish to empower people to extend their own lifespans indefinitely (should they so choose).

Other than that, provided that they are willing to leave me to get on with the things I want to get on with, I am happy to leave them to do their own thing.

I agree pretty much with your observations on stress, it is for the most part self induced, but not many people are fully conscious of that yet.

I see many levels to self. The physical level needs physical systems to support it. Those are my first target.

The other levels of self require sustenance also – some of that I get here.

I have met a great many politicians. Some I have known from childhood. I think all of them have a genuine concern for their community, and in some it gets lost in disillusionment leading to low level excesses of short term self interest. I see others that burn out facing the injustices that abound. And I see many who lose their way in a labyrinth of systems and bureaucracy that few have any real conception of. Mostly I have a lot of respect for those individuals who are prepared to put themselves forward for public service in the face of the disrespect that you and many others have for them.

I find that we see what we look for in life.

If I look for greatness in others, then they find it in themselves and express it.

There is a limited sense in which I agree with solipsism – cogito ergo sum. The sense that I can know that I exist, without knowing anything about the nature of that existence (it is almost like it is subject to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle).

Once I start investigating the nature of my existence (which I have spent many tens of thousands of hours doing) it often seems that almost all of my observable behaviour can be categorised in terms of laws. Which rather leaves one in a difficult position, until one can make the transition to a paradigm where the contradiction disappears. That transition has to come from within each of us, and can only be hinted at externally.

Be great


11 days later

will said


All things known, are known to some end. Pi is an excellent example. We don’t Know what pi is ultimately, we represent it with an agreed-upon number of digits to the right of the decimal point. All things known, are known to an agreed-upon point, like when the world was thought to be flat. Or even more recently, many illnesses were treated by bloodletting.

We talk about creating context, but what we really are doing is, creating a context within a context. My ultimate goal is to shift my paradigm of knowing, disappearing the context that limits my possibilities. That’s a lateral shift versus a vertical one.

When we understand something, that something is just an extension of what we already know, and if the basis of what we already know is fallacious, then obviously, any extension of it will be false also. Everything changes, change is a constant.

Isn’t the desire to empower someone else who thinks differently a quest for power? The statement implies that others do not think like you and therefore, they are wrong and your way is the correct way, do I have that right? One has to seek, in order to find. Discovery is the result of adventure, seeing the new in the old, or seeing the ineffable, thereby creating a new paradigm for oneself.

The way I see things is that I have come to acknowledge that I am creator of my universe as well as every other human being. Either my universe works for me, or it doesn’t and it is my sole responsibility in the way in which I perceive it. My wish, or desire is for people to be happy, including being happy if they choose to be unhappy. There is no way of me knowing what’s in their universe, the only thing that I can know, is that which I know to a particular end, and that end is a function of change, because change is a constant, which kind of makes it difficult to know anything ultimately (ultimate knowledge may be the possibility that includes impossibility).

I don’t get too much into solipsism, but when I do, it raises a lot of possibilities. Funny thing is, when I was young before I knew what philosophy, or solipsism was, I thought along those terms as a possibility of life. What I do know is that “I “don’t have a “life”, because me and life cannot be separated, therefore, I conclude that I am life, or this consciousness, or awareness.

I see stress as a result of people doing what they don’t like doing and can’t focus clearly on their objective and be in the moment. Too many of us live in a conceptual world, that is; trying to change what is, into what isn’t. Alchemy is a tough game to play by any rule, while the world watches.

In my universe creating context within context works, but the bliss of creation for me, is when I create a new paradigm for myself, up to this point in time, I know of nothing better than the experience of creating a paradigm, and strangely enough, no one can understand it. It’s for my eyes only, so to speak.

I wish you well, and above all…….

Carpe diem.

12 days later

Ted said

Hi Will

I don’t understand what you might mean by “All things are known to some end”. I don’t comprehend what you might mean by “All things known, are known to an agreed-upon point”. I admit that for many people, there may be agreement on what is so; and that many people treat this agreement as “what is so” – and I am often not in that camp. I have learned to trust my own experience, my own judgment, my own intuitions. One of the most powerful of those intuitions occurred in 1974, when having just finished 3rd year (undergrad) biochem studies I attended an international conference on LASERs held at the university campus I was attending (Waikato). There I got to understand how LASER holograms worked, saw them in action, and realised that something similar (analogous) must be powering the intuitive faculty of the human mind. At that point I was unaware of the theoretical work being done Karl Pribram and others, so for me it was an original discovery of my own mind. I had no agreement from others, yet I held on to the “truth” of it for over 3 decades – without any agreement.

After reading Wittgenstein, I realised that we make models within models, and our modeling is powered by our holographic processors. Each of us makes our own assessments about what is so, and often we fool ourselves that we actually have agreement from others on that (our minds are very adept at pushing square peg observations into round hole expectations – we do it constantly).

You talk of context within context, and disappearing limits. To a very great extent I agree with that; and there may be points of significant disagreement in the detail. I do not believe it is possible to remove all limits – I believe Kurt Goedel has demonstrated that in his incompleteness theorem – an outstanding feat of creativity. What I do believe is possible, is an infinite series of transcendent paradigms, each one a meta-paradigm for the one preceding it (like each one opening a new infinite series of dimensions on an already infinite possibility space). [To get a handle on that one must be able to hold the thought that there are larger and smaller infinities – not all infinities are equal.]

I do not agree with your assertion that “When we understand something, that something is just an extension of what we already know”. Our brain has these “holographic” processors that actually allow us to distinguish pattern that is inherent in the observations, but was not previously distinguished. If you are familiar with the theory and practice of holography, the idea is that the smallest part contains the image of the whole, but the resolution increases as you get more of the whole (ie it becomes clearer, easier to recognise). Thus, every sense impression essentially contains all the information available in the universe, but at very low resolution (very blurred). The more impressions we get, the greater the clarity, and the greater the probability that we will distinguish what is there to be seen.

This “holographic” aspect of brain has to compete with the “habit” aspect of brain. Once we make a distinction, the brain develops a “habit” of associating anything vaguely similar with that “distinction”.

One must be disciplined with brain, in forcing it stop its habitual “pattern stuffing habits” long enough to become aware of the deeper holographic intuitions that are potentially there.

One mechanism people employ to do this is to study all they can about a particular “problem”, then leave it and do something else (completely clear their conscious level habits and associations) – and leave their “unconscious” to come up with something. The odd thing is that it seems that it is the act of recall itself that does the “coming up with something”. It is the process of recall that does the holographic association. The key to creativity is to be open to all the nuances that are associated with any particular recall – rather than simply focusing directly in on the one that is “habitually” present.

This is my “truth” on the matter.

You ask – “Isn’t the desire to empower someone else who thinks differently a quest for power?” There are certainly several senses in which that is so, yet I suspect not in the way that I suspect you are thinking.

To illustrate it is probably easier to ask a question in return.

If you saw someone in danger, you distinguished some threat to the existence of another, that you could, with relatively little cost and effort, and relatively low risk to yourself, avert – would you take the action to save the other?

I suspect (hope/trust) that you would, as would I, as, I suspect, would everyone on this website {referring to the once present gaia website}.

That is sort of how it is for me. I feel sort of like Neo in “The Matrix”. I see a level of the substructure of the stuff that makes up the playing field that many call “reality” that causes millions of people to die each year. I see that it is possible to, with relatively little (in the cosmic sense) effort, and relatively little risk (given the alternative is probable almost certain death anyway) change that structure to one that supports the existence of every human being, for as long as they wish to continue existing. There will be some costs – we would need to slow our rate of reproduction to one of replacement. I’ve had my two children, and had my vasectomy, so I am being responsible to that extent. For my children, the choice to have children may be delayed for millennia, if they ever do.

So in one sense, that I want the power to live a long time, and I want the technical tools to be able to explore the possibility spaces I see in my mind’s eye, then yes I seek power. In so far as I intend to make those tools and possibilities available to everyone else, it is not some power that I will hold over anyone else – it is like a rising tide that lifts all boats equally.

I am not making any implied statements about what is right or wrong. I do sometimes revert to a paradigm where right and wrong exist; and most of my time is spent in a paradigm where right and wrong do not exist – except as a limiting case in a spectrum of possible paradigms. The words have no meaning outside of that specialised limiting case. And I acknowledge that everyone must begin their existence in a paradigm where right and wrong exist – that is neither right nor wrong, it is simply what is.

In terms of being the creator of my universe, I see several distinct levels there.

I am an entity of words. My awareness exists in words, in a model of a world, in a brain, in a body, …..

The model that I am born into is created in and by a culture, though it resides in a brain (my brain – or the brain of my body).

My brain/body has a genetic structure that creates within the brain a model of “reality” (whatever that is) that is predictive in nature – to allow the body to respond to events in real time. Within that model, my awareness builds its own model within a model (Wittgenstein’s shadows on the walls of a cave).

As my holographic processors work at storing and retrieving experiences, which are a mix of the internal models and the sense impressions from “outside”, the models refine, and the paradigm, or context of the models changes. It appears to me that an infinite succession of such paradigm shifts are available. I can clearly recall 7 such in my experience. I expect there to be many more, if I am fortunate enough to live long enough.

I don’t see any of them as being right.

Each paradigm is infinite.

Each new paradigm infinitely expands upon the previous one.

No individual can fully explore any infinity.

Who is to say which infinity is more worthy of choice?

I leave open, within the very broad limits of not causing harm to another, nor unduly impeding their chosen course, an individual’s choice of their own path.

Why would I do anything else?

I do not have any particular end. I have an eternal now, with infinite possibility. My choices are but one input. Everyone else has an input also. In the realm of the real (whatever that is), we all get to dance with the consequences of the choices of ourselves and all others. Within our own models, internally, we can effect a certain degree of isolation, but only in so far as we isolate ourselves from experience – for experience contains the holographic content of the all – the infinite. There is no ultimate escape from the grand unity, and at the same time, we have our own existence, our own choice, our own creativity.

I agree with you to a very large extent about the bliss of a paradigm.

In my experience there is a greater bliss, when one takes actions that bring the power available in that paradigm into the service of life.

Be great


14 days later

will said


In my statement, that all things known, are known to some end, is meant to say; what is known, is known to a particular point at which agreement occurs. It is possible, and likely possible that the truth lies beyond the point of agreement. Now keep in mind, I am a layman, not a scientist.

Your last reply was extremely interesting in that revealed that you are a deep thinker, if there is any logical sense to that statement. I’ve been trying to read some of Karl Pimbrams ideas are difficult for me to understand as my language is limited to the ordinary. But what I seem to get from him, is that he doesn’t believe in cause and effect, what takes the position that what happens is that action occurs from engaging in a challenge, and the results of a challenge are unpredictable, which I assume can be interpreted to; infinite possibilities. I think he said; we challenge the system, and the results are not predictable. Please correct me if I’ve got this wrong, because I find this holographic universe quite interesting.

I don’t know if this relates to the same thing, but Warner Ehrhardt had said; “you can’t know anything, until you know that who you are, is empty and meaningless.” My understanding of that is, only from nothing can one create. Changing something that already exists, is not creating. Would this be a way to implicate creating a hologram?

Pribram likes to use the words, explicate and implicate in defining the way we see reality. I feel like I’m making a feeble attempt to understand something that is beyond my grasp. But anyway, it’s been a great pleasure chatting with you.

I like your views of the world and its possibilities and the stand that you take create those possibilities. That’s living powerfully! Let the good times roll…

Like I said; in order for me to understand something, it must be extension of what I already know. This statement is manifested in my inability, or difficulty to comprehend Pribram. I couldn’t possibly understand algebra, if I didn’t know math. I couldn’t understand calculus, if I didn’t understand trigonometry, geometry, algebra, math and arithmetic. That’s the way I see it, and perhaps that is my limitation in a universe of infinite possibilities.

Carpe diem….

15 days later

Ted said

Hi Will

A lot of things in that last post of yours.

I see two aspects to Pibram’s work, one of which works clearly in the schema that I use most often, and one of which is highly speculative.

The one that works is the holographic processor – that gives us links and intuitions as a “side effect” of the way it stores and retrieves information. This part I have no problem with. When he starts talking about holographic substructures to reality – I would really require a lot more testable hypotheses and evidence. I do not see it as being required to explain any observations at this point (which is not to say it is wrong, just to say I am using Occam’s Razor).

I believe in cause and effect, at least within certain probability distributions – when one is dealing with objects made of very large collections of other objects (sub atomic particles) over long periods (a second or so – a very long time for a sub atomic particle) then things tend to be very stable and very predictable. The closer one gets to smaller particles, over very short spaces of time, the less predictable they become (sort of like people).

Again I see two distinct aspects to Werner’s empty and meaningless. At one level, it simply means without meaning. That the meaning and purpose you see in life is that which you yourself have added. To become a powerful creator one must take that level of responsibility for what exists – in the realm of meaning – as distinct from physicality.

In a similar but distinct sense, to create, if there is to be true creation, as distinct from simple cause and effect, then there must be no prior cause – ie nothing prior to your creation – at whatever level it is that you are creating. This can be a very slippery idea – a bit like much of quantum mechanics – but the old Zen masters seemed to have a fairly good handle on it.

I sort of see the hologram connection a bit differently. I see holograms as a mechanism by which we create pattern by analogy with other pattern. I see the “uncertainty principle” at the margins of this holographic process giving us the “space” to create – a space of field on field within context. It is very hard to put into words, and it is a picture I have in my head.

I get that there is a sense, which seems sort of logical, in which things build on other things. And if you look at it closely, it doesn’t really hold up in the classical way of looking at it.

Some people make the jump to abstraction of variables in algebra very quickly, others need to follow the patterns for hours before they suddenly see what is meant. The seeing, the jumping, is a creative act. It is a new paradigm being “invented” anew in and by each mind.

Some teachers are very skilled at creating contexts that make that creative leap easy for folks, and the “leap” is made anew by each mind.

That “leap” is the holographic leap, as a side effect of the way we store and retrieve information.

Once you realise this, you can become very skilled at making those leaps with very little information.

Our minds are very skilled at that anyway, most of us are trained not to trust that faculty, and to ignore it.

It is actually our most powerful faculty. It is the very thing we all need to be developing within ourselves.

It is amazingly powerful.

When I said I have had 7 major paradigm shifts, I meant 7 reorganisations of how I view the world, that were instantaneous and profound, and required months of follow up work to tidy up loose ends.

Sometimes I can have several of these lesser holographic “intuitions” per second – and some of them are quite profound.

It isn’t actually that hard a thing to teach. Actually that is wrong. It cannot be taught – it is there anyway. What needs to be taught is to stop the habits of ignoring it. Start listening to it, trusting it. Some call it meditating, some call it prayer. Some find the effect so profound that they call it conversations with God. In my schema – it is becoming aware of the power of the human mind – the power beyond ego – that we each and every one of us have. We each have over 20 of these holographic processors running full speed, continuously, in our brains.

Is it any wonder some of us hear voices, or talk with Gods ?

To me, the magic is the reality, which, as usual, is far stranger than any fiction – just how complex, powerful and amazing each and every one of us is.



18 days later

will said

Ted, Ted,Speaking of creation and the cause of the first cause are rhetorical questions to me. When I speak of creation, I am speaking about what I can create in my life, enhancing the quality of my life/experience.

When Warner said: “you can know anything, until you know that who you are is empty and meaningless.” He simply means that if I have a cup of tea, I can’t create a cup of coffee, by simply adding coffee to the tea, that’s changing. I must first empty the cup, so to speak, add, or create coffee in it, then I get to experience coffee.

Who I am is a cup filled with concepts and external opinions, that limits experiences to the concept that I possess, all our actions are consistent with the image that we have of ourselves.

I think Einstein was quite clear that ‘ knowledge’ was limiting. One of his quotes he said: “the only thing that interferes with my learning, is my education”. And in many of his comments he said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

What’s the difference between knowledge and belief?

Once we know something, it becomes fixed and therefore no need for further inquiry. Again, my quest is to understand the process of experience.

The way I see life is that there is “life/experience”. There is no me that is separate from experience or life. I have this concept of “me” that has been created by me, and me only, which in effect limits, restricts, constricts, forms, shapes and governs experience. So at this point in life, there is an urgency to eliminate this concept of ‘ me’, or ‘ I, so that experience is free from all constraints, allowing possibilities to occur.

I work on dealing with and concerning myself with those things that are experiential, beyond that is conceptual. I know concepts are essential to life, like I must have a concept of how to get out of this room in order to leave effortlessly, but at the same time I don’t see any importance and value in concerning myself with the what ‘ isn’t’. Simplicity exists in the moment, beyond this moment are where emotional problems, discontent, fear, hate and despair are created.

The most difficult thing to do in life is not to be deceived by our beliefs.

Technology has far out distanced man’s ability to deal with it intelligently.

Carpe diem….

18 days later

Ted said

Hey Will

Once again – we seem to be very largely in agreement – over 90%. (Thought just occurred to me that the chimp and human genomes are over 98% the same – sometimes small differences make a big difference.)

I agree with the experiential discipline of emptying the mind of preconceptions (as far as possible) and being open to the possibilities inherent in the instant; and at the same time, Werner was also very fond of the notion that the present is given by the future we are living into – which is yet another aspect of our preconceptions determining what we see/create/be.

I think that emotional problems like fear, discontent, hate and despair are a result of an unwillingness to accept something that is or has been – which is totally a waste of energy. Accept all that is/has been, and from that base make choices/take actions to create the future that calls to you.

For me, the conceptual is powerful in so far as it gives us access to tools that empower our creativity, or to put it another way, allows us to see paths to futures that might not otherwise be visible.

I agree with you, Werner and Albert that our beliefs often deceive us. A good friend of mine has a discipline of creating at least three different interpretations of anything important, to stop from getting into ruts. The technique has some merit, and it can just lead to having three ruts instead of 1.

For me, the process is more like Werner’s use of the distinction racket (a fixed way of being in some circumstance). As we get to distinguish our rackets, they no longer run us as automatically as they once did. In seeing them, we gain some choice over their expression. So it is for me with the limiting concepts. As I distinguish them, they are no longer quite the limit that they once were, and it seems probable that there will always be new levels of undistinguished limitation.

This leads to the next level of the inquiry. If one empties the mind of all past – where does intention and choice live ?

Where is the I ?

To me it seems like a nonsense to ignore the past. Like one could just snap one’s fingers and have a fully functioning rooster appear. A rooster must first be an egg, then a chicken. There are developmental processes to go through. Those processes, over time, leave their mark on the present, in that case we call the mark a rooster.

In my case I call the mark that is the life history of one Thomas Edward (aka Ted) Howard, me.

That life history has genetic components that span some 4 billion years of evolution; and mimetic components that span some 100,000 years of “cultural” evolution, and a body history of some 54 years, and a self awareness history of some 50 years.

All of these things mixing and mingling in complex relationships both internally, and externally.

I completely disagree with your assertion that “Technology has far outdistanced man’s ability to deal with it intelligently”. I think that is a self imposed limit that many people carry that has no basis in reality.

Certainly, technology has given us great power, and has outdistanced the cultural paradigms for controlling it (our “economic” and “political” systems) – and all that means is that it is time for a transcending development in awareness. Our intelligence is perfectly capable of dealing with it intelligently, but not in the way that our culture and habits tend to make us think. Something else is required.

It is as Albert said – “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”.

If we look at ourselves, and our relationship to our technology, and to other living systems, with the same sort of thoughts as we use to look at the relationships between and within ecosystems; then we may just get to live long and happy lives (each and every one of us). For so long as we continue to use simple capitalist economic structures we are in dire peril. And in saying that I acknowledge the incredible power that free markets and capital markets have had in raising living standards. The biggest problem now is that few markets are free – most are dominated by monopolies that use legislation to create barriers to entry to support their monopolies and call it “public good”.

I think perhaps our biggest danger is in the laws of patent and copyright. These can be used to dangerously slow progress. We need both, but I think the time-frames are too long. After 10 years max they should be wide open.

We are all so dependent on the discoveries and creations of others, and most of the things patented are hardly novel at all – just slight variations on a theme.

There will always be uncertainty – that comes with choice, if more than one person is exercising it.

We can all have a great life – we can all live for a very long time, in great health, and with wealth beyond the experience of anyone alive today, and have abundant diverse natural ecologies – the technologies all exist now.

This whole global warming thing, while real – is a nonsense. The technology to fix it is easy. But it would mean the people making billions from oil profits now wouldn’t be making those billions in the future, nor would those making similar billions from the military industrial complex.

I’m getting off topic.

Better go get ready for a meeting.

Be great


21 days later

will said


You said;> , This leads to the next level of the inquiry. If one empties the mind of all past – where does intention and choice live ?

Where is the I ?

Good question! Where is the, I, when we are faced with an immediate challenge that requires our total focus in the moment such as, pointing the skis down a very precipitous and challenging trail? Or in any other moment where our survival is dependent on something that exists outside the realm of thought?

Is it possible to live in that realm from moment to moment? My understanding of Emerson is that if we life out of the integrity of our mind, we are then whole and complete, i.e; no separation that considers itself “I”.

Technology has far distanced men’s ability to deal with it intelligently. By that I mean, at one extreme we can destroy the world many times over with our stockpiled WMD. Given the mind set of Iran and North Korea, they reinforce my assertion. At the same time, children are starving in a world that has abundant food and resources, yet ignores for most part, the agony, and suffering.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that: Technology has out distanced mans ability to deal with his greed.

I don’t know what life is like in New Zealand or its politics, but I do on occasion read the New Zealand Herald for a different perspective and point of view. I also check out the London papers as well.

I know that I can’t forget my past, or erase it or ignore it, but what I can do is realize, that I have a history, but I am not that history. It’s easy for me to say, but arduous in the pursuit of happiness. Being aware of my past seems to guide me along a similar path which leads to frustration and a host of other unwanted emotions and experiences. But in the moment that I choose to act where I don’t know the outcome, there seems to be most rewarding experience.

Carpe diem……………..

21 days later

Ted said

Hi Will,

Interesting question you ask.

In my personal experience, the self aware “I” gets locked out of the control loop, and sometimes gets so little of the processing power of mind that it is like the air has turned to toffee. I recall skiing down one trail called the waterfall (which it is in summer), about 20 ft vertical drop in, with quite a few rocks to avoid before coming out into a beautiful valley about 200ft further down. I had just enough time to think “What the *#$@ have I done” before all I could do was watch, as the automatic systems took over.

Had a similar experience a few years ago when I was wingman for a glider launch, and while running at full speed, my right foot went into a concealed rabbit hole. As I was totally focused on the glider, I had no warning, and just suddenly found myself heading for the ground with 10/10 pain in my ankle. For several minutes I found my awareness almost like it was locked behind a wall, able to observe, but unable to influence what was going on. My body was reacting like a bear had it by the ankle, thrashing around, trying to get rid of the pain. After about a minute one of the other pilots came over and sat on my body, which stopped it thrashing, and I was able to exert control again.

I agree that there is an amazing feeling when one is fully engaged in being. A few years ago I went swimming with my brother in law – he was a district level representative swimmer, and I had never beaten him in my life – even though I’m 10 inches taller. On this evening I had just finished doing some landmark work (don’t remember exactly what), and was feeling very aware. When I went swimming I had the thought, I only want to put any energy into about 30 degrees of the stroke, when my arms are almost vertical below me, and just relax the rest of the time. It was amazing. My body lifted and almost planed along. Over the 50 yard (45m) length of the pool, I finished 10 yards ahead of Rex. I had never swum like that before. It was like everything was in slow motion, total relaxation except for a fraction of a second for each arm to push the water for just a foot – but with everything I had for that small fraction of a second, then rest for the remainder of the stroke.

Yet in all of these experiences, I was aware of the experience, even though each had a differing quality from “ordinary” experience.

I agree with you that we are not dealing with many aspects of our current situation intelligently. It may simply be a matter of semantics between us.

Many people, even in 1903, said that man was incapable of powered flight. Today everyone accepts that powered flight is possible, and most in the this country have experienced it. I even have about 500 hours as pilot in command of many types of powered and unpowered aircraft.

So I agree that we are not yet consistently dealing with technology intelligently, and I am confident that we will do so before very much longer – certainly within the next 30 years, and with a little bit of luck, within the next 5 years.

I believe that individuals of any culture can be called to higher levels of awareness that encompass love, fellowship and active tolerance. Doing so at a mass level seems to be easier if those masses are feeling secure.

I believe that we are capable of using technology intelligently to produce such an environment.

I stopped buying or reading papers (except for our local community paper – and most of the people in that I know personally) in 1984. In 1984 I stood for parliament, and was reported in one or other of the major daily papers 9 times. On one of those occasions, when I read the report, I said, yeah, that is something like what I talked to the reporter about, on the other 8 I could not see any relationship between what was written and what we talked about. After the election I talked to about 40 other politicians, across a variety of parties, and they had all had similar experiences to mine. At that point I came to the conclusion that what is written in news papers bares so little resemblance to what actually happened, that it is actually counter productive to read the newspaper – one ends up with lower ratio of reality to myth than one started with.

In the last 25 years I would not have read 10 newspapers, and I think I am much the better for it.

To my way of looking at life, what works most powerfully is to be as aware as possible about all the patterns from the past; be open to all the lessons, and, holding that “knowledge” lightly, be open and tuned for the intuitions of the present, and the possibilities they hold.

It is a “yes, and” situation. Yes, I have a past, and, standing in pure, unbounded possibility, I am free to choose a future.

And, I do not achieve that ideal state very often. Mostly I am swept along in one of the many levels of “habit” (be it the emotional habits of generations of evolution, or the habits of a culture or a lifetime), into some path without too much conscious choice.

And, I am a stand from bringing ever greater awareness to the choices of life, moment by moment; at the same time as I am a stand for living in the moment (moment by moment).

In one sense, we can never “know” the outcome of anything, none of us “know” the future. And we can make a stand, and dance with the consequences, and fall down and get up and recommit, and …………..

Seems to be what is on offer, so I am happy to accept it (this thing called life).

Be great


6 months later

Ted said

Hi Will

I’ve been back and looked at this a few times.

I think the one thing I haven’t said explicitly, which perhaps needs saying, is how we live – moment to moment.

You bought up earlier about living in the moment, without the “I”.

I see it a little differently.

I see at least three different sorts of “I” that might be present.

At one level we have a whole bunch of “personalities” within us, different ways of being in different circumstances – sort of habits of declaration from our life experience. Everything from young children, through teenagers to adults, that our brains can trigger into action with appropriate contexts. These “personalities” are usually the result of some sort of trauma, some sort of perceived threat to existence at some level at some stage of our development. In such situations the brain seems to have a mechanism for triggering the response that worked last time. I think I understand most of how that works, and it is more than I want to write about today.

At another level, we have our current level habits, and current level consciousness, which is what it is in the moment, and can make conscious choices. It is very slow, certainly not fast enough to control all the muscles required for even such a simple act as walking – so it relies on a lot of automated, context triggered, responses.

At another level is the holographic processors, relating everything to everything else, in near real time (only a few 10ths of a second behind the perceptions, and capable of simulating most of that gap with great accuracy).

Finding a balance between these three aspects that works best for each of us seems to the trick to life. What works best is very context dependent. Perhaps one can only get to realise this by experiencing a lot of contexts, most of which we wouldn’t choose to experience most of the time.

It seems to me all of the “I”s are important – all need to work together, to work out who gets to be in charge when, and at least two of them are quite greedy much of the time.

7 months later

zat said

Ted, this is Will, I cannot log into my Will account, so Zak it shall be.

I see that you support a manifoldness in being, many parts, but with no core leader so to speak..

I have to disagree with your concept as I see no validity that supports your notions in my life’s experience.

I do however experience my being as a function of my commitments, or better, my values. A value is something that I want to attain and keep. Then my commitment, integrity, and reason kick in and guide my actions in pursuit my values. Our lives are the result of what we are committed to. Whatever my condition is, whatever my story, or drama is about, it’s all the result of what I am committed to. ‘Life’ begins with responsibility, to live is choice, to be happy is choice, to be unhappy is choice.

But being enculturated, belonging to communities of agreement, and espousing the collective mind doesn’t allow space for ‘Being’. Conformity, belonging, sacrificing the integrity of ones mind, sacrificing ones values, sacrificing one’s life for the greater good, which is either for some mystics god, or for our neighbor.

Mans moral obligation is to be happy, making no demands of another, nor for another man to make demands on him ( Ayn Rand), can’t be better said. That gives me an enormous context to be and experience life as a creator, a victor, instead of being a victim. I have two states of mind; either I’m happy, or I’m not. When I’m not is a signal that something is amiss and needs attention. Creating solutions brings a joy that concepts are totally incapable of describing.

Anyway, a bifurcated, manifold existence doesn’t equate with me in respects to being whole and complete, nothing missing.

Having integrity, being integrity, and manifesting the integrity of mind is paramount to existence.

The alternative to integrity is the drama of life, the explanations that provide no refuge, and victimhood. I like the word integrity; An undivided or unbroken completeness or totally with nothing wanting.

That’s context for me.


7 months later

Ted said

Hi Will,

It’s not accurate to say that I ”support a manifoldness in being, many parts, but with no core leader so to speak”. I believe that we have a single self awareness, and I also know from personal experience that that awareness is not always in control of actions taken by the body, and in some instances may not even be aware of those actions. The context machine that is brain is adept at switching control. It seems to have a “store house” of “declarations and decisions” that it can switch to in times of stress. This store seems to be created during times of stress or trauma in our lives. The experience of “loosing direct conscious control” can seem like there is a different “personality” resident within us.

In a sense it is not, and in another sense it does contain a “memory”, an “echo frozen in time” of the states of being (emotional and declarational context of understanding).

I certainly agree with you, that we are capable of creating our lives through our values and commitments, and do so to the degree that we bring integrity to them.

And I would suggest that for the most part, the actions we take are the result of habit rather than commitment, and those habits are for most of us, for the most part, a function of “culture” in the widest sense.

I agree with you that conformity is of little value, in and of itself, except in a few exceptional circumstances.

I do not espouse sacrificing ourselves for anyone else’s conception of anything, or anyone else. What I do promote is considering the impact of our actions on all others, and considering what we can do that benefits ourselves and all others. And there is also a sense in which the levels of connectedness between us mean that it is often in our long term best interests to take actions that result in a short term cost, for a long term benefit. Just as sometimes, when climbing a mountain, we must descend for a bit in order to make rapid progress by another path further on.

I have enormous respect for Ayn Rand – and have read most of what she wrote, and have been an active participant in objectivist communities for several years; and there are two logical errors that I have identified in her work, that do have impact on some of her conclusions; and what she did added greatly to human understanding. [Added note from 2015 – having been diagnosed terminal cancer 5 years ago, and beaten it outside of the medical system, it has become clear to me that happiness is mostly something controlled by systems averaged over deep genetic time, and is not a particularly useful measure for a fully rational agent. Sometimes we need to go far beyond happiness and desires in order to sustain existence. It seems clear to me that existence is primary, and that we are all definitely dependant upon each other in many different ways – Rand had that quite wrong.]

I agree that creating solutions can create a joy that is hard to describe.

I totally support integrity over drama.

For me, part of integrity is having a model that includes as much of what is “real” as I possibly can.

For me, distinguishing things that influence me give me a measure of control over them. For so long as they remain undistinguished, they get to control us.

For me, this is an integral part of being complete in the present.

7 months later

zat said


Your first two sentences reflect a diversity in being or different factions of beingness. That may be true from a collective point of view and agreement.

Pure and simple responsibility works for me. No blame, like the devil made me do it cliché.

Mind, body are one. Me and life are one. One cannot exist without the other, they’re inseparable.

Any resident personality that exist within me is the me that I identify with. That ‘I’ is always, always an invention, or creation of mine, and my responsibility.

In the moments when ‘the I, or the , no opinions, no concepts exist, the awareness of me’ ceases to exist, my consciousness becomes one with the now.

These are moments of bliss to which I have enlisted my life to and committed myself to, and that is; Being.

Identities, group opinion and agreement serve no purpose for me. My moral responsibility is to produce happiness for myself and demand nothing from another, nor another upon me.

We differ on the word commitment. Commitment is like a fog horn, or a lighthouse in a dense fog, in which my basic instinct for survival is focused on and becomes one with it.

A commitment is not something that I have, it is what I am.

It’s easy to see in others that humans produce one of two things; Results, or Excuses why they didn’t get them and thus the space for blame is created.

I work hard at distinguishing between the two in my life so that I can be responsible for my being.

As time passes by I learn about sacrifice. I see no existential benefit from sacrificing my integrity, my rights, my freedom of thought, my convictions, the honesty of my feelings and independence of my thought, these are my supreme possessions and must learn to value them above all.

You seem to value the word ‘believe’, I do not. There’s no purpose other for it, than to deaden and sacrifice the independence of my thought by espousing another’s belief, fantasies, or superstitions.

For me, living in the moment is paramount to my wellbeing and that requires stepping beyond the constraints of the past, surrendering the mental chatter of identity and the way things should or should not be.

The state of sangfroid, watching the show and responding in a productive manner that supports, and manifests the okayness of my being is what drives me. It is my commitment.


7 months later

Ted said

Hi Will

I completely agree with you about personal responsibility.

I did not say what I said to in any way degrade responsibility.

If I fall asleep on guard duty, and someone sneaks into camp, then I am responsible, even though I wasn’t aware.

It is sort-of like that.

I have trained myself to be very observant.

I notice that sometimes there are gaps in my recall of awareness of self.

Not so much so in recent years, and I recall and incident from my 20s when I “came to” as I passed the last beacon leaving port. I had got up, dressed, run down to the wharf, started my boat, left the wharf, and successfully navigated 3 miles down the river and my first awareness was passing the last beacon as I headed out to sea.

I have had many similar experiences while driving, where I become so engrossed in some mental inquiry that I travel 30 miles or more with no recollection of anything. My body is quite capable of driving a car without me being present, provided nothing too unexpected happens.

I completely agree with you, that my self awareness is tied to this body, just as a computer program must have a computer to run on. And there is a bit of an analogy with multi-tasking computer operating systems, like Windows. There can be many programs running at the same time, yet only one in charge of any one thing at any one time.

My awareness is not my body, just as software is not a computer, and my awareness exists as software running on the hardware that is my body, and my experience of being is intimately connected to the physical matter that is my body on many levels, and through many systems; and it is a two-way linkage.

I agree with you that there is a bliss in being fully present, fully engaged in the now. Sometimes we get it from the physical, like driving a car as 150mph on gravel roads, knowing that it takes every bit of processing power and awareness to keep the thing under some sort of control, and maintaining total focus in the now – no distractions.

Very similar being at sea in winds over 80knots, with seas several times the size of your vessel. It takes total focus, being one with the vessel, one with the sea, anticipating, responding. One is very much alive when all the processing centers are directed toward the same goal.

And I find a different sort of bliss in keeping the different centers occupied on different tasks, like driving the car while listening to a talking book, and critiquing it at the same time – integrating the concepts, and seeing which work and which don’t. On the drive down from Kaikoura to Dunedin (7 hours) 2 days ago I was listening to Wayne Dyer’s “Excuses begone”. A lot of great stuff in that book, and he has a very poor understanding genetics and DNA, and gets a bit confused in some of his ideas in that realm.

I love your description of commitment, and see that in my life also; and we are not constantly being chased by tigers. Most of the time I do not experience life as a threat to my survival. Certainly I see threats possible in the future, and I make plans to alter the “probable – almost certain future” where that future presents a danger to me – www.solnx.org is my best work in that domain, and I have multiple strategies available.

Again I agree totally with you on the issue of responsibility. I produce the results I do, analyse where those results did not meet plan, look for more effective methods of producing results to plan. Continual refinement and improvement – kaizen!

Sacrifice is a very complex topic – the word is heavily overloaded with many conflicting meanings.

I totally oppose the original meaning, to kill some animal and burn it for the God(s), to ensure ones good fortune. That idea has no value or meaning for me.

The idea that is seen by some as being slightly related to that, that one can forgo something of value in the short term, when one can see that there is greater value to be had in the long term by doing so, is not really related at all. This notion is more a measure of ones ability to model complex situations and make predictions about probable outcomes over long periods. (Some may (do) say that anyone who thinks they can do that is fooling themselves – I wont get into that argument.)

The term “sacrifice” to me only has meaning in the context that is more closely related to the term “invest”.

So in this sense, I can completely agree with you – that I do not sacrifice my integrity, convictions or independence of thought – nor do I request that of any other. I offer paradigms of interpretation, and if there is agreement and alignment, then we work together, if not, we work apart.

The word believe is a tool for communication – nothing more.

We all have beliefs.

Some of our beliefs we have critically examined and have chosen in the full light of awareness, and these have great value to us and form the basis of our independence.

Other beliefs we have simply acquired from “culture” in the widest sense. These beliefs, while we have them, are not ours in the sense that we chose them, more in the sense that they are simply part of the “ground of being” into which we happened to be born. They are, in a sense, part of our identity, and in another sense, they are like bacteria in our body, sometimes useful, sometimes not, essentially leading independent lives from us, just using us as part of their “environment” in which they live.

We often find ourselves implicitly expressing such unexamined “beliefs”.

I totally agree with you that living in the moment requires stepping beyond the constraints of the past. The trick is in distinguishing and identifying those constraints. There are many, at many different levels. Awareness is the first step toward choice.

The really curly, mind bendy bit of the question is “which level” of the “okayness of my being”.

Is it “okay” to be from/in a society and a mindset that values people on the basis of racial characteristics?

Is it “okay” to be patriotic to a nation, rather than supportive of individuals not of that nation’s right to life?

Is is “okay” to value profit over another’s life? If not, can you own stocks, or support involvement in weapons manufacture?

I am “okay” with my being as it is, and I can see a lot of ways to improve it.

A saint I am not.

When I use my conscious mind to set the context for the unconscious holographic processors, it is very interesting what shows up.

When I choose a context based in love and contribution, in acceptance and acknowledgment – the experience of being is profound.



7 months later

zat said


I find it interesting that you see yourself as being ‘very’ observant. This I think is a human invention, because the mind focuses on that which stimulates it in the moment. Stimuli is infinite in possibilities, but humans grasp that which is easy to understand, get agreement and seek approval in order to look good.

You mentioned Wayne Dyer and being confused. Being at the top of the heap, disseminating thoughts, words and ideas require no understanding, just a hungry and indiscriminate audience that needs something to grasp, to believe in . Humans need a meaning for life and since they are incapable of declaring meaning, purpose, and value for themselves, they will always be bait for those who know how to fish and capture the minds of the masses and manipulate them for their own profit.

I think man is in a sorry state, a state of being incapable of thinking for himself. The common modus operandi of man today is to assimilate information indiscriminately, and regurgitate it as his own knowledge, or even wisdom, and taking pride in his unwitting ignorance.

Regarding sacrifice; can we sacrifice our lives, our integrity, our thoughts, feelings and our beingness for something more important? What is more valuable to a human being than his own happiness and experience of being complete, using this brief candle, called ‘life’, to burn as brightly as possible before being extinguished? How can a human being justify sacrificing his life? To me, sacrificing is giving up, quiting, an act of not participating in the exercise of using ones own intelligence and reason.

To me, the word ‘believe’ means the surrender of ones senses and subjugating oneself to the dictates of another human being. Our enculturation, our programing, our shame of expressing ourselves in favor of seeking approval, agreement and looking good is validation of existing as a ‘non self’, a being with no core, self worth, and self esteem. I see most of humanity as being selfless, a zero in relation to contribution for having existed.

Having an identity based on beliefs is more than having a bacteria in bodies. It is more like being a self induced handicap, a self immolation that numbs one from experiencing the joy of this brief candle that once extinguished, enters into infinity, never to shine again!

Sacrifice and belief are one and the same, they are the silent destroyers of life, the extinguishers of life and its possibilities, the enemies of life, of passion, of vitality, of creativity and especially the self expression of life itself.


7 months later

Ted said

Hi Will

Yes certainly, the default mode of existence is stimulus response in a context where “looking good” is the highest value.

As I understand how I and others work, we have a brain that is in part a mimic and in part a “holographic” context machine.

As children we simply operate in low level “holographic mode”, learning patterns and contexts, which include language.

At some point we declare a different sort of awareness into being in language, that awareness is born out of a situation in which we declared ourselves to be wrong, so it has being “right” as its default highest value.

So far as I am aware, there is no other mechanism available to become self aware. There may be, but if so I am ignorant of it (as I am ignorant of far more than I am cognisant of).

It seems to me that it is possible to train and use the highest capacities of this “self awareness” to set the “context” for the operation of the “holographic” mind.

Attempts to control our minds directly with the conscious are always doomed to failure – reality is far too complex to contemplate consciously in real time.

Yes – it is possible to fish and capture minds for one’s own profit, and I do not believe that is what Wayne is doing.

I think he is simply using an interpretive schema (a paradigm) that works for his experience set, yet does not work for my experience set.

In my interpretive schema, some of what he says is based upon false assumptions and inadequate models; and he therefor comes to some conclusions that do not work in any context when he extrapolates from those false assumptions.

I do not experience man as ”being incapable of thinking for himself”, and I agree with the observation that not very many think for themselves on a very frequent basis.

I agree with you that many take the more comfortable road of staying with “the herd”, and rarely expressing or living their own intuitive nature.

You ask what is more valuable?

That is a very powerful question.

In my understanding and experience there is no simple and standard answer to that question; the answer depends upon both context and experience.

For me, all things have probability functions. Mostly I do not consciously assess those probabilities, mostly I simply rely on the intuitive abilities, both inbuilt and trained, to deliver the appropriate outcome of an assessment of a vast number of simultaneous probability functions.

If the probability of my life ending very soon is very high, and by doing something now that ends my life, and in so doing has a high probability of extending and improving the lives of those whom I value very highly, then I might do that.

Right now that is improbable, as there is still a reasonable probability that we will achieve indefinite life extension within the probable lifespan of this body; so I am unlikely to choose any course of action that has a probability approaching unity of ending my life.

Everything, even inaction, has a probability of death associated with it. An aircraft could have mechanical failure, and a fractured turbine blade could fall from 30,000 ft and split my skull, or any number of other possible but improbable events. Nothing is certain. Safety is largely an illusion.

I do not see anyone as a zero.

And I do see that many fall far below their potential.

And those of us with high core self esteem have at some level(s) been very fortunate.

An identity is not based on beliefs, and an identity will contain beliefs (whether conscious or not).

I think we may be talking about the same thing in different ways – perhaps with different definitions of belief – for me a belief is like an operational paradigm – something we use as a reliable referent to reality.

For me there is a component of being that derives from beliefs.

There is also a component of being that derives from the holographic integration of all percepts and concepts, that happens in the “sub conscious”, our conscious is only aware of the outputs of this process, not the process itself.

I agree that the sacrifice of anything for a value that you have not yourself chosen is a destroyer of your life.

I agree that the operation of any belief that you have not consciously chosen also has it’s costs.

For me, the role of the conscious is in choosing the context in which the holographic subsystem get to do their stuff.

We are, ultimately free to choose any course of action, and each course will have probabilities associated with it in our awareness. Sometimes our fear of something skews our assessment of probabilities and prevents us taking actions that would otherwise be indicated. Taming that fear often requires a lot of discipline.

I am no stranger to fears, and I “do” far more than most; and less than some.

7 months later

zat said

I don’t think there is any sort of mechanism, or little men inside me pulling levers controlling me. I am conscious, my senses inform me of my immediate surroundings, it is my responsibility to respond to MY senses and not that of another, or to a tradition, or to the collective opinion of others. My mission in my life, is to manifest the integrity of My mind, to express that which is true for me, to experience integrity, the wholeness and completeness of being totally alive. This is passion to me, aliveness, vitality are fueled and stoked by keeping in harmony with the sweetness of the integrity of my mind.

Self awareness to me, is being in harmony with the integrity of my mind, creating a oneness, a beingness as opposed to an awareness of self and other, creating the dualistic nature of dilemma. The eye cannot see itself…nor can I see myself. when I see myself,it is always a refection of something, or an opinion that I have espoused from that which is ultimately external to me. Being a puppet is no joy to me no matter how good my act is!

I didn’t mean man is incapable of thinking for himself, I mean man has been programed not to think for himself, he is the product of his environment, an organ of the collective mind, a member of a tribe, a participant in communities of opinions, he has lost his self, sacrificed his self for the safety of belonging to some group that that relieves him from the responsibility of thinking for himself, and using his OWN senses to express his uniqueness, his individuality.

The probability of my life ending is a certainty, the how and when are an uncertainty. I live and have lived my life in a way that contributes to my well being and refuse to engage in self inflicted ailments.

Life is the flip side of death, or death is the flip side of life………inescapable!

A belief is accepting another’s opinion as truth, THe truth believed is a lie! ——-Auth. ???

There is no choice, Choice is born out of doubt. Life is survival, ultimately there is only one choice, which results in no choice, because in the absence of doubt, there is only one way..

Doubt and fear are learned, or more accurately, inculcated as a post-hypnotic suggestion to which one reacts upon encountering anything remotely resembling the stimuli.


7 months later

Ted said

Hi Will

I don’t think of little men pulling levers either, and all things consist of stuff and pattern, at various levels of organisation.

I utterly agree with you in our investigation and expression of what is so for us. For me that is the highest form of existence. And it appears that we operate from different paradigms, different ways of looking at, seeing, and interpreting things, in some very significant ways.

For me, the deeper the understanding of the various experiences I am, the more powerful and complete I feel. For me, the mirror is the simplest tool that allows the eye to see itself. When it comes to “seeing” that which is doing the “seeing” via the eye, the tool set required is far greater, as is the conceptual toolset required to interpret the signals being received.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that numerous institutions have evolved that do, in effect, train people not to think for themselves. These include most of our “educational” institutions (John Gatto Taylor’s “Dumbing us down” is a very good little read on that topic), religions, defense and legal systems. This is being countered at many levels, by many individuals and institutions, from many paradigms.

I do not propose anyone “act” as puppet or otherwise, and I do assert that many of our ways of being are not fully consciously chosen. Much of what goes into our “holographic” “mills” (from which our being emerges) is from patterns we have not consciously chosen, and for the most part are not consciously aware of at any level.

I say that the probability of our lives ending is high, very close to unity, and not quite unity.

Non life is the flip side of life. There was non life before life began. The genesis of this body I inhabit could in one sense be said to be the genesis of life on this earth, and in another the fusion of the gametes that gave rise to this particular first set of genes. Since then of course, there have been many millions of mutations, so there are now, within this body of mine, millions of different genetic lines of cells, as part of this collaboration of many trillions of cells that make up my body. In another sense, the memories and sense impressions began as soon as there was sufficient myelination on the nerves of my juvenile brain. In another sense, my egoic self was languaged into being by the declaration of my non-egoic child brain, possessed of language derived from culture.

Now – here – today – this instant, in a chair in Kaikoura, New Zealand, my mind builds models of all these processes, on times scales covering billions of years, using quantum mechanics, biochemistry, and every branch of science, philosophy, knowledge and understanding that it has been my privilege to encounter; and all the contemplations, deductions, abstractions and intuitions that I have had with all of that.

Here I sit, a body, with a brain, with “holographic” and “neural net” processors running – experiencing a being – modeling that being in some very limited fashion; languaging via keyboard and laptop.

You said ”A belief is accepting another’s opinion as truth”, which in first definition of belief in the Oxford I could agree with, and which is not at all what a belief is to me in the sense I was using it. I agree with your rejection of belief, if that is what belief is – and that is not what belief is to me.

I use belief in the second major sense as defined in the second edition of the Oxford English dictionary: ”Mental acceptance of a proposition, statement, or fact, as true, on the ground of authority or evidence” – and in a yet more limited sense.

For me belief is the acceptance of a proposition in the sense of being operationally useful (a very limited and practical sense of the word “true”), all the while acknowledging that all information is subject to probability functions involving uncertainty and error. Thus all evidence and authority is subsumed within their own probability functions, which then flow on to affect all confidence around “truth” in any particular circumstance.

There is most certainly choice, if you say there is choice.

We each have the power to create “choice”. If we say there isn’t then there isn’t. If we say there is, then there is.

We are that powerful – within a certain context.

Our greatest power seems to be in the choice of the highest context of our minds. That context holographically permeates all outputs of brain – all thoughts, all actions.

We cannot directly control any thought or action in real time, and we can be the director of the themes of our lives – we can create the highest context of our being, and through that – our experience.

Doubts and fears have many sources, some evolutionary, some cultural, some, as you say coercive in a sense.

It seems to me that what works is to acknowledge them, and to create a context that allows us to include them, and not necessarily be limited by them.

So – in one sense, I think we agree about far more than we disagree on, and in another, it seems that our operational paradigms are very different.

Be Great



7 months later

zat said


Yes, we all operate from different paradigms, and see things from our point of view. Our point of view is what makes us unique, an individual. What we see and interpret is the result of the story and meaning that we attach them. True seeing and meaning is ultimately unique to every human being. That’s objectivity, it’s personal identification. It is the source of being, the meaning of being, the primary function of ‘to be’. However, that existential fact is lost in the enculturation process of conformity, agreement, looking good, and the inculcated notion of compromise that destroys. Or at the very least, mitigates the expression of individuality. The embedded mantra of altruism is a destroyer of self, a disease that consumes self-esteem, leaving a selfless and mindless being.

The eye can never see itself! The eye is the eye and it is not a reflection, a reflection is an interpretation. Most humans see themselves as a reflection, a reflexion from others, theirs opinions. Being shaped and moulded by the opinions of others is the result of being selfless, having no self worth , or self esteem. Being a charter member of the collective mind mentality, and communities of opinions, requires self less beings who have unwittingly sacrificed their soul, beingness, or uniqueness out of fear and to the mindless gravitational pull of conformity.

I think most of us are puppets. Conformity to groups and parties are the result of subjugation of self. It all starts with an individuals idea to which many accept, and promulgate as if it were their own.

Belief is a lie! Truth must be experienced! Belief is to elevate another higher than oneself, which ultimately leads to dictatorship.

I say all individuals exist as a result of using their highest skills that are available to them at any point in time. Survival is life’s basic instinct. The problem is there are infinite tools available for the survival and expression of life, but only a few are passionately engage in collecting and experiencing them for themselves. Most have quit long ago in fear of being different.

Carpe diem…………………

7 months later

Ted said

Hi Will

We share a lot of concepts, and differ on a few.

We agree about uniqueness and individuality, and about the importance of one’s personal identification in being.

I think we share an abhorrence of conformance for it’s own sake, and of the essentially coercive control exerted by many different memeplexes, and individuals, in the name of various political ideologies, religions, or simply as cons for personal gain.

I think we simply have different definitions of the term “belief”.

We agree that any externally imposed notion of altruism is to be resisted, and in a sense that could be applied to all senses of altruism. And there is another sense in which, if one extends self interest to a sufficiently long time-frame, and a sufficiently broad context, then self interest and altruism become indistinguishable.

I am not sure if this will make any sense, and if you have read Wittgenstein and experienced your version of his journey, it may.

For me, having gone through the experience of truth, I find the very notion of truth to essentially be a lie. In my experience, all knowledge, even this, is bounded by probability functions. Those probability functions encompass measurement errors on all of the evidence supporting them, the number of tests that have failed to falsify the hypothesis, confidence limits on contextual definitions and distinctions, etc.

These experiences have only come as the result of initially making a large number of essentially simple assumptions and distinction, and initially accepting those as truths, only to reach a point where numerous such mutually exclusive “truths” became part of my experience. Each time I became aware of such a contradiction, it required the generation of a new paradigm in which the observed realities were no longer in contradiction. A series of these transcending paradigms have lead to my current understanding of epistemology and ontology.

From my current perspective it is obvious that we must start by making simple distinctions. The simplest of all distinctions is a binary – thing and not thing – light and dark, true and false, right and wrong, …. It is only with much experience that notions like infinity start to make sense. That we see that light and dark is false. Light has an infinite range of intensity, and an infinite spectrum of energy (frequency). There can be an infinity between 1 & 2, as well as the infinity of whole numbers, or the infinity of fractions, ….

The vast majority of distinctions that we initially make as binaries, later turn out to be infinite spectra.

I do not advocate believing another. I advocate only believing the evidence of one’s own senses, and the intuitions of one’s own holographic processing brain, and following that evidence and those intuitions where-ever they lead.

That does however, leave us with the reality that we are all born into a culture, with language and a lot of other context sensitive behaviours. The specific nature of the particular culture one is born into will have an effect on one’s initial belief set, and initial behaviours and distinctions.

If one is fortunate enough to be born into a culture that values and encourages individual freedom, and questioning of authority, then one may indeed develop along the line of you and I, and on this planet, at this time, we are in a very small minority. The vast majority are still firmly in an enculturated mode of existence, with little or no true intuition or true choice.

For me, the process of coming to my current understanding of my own development, which includes cosmology, chemistry, evolution, games theory, biochemistry, recursion at dozens of levels, systems theory, and infinitely dimensional possibility space; has taken a long time, a lot of reading, a lot of experience, a lot of rejection of standard models, of pushing boundaries, and following my own intuitions.

Often my intuitions have proved wrong, and the wisdom and experience of others has taught me new ways to resolve paradoxes and continue making progress; and sometimes my intuition has held out, and I continue to favour it over “conventional wisdom”. I owe much to the many thousands who have done so much before me; the many giants upon who’s shoulders I stand, those who pushed the boundaries of understanding (usually past breaking point in some significant dimension).

Does it appear to you that I fear being different?

I agree that many have taken that path, and it isn’t all necessarily fear – for some yes.

As we grow, while our boundaries of self are small, we can be very dangerous to the systems that support us. Our very short term and small scale understanding is ignorant of the consequences in spaces and times that we have no awareness of. There is a case to be made for culture in so far as evolutionary time has had an influence in shaping our behaviour patterns in this wider context; and there is also a case to be made that our technological developments have now exceeded any ability of this “cultural selection” to have any current time relevance.

It is not always easy, to both encourage individuals to be free, and to make their own mistakes, and to maintain at least a minimum level of systems functionality to allow for survival.

Our systems are now so tightly integrated, that few, if any, would survive a full systems failure.

So yes – for the most part I am completely with you, and as Einstein said, all government is necessarily evil in some measure, and sometimes it is the lesser of the available evils.

Here’s to celebrating our uniqueness, and choosing to work together for our common long term interest.


Comment and critique welcome

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