18 Feb 2018 Who are we now?

Hello to you.  It’s 11:45 am on this cool, gray Sunday.  I just wanted to share a positive word.  I feel like I am discovering a way to be useful in this world, and it’s not an easy process but a process just the same – seeking and finding the positive things in people, places and things.   I used to be really good at this – when I was a child of course.  Well thankfully, inside, I still feel my inner child very much alive!  The part of me that our Sam taught me to hold on to – there are no strangers in this world, just family you haven’t met yet.  Not just friends, FAMILY.  Why do I say that?  With my understanding of God as energy.   If everything is energy and everything is God then that makes us all – every single form of life know and unknown – family!

Anyhew.   In my meditation this morning, the message that came forth was about how the past can hang and or trip us up to getting to where we want to go.  I have shared this before here but I will share it again:  “It’s not who we were in the past, it’s who we are now.”  The God of my understanding doesn’t care about the past because Time is our device.  The God of my understanding doesn’t care about what mistakes we’ve made in the past only if we don’t learn from them and intentionally keep repeating them.  If we don’t even try to make amends to those we’ve wronged to include ourselves.

As I sat outside doing this drawing and meditation a thought occurred to me for places we could start making amends – prisons of all kinds, nursing homes, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers and our churches.  All the places for humans, animals and plants that could be considered cages.  Unconditional love and forgiveness has not been taught or learned by many.  What if we were to work together starting in a place we all share….the heart?  Just a thought…an idea with a positive intention and or motive.


DSC_0549 18 Feb 2018 Jackie Wygant morning meditation Alvarado TX


13 Feb 2018 Seek First to Understand

20 April 2017 – I don’t know why but I put these things together. The Prayer of St. Francis is one of my very favorites.

Hello just a quick post.  I wanted to share some thoughts that came to me today.  I had been feeling anxious and my brain was running pretty fast and I’m tired from not sleeping so well the past couple of nights.  So I grabbed my chalks, even though it is cold out (if you dress appropriately the cold isn’t so bad), and these thoughts came to me….specifically the words of one of my favorite prayers.  The part about seeking to understand versus always being understood specifically.  Most of my life I’ve tried to do the understanding part but it’s not always easy.  Sometimes you want others to “get you” to understand why you are the way you are and you can’t tell them the whole story of why because they have their own problems too.   It’s hard to focus on other people’s “stuff” when while they are talking, you are thinking about your own self the whole time….”what’s in this for me?  why should I care?”  It’s hard to be selfless and empathetic and or caring and also take care of, even “protect” yourself from others stuff.  This is where compromise, respect, treating others like you would want to be treated and healthy boundaries and all that good stuff comes into play.

Anyhew – hope something here resonates.  One person can’t fix a mess as big as the one we’ve got here on Earth.  I know I didn’t make all this mess but I did have my part in all of it.  We each have a part in the mess and have to find our way of working towards a loving, peaceful, non-violent solution to it.  It didn’t happen overnight!  The phrase that keeps coming to me, “Trust the Process.”  For me that means having faith in myself and the God of my understanding that there is a plan in all of this.

26 Oct 2017 A Simple Prayer St Francis that belong to Kyles Grandma Pat Hultgren

13 Feb 2018 – what a birthday gift to be able to do this every day. What is Time for?  To make money or make a meaningful life?  What is money without a meaningful life?  We’ve created quite the paradox!


12 Feb 2018 Blue TV Screen (dreams) and Time to make amends

Hello to you.  Just a short note to help me process a couple of dreams that woke me from my sleep.  The first one was scary until after I processed it and went back to bed.

What happened is I dreamt I was in bed and Link was next to me and kept growling like he really does.  Then he was on top of my legs like he was protecting me from something in the room.  There was someone there but I couldn’t see them but Link could.  I got up out of bed and was able to see in the dark.  I was slapping my hands together in front of my face like someone was there trying to get inside me.  I was yelling at “them” to “get out!” over and over again. I chased them to the living room and I saw a blue television screen in the darkness and whoever, whatever was in front of it and just disappeared and the tv shut off.  I woke up yelling and screaming which of course upset Kyle.    This dream was like my life but in a different “configuration.”

What came to me, trying to process this dream and calm myself down, was it was not meant to scare me, it was information.  Recordings are like the Horcruxes  in Harry Potter.  We “choose” who had immortality in this process (tv, movies, books and music).  The energy of our attention (adoration) and the emotions attached to what we watch determines what kind of immortal those recorded will be.  Often conflicted.  This brought forth E=Mc2 from my reading about Albert Einstein’s life.  About how yesterday I came to understand Hiroshima was like splitting God into two parts – turning energy against energy….God against themselves!  What came to me this morning also was remembering about God being a jealous God in the Old Testament,  isn’t jealousy a human emotion?  What I have come to wonder is if Time is God’s way of both punishing and loving us for making mistakes like Hiroshima.  Like them saying to us, “I will give you “time” to make amends.”  I visualized us, this whole earth being like one of God’s snowglobes.   Who else but a God could make Time?  Who else but a jealous man could conceive of it?  I know….out there to think such things but that’s how I think – how things are “alike” more than “unalike.”   It is in this way of thinking I have come to this God of my understanding.

12 Bible results for “Jealous God.” Showing results 1-12.

Suggested result

Exodus 20:5 [Full Chapter]

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

Bible search results

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.

[ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The second dream was very short but woke me up also because it was so vivid.  It was about being in church or somewhere like it and reading a passage and it being the same frequency as someone else reading it.  Then for the second time I go back and there is a young man with dark hair and eyes with those black horned rimmed glasses who is like a “substitute” for someone else when I come again.  He wants to read with me and just before I begin to read I can hear him whisper  “I love you.”  Then I woke up.



Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity

  • 40
  • 0
  • MORE
Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicted that the space-time around Earth would be not only warped but also twisted by the planet’s rotation. Gravity Probe B showed this to be correct.

Credit: NASA

In 1905, Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This was the theory of special relativity. It introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time.

Einstein then spent 10 years trying to include acceleration in the theory and published his theory of general relativity in 1915. In it, he determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity.

Two objects exert a force of attraction on one another known as “gravity.” Sir Isaac Newton quantified the gravity between two objects when he formulated his three laws of motion. The force tugging between two bodies depends on how massive each one is and how far apart the two lie. Even as the center of the Earth is pulling you toward it (keeping you firmly lodged on the ground), your center of mass is pulling back at the Earth. But the more massive body barely feels the tug from you, while with your much smaller mass you find yourself firmly rooted thanks to that same force. Yet Newton’s laws assume that gravity is an innate force of an object that can act over a distance.

Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. As a result, he found that space and time were interwoven into a single continuum known as space-time. Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another.

As he worked out the equations for his general theory of relativity, Einstein realized that massive objects caused a distortion in space-time. Imagine setting a large body in the center of a trampoline. The body would press down into the fabric, causing it to dimple. A marble rolled around the edge would spiral inward toward the body, pulled in much the same way that the gravity of a planet pulls at rocks in space. [Video: How To See Spacetime Stretch]

Although instruments can neither see nor measure space-time, several of the phenomena predicted by its warping have been confirmed.

Einstein's Cross is an example of gravitational lensing.
Einstein’s Cross is an example of gravitational lensing.

Credit: NASA and European Space Agency (ESA)

Gravitational lensing: Light around a massive object, such as a black hole, is bent, causing it to act as a lens for the things that lie behind it. Astronomers routinely use this method to study stars and galaxies behind massive objects.

Einstein’s Cross, a quasar in the Pegasus constellation, is an excellent example of gravitational lensing. The quasar is about 8 billion light-years from Earth, and sits behind a galaxy that is 400 million light-years away. Four images of the quasar appear around the galaxy because the intense gravity of the galaxy bends the light coming from the quasar.

Gravitational lensing can allow scientists to see some pretty cool things, but until recently, what they spotted around the lens has remained fairly static. However, since the light traveling around the lens takes a different path, each traveling over a different amount of time, scientists were able to observe a supernova occur four different times as it was magnified by a massive galaxy.

In another interesting observation, NASA’s Kepler telescope spotted a dead star, known as a white dwarf, orbiting a red dwarf in a binary system. Although the white dwarf is more massive, it has a far smaller radius than its companion.

“The technique is equivalent to spotting a flea on a light bulb 3,000 miles away, roughly the distance from Los Angeles to New York City,” Avi Shporer of the California Institute of Technology said in a statement.

Changes in the orbit of Mercury: The orbit of Mercury is shifting very gradually over time, due to the curvature of space-time around the massive sun. In a few billion years, it could even collide with Earth.

Frame-dragging of space-time around rotating bodies: The spin of a heavy object, such as Earth, should twist and distort the space-time around it. In 2004, NASA launched the Gravity Probe B GP-B). The precisely calibrated satellite caused the axes of gyroscopes inside to drift very slightly over time, a result that coincided with Einstein’s theory.

“Imagine the Earth as if it were immersed in honey,” Gravity Probe-B principal investigator Francis Everitt, of Stanford University, said in a statement.

“As the planet rotates, the honey around it would swirl, and it’s the same with space and time. GP-B confirmed two of the most profound predictions of Einstein’s universe, having far-reaching implications across astrophysics research.”

Gravitational redshift: The electromagnetic radiation of an object is stretched out slightly inside a gravitational field. Think of the sound waves that emanate from a siren on an emergency vehicle; as the vehicle moves toward an observer, sound waves are compressed, but as it moves away, they are stretched out, or redshifted. Known as the Doppler Effect, the same phenomena occurs with waves of light at all frequencies. In 1959, two physicists, Robert Pound and Glen Rebka, shot gamma-rays of radioactive iron up the side of a tower at Harvard University and found them to be minutely less than their natural frequency due to distortions caused by gravity.

Gravitational waves: Violent events, such as the collision of two black holes, are thought to be able to create ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. In 2016, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that it found evidence of these tell-tale indicators.

In 2014, scientists announced that they had detected gravitational waves left over from the Big Bang using the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) telescope in Antarctica. It is thought that such waves are embedded in the cosmic microwave background. However, further research revealed that their data was contaminated by dust in the line of sight.

“Searching for this unique record of the very early universe is as difficult as it is exciting,” Jan Tauber, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for the Planck space mission to search for cosmic waves, said in a statement.

LIGO spotted the first confirmed gravitational wave on September 14, 2015. The pair of instruments, based out of Louisiana and Washington, had recently been upgraded, and were in the process of being calibrated before they went online. The first detection was so large that, according to LIGO spokesperson Gabriela Gonzalez, it took the team several months of analyzation to convince themselves that it was a real signal and not a glitch.

“We were very lucky on the first detection that it was so obvious,” she said during at the 228 American Astronomical Society meeting in June 2016.

A second signal was spotted on December 26 of the same year, and a third candidate was mentioned along with it. While the first two signals are almost definitively astrophysical—Gonzalez said there was less than one part in a million of them being something else—the third candidate has only an 85 percent probability of being a gravitational wave.

Together, the two firm detections provide evidence for pairs of black holes spiraling inward and colliding. As time passes, Gonzalez anticipates that more gravitational waves will be detected by LIGO and other upcoming instruments, such as the one planned by India.

“We can test general relativity, and general relativity has passed the test,” Gonzalez said.

[See our full discovery story here; a video on the find here; and our complete coverage of the historic scientific discovery here]

1028 am – I did some more thinking about the meaning of Einstein’s theory; again, everyone thinking differently may help provide new in-sights.

IMG_3410 12 Feb 2018 Jackie Wygant morning meditation about Einstein Theory of Relativity Alvarado TX

9 Feb 2018 Love and Abandonment (Morning meditation)

9 Feb 2018 /1019 am

I was outside preparing to do some “chalking” when a revelation about connection between “wisdom,” Why of Life and Death and Tree of Life came. It was instigated by my finding seeds that blew down from cotton tree to my hoodie. My good friend the cotton tree helping me again. What came brought forth a lot of tears. If I (we as a species) had remained ignorant, didn’t need to find out why (curiosity) I (we) wouldn’t know or care about living and dying. Sentience and consciousness, “awareness” would never have happened and may be we would have been happier — “Ignorance is Bliss” philosophy.

17 May 2017 – Cottonwood seed ships

Love changed everything because with love comes “attachment.” Something I learned more about through Buddhism’s the 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Path. When you lose something or someone you love more than “existence” you will tear heaven and earth apart to find it, reclaim it. What I was willing to do at Mesa Springs when I didn’t know where Kyle was. What happened to me for 3 years after we lost our Sammy.

Source Internet: Seed of Life. I loved that this is made in stained glass with chakra colors.

Abandonment creates some of the largest energy vortexes, human black holes. It can be “perceived” or intentional abandonment but the abandoned feel it all the same. Why?!Where did you go?! When are you coming back?! Will you come back?!

(My mother, my Grandparents….all those I’ve loved and lost for whatever reason. I had to grieve and heal — fill the holes their “abandonment of me” left behind.

All of us have lost people, places and things through our shared journey. Are we so attached to these that we are willing to destroy ourselves and a planet to retrieve them? This is just what I see for myself. I hope there is something in this morning meditation that resonates with you….is helpful. I would ask you, what positive, loving aspect of existence can you put in the “holes” some sort of abandonment has made in your mind, body and most importantly your soul?

What do I do? All through my blogs here is what I’ve learned to do for myself with unseen guidance and loving nudges from the tangible elements that surround me. The arts, meaningful work, chores, spirituality, helping others and educating myself about people, places and things I don’t understand before making judgements about them. It is in the latter I have come to realize I can judge no one nor is there anyone on this earth who can either. We are all imperfect and it is in that imperfection we are amazing creations capable of greatness beyond our wildest dreams. We are here for each other. No one person can fix this shared mess our world has become. We must learn to build bridges instead of more walls.

17-feb-2011-my-puppy-sammy-and-his-tennis-ball (Sammy crossed the rainbow bridge 27 April 2011)

My Mom Jeanne and my Grandpa Harold (Hal) Becker on her wedding day, 21 Nov 1965.

8 Feb 2018 Dr. Wilhelm Reich books The Cancer biopathy and Function of the Orgasm Alvarado TX

8 Feb 2018 Jackie Wygant Blue Book for Alcoholics Anonymous Alvarado TX meditation about addiction like sugar etc

8 Feb 2018 Two books from Grandma Becker and Aunt Ruth to help me heal inside when I was younger I read from How to Be your own best friend out loud Alvarado TX

8 Feb 2018 Refilling Energy Voids

This morning I woke up thinking about friends of mine who have had weight loss surgery. I’ve had three friends undergo this sort of procedure and the recovery process has been unique for all three of them. Now the reason I got to thinking about this was because it’s on the a train of thought I’ve been on about energy vampirism and energy consumption.

I have been frustrated with one of my friends in particular because it feels like since she had the surgery, she’s been grasping about for something to refill the energy void left behind by not being a to eat food like she used to. Well, a flag went up in myself the past couple of days. Why am I so frustrated with her? I’m looking in the mirror at a past reflection that’s why! I learned this from Shakti Gawain’s books many years ago. Usually if we don’t like someone for whatever reason, it means there is something about ourselves that we recognize in them that we don’t like. It may be we’ve moved past whatever the person is reflecting to us or we are still working through it and the person is an “ugly” reminder of what we have yet been unable to change about yourself.

What I have found myself saying in regards to the friend I’m thinking of is a quote from a movie put into a song by Velvet Acid Christ: “Did you hear it?” “It shows you things, horrible things.” “The dark inside me, from the other place… I won’t go back there, I won’t.”

The Dark Inside Me

BUT…..if others had not “fed” me when I was growing up, I see everyday in the news and through history just the sort of human being, “monster”, I could have become. As I reflect on my younger years, there were times when I was a real pain in the ass to be around. I was negative, judgmental, draining, ignorant, willful and extremely unhappy. I didn’t know how to “feed myself” (soothe myself.) Religion alone did not help me, it was specific people that were part of of my life that helped me. When I was younger I used to be fascinated with monsters real and imagined and I think part of that was my quest to try and understand what the hell was going on with me! Why was I so different?!

I realized my fascination with Dracula had an origin story in the Catholic Church ritual, Communion, “The Last Supper.” “Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood.” I can remember as a little girl truly thinking about what those words meant and I made myself break out into a sweat and nearly black out right as I knelt in a church service! If you were to take those words literally it was like cannibalism or vampirism…..consuming God! Dracula at the pulpit!  What does one do to fill the “void” the absence of a healthy relationship (to include sexual partner) provides when you are a priest?

I drew this man 11 Oct 2012 – as I drew him he morphed and at one point looked a lot like JRM which was funny as I had just found out JRM was going to portray Dracula

What I have learned from my own experience with this is when you lose something like innocence or someone significant to you like my mother committing suicide when I was barely a year old, a great energy void was created….had to be filled. I spent many years trying to put people, places, pets, “shiny things” things (which became addictions in some cases) ..anything that gave me even a fleeting glimpse of happiness into the void my mother’s death left in me. I learned the hard way that there is nothing on this earth that can fill such a void but God.

The God I understood and was taught about growing up came from churches and books. I grasped about into the New Age scene, Holistic type remedies, art, photography, work, sex, marriage, pet ownership, helping others through community service and still I didn’t truly know who God was for me. Then came that day a couple of years ago since we moved here to Texas , when my Dad and I were sitting on my back porch, and we agreed on something for the first time in a long time…..”God is in everything.”

It was kind of an “A-ha” spiritual moment for me. I have always felt like a huge part of my Dad was unknown to me because of what happened with my Mom. Here was something we both agreed on and a seed was planted in me.

30 Aug 2012 Jackie Drawing – when Dad first met Spot

When our cocker spaniel Sammy died in 2011 was another big whammy for both Kyle and I. For me, losing Sam was like losing a child and it was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had. I can remember going out to the field down the street, my “blooming field” before it became houses, and screaming in 100 degree heat at God, “BRING HIM BACK!” Just wandering everywhere looking for him, imagining he was walking with me. There was only ever going to be just one Sam and I had to find a way to live without him. I had to save myself.

Back in April 2014 I was walking in the field down the street from our house before it became houses and found half of an Choctaw Indian Christmas ornament and later found the other half at the entrance to our neighborhood! I thought it was a sign my friend Erin who is part Choctaw was having a son but we got three puppies….Link…instead. In a way it was like God answering my pleas to bring my Sammy back!

Everything is energy, everything is a sort of “food.” This is emotions, things, people, animals and nature. All of these elements consciously or subconsciously feed us energy in some way. Human beings can become “black holes” if left unchecked. A human black hole will devour anything and anyone in it’s path….negative energy vampire so to speak. Negative energy is better than not being fed and there are people, very visible people on our world stage, that model this sort of behavior for us and it may not even be a conscious effort on their part….it’s just who they are now.

We have built a society that teaches us to seek people, places and things to fill the void only God energy can fill. Well if everything is God then what to “eat?” Our diet is not just about what tangible foods we put into ourselves. Our diet is not about what celebrity’s image and spirit we can devour until we grow bored and move on. Our diet is not about the latest video game we devour until the next patch of “crack” comes out. Our diet is not supposed to be the latest electronic gadget or phone but it has become that and we are unfufilled…restless…addicted….bored and grasping about for sustainable food that just isn’t there! Do you get the idea? What are you “eating” you stay “full?”

Something else came to me from the Horror genre….the phrase that is always the worst thing to say in a horror movie, “I’ll be right back.” They never come back. After all these thousands of years of waiting for Jesus to come back he hasn’t…..or has “he?” Is God deaf to our cries? No. It’s like with our Sam. I begged God to send me Sammy back and then came Link! Three years we waited…Link was one of three boys. It was like God saying I will even let you choose! God heard me and I believe sent us Link to heal my heart but not to save me…to help me heal myself. Kyle and I had to learn to “feed ourselves” and not rely on Sammy. There is a reason dog spelled backwards is God!

Look in the mirror people. Who is there and do you love that person without condition? What are you “feeding” that person? There is nothing of this world that can fill the energy voids pain, suffering, loss and change create but God. Who is the God of your understanding? Does this God love you and all the world without condition?  Learn to “feed yourself! without “feeding” off of others or using artificial God’s. 

I know this is a lot but it’s what I was lead to write this morning. I’m not trying to change you or tell you what you should do or what you should believe and definitely not judging you. I’m just trying to help you help yourselves by sharing my experience, strength and Hope.

I hope something here resonates with you and if it does, pass it on in your way. We are all two-way or transistor radio’s in a way – sending and receiving signals.

Audioslave – Show Me How to Live

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live …
And with the early dawn
Moving right along
I couldn’t buy and eyeful of sleep
And in the aching night under satellites
I was not received
Built with stolen parts
A telephone in my heart
Someone get me a priest
To put my mind to bed
This ringing in my head
Is this a cure or is this a disease
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
And in the after birth
On the quiet earth
Let the stains remind you
You thought you made a man
You better think again
Before my role defines you
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
And in your waiting hands
I will land
And roll out of my skin
And in your final hours I will stand
Ready to begin
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live
Show me how to live
Songwriters: Brad Wilk / Chris Cornell / Timothy Commerford / Tom Morello
Show Me How to Live lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

6 Feb 2018 13 Steps (Drawing) and Natures Voracious Appetite

6 Feb 2018 – Drawing this evening I titled, “13 Steps.”

A couple of interesting stories that came up that might be interesting to you also.  The tick story brought to mind the energy vampire stuff I shared yesterday and a memory from my childhood today.  My stepmother’s sister used to babysit me in the summer when I was real young.   I remember being sick while staying with her.  I was laying on the couch and remember finding a large bump on the top of my head.  Well I kept picking at it and it actually came off, was squishy….was alive!  I am pretty sure it was a tick and I don’t know how long it had been on my head!  Wild right?!  Then, the spider story made me think of a weird bite that showed on my foot last year and it didn’t heal for a long time – two holes like a spider bite.  I have a scar like all the times after fire ants have bitten me.  I’ve always been a buffet for insects….mostly mosquitos.  I can remember a picture of me as a little girl wearing a fur coat costume and my legs were just covered in welts from mosquito bites.  Nature has a voracious appetite from insects we cannot see to those beings we can.  Just like us, they will do anything necessary to survive. 


Science & Environment

Dracula ticks in amber tell ancient blood-sucking tale

Amber fossilsImage copyright NAture Communications/E Penalver
Image caption The tick is stuck on to a dinosaur feather

Feathered dinosaurs were covered in ticks just like modern animals, fossil evidence shows.

Parasites similar to modern ticks have been found inside pieces of amber from Myanmar dating back 99 million years.

One is entangled with a dinosaur feather, another is swollen with blood, and two were in a dinosaur nest.

Scientists say the discovery, which has echoes of Jurassic Park, is the first direct fossil evidence that ticks fed on the blood of dinosaurs.

The research is published in the journal, Nature Communications.

”Ticks parasitised feathered dinosaurs; now we have direct evidence of it,” co-researcher Dr Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History told BBC News.

”This paper represents a very good example of the kind of detailed information that can be extracted from amber fossils.”

Dracula’s tick

Amber is fossilised tree resin. The sticky substance can trap skin, scales, fur, feathers or even whole creatures, such as ticks.

In this case, the researchers found a type of tick, now extinct, that is new to science. They named it, Deinocroton draculi or “Dracula’s terrible tick”.

A modern-day tick from SpainImage copyright E Penalver
Image caption A modern-day tick from Spain

“Ticks are infamous blood-sucking, parasitic organisms, having a tremendous impact on the health of humans, livestock, pets, and even wildlife, but until now clear evidence of their role in deep time has been lacking,” said Enrique Peñalver from the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), the lead researcher on the study.

The fossils in amber may echo the fictional world of Jurassic Park, but they will not give up the secrets of dinosaur DNA.

All attempts to extract DNA from amber specimens have failed since the complex molecule is too fragile to be preserved.

However, the fossils do give a snapshot of the lives of the feathered dinosaurs, some of which evolved into modern-day birds.

Amber fossilsImage copyright E Penalver et al
Image caption The fossils hail from Myanmar

“The fossil record tells us that feathers like the one we have studied were already present on a wide range of theropod dinosaurs, a group which included ground-running forms without flying ability, as well as bird-like dinosaurs capable of powered flight,” said Dr Pérez-de la Fuente.

“So although we can’t be sure what kind of dinosaur the tick was feeding on, the mid-Cretaceous age of the Burmese amber confirms that the feather certainly did not belong to a modern bird, as these appeared much later in theropod evolution according to current fossil and molecular evidence.”

Extraordinary find

The researchers found further evidence of ticks riling dinosaurs. Hair-like structures from skin beetles found attached to two of the ticks suggest they lived in the nests of feathered dinosaurs, along with the beetles.

“The simultaneous entrapment of two external parasites – the ticks – is extraordinary, and can be best explained if they had a nest-inhabiting ecology as some modern ticks do, living in the host’s nest or in their own nest nearby,” said Dr David Grimaldi of the American Museum of Natural History, who worked on the study.

Together, these findings suggest that ticks have been sucking the blood of dinosaurs for almost 100 million years.

After dinosaurs died out in the mass extinction 66 million years ago, ticks clung on and continued to thrive.

Ticks are closely related to spiders, scorpions and mites. They feed on animals and can pass diseases on to people, pets, wildlife and livestock.

Follow Helen on Twitter.


‘Extraordinary’ fossil sheds light on origins of spiders

ArachnidImage copyright Bo Wang
Image caption The arachnid – resembling a spider with a tail – lived about 100 million years ago

An “extraordinary” spider “cousin” trapped in amber for 100 million years is shaking up ideas about the origins of spiders.

The ancient creature had a tail, unlike its modern relatives.

It belongs to a group of arachnids (spiders, scorpions and the like) that were related to true spiders.

Researchers say it’s possible – but unlikely – that the animal might still be alive today in the rainforests of southeast Asia.

The creature’s remote habitat and small size makes it possible that tailed descendants could still be living in Myanmar, where the fossils were found, said Dr Paul Selden of the University of Kansas.

 “We haven’t found them, but some of these forests aren’t that well-studied, and it’s only a tiny creature,” he said.

Fossil treasure trove

Myanmar has yielded a treasure trove of discoveries of skin, scales, fur, feathers and even ticks preserved in fossilised tree resin.

Dracula ticks tell blood-sucking tale

This find dates back to the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs like T. rex walked the Earth. The arachnid has an unusual mixture of ancient and modern features.

Scientists have named it Chimerarachne yingi, after the Greek mythological Chimera, a hybrid creature composed of the parts of more than one animal.

“We have known for a decade or so that spiders evolved from arachnids that had tails, more than 315 million years ago,” said Dr Russell Garwood of The University of Manchester, a co-researcher on the study.

“We’ve not found fossils before that showed this, and so finding this now was a huge (but really fantastic) surprise.”

ArachnidImage copyright Bo Wang
Image caption The tiny arachnid resembles a spider in having fangs and silk-producing spinnerets at its rear

Four specimens of the tiny spider have been found. The scientists think it lived on or around tree trunks, perhaps under bark or in the moss at the foot of a tree.

It was capable of producing silk using its spinnerets, but was unlikely to have woven webs. And it’s not known what the tail would have been used for or if the spider was venomous.

Commenting on the research, Dr Ricardo Perez-De-La Fuente, of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, said the “amazing fossils” will be important in deciphering the puzzle of the evolution of spiders and allied groups.

Chimerarachne fills the gap between Palaeozoic arachnids with tails known from rocks (uraraneids) and true spiders, and the fact the new fossils have been wonderfully preserved in Burmese amber has allowed an unmatched detail of study,” he said.

“There are many surprises still waiting to be unearthed in the fossil record. Like most unexpected findings in palaeontology it probably brings more questions than answers, but questions are what keep things exciting and push the boundaries of science.”

ArachnidImage copyright Bo Wang
Image caption The arachnid has a long tail-like appendage that we see today in scorpions

Spiders as a group date back to more than 300 million years ago. Chimerarachne shared a common ancestor with the true spiders and resembles a member of the most primitive group of modern living spiders, the mesotheles, which are found today only in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

“It must have lived for about 200 million years side-by-side with spiders, but we’ve never found a fossil of one of these [before] that’s younger than 295 million years,” said Dr Garwood, from Manchester’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Spiders are one of the success stories of the natural world, with more than 47,000 living species.

Over hundreds of millions of years they have evolved several unique features, including spinnerets and venom for immobilising prey.

The research is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution as two separate papers. One paper, led by Bo Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, described two specimens. The other, led by Gonzalo Giribet of Harvard University, presents two more fossil arachnids.

Follow Helen on Twitter

A Perfect Circle – Weak and Powerless

16 Jan 2018 A Swamp filled with Lions and Crocodiles (Dream) and Resilience

15 Jan 2018 – Drawing from yesterday. The word Untangled came to mind – the beauty of complete and true spiritual freedom.

Hello to you. It’s 8:39 am as I begin to write to you. It’s 21 degrees, with a feels like of 6 outside right now! Definitely winter here! So how are you? Hopefully you have nutritious food, clothing, shelter, clean water, clean air to breathe and love. Unless someone chooses to go without, I think everyone should have those basic things!

So with it being colder for sleeping, I’ve been dreaming a lot. The dreams aren’t always coherent enough to share but this first one is. It’s very symbolic I think of what it’s like to try and exist in this world.

The dream began with an actual flash of text, “What went wrong?” Then the dream progressed to a family living on a farm surrounded by a swamp populated with large crocodiles (this came from a video we watched recently of a man filming crocs and his friends telling him to run because they were coming after him) and lions (this came from a recent video of seeing a woman being dragged off by a tiger and mauled nearly to death (killed her mom) at one of those animal safari parks and healthy lion cubs being killed in Sweden).

Well if you didn’t time it right, you couldn’t travel because the reptiles would get too close to the house. I actually had a showdown with two of them through a glass door. Someone had left the house and couldn’t come home because of this situation. I remember watching lions trying to climb over the crocodiles without getting bitten. It was a very uneasy relationship.

The symbolism of the dream holds true to the world we live in especially at the upper echelons it seems. I watch these human beings who claim to be civilized barely cooperating, biting each other, mauling and even complete devouring one another just to keep their “stuff” and their power. There is little compassion or empathy it seems – just doing whatever it takes to survive with little regard to collateral damage.  I haven’t lost hope in them though.  Each day I catch glimpses of the leaders and type of people I think they really want to be – people who make this world better for more than just themselves and their kin.  Progress not perfection!

Then there is this. I searched Google and Bing and found this one article that inspired me to believe we are more than just combatants in this world. This is also a great example of resilience. Today’s Daily Good article really ties into what it takes for a veteran like Brandon Dodson and so many others not to completely lose their shit after serving in the military. Resilience is a word that has figured into my own life on more than one occasion. Just when I thought I was broken beyond repair, the God of my understanding and all the accompanying Earth Angels they could send lifted me back up:


Walls raised for double amputee’s home in Vista

The “Walls of Honor” event was organized by the Gary Sinise Foundation, which is building the 3,000-square-foot house for Dodson, who lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2014, and his family.

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
Malcolm S. Forbes


Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings. –Victor Hugo

The Gifts of Imperfection

–by Brene Brown, syndicated from spiritualityandpractice.com, Jan 16, 2018

Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

“Resilience — the ability to overcome adversity — has been a growing topic of study since the early 1970s. In a world plagued by stress and struggle, everyone from psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to clergy and criminal justice researchers want to why and how some folks are better at bouncing back from hardship than others. We want to understand why some people can cope with stress and trauma in a way that allows them to move forward in their lives, and why other people appear more affected and stuck.

“As I collected and analyzed my data, I recognized that many of the people I interviewed were describing stories of resilience. I heard stories about people cultivating Wholehearted lives despite adversity. I learned about people’s capacities to stay mindful and authentic under great stress and anxiety, and I heard people describe how they were able to transform trauma into Wholehearted thriving.

“It wasn’t difficult to recognize these stories as tales of resilience because I was in graduate school during the heyday of resilience research. I knew these narratives were threaded with what we call protective factors — the things we do, have, and practice that give us the bounce.

“What Makes Up Resilience?

“If you look at the current research, here are five of the most common factors of resilient people:

“1. They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills.

  1. They are more likely to seek help.
  2. They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope.
  3. They have social support available to them.
  4. They are connected with others, such as family or friends.

“Of course, there are more factors, depending on the researchers, but these are the big ones.

“At first, I hoped the patterns that I observed in my research would lead to a very straightforward conclusion — resilience is a core component of Wholeheartedness — just like the other guideposts. But there was something more to what I was hearing. The stories had more in common than just resilience; all of these stories were about spirit.

“According to the people I interviewed, the very foundation of the ‘protective factors’ — the things that made them bouncy — was their spirituality. By spirituality, I’m not talking about religion or theology, but I am talking about a shared and deeply held belief. Based on the interviews, here’s how I define spirituality:

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.

“Without exception, spirituality — the belief in connection, a power greater than self, and interconnections grounded in love and compassion — emerged as a component of resilience. Most people spoke of God, but not everyone. Some were occasional churchgoers; others were not. Some worshipped at fishing holes; others in temples, mosques, or at home. Some struggled with the idea of religion; others were devout members of organized religions. The one thing that they all had in common was spirituality as the foundation of their resilience.

“From this foundation of spirituality, three other significant patterns emerged as being essential to resilience:

“1. Cultivating hope

  1. Practicing critical awareness
  2. Letting go of numbing and taking the edge off vulnerability, discomfort, and pain”

Syndicated from Spirituality & Health magazine. S&H was founded in 1998 for people seeking holistic health in body, mind, and spirit. It aspires to help guide the journey to self-knowledge, authenticity, and integration. Its articles draw from the wisdom of many traditions and cultures, with an emphasis on sharing spiritual practices, and look to science to help provide a context for the spiritual quest. Read more from Spirituality & Health here.


14 Jan 2018 Emergence (Drawing) and What exactly is Emergence? (Peggy Holman Cultivating leadership for complex times)

Hello,  how are you?  Keeping it short.  I did a scan of the headlines and even in places I was hoping to find something positive…nope!  Thankfully a couple of WordPress blogs I read this morning did have positive messages; here are links if you wish to check them out!



The final drawing I did yesterday was one I really liked and may even put to canvas at some point.  What came to mind about it was the word Emergence.  What is the definition of this word?  It’s not an easy word to define I found out!  I found Peggy Holman’s method understandable for someone like me and a couple of videos on the different spectrums of understanding.  The whole subject has lit a spark of “wow! that’s fascinating!” in my brain!

When  I was thinking of it after doing my drawing, I was thinking of shining even when we don’t want to – emerging out of our personal darkness and shining.  Quite simple compared to what I’ve watched and read this morning!

*19 Jan 2018 if you take a look at this article’s pictures, looking at the divers going through the cave with their flashlights makes me think of this drawing lol!  So cool!  http://fox43.com/2018/01/19/divers-discover-worlds-longest-underwater-cave-system/

13 Jan 2018 – I really liked this drawing after I was done. The word Emergence came looking at it. It is so hard sometimes to emerge from where we are hiding, our personal darkness in order to share ourselves with others and shine our personal light in the world. Kind of a personal hokey pokey perhaps?! “One foot in, one foot out….”


Chapter 1. What Is Emergence?

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

—Carl Sagan, Cosmos

For most of us, the notion of emergence is tough to grasp because the concept is just entering our consciousness. When something new arises, we have no simple, shorthand language for it. The words we try seem like jargon. So we stumble with words, images, and analogies to communicate this whiff in the air that we can barely smell. We know it exists because something does not fit easily into what we already know.

Emergence disrupts, creates dissonance. We make sense of the disturbances that emergence creates partially through developing language that helps us to tease out useful distinctions. As the vocabulary to describe what is emerging becomes more familiar, our understanding increases. For example, disturbance, disruption, and dissonance are part of the language of engaging emergence. These terms are cousins, and I often use them interchangeably. Disruption is the most general of the three words. If something involves an emotional nuance, chances are that I call the disruption a disturbance. When conflict is involved or the disruption is particularly grating, with a lack of agreement or harmony, I will likely refer to its dissonance.

This chapter helps build a vocabulary we can all use by defining emergence. The chapter also provides a brief history of how our understanding of emergence has evolved. It offers some distinctions between strong and weak emergence and describes essential characteristics of emergence—what it looks like and how it behaves. The chapter ends by reflecting on the challenge of learning how to engage emergence.

Defining Emergence

In the preface, I defined emergence as simply as possible: order arising out of chaos. A more nuanced definition is higher-order complexity arising out of chaos in which novel, coherent structures coalesce through interactions among the diverse entities of a system. Emergence occurs when these interactions disrupt, causing the system to differentiate and ultimately coalesce into something novel.

Key elements of this definition are chaos and novelty. Chaos is random interactions among different entities in a given context. Think of people at a cocktail party. Chaos contains no clear patterns or rules of interaction. Make that a cocktail party in which no single culture prevails, so that no one is sure how close to stand to others, whether to make eye contact, or whether to use first or last names. Emergent order arises when a novel, more complex system forms. It often happens in an unexpected, almost magical leap. The cocktail party is actually a surprise party, and everyone knows where to hide and when to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Emergence produces novel systems—coherent interactions among entities following basic principles. In his bestseller Emergence, science writer Steven Johnson puts it this way: “Agents residing on one scale start producing behavior that lies one scale above them: ants create colonies; urbanites create neighborhoods; simple pattern-recognition software learns how to recommend new books.”1 Emergence in human systems has produced new technologies, towns, democracy, and some would say consciousness—the capacity for self-reflection.

A Short History of Emergence

If we want to engage emergence, understanding its origins helps. Scientist Peter Corning offers a brilliant essay on emergence.2 He brought a multitude of sources together to describe an evolution in perspectives. I have paraphrased some highlights:

  • Emergence has gone in and out of favor since 1875. According to philosopher David Blitz, the term was coined by the pioneer psychologist G. H. Lewes, who wrote, “[T]here is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components . . . and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference.” By the 1920s, the ideas of emergence fell into disfavor under the onslaught of analysis. Analysis was seen as the best means to make sense of our world. In recent years, nonlinear mathematical tools have provided the means to model complex, dynamic interactions. This modeling capability has revived interest in emergence—how whole systems evolve.
  • Emergence is intimately tied to studies of evolution. Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher and contemporary of Darwin’s, described emergence as “an inherent, energy-driven trend in evolution toward new levels of organization.” It described the sudden changes in evolution—the move from ocean to land, from ape to human.

Although evolutionary scientists have done much of the work, people from a variety of disciplines have also struggled to explain this common and mysterious experience. What enables an unexpected leap of understanding in a field of study or practice? In 1962, Thomas Kuhn contributed to our understanding by coining the term paradigm shift to describe a tradition-shattering change in the guiding assumptions of a scientific discipline.3

Then the Santa Fe Institute, a leader in defining the frontiers of complex systems research, took the work further. Engagingly told by Mitchell Waldrop in his book Complexity, the story of how the Santa Fe Institute was born reads like a great adventure.4 In the mid-1980s, a hunch brought biologists, cosmologists, physicists, economists, and others to the Los Alamos National Laboratory to explore odd notions about complexity, adaptation, upheavals at the edge of chaos.5 Though their disciplines used different terms, they shared a common experience with this strange form of change. They were no longer alone with their questions. Others were exploring the same edges.

They gave this experience a name: emergent complexity, or emergence for short. While emergence has aspects of the familiar—Mom’s nose, Dad’s eyes—it is its own notion. It isn’t just integrating old ideas with what’s new. It is something more—and different. It is whole systems evolving over time. Single-cell organisms interact, and multicellular creatures emerge. Humans become self-conscious and track their own evolution.

In Emergence, Steven Johnson speaks of how our understanding of emergence has evolved.6 In the initial phase, seekers grappled with ideas of self-organization without language to describe it. Without a coherent frame of reference, the ideas were like a magician’s illusion: our attention was diverted to the familiar while the real action was happening unseen in front of our noses.

As language emerged—complexity, self-organization, complex adaptive systems—a second phase began. These terms focused our attention in new directions. People started coming together across disciplines to understand the nature of these patterns. The Santa Fe Institute was central to this phase.

During the 1990s, we entered a third phase, applied emergence, in which we “stopped analyzing emergence and started creating it.”7 In other words, we could see emergence occurring naturally in phenomena like anthills. And we started working with it—for example, developing software that recognizes music or helps us find mates.

This book is about creating conditions for applied emergence in our social systems. It aims to help us work with the dynamics of emergent complexity so that our intentions are realized as life-serving outcomes.

Distinctions Between Weak and Strong Emergence

Scientists distinguish two forms of emergence: weak and strong emergence. Understanding this distinction clears up some confusion. Predictable patterns of emergent phenomena, such as traffic flows and anthills, are examples of weak emergence. In contrast, strong emergence is experienced as upheaval. When disruptions dramatically change a system’s form, as in revolutions and renaissances, strong emergence has occurred.

Weak emergence describes new properties arising in a system. A baby is wholly unique from its parents, yet is basically predictable in form. In weak emergence, rules or principles act as the authority, providing context for the system to function. In effect, they eliminate the need for someone in charge. Road systems are a simple example.

Strong emergence occurs when a novel form arises that was completely unpredictable. We could not have guessed its properties by understanding what came before. Nor can we trace its roots from its components or their interactions. We see stories on television. Yet we could not have predicted this form of storytelling from books.

As strong emergence occurs, the rules or assumptions that shape a system cease to be reliable. The system becomes chaotic. In our social systems, perhaps the situation is too complex for a traditional hierarchy to address it. Self-organizing responses to emergencies are an example. Such circumstances give emergence its reputation for unnerving leaps of faith.

Yet emergent systems increase order even in the absence of command and central control: useful things happen with no one in charge. Open systems extract information and order out of their environment. They bring coherence to increasingly complex forms. In emergent change processes, setting clear intentions, creating hospitable conditions, and inviting diverse people to connect does the work. Think of it as an extended cocktail party with a purpose.

Characteristics of Emergence

Although the conversation continues, scientists generally agree on these qualities of emergence:

Radical novelty—At each level of complexity, entirely new properties appear (for example, from autocracy—rule by one person with unlimited power—to democracy, where people are the ultimate source of political power)

Coherence—A stable system of interactions (an elephant, a biosphere, an agreement)

Wholeness—Not just the sum of its parts, but also different and irreducible from its parts (humans are more than the composition of lots of cells)

Dynamic—Always in process, continuing to evolve (changes in transportation: walking, horse and buggy, autos, trains, buses, airplanes)

Downward causation—The system shaping the behavior of the parts (roads determine where we drive)

The phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” captures key aspects of these ideas. Birds flock, sand forms dunes, and individuals create societies. Each of these phrases names a related but distinct system. Each system is composed of, influenced by, but different from its mate: birds and flocks, sand and dunes, individuals and societies.

As with all change, emergence occurs when disruptions shape the interactions. In emergence, coherence breaks apart; differences surface and re-form in a novel system. The two most frequently cited dynamics:

No one is in charge—No conductor is orchestrating orderly activity (ecosystems, economic systems, activity in a city).

Simple rules engender complex behavior—Randomness becomes coherent as individuals, each following a few basic principles or assumptions, interact with their neighbors (birds flock; traffic flows).

Twelve-step programs characterize these ideas at work. Most participants are fiercely independent people who are not there to follow someone in authority. Yet with the guidance offered through 12 statements, these programs are highly complex, worldwide organizations that have influenced the lives of millions.

No doubt the simplicity of these two dynamics may leave many senior executives and government agency heads skeptical. No one is in charge? Not likely. Isn’t it interesting that the word order is a term for issuing instructions? What happens when orders come from the top? If they disrupt existing functions of the organization, sometimes it moves in novel and useful directions. And sometimes the orders produce entirely unexpected—emergent—outcomes that arise from within the system, bearing little resemblance to the orders given.

If managers say, “We’re too complex for simple rules,” chances are they’re confusing complicated and complex. We often make things more complicated than necessary. Filling out a form in a bureaucracy is a common example. Complexity is entirely different. Complexity has elegance. It is, to paraphrase Einstein, as simple as possible but not simpler.

Emergence is an energy-efficient approach to accomplishing complex tasks. Consider the different costs of handling conflict through dialogue versus war. Negotiations among a handful of diplomats can lead to breakthrough agreements for all involved. In contrast, armed conflict involves thousands and generally produces results that work for one party, along with loss of life and property for all involved. Quite a different proposition in time, money, and life!

How Does Novelty Emerge?

Two key dynamics shape how novelty arises—how systems, including us, learn and adapt. Increasingly complex and novel forms emerge from interactions among autonomous, diverse agents, like us, through

  • feedback among neighboring agents, and
  • clustering as like finds like.


Systems grow and self-regulate through feedback. Output from one interaction influences the next interaction. We talk to a neighbor, we share some of the discussion with friends, and suddenly everyone in town knows that Sally married Harry.

Disruptions are feedback. They signal potential change. Most of us focus on the symptoms, the visible outcomes of such signals. A fight breaks out, and we concentrate on who is winning and losing. What caused the fight? How else might it be resolved? We ask different questions when we pay attention to what’s behind the feedback.

Feedback opens communication. It connects what’s inside and outside, at the top and bottom, across and within systems. It gives us a chance to notice what is emerging and discern its meaning.

Systems theory uses feedback loops to help us map how interactions influence each other. It names two types of feedback loops: reinforcing and balancing loops.

Perhaps this is how the fight erupted: I speak my mind. It pushes your buttons; you get mad and push back. Even if I hadn’t intended to irritate you, now I’m on the defensive. To protect myself, I attack you. And things escalate. In what is called a reinforcing feedback loop, output reinforces an action in the same general direction—sometimes toward more, sometimes toward less. Reinforcing loops are also called vicious or, when healthy, virtuous cycles.

Another form of feedback occurs through balancing feedback loops. Opposite forces counteract each other. Separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government illustrates balancing loops. Each keeps the others in check. In healthy systems, those that continually learn and adapt, balancing loops periodically interrupt reinforcing loops, ending their perpetual growth. Without such checks we get global warming, economic meltdowns, and cancer.


As we interact, feeding back to each other, like attracts like. Some of us bond around a shared characteristic. For example, we both like the same candidate for office. Over time, small groups with similar interests form. Perhaps parents advocate for a new style of school. With continued interaction, small groups become larger groups. Increasingly complex networks take shape when something binds them together. Parents, teachers, and small businesses unite to create new types of schools. At some point, a complex and stable cluster arises. It has unique properties unlike its individual elements. A national movement for charter schools takes off. Something novel emerges.

Humans are talented at pattern matching—clustering like with like. We even do it unconsciously. We see it indirectly in how towns and cities form. Asian districts exist in San Francisco, New York, and London. All of the auto dealerships are in the same part of town. As maps of the Internet are created, clusters of highly interconnected sites are appearing. We are experiencing emergence in process. Through our increasingly sophisticated technology, we can track complex networks forming. New tools show us the neural networks of the brain, the ecosystems of nature, and social structures in cultures. The ability to see complexity is reinvigorating interest in emergence. We can finally study complex patterns over time and space.

Such tools make complex stories visible. For example, at a 2010 Journalism That Matters conference, a map of Northwest news and information Web sites caught the attention of an executive editor. He noticed the competition in the center of the map. He searched long and hard to locate his organization. A colleague explained that their antiquated technology caused the problem. No doubt, priorities changed when the executive returned to the office.

Learning How to Engage Emergence

The story of emergence is still young. We have struggled with its existence, described some of its properties, and given it a name. We are early in understanding what it means to social systems—organizations, communities, and sectors such as politics, health care, and education. We are just learning how to work with it to support positive changes and deep transformation.

In social systems, emergence can move us toward possibilities that serve enduring needs, intentions, and values. Forms can change, conserving essential truths while bringing forth innovations that weren’t possible before. In journalism, traditional values of accuracy and transparency are making their way into the blogosphere, social network sites, and other emerging media.

Emergence is a process, continual and never-ending. It emphasizes interactions as much as it does the people or elements interacting. Most of us focus on what we can observe—the animal, the project outcome, the object. Emergence involves also paying attention to what is happening—the stranger arriving with different cultural assumptions that ripple through the organization or community.

Emergence is a product of interactions among diverse entities. Since interactions don’t exist in a vacuum, the context also matters. That is why just bringing diverse people together won’t necessarily lead to a promising outcome. Initial conditions set the context. How the invitation is issued, the quality of welcome, the questions posed, the physical space, all influence whether a fight breaks out or warm, unexpected partnerships form.

In truth, working with emergence can be a bit like befriending Kokopelli, a trickster of the ancient Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest, or his Norse counterpart, Loki. Working with mischievous spirits always has some catches.

Back to the Table of Contents

On to Chapter 2. What’s the Catch?

A couple of videos, if you type the word Emergence in to You Tube, there are more:

PHILOSOPHY – Metaphysics: Emergence

Emergence – How Stupid Things Become Smart Together (Kyle and I had to laugh about this)

12 Jan 2018 Time Travelers (chalk drawing) and How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy (http://www.dailygood.org)

11 Jan 2018 – it’s been very cold and windy here the past couple of days so I haven’t been out chalk drawing as much. The sun is out but it’s not supposed to break 40 degrees today!

Hello to you.  It’s 9:01 am as I write to you.  The sun is shining out back but I know it’s still very cold LOL!  We are watching the in-laws dogs Henry and Suzie….last night was as the dogs say…RUFF!  We were up at midnight cleaning up poop and watching You tube Nuke’s Top 5 Lists lool!  There is always an adjustment period when combining packs!

My prayers go out to all those in California and all other parts of the world today.   Whether you are trying to survive the elements of Mother Nature or those of Humankind’s making, I hope you have what you need to get through it.  I hope you know you aren’t alone in this world even if often it may seem like it.  I decided to visit one of my favorite websites for positive stories and found this one.  I hope something in it will resonate in your heart today.

Learn to make the mediator between what you think and what you do be your heart.  If you feel your heart sink below center at the prospect of a thought or an action, chances are whatever it is isn’t the right thing for you!

“If it ain’t light, it ain’t right!” – Carol Lee


If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal every moment. –Carlos Santana


How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy

–by Kelly McGonigal , syndicated from Greater Good, Nov 21, 2017

 If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, don’t cut yourself off from other people, says Kelly McGonigal. Instead, double down on your capacity for connection.

One evening when I walked into a classroom to teach my Science of Stress course, I found a newspaper waiting for me on the lectern. A student had brought in an article called “Stress: It’s Contagious.” The report claimed that stress is “as contagious as any airborne pathogen” and compared its toxicity to secondhand smoke.

As an example, the news story described a study showing that participants had an empathic physiological stress response when they observed another person struggling. One of the researchers commented, “It was surprising how easily the stress was transmitted.”

As someone who studies both stress and empathy, I get asked about this research a lot. Does it mean that empathy is a liability, increasing your risk of exhaustion, depression, or burnout? If you are highly empathic, are you doomed to become a reservoir for other people’s pain and suffering?

One solution is to create stronger emotional barriers—to put on a psychological Hazmat suit to protect against the stress and suffering you don’t want to catch. I’ve seen this approach adopted by many people in the helping professions, including health care, social work, and teaching.

If you are feeling similarly overwhelmed by how affected you are by the emotions of others, I’d like to offer another possibility for preserving your well-being: Double down on your capacity for empathy. Instead of trying to become immune to other people’s stress, increase your susceptibility to catch other people’s joy.

The benefits of positive empathy

While modern psychological science has largely focused on empathy for negative states, a new field of research dubbed “positive empathy” shows that it is also possible to catch happiness.

You might have seen studies showing that seeing other people in pain can activate the pain system in your own brain. It turns out your brain will also resonate with positive emotions. For example, when you witness other’s good fortune, it can activate the brain’s reward system. Moreover, this kind of contagious happiness can be an important source of well-being. The tendency to experience positive empathy is linked to greater life satisfaction, peace of mind, and happiness. It is also associated with greater trust, support, and satisfaction in close relationships.

Those around you may benefit from your empathic joy, as well. One study examined the experience of empathic joy in teachers in fourteen different U.S. states. The teachers who had more frequent experiences of positive empathy toward their students felt more connected to them. This positive attitude led to more positive interactions with students, as observed by classroom evaluators, and higher academic achievement by their students.

Importantly, positive empathy doesn’t just make you feel good; it can also inspire you to do good. The tendency to feel empathic joy is associated with a stronger desire to help others thrive, and a greater willingness to take action to do so. Positive empathy also enhances the warm glow you feel from helping others—making compassion much more sustainable.

Search for small moments of joy

Joy is a big-sounding word, and so we tend to look for classic expressions of “big” joy—huge smiles, exclamations of delight, hugs and cheers. The kind of joy associated with winning the lottery and marriage proposals.

Yet other forms of joy exist all around us. As you begin to look for joy, you will notice more and more of them. There is the joy of pleasures, simple or sublime, such as enjoying a delicious meal, listening to music, or savoring how it feels to hold a baby in your arms. There is the joy of purpose, and how it feels to contribute, work hard, learn, and grow. There is the joy of being connected to something bigger than yourself, be it nature, family, or faith. There is the joy of wonder—being curious, experiencing new things, and feeling awe or surprise.

There is the joy of being acknowledged and appreciated by others—sensing what you have to offer, and knowing that you matter. There is the joy of being your best self—how good it feels to use your strengths in service of something you care about, or to express your most deeply held values. There is the joy of having your needs met—being helped, listened to, or held in a comforting embrace. There is the joy of laughter, and especially shared laughter, and especially shared laughter when everything seems to be falling apart.

These are just a few of the possible joys you can witness. When you keep your eyes open for them, you learn a lot about how much possibility there is for joy for ordinary moments, and even difficult circumstances.

Ultimately, this is how I think of empathic joy: as a resource that allows you to stay engaged with life not just when things go well, but also when they are difficult. It’s not just a practice of celebrating and amplifying the good; it also allows us to sustain hope when we face the reality of suffering unrelieved and needs yet unmet.

How to catch joy

What if right now, your empathy radar seems tuned in only to stress, unable to resonate with other people’s happiness? Maybe you even feel the opposite of contagious joy: envy at other people’s success, isolated by others’ happiness, reminded by their good fortune of what you long for, or lack.

If so, you aren’t alone. Philosophers and psychologists have observed that, for many people, empathy for negative emotions is more instinctive than for positive states.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely only on instincts; empathic joy can be cultivated. In Buddhist psychology, empathic joy is considered one of the four brahmavihāras (sublime attitudes), alongside equanimity, loving kindness, and compassion. Like other mindsets, empathic joy can be deliberately trained as a way to deepen your wisdom and well-being. With practice, you can strengthen your capacity to notice, resonate with, and celebrate the happiness of others.

Here are five of my favorite everyday practices for catching joy. As you strengthen your intention to notice joy, you will surely discover your own favorite ways to witness and share in the happiness of others.

1. Watch a child or animal play. Delight in their joy, energy, and wonder. Let yourself smile or laugh as their playfulness awakens a similar spirit in you.

2. Watch an athletic, artistic, or other kind of competition without taking sides. Appreciate the effort, skill, or artistry of all competitors—and celebrate the joy of whoever wins. Feel glad for their success, and watch how they celebrate it with others. See if you can extend your empathic joy to how they share the moment with friends, family, coaches, or teammates.

3. Help someone else celebrate their happiness. If someone shares good news, ask them to tell you more, and listen whole-heartedly. If you become aware of an accomplishment or milestone in a person’s life, write them a congratulatory email or Facebook post. Go beyond “pro forma” congratulations and really feel the joy of helping someone savor something positive.

4. Witness the good in others. Set the goal to notice when others display character strengths like kindness, honesty, courage, or perseverance. Take joy in seeing the good. Feel heart-glad about what you observe. Let yourself feel inspired by their actions to do good yourself.

5. Let someone else do something nice for you. This might not seem like a practice of empathic joy, but it becomes one when you begin to pay attention to how happy it makes the other person. Sometimes our own discomfort with receiving kindness, or fear of being a burden to others, gets in the way of seeing that joy.

As Pema Chodron writes in The Places that Scare You:

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. We can do this even at the most difficult moments. Everything we see, hear, taste, and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us.”

From this point of view, it becomes possible to open your heart to what can feel, at first, like a vulnerability. To let your natural capacity for empathy connect you to both the pain and joy of others, and to trust that this capacity is a blessing, not a liability.

This article is syndicated from Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Author Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and a leading expert in the new field of “science-help.” She is the author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Lao Tzu

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it
Marcus Aurelius

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein


talk less drawing more

dark anki

"Imagination: Upcoming Reality"


Exposing Truth

Suffragette Diary

Life in Holloway Jail

A Whistling Caravan

Write not to impress others,but to express yourself and inspire others!!!™


This blog is to encourage others that is being victimize, been a victm, or were a victim that they no longer have to live in hidden. I want to share words of encouragement to them and let them know they can come out of their situtaion alive no matter what there abuser is telling or has told them over the years. Some individuals have left their abuser but they are still living in afraid or living in in jail mental; the victim have to get his or her life back. Living behind the wall in public isn't well for them. They have to make a stand for themselves and regain what they lost in that relationship. It will not happen within a week or probably a month. First of all its a learning process, admit to what they lost, and let go of the shame, pride, and bitter. Its up to the victim to want to be a Survior not the abuser.


Your Brain is a Radio that Does What its Told

High Lumen

lighting design blog


Make PEACE ✌ Show LOVE❤



Beautiful Diaspora

Bring back words and pictures

Q's Story Telling

the art of imagination

Sunshiny SA Site

Kavita Ramlal, Proudly South African


Dine . Divine!

Mrinalini Raj


Inspire me

Love, Relationship, Lifestyle, Purpose, Marriage & Family