Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thought for the day

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
Eric Hoffer

Persuasion principles

Much of persuasion and other forms of changing minds is based on a relatively small number of principles. If you can understand the principles, then you can invent your own techniques. It thus makes sense to spend time to understand these principles (persuaded yet?).

Alignment: When everything lines up, there are no contradictions to cause disagreement.
Amplification: Make the important bits bigger and other bits smaller.
Appeal: If asked nicely, we will follow the rules we have made for ourselves.
Arousal: When I am aroused I am full engaged and hence more likely to pay attention.
Association: Our thoughts are connected. Think one thing and the next is automatic.
Assumption: Acting as if something is true often makes it true.
Attention: Make sure they are listening before you try to sell them something.
Authority: Use your authority and others will obey.
Bonding: I will usually do what my friends ask of me, without negotiation.
Closure: Close the door of thinking and the deal is done.
Completion: We need to complete that which is started.
Confidence: If I am confident, then you can be confident.
Confusion: A drowning person will clutch at a straw. So will a confused one.
Consistency: We like to maintain consistency between what we think, say and do.
Contrast: We notice and decide by difference between two things, not absolute measures.
Daring: If you dare me to do something, I daren't not do it.
Deception: Convincing by trickery.
Dependence: If you are dependent on me, I can use this as a lever to persuade you.
Distraction: If I distract your attention, I can then slip around your guard.
Evidence: I cannot deny what I see with my own eyes.
Exchange: if I do something for you, then you are obliged to do something for me.
Experience: I cannot deny what I experience for myself.
Fragmentation: Break up the problem into agreeable parts.
Framing: Meaning depends on context. So control the context.
Harmony: Go with the flow to build trust and create subtle shifts.
Hurt and Rescue: Make them uncomfortable then throw them a rope.
Interest: If I am interested then I will pay attention.
Investment: If I have invested in something, I do not want to waste that investment.
Logic: What makes sense must be true.
Objectivity: Standing back decreases emotion and increases logic.
Obligation: Creating a duty that must be discharged.
Passion: Enthusiasm is catching.
Perception: Perception is reality. So manage it.
Pull: Create attraction that pulls people in.
Push: I give you no option but to obey.
Repetition: If something happens often enough, I will eventually be persuaded.
Scarcity: I want now what I may not be able to get in the future.
Similarity: We trust people who are like us or who are similar to people we like.
Specificity: People fill in the gaps in vague statements.
Substitution: Put them into the story.
Surprise: When what happens is not what I expect, I must rethink my understanding.
Tension: I will act to reduce the tension gaps I feel.
Threat: If my deep needs are threatened, I will act to protect them.
Trust: If I trust you, I will accept your truth and expose my vulnerabilities.
Understanding: If I understand you, then I can interact more accurately with you.

Glasser's Control Theory

We have a deep need for control that itself, paradoxically, controls much of our lives. The endless effort to control can lead us to be miserable as we fail in this impossible task of trying to control everything and everyone around us.

The alternative is to see the world as a series of choices, which is why Glasser later renamed Control Theory as Choice Theory.


Control theory implies an active role, or responsibility towards ones behavior. Much of his book is concerned with the behaviors we choose as we attempt to control our lives. Glasser claims that all behavior is made up of three components: what we do, what we think, and what we feel. According to Glasser, all behavior is an attempt to satisfy powerful forces within ourselves. He argues that regardless of our circumstances, all we do, think, and feel is always or best attempt at the time to satisfy the forces within us.

Sometimes this behavior may be ineffective or even destructive. For example, Glasser describes psychosomatic Illness, drug addiction, and other radical behaviors as an individuals struggling to gain control of their lives in the best way they know how. Conversely, he illustrates why some people give up when feeling they have lost control. This ineffective behavior may persists even when other options later become available.

Others may choose depressing or anxieting, or perhaps the act of headaching or phobicking may make more sense to them. For Glasser, feelings are better expressed as verbs. Adjectives such as depressed and anxious or nouns such as headache or phobia suggest a passive role. Glasser expresses the importance of this sort of language. By using the right language carefully we may emphasis our control over everyday situations.

Glasser explains in his book why we are typically unaware that we choose much of our misery. Glasser gives four reasons why we choose misery. They include;

To keep angering under control,
To get others to help us out,
To excuse our unwillingness to do something more effective,
To gain powerful control.

To accept misery is a choice, Glasser predicts that you will find better choices to replace it. Glasser states, "We almost always have choices, and the better the choice, the more we will be in control of our lives." This includes choices of not only how to act but how we feel as well. How we feel is not controlled by others or events, unless we choose to allow it to. He understands that we sometimes feel we've lost control of their lives or we feel we're in a hopeless situation. Even in these situations, Glasser maintains that we can choose to feel miserable or we can learn to make better choices that are available to us.


Glasser invites the reader to think of at least a few people who they know who made a better choice than misery when they have been laid off from a good job. He points out that somehow, without fear or resentment, they dealt with this situation as a challenge and chose not to be overwhelmed.

Even for those of us who may not be in such a desperate situation, Glasser claims taking control of our lives is more likely when understanding control theory. By putting control theory to work in our lives, we will spend our energy attacking the problem rather than blaming it. Glasser urges us to take the time to figure out flexible and creative behaviors that may be more effective in our lives.

Beyond the need to breath, Glasser identifies five needs that together make up the forces that seem to drive most people. They include;

The need to survive and reproduce,
The need to belong (love, share, and cooperate),
The need for power,
The need for freedom, and
The need for fun
He seems to recognize that their may be other needs but he sees these five to be the predominate needs of most individuals. Glasser specifies control is not a need; it is a way we must function to fulfill our needs.

Glasser states, "... our need to belong; because we need each other, we are willing to accept some control-but not too much. Our lives, therefore, are a continual struggle to gain control in a way that we satisfy our needs and not deprive those around us, especially those close to us, of satisfying theirs."

Glasser describes how early on we learn how to deal with our environment to satisfy our needs. Behaviors and values that satisfied our needs in the past often may not serve as the best means later on in life or under different circumstances.

Glasser illustrates, when we satisfy a need by doing something, we store a picture of what satisfies us in a place in our heads. Glasser calls this place our personal picture album. We learn early on that when we want to satisfy a need we will start turning the pages of our album. Glasser points out, though, we often have pictures in our albums that can not be satisfied in the real world. Our relentless effort to satisfy our pictures may become self-destructive, or socially unacceptable in some cases. Glasser discusses examples of people of suicidal tendencies, anorexics, alcoholics, and homosexuals.

It is important to realize that no two people can share the same pictures. Glasser suggests this realization must be an integral part of the way we deal with everyone around us. Many of these pictures can be very difficult to change, but change is still possible. Glasser explains that forcing a change is usually counterproductive. To get along with someone and perhaps eventually persuade them to change some of there pictures, we need to begin by trying to find some pictures that you share with them. Glasser discusses further how this process further develops into a more productive relationship. Related topics such as conflict, criticism, and raising children are also discussed in his book.

Glasser explains how our behavior is our attempt to reduce the difference between what we want (our picture in our heads) and what we have (the way we see situations in the world). This behavior involves acting, thinking, feeling, or may involve or bodies. Glasser discusses why we often hang on to a picture in our heads even if it means in engaging ineffective behaviors. Glasser recognizes four separate components of what is he calls total behavior, doing (or active behaviors), thinking, feeling, and physiology. He claims the more we are able to recognize all of the different components of or behavior the more we will be in control of our lives. He explains it is impossible to choose a total behavior and not choose all of its components. If we want to change behavior, we can choose to change its doing and thinking components. Regardless of how we feel, we always have some control over what we do. Glasser explains, "..., I have no ability to change how I feel, separate from what I do or think, but I have almost complete ability to change what I do, and some ability to change what I think, regardless of how I am choosing to feel."

Glasser explains that we are not controlled by external events, difficult as they may be. "Nothing we do is caused by what happens outside of us. If we believe that what we do is caused by forces outside of us, we are acting like dead machines, not living people." We must take responsibility for our actions.

Conclusion
Glasser credits his introduction to control theory to Willian T. Powers highly theoretical book Behavior: The Control of Perception (Chicago: Aldine, 1973). Although control theory has been supported by research, Glasser points out that his book, Control Theory, is a book of ideas, not research. Glasser expresses his gratitude to Dr Ellen J. Langer of Harvard University for compiling much of this corroborating research in her book, The Psychology of Control (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1983).

This book teaches the principles of control theory to help the reader gain effective control of their lives. The reader will learn to make more effective choices rather than the ineffective and painful ones we often make in attempt to satisfy our powerful and unrelenting needs. Glasser advises, though, to truly learn control theory, we must give up our lifelong, common sense belief that we must merely react to events around us. He warns the reader that this may not be an easy change. He adds, that lifelong beliefs die hard, particularly if they are held by almost everyone you know. Finally, Glasser encourages the reader to be skeptical of the concepts explained in his book. He states, "Believe nothing in this book, no matter how persuasive my argument, unless you try it out in your life and discover it works for you."

I found several unique features in reviewing Glasser's Control Theory. This included the concept of psychosomatic Illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other radical behaviors as being a futile ritual in attempt to gain control of one's life. Likewise, the concepts of affect such as depression and anxiety where unique in their construct.

I agree with Glasser's schema of doing and thinking being the primary driving force although, I find personal value in exploring and sharing feelings with my professional clients and friends. In retrospect, perhaps the humanistic and reality theories do not have to be mutually exclusive after all.

I find the practical strengths of this theory to be its emphasis on individual responsibility and action. I enjoyed the helpful analogies and short stories Glasser used to illustrate his points. Although, one may argue that Glasser's Control Theory possesses scientific lackluster, I feel both the content (or lack of) and the non-technical writing style targets the audience it seemed to be written for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Description of faith by Thomas Paine

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of.

My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine.

But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself.

Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society.

When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury.

Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this ?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Letter Addressed to God

A letter written in a childish scrawl came to the post office addressed to "God".

A postal employee, not knowing exactly what to do with the letter, opened it and read: "Dear God, my name is Jimmy. I am 6 years old. My father is dead and my Mom is having a hard time raising me and my sister.

Would you please send us $500 ?

The postal employee was touched. He showed the letter to his fellow workers and all decided to kick in a few dollars each and send it to the family. They were able to raise $300.

A couple of weeks later the same post office received a second letter addressed to God. The boy thanked God for the recent infusion of cash, but ended with this request.....

Next time would you send the money directly to us ?

If you send it through the post office they deduct $200.............

Interesting Perspective

I was sent this in an email and believe in the perspective, instead of passing this along in email I have elected to share it in this blog.

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War 2 owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.



Very few people were true Nazis he said, but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools.

So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.

We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.



Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.



It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill.

It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority the silent majority is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people.



The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population, it was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War 2 was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.



And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were peace loving?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.



Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.



Lastly, at the risk of offending, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, can contribute to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on!! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this - think about it - and send it on.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Control Dramas and Power Theft

We must face up to our particular way of controlling others.

The Fourth Insight reveals that humans have always felt short of energy and have sought to control each other to acquire the energy that flows between people. The Fifth then shows us that an alternative source exists, but we can't really stay connected with this source until we come to grips with the particular method that, we, as individuals, use in our controlling, and stop doing it-- because whenever we fall back into this habit, we get disconnected from the source.

Getting rid of this habit isn't easy because it's always unconscious at first. The key to letting it go is to bring it fully into consciousness, and we do that by seeing that our particular style of controlling others is one we learned in childhood to get attention, to get the energy moving our way, and we're stuck there. This style is something we repeat over and over again... our unconscious control drama.

I call it a drama because it is one familiar scene, like a scene in a movie, for which we write the script as youths. Then we repeat this scene over and over in our daily lives without being aware of it. All we know is that the same kind of events happen to us repeatedly. The problem is if we are repeating one particular scene over and over, then the other scenes of our real life movie, the high adventure marked by coincidences, can't go forward. We stop the movie when we repeat this one drama in order to manipulate for energy.

"A perfect example of how a control drama interferes [is] how you were so aloof you didn't allow an important coincidence to take place. Everyone plays a drama of [some] kind.

At least now you know how yours works.

Your way of controlling people and situations... in order to get energy coming your way, is to create this drama in your mind during which you withdraw and look mysterious and secretive. You tell yourself that you're being cautious but what you're really doing is hoping someone will be pulled into this drama and will try to figure out what's going on with you. When someone does, you remain vague, forcing them to struggle and dig and try to discern your true feelings.

The first step in the process of getting clear, for each of us, is to bring our particular control drama into full consciousness. Nothing can proceed until we really look at ourselves and discover what we are doing to manipulate for energy.

The next step [is that] each of us must go back into our past, back into our early family life, and see how this habit was formed. Seeing its inception keeps our way of controlling in consciousness. Remember, most of our family members were operating in a drama themselves, trying to pull energy out of us as children. This is why we had to form a control drama in the first place. We had to have a strategy to win energy back. It is always in relation to our family members that we develop our particular dramas. However, once we recognize the energy dynamics in our families, we can go past these control strategies and see what was really happening.

Each person must reinterpret his family experience from an evolutionary point of view, from a spiritual point of view, and discover who he really is. Once we do that, our control drama falls away and our real lives take off.

[You] begin... by first understanding how your drama was formed.
Tell me about your father.
Well, he was always critical. I could never do anything right.
How did he criticize you?
He asked questions, then found something wrong with the answers.
And what happened to your energy?
I guess I felt drained so I tried to keep from telling him anything.

You mean you got vague and distant, trying to say things in a way that would get his attention but not reveal enough to give him something to criticize. He was an interrogator and you dodged around him with your aloofness.

An interrogator is another kind of drama.

People who use this means of gaining energy set up a drama of asking questions and probing into another person's world with the specific purpose of finding something wrong. Once they do, then they criticize this aspect of the other's life. If this strategy succeeds then the person being criticized is pulled into the drama. They suddenly find themselves becoming self-conscious around the interrogator and paying attention to what the interrogator is doing and thinking about, so as to not do something wrong that the interrogator would notice. The psychic deference gives the interrogator the energy he desires.

Think about the times you have been around someone like this. When you get caught up in this drama, don't you tend to act a certain way so that the person won't criticize you? He pulls you off your own path and drains your energy because you judge yourself by what he might be thinking.

Let me explain the classifications spoken of in the Manuscript.... Everyone manipulates for energy either aggressively, directly forcing people to pay attention to them, or passively, playing on people's sympathy or curiosity to gain attention. For instance, if someone threatens you, either verbally or physically, then you are forced, for fear of something bad happening to you, to pay attention to him and so to give him energy. The person threatening you would be pulling you into the most aggressive kind of drama, what the Sixth Insight calls the intimidator.

If, on the other hand, someone tells you all the horrible things that are already happening to them, implying perhaps that you are responsible, and that, if you refuse to help, these horrible things are going to continue, then this person is seeking to control at the most passive level, with what the Manuscript calls a [poor me] drama. Think about this for a moment. Haven't you ever been around someone who makes you feel guilty when you're in their presence, even though you know there is no reason to feel this way?

It's because you have entered the drama world of a [poor me]. Everything they say and do puts you in a place where you have to defend against the idea that you're not doing enough for this person. That's why you feel guilty just being around them.

Anyone's drama can be examined... according to where it falls on this spectrum from aggressive to passive. If a person is subtle in their aggression, finding fault and slowly undermining your world in order to get your energy, then, as we say in your father, this person would be an interrogator. Less passive than the poor me would be your aloofness drama. So the order of dramas goes this way: intimidator, interrogator, aloof, and poor me.

Some people use more than one in different circumstances, but most of us have one dominant control drama that we tend to repeat, depending on which one worked well on the members of our early family.

If you are a child and someone is draining your energy by threatening you with bodily harm then being aloof doesn't work. You can't get them to give you energy by playing coy. They don't give a damn what's going on inside you. They're coming on too strong. So you're forced to become more passive and to try the poor me approach, appealing to the mercy of this person, guilt tripping them about the harm they are doing.

If this doesn't work, then, as a child you endure until you are big enough to explode against the violence and fight aggression with aggression.

A person goes to whatever extreme necessary to get attention energy in their family. And after that, this strategy becomes their dominant way of controlling to get energy from everyone, the drama they constantly repeat.

How does the interrogator develop?

What would you do if you were a child and your family members were either not there or ignored you because they were preoccupied with their careers or something? Playing aloof would not get their attention; they wouldn't notice. Wouldn't you have to resort to probing and prying and finally finding something wrong in these aloof people in order to force attention and energy? This is what an interrogator does.

Aloof people create interrogators [and] interrogators make people aloof. And intimidators create the poor me approach, or if this fails, another intimidator.

That's how control dramas perpetuate themselves. But remember, there is a tendency to see these dramas in others but to think that we ourselves are free from such devices. Each of us must transcend this illusion before we can go on. Almost all of us tend to be stuck, at least some of the time, in a drama and we have to step back and look at ourselves long enough to discover what it is.

Once we see our drama, what happens next [is] we are truly free to become more than the unconscious act we play. As I said before, we can find a higher meaning for our lives, a spiritual reason we were born to our particular families. We can begin to get clear about who we really are.

[About finding "true self"]

There's only one way. Each of us has to go back to our family experience, that childhood time and place, and review what happened. Once we become conscious of our control drama, then we can focus on the higher truth of our family, the silver lining... that lies beyond the energy conflict. Once we find this truth, it can energize our lives, for this truth tells us who we are, the path we are on, what we are doing.

The process of finding your true spiritual identity involves looking at your whole life as one long story, trying to find a higher meaning. Begin by asking yourself this question: Why was I born to this particular family? What might have been the purpose for that?

What did your father stand for?
Has he been able to do this?
Have you thought about why?
What about your mother?
Can you see what her life represented?
So where did that leave you?

Didn't they both want your allegiance? Wasn't that why they were interrogating you, to make sure you weren't siding with the values of the other? Didn't they both want you to think their way was the best?

You're looking for the meaning her life has for you, the reason you were born to her, what you were there to learn. Every human being, whether they are conscious of it or not illustrates with their lives how he or she thinks a human being is supposed to live. You must try to discover what she taught you and at the same time what about her life could have been done better. What you would have changed about your mother is part of what you yourself are working on. [And} how you would improve on your father's life is the other part.

We are not merely the physical creation of our parents; we are also the spiritual creation. You were born to these two people and their lives had an irrevocable effect on who you are. To discover your real self, you must admit that the real you began in a position between their truths. That's why you were born there: to take a higher perspective on what they stood for. Your path is about discovering a truth that is a higher synthesis of what these two people believed.

How does one live a life that is both? From your mother you received the knowledge that life is about spirituality. From your father you learned that life is about self-enhancement, fun, adventure. For you, spirituality is the question. Your whole life will be about finding one that is self-enhancing. This is the problem your parents were unable to reconcile, the one they left for you. This is your evolutionary question, your quest this lifetime.

You can go right back into your old drama, or you can wake up tomorrow and hold on to this new idea of who you are. If you do then you can take the next step in the process, which is to look closely at all the other things that have happened to you since birth. If you view your life as one story, from birth to right now, you'll be able to see how you have been working on this question all along. You'll be able to see how you came to be here in _________________ and what you should do next.

The Sixth Insight is my special insight. My truth is helping others grasp this insight. And I'm effective because I've gone through the process myself. I was an interrogator.

My father was a poor me and my mother was aloof. They completely ignored me. The only way I could get any attention energy was to pry into what they were doing and then point out something wrong with it.

My father stood for accomplishment. He was very goal oriented. He planned his time to the minute and judged himself according to how much he got done. My mother was very intuitive and mystical. She believed that each of us received spiritual guidance and that life was about following this direction.

Because of my father I was sensitized to the idea that life was about accomplishment: having something important to do and getting it done. But at the same time my mother was there to tell me life was about inner direction, an intuitive guidance of some sort. I realized that my life was a synthesis of both viewpoints. I was trying to discover how we are guided inwardly toward the mission only we can do, knowing it is of supreme importance to pursue this mission if we are to feel happy and fulfilled.

And you can see why I was excited about the Sixth Insight. As soon as I read it I knew that my work was to help people get clear so that they could develop this sense of purpose.

Wil's drama was to be aloof, like yours. Also, as in your case, each of his parents was an interrogator and each had a strong philosophy they wanted Wil to adopt. Wil's father was a German novelist who argued that the ultimate destiny of the human race was to perfect itself. His father never advocated anything but the purest of humanitarian principles, but the Nazis used his basic idea of perfection to help legitimatize their murderous liquidation of inferior races.

But searching out the Manuscript awakened all this in him.

The insights spoke directly to his main question. They reveal that the thought of both East and West can indeed be integrated into a higher truth. They show us that the West is correct in maintaining that life is about progress, about evolving toward something higher.

Yet the East is also correct in emphasizing that we must let go of control with the ego.

We can't progress by using logic alone.

We have to attain a fuller consciousness, an inner connection with God because only then can our evolution toward something better be guided by a higher part of ourselves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Tao of Physics By Fritjof Capra.

One of the most fascinating, if not curious books that you ought to get hold of is The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.

It's a book that attempts to co-relate the two purest pursuits, Philosophical Mystisism (Hindu, Chinese, Tao and Japanese) and Physics. This new amalgamation has been aptly named New Physics.

The book is especially interesting since it has references to the Vedas. There is a line in the book that explains the Vedas "If a farmer loses his only cow, he finds it in the Vedas".

Is there a building block on which the world is built?

Or do new structures spawn into existance to maintain balance? West vs. East.

Do the sub-atomic particles move because of the Cosmic Dance of Shiva according to Fritjof Capra ?

I guess the path to unravelling the mystries itself is reason to walk along it........and let it show itself .....

Taken from the collective idle ramblings of a mind that continues to think out of the box about sometimes relevant, sometimes random thoughts as best to its understanding and comprehension, without failing to question the reason behind every thought and action............

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Celestine Prophecy - The Movie

In the nine years since James Redfield’s self-published novel, The Celestine Prophecy, became a world-wide sensation, a lot has happened.

Indeed, a lot of people, over 35 million people in fact, at least, have probably read the book [that’s minimally how many copies have been sold—no way to tell how many buyers read the book or how many people they gave the book to after reading the book, of course] , and two more insights (the 10th Insight and the 11th Insight have been published over the nine revealed in the first book).

So, one has to ask, “Why a movie now?”

Hasn’t just about everyone interested in the concepts of the book read it, the sequels and moved on?”

Well, of course, you know I didn’t read the book as one of my first insights into life as I have shared now innumerable times is never to read a book until after the film comes out.

So, wow, I offer a big thank you to the producers for making the film. Just after seeing the film, I rushed to the closest Barnes & Noble Bookstore (non-compensated reference, and I would have rushed to Amazon.com bookstores but they don’t have stores, and I wanted to see the book up close and personal right then and there).

I wanted to see if the book was a story like the film or a philosophy/spirituality guide like I had always thought. Needless to say, I was surprised and delighted to see that the book was a story, like the movie. I guess I should not have been surprised, but then one never knows. James Redfield co-authored the screenplay, and one would hope that this means that the film is true to the book. My quick skim leads me to believe that the film is very, very true to book.

Naturally, I didn’t have time to read it and then rush back to write my review. I also had a chance to skim the next two books, of course, I have to wait until the movies come out to read them—hopefully much sooner! But, aside from those devotees to my philosophy of waiting to read books only after the films come out, why make a movie now? My suspicion is that a lot of people didn’t think a film would really work.

A lot of others probably thought a new interpretation of spirituality and the meaning of life wouldn’t play well as a major motion picture. I cannot say if they were right. The movie certainly doesn’t seem to be getting much P.R. overall, at least, where I live.

It certainly did not get the release of Silent Hill or American Dreamz.

Too bad, since it was a much better film than either of those two duds. It’s better not in the special effects or acting talent which it certainly lacks but surpasses them ten fold in message, meaning, and purpose. Count me among the willing. Count me among the believers. I don’t even care if it is all just the musings of a new age philosopher.

Hey, I swallowed both What the Bleep films, and they were much harder to follow.

I loved the Fritjof Capra-based film Mindwalk.

These films are not for people who want to escape their lives via mind numbing fantasies of creepy video games or ‘sureality’ shows gone mad, these are for people who still believe that there is something more to this cosmic existence of ours than we know or comprehend probably exactly because as Redfield, Fritjof Capra, and even Daniel Quinn, author of the acclaimed Ishmael*, suggest indirectly the world is divided distinctly into two camps: the givers and the takers.

In Refield’s world, I would interpret these as those who give life energy to others vs. those hell-bent on sucking it not just from other people but all life on the planet. The takers don't want the givers reading these books or seeing these movies because doing so erodes the power they hold so dear. In this film, in fact, the character Jensen played wickedly by J├╝rgen Prochnow, says something to the effect that "The power will always be in the hands of those who believe that power belongs in the hands of the few to control the many."

So, yes, I do think it was important to finally get this movie out there for the masses of people who don’t read books in the first place, and as a reminder to those who do of the concepts for which, quite possibly our species is even more in need of than it was in 1993.

And, anyway, those people who have started to transition from takers to givers or those people who have always been givers need validation that they are on the right path regardless of what our socioeconomic and governmental policies might profess.

Was this a great movie? In the ‘what makes a truly great movie’ sense it was not because, basically, the story isn't that strong. But, this is not a story-driven movie. The story is concocted to deliver the imagined prophecy.

So in the purpose and point, it was a good film. I hope many people who are skeptical about the purpose of life right now and what’s going on in the world will make a point of seeing this movie and reading the book and others on similar topics (see links above for such books).

I enjoyed the movie, and I was pleased to see another incarnation of beliefs I have long held in the first place. I wish for all of the people out there in the world today using religion to justify their hatred or people who doubt there are alternatives to the ways we in the U.S.A. may have been raised to see the world whether these are ‘real’ or fantasy stirred up by an incredibly imaginative person, to please take a step back and think about what it really means to be part of the life energy of the universe?

What does it mean to really be connected? And what does it mean to really be a giver?

Deep down, all the answers are there no matter what religion or lack of religion we choose, deep down the answers are embedded in our consciousnesses and consciences. We are here to give more than we receive, to love more than we are loved, to create more than we destroy, and to live in harmony with the universal forces that ultimately led to our very existence in the first place.

The longer we try to fight the acceptance of this principle and live in utter opposition to it, the further we push ourselves away from our full potential as living contributors to the universe. These concepts are nothing new.

Aren't they really the basis for all human thought?

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the work of the actors in particular Matthew Settle who played John, Thomas Kretschmann (Wil), Sarah Wayne Callies (Marjorie), and Annabeth Gish (Julia) all of whom do very credible jobs for bringing the main characters of the story to life. Also, director Armand Mastroianni had obvious respect for the concepts of the film and was faithful in his adaptation of the book.

In the end, yes, I recommend this film. It's not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a good vehicle for delivery of the message

Review from http://movieeveryday.blogspot.com/2006/04/celestine-prophecy.html

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The other side....

A reader's viewpoint......

Today is the first day.

A friends suggested that I read this book.

Something about how I could use the "positive energy", et.al. He knows that I'm constantly in a state of organized chaos and crisis intervention, thanks mostly to our wonderful jobs.

OK, so I picked it up at the local library the other day, and have started reading it, in between the never-ending interruptions (is that a negative comment?).

Should I ask for opinions on this book prior to finishing it? Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, I can't help but wonder where I've heard of this book before.

All I can say is that, judging from the first couple of chapters, it's covering topics that I've often wondered about over the years. Is it a coincidence that I was drawn to this book? (Insert "Twilight Zone" theme here....

I don't think he was too impressed...

Monday, March 5, 2007

What is celestine prophecy

Before I begin, this blog although shares the same name of the book, "The Celestine Prophecy" written by James Redfield, he has in no way, any interest nor affiliation with this blog, or website whatsoever, and the blog in no way promotes the book nor ask its readers to follow the principles outlined in his book...

The novel by James Redfield has been translated into over 34 languages and has sold more than a couple of million copies worldwide. A movie of the same title, based on the book, was also released in 2006. However, to put it short, the information contained in Mr. Redfield's book is worth reading as it contains some fantastic ideas, that could open up many avenues for the reader. But like all books, treat it as a source of information more than a guide to solving your problems... you will then enjoy it better... when co-incidences begin to happen naturally, and you slowly start connecting..

The book discusses various spiritual ideas, which are often regarded as new age themes. Many ideas are explored, helping an individual to establish a connection with the Divine. The focus on the "energy vibration level" and the subsequent cross over to a completely spiritual reality is definitely interesting.. The ideas in fact, are included in a fictional story, in which the main character undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript...

The nine insights are...

THE FIRST INSIGHT . . . A CRITICAL MASS
A new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture, an awakening brought about by a critical mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.

THE SECOND INSIGHT . . . THE LONGER NOW
This awakening represents the creation of a new, more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred-year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this technological preoccupation was an important step, our awakening to life's coincidences is opening us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.

THE THIRD INSIGHT . . . A MATTER OF ENERGY
We now experience that we live not in a material universe, but in a universe of dynamic energy. Everything extant is a field of sacred energy that we can sense and intuit. Moreover, we humans can project our energy by focusing our attention in the desired direction...where attention goes, energy flows...influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in our lives.

THE FOURTH INSIGHT . . . THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER
Too often humans cut themselves off from the greater source of this energy and so feel weak and insecure. To gain energy we tend to manipulate or force others to give us attention and thus energy. When we successfully dominate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left weakened and often fight back. Competition for scarce, human energy is the cause of all conflict between people.

THE FIFTH INSIGHT . . . THE MESSAGE OF THE MYSTICS
Insecurity and violence ends when we experience an inner connection with divine energy within, a connection described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness--buoyancy--along with the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. If these measures are present, the connection is real. If not, it is only pretended.

THE SIXTH INSIGHT . . . CLEARING THE PAST
The more we stay connected, the more we are acutely aware of those times when we lose connection, usually when we are under stress. In these times, we can see our own particular way of stealing energy from others. Once our manipulations are brought to personal awareness, our connection becomes more constant and we can discover our own growth path in life, and our spiritual mission--the personal way we can contribute to the world.

THE SEVENTH INSIGHT . . . ENGAGING THE FLOW
Knowing our personal mission further enhances the flow of mysterious coincidences as we are guided toward our destinies. First we have a question; then dreams, daydreams, and intuitions lead us towards the answers, which usually are synchronistically provided by the wisdom of another human being.

THE EIGHTH INSIGHT . . . THE INTERPERSONAL ETHIC
We can increase the frequency of guiding coincidences by uplifting every person that comes into our lives. Care must be taken not to lose our inner connection in romantic relationships. Uplifting others is especially effective in groups where each member can feel energy of all the others. With children it is extremely important for their early security and growth. By seeing the beauty in every face, we lift others into their wisest self, and increase the chances of hearing a synchronistic message.

THE NINTH INSIGHT . . . THE EMERGING CULTURE
As we all evolve toward the best completion of our spiritual missions, the technological means of survival will be fully automated as humans focus instead on synchronistic growth. Such growth will move humans into higher energy states, ultimately transforming our bodies into spiritual form and uniting this dimension of existence with the after-life dimension, ending the cycle of birth and death.

The Celestine Prophecy




The guys who have read the book would definitely like the movie !