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:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/walls-raised-for-double-amputees-home-in-vista/ar-AAuJwkw?OCID=ansmsnnews11

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

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1820/the-gifts-of-imperfection-brene-brown/

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.

 

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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!

https://empoweredeverydayblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/promise-me/

https://patrickrealstories.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/patrick-concept-of-blessings-simple-way-to-bless-others/

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….”

http://peggyholman.com/papers/engaging-emergence/engaging-emergence-table-of-contents/part-i-the-nature-of-emergence/chapter-1-what-is-emergence/

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.

Feedback

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.

Clustering

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

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1725/how-to-overcome-stress-by-seeing-other-people-s-joy-kelly-mcgonigal/

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

7 Jan 2018 Evolving beyond mere suspicion

6 Jan 2018 – Drawing I did inspired by the show we’ve been watching on Netflix, Myths and Monsters.

6 Jan 2018 – “I walked this many beads!”  My walk counter died on me so I decided to use beads to count the number of laps I did in my backyard. One lap was a little over 100 steps so I did pretty good! It’s fun to see the random pattern of the beads once I finished too.

 

6 Jan 2018 – my lap counter. Very low tech don’t you agree lol! The drawing behind the chair ended up being a theme in the last episode of Myths and Monsters.  They talked about the Witch Trials in Bamberg Germany.

6 Jan 2018 – In the Wikipedia write up, the Drudenhaus looks a bit like my drawing. There are people going into meet a “red” person which to me, as I was drawing it, was an angry person. They come out of the house dead and bloody.

I looked into this after doing the chalk drawing above.  Apparently my subconscious was playing tv guide again because of how much the theme and horror of my drawing related to what came up on the final episode of season 1 of Myths and Monsters on Netflix called, The End of All Things (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7531644/?ref_=nv_sr_1).  Our ancestors were often a suspicious people and like us, looked anywhere, created myths even, to explain the sometimes unexplainable.   I can imagine if the type of weather we are experiencing was going on and we were still the same sort of people our ancestors were, there probably wouldn’t be many of us left!  Thank goodness we have made advancements to better understand the goings on of our natural world.   There is still much we don’t know, but we at least have stopped blaming and killing innocent people for it.

For me, if I don’t know or understand a person, place or thing, instead of relying on just my preconceived notions and perceptions, I ask questions.  I inquire and try to find out what I can to help me more fully understand before I am rash to judgement.  It’s important to remember that our perception is shaped by many factors as we are growing up in the world.  It’s important we figure out what we know, think and feel about the world for ourselves using all the resources we have available to us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamberg_witch_trials

Bamberg witch trials

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Bamberg Cathedral

Drudenhaus

The Bamberg witch trials, which took place in Bamberg in 1626–1631, were one of a series of mass witch trials in southern Germany, contemporary with the Würzburg witch trials and others. Over an extended period these trial resulted in the executions of around 1,000 people. It belonged to the largest witch trials in history, among the largest during the Thirty Years’ War, and one of the four largest witch trials in Germany alongside the Trier witch trials, the Fulda witch trials, and the Würzburg witch trial.[1]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the Holy Roman Empire was affected by a Little Ice Age that resulted in a drop in temperatures and crop failures. This caused the peasants to look for a responsible party. They found it in witches – people who had supposedly allied themselves with the devil.[2]

Prince-Bishop of Bamberg Neytard von Thüngen (d. 1598) was the first to allow witch trials in his fief. However, he was mostly occupied with fighting Reformation. Under his successor, Johann Philipp von Gebsattel (d. 1609) no one was executed for witchcraft. Only under Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen (d. 1622), did prosecutions take off. Supported by the theologian de:Friedrich Förner, the bishop allowed a trial to go ahead that grew out of a family quarrel. In its course, several other people were charged with witchcraft and within one year 15 had been executed.[2]

An even more murderous round of prosecution came in 1616 after a series of crop failures. Through 1622 a total of 159 trials were registered, most resulting in deaths. Under chancellor Georg Haan, the trials then subsided.[2]

Witch trials of 1626-1632[edit]

The most intense period followed under Prince-Bishop Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim in 1626. After a devastating night frost that severely damaged the crops, the witch trials resumed. To preserve fire wood, a large crematorium was built at Zeil am Main, the centre of the executions. At Bamberg, a special prison was erected to house the masses of suspects, the Malefizhaus. In 1628, the craze peaked with almost 200 documented trials. Georg Hahn was among those who were burned. Johannes Junius, whose testimony of the torture he underwent become famous, was another, as was his wife.[2][3]

However, support among the population began to fade as people increasingly realized that everybody was at risk of ending up on the pyre. Peasants refused to supply wood for the burnings. The final straw came with the trial of Dorothea Flock, member of a well-off merchant family from Nuremberg. She was arrested in December 1629 and her husband did everything he could to obtain her release. An Imperial edict was issued by the Hofrat, but the witch hunters learned about its imminent delivery and executed Dorothea shortly before its arrival. This caused outrage among the leadership of the Catholic church in Germany, who held the bishop responsible. An investigation by the Hofrat prevented any further trials from being launched.[2]

End and aftermath[edit]

They ended for good when the Protestant Swedish troops approached Bamberg in 1632. The remaining prisoners were released. The bishop fled to Austria.[2]

Several more witch trials followed until 1680. By that time, a total of around 1,000 people had been killed in the Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg.[2]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch hunting in southwestern Germany 1562-1684: the social and intellectual foundations, U.P, Stanford, Calif, 1972
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Munzinger, Johannes (1 May 2016). “Unschuldig muss ich sterben (German)”. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. p. 4. 
  3. Jump up ^ Walinski-Kiehl, Robert (January 2004). “Males, “Masculine Honor,” and Witch Hunting in Seventeenth-Century Germany”. Men and Masculinities. 6 (3): 257.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)

To close I had a couple of interesting dreams last night.  The one I will share, and it seemed to be a very long dream, was about people being put into immersion tanks to be cured from diseases and even to “cure death” (that’s how it was phrased in the dream).   

The key from my waking world that most likely unlocked this was simply my enjoyment of soaking in a hot bath! There may also be a key in the things I’ve learned about plasma from the Keshe Foundation.  I often sleep with a couple vials of GANS (Gas in a Nano Solid state) that I made (http://www.plasmaproduction.org/what-is-gans.html – (excerpt, use link for entire article)

What is GANS ?

Mr Keshe teaches about the FOURTH state of matter. After matter, liquid, gas, there are the nano, GANS and plasmatic states.  GANS stands for Gas in a Nano Solid state.
​The Nano state of a ‘CAPTURED’ and CONCENTRATED GAS is already in the magnetic-gravitational plasmatic state, which radiates out its own spinning magnetic plasma energy fields just like The Sun, whilst drawing in gravitational plasmatic fields. A container of GANS essentially contains millions of Suns within it. This spinning energy flow is directed by intentionally placed Magnetic and Gravitational nanocoated coils mounted in a MAGRAV unit. It is the interaction of the MAGRAV fields between nano plates and other matter that creates the condition that allows GANS to manifest.

25 July 2017 Jackie Wygant indoor experiment with Dr Wilhelm Reich orgonite and Keshe Foundation GANS and coils Alvarado TX 2

6 Jan 2018 There is a reason

Hello to you.  How are you?  I am still waking up as I write to you at 8:07 am my time.  I have a goal today of sitting down and writing a couple of real letters.  Over the holidays I got really lazy about it and my mailbox empty of letters from my Mom gives testimony to that!  Sigh.

We spent most of yesterday with Kyle’s parents as they are gutting out their guesthouse for renovations and needed some help.  Kyle and his Dad worked most of the day and Kyle really enjoyed himself – made him feel really useful to do work like that.  I spent time with his Mom.  For lunch she had wanted to pick up some barbecue from a place called Brazos that is next to the little racetrack in Cresson.  They were closed so we went over to the Subway instead.  Up until Beth started her diet, she and Cole had been going there almost everyday.  Well one of the folks working their, Gail, recognized Beth right away and even remembered their sandwiches!  I asked Gail how her holidays had gone and she said horrible.  She had lost her brother, a niece had been in a car accident and died and another family member was currently in the ICU!  I took her hand and felt like crying as I told her I was glad I asked so I could pray for her and her family.  (If you happen to visit this Subway and Gail is there, give her some love!)

I’m not telling you about this exchange to “toot my horn” but as a reminder to anyone who might read this that people like Gail are well people too.  So often in our fast-paced world we don’t take the time to find out the names of the people who provide us services, ask about how they are doing….even to just take the time to say thank you properly.  I’m sharing this as a reminder to treat others as you would want to be treated, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Speaking of doing unto others…..

Beth shared a story with me about something she had read that happened to one of Donald Trump’s grandchildren.  Apparently they were out fishing and a picture was taken with a boat behind them that was flying a Confederate Flag (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ivanka-trumps-vacation-photos-accidentally-include-a-confederate-flag_us_5a452be9e4b0b0e5a7a55119?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009).  I told Beth that this was sad to me because they dragged this child into the whole thing.  I wish they would leave the children out of these things.  I may not have the warmest of regards for the Trump family, but to drag their small children into the grown-up playing field over and over is pretty rotten.  I ask anyone guilty of doing this, “would you want this to happen to you and your extended family?”  I have negative feelings about the Confederate flag and what it represents, the “iconology” of it (almost idol worship), but my perspective in history is different.  There are always two or even more sides to every part of the history we share.  With every set of eyes, there is duality of perspective in every single aspect of existence…..even within ourselves!

Here is a link to an interesting article written about the history of the Confederate Flag; it is important when you form perceptions and opinions about things to read and learn as much as you can before fully forming them:

http://www.historynet.com/embattled-banner-the-convoluted-history-of-the-confederate-flag.htm

Source is from: http://www.historynet.com/embattled-banner-the-convoluted-history-of-the-confederate-flag.htm – the original flag was square which I didn’t know.

Embattled Banner: The true history of the Confederate flag

By John M. Coski
7/9/2015 • Civil War Times

 

Luke 6:31New International Version (NIV)

31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

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.

On 1 Nov 2016 I found both of these on a dog walk and it was symbolic to me. The numbers on the tag are the last two of birth year and of Kyle’s!

I didn’t know back then how symbolic the finding of the matchbook would be.  This morning in looking, I can’t find either item but still have the picture:

http://www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/capital-hotel/history.php

Capital Hotel

History: 
    Capital Hotel
 in Little RockHistory: 
    Capital Hotel
 in Little Rock

History

Though not originally built as a hotel, the Denckla Block became one in 1877 after the Metropolitan Hotel, the city’s only upscale hotel, burned on December 14, 1876. The manager of the Metropolitan, Colonel A. G. DeShon, along with Major John Adams, was instrumental in leasing the Denckla Block as a home for a new hotel, persuading its agents at the time of the need for a grand hotel in the capital city. The new hotel got its name from a Little Rock matron, Mrs. Morehead Wright. When asked by Adams and DeShon to suggest a name, Wright noted that it was a “capital enterprise located in a capital building” in the “capital of the state,” which she hoped would be a “capital success.” Hence, in January 1877, the historic Capital Hotel opened with a new, grand interior created to match its grand exterior. The landmark hotel in Little Rock hosted many political and historic personages, including President Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, legend says that the Capital’s unusually large elevator was built to allow Grant to take his horse to his hotel room.

Over the next century, the hotel would change hands several times. It was closed, renovated, and reopened in 1908. For years, the historic Capital Hotel was the center of political activities, as well as social events. During the 1960s and 1970s, however, the entire downtown area of Little Rock declined, and the Capital Hotel fell into disuse and disrepair. In the early 1980s, architect Ed Cromwell, with a group of other investors, began the work of restoring the hotel to its original grandeur. The doors opened once again just before Christmas of 1983.

Capital Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2009, dates back to 1873.

2 Jan 2018 Super Moon and Sum of the parts (Drawing)

1 Jan 2018 – When I drew this yesterday I didn’t consciously know about the coming Super Moon. When I added the white dots for stars I guess I should of got a clue lol. This figure is very Marilyn Monroey to me and I also was thinking of the Woman in White but had more pink chalk than white.

1 Jan 2018 – view of the Wolf or Super Moon from our back yard. I am experimenting with Nikon my in-laws gave me. Need more practice. I used to use cameras with light filters! We are so spoiled now aren’t we?!

1 Jan 2018 – I loved that I was on my computer and turned to see the moon watching over my shoulder through the window! So beautiful!

1 Jan 2018 – Drawing I did yesterday afternoon. The thoughts of “sum of the parts” came to mind. How with the light and shadow parts of ourselves we are one body trying to navigate this complex existence.

These folks had some great pictures people around the world took of the Wolf or Super Moon if you are curious.

My favorite was this one:

Source Earthsky article: moon-full-supermoon-1-1-2018-Prague-Czech-Republic-Raymond-Johnston-e1514850292329

Raymond Johnston caught the January 1, 2018 supermoon from Prague, Czech Republic.

http://earthsky.org/todays-image/photos-years-closest-supermoon-jan-1-2018

See it! New Year’s supermoon

By Deborah Byrd in Human World | Today’s Image | January 2, 2018

What a great way to start 2018! Photos here from the EarthSky community of 2018’s closest and brightest supermoon. Thanks to all who submitted, and happy new year to all!

My prayers go out to those in this world that have a new year already filled with struggle, strife, sorrow and tragedies.  It seems inescapable except for one place of our choosing – within.  I revisited a mantra this morning, thanks to noticing someone visited a blog I wrote a couple of years ago (thank you mystery person!).   I need to make it a resolution for this year.

Yesterday I was outside and the sky was clear for the first day in a couple of weeks and sure enough, the “sprayers” came and just pooped all over the clear sky!  Oh I was angry!  I allowed myself to be angry about something I’m pretty much powerless to do anything about.  I had some ideas in my fit of anger of course, but any of those would involve me spending the rest of my existence behind bars!  I think focusing on this line of thinking in the mantra from this old blog is a much better idea.  Getting angry at people, who Kyle suspects don’t even know are doing this – they are just flying their planes because they can, is like drinking someone else’s poison expecting to cure yourself!!

This picture is an example of what the “sprayers” do:

25 Nov 2017 – all the crap in the sky yesterday morning. Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t doing a sky sweeping to clean it because there hasn’t been any rain coming from this activity.

https://saymber.com/2016/09/16/15-sept-2016-it-seems-like-people-in-positions-of-power-and-authority-have-thrown-their-hearts-into-the-garbage-service-to-the-money-god/

“It doesn’t matter what THEY are doing, what matters is what I am doing. What matters is how I react, think and feel and do in my day to day life.   I will pray for the greatest good that can be for my fellow beings that seem to have thrown away their hearts for money, wealth and power and hope the Source, “God” of all my understanding is more forgiving than I can ever hope to be.”

20 Dec 2017 Close Encounters of the Human Kind With Music (Dream)

10 May 2017* This photo of my Mom Jeanne as a young woman has always made me think of the scene from the movie Bladerunner when Rachel is sitting at the piano. This picture has always been one I think of when I think of being like my Mom in appearance and from what I’ve been told, who she was as a person. I have also played the piano in the past but only “by ear” as I never learned to read music in a way I could retain it.

Blade Runner – Rachael & piano

Blade Runner – Memories Of Green (Piano)

Hello to you.  It’s 4:39 am and I couldn’t go back to sleep after waking from a dream.  It was of hearing the scales being played on a piano over and over.  When I tried to dismiss it and go back to sleep,  I heard in my head, “prelude to a peace accord.”  Then I remembered how surprised I was back in May of this year to see of all people, Vladimir Putin, sitting down to play piano!

Putin Plays The Piano

I know Close Encounters was just a movie, but the idea within it about how to communicate with people we don’t know or understand through simple musical tones really makes sense to me.  Words and pictures can me misinterpreted.  Written words and pictures can be manipulated to mean things they were not originally intended to mean.  Ultimately doing more harm than good.  Every walk of life on this planet sings.   If we focus on what we have in common more than how we are different,  it could be a prelude to peace in this world.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind — “Tones”

23 July 2016 the process today — getting fancy!

747 am – I made this after I did the post this morning. It’s my interpretation of the love of music via Treble Clef.

20 Dec 2017 – I made this tree pendant yesterday with Kyle and my birthstones (February and July) and the key was a charm I bought when Kyle and I first met. Part of it broke off and it’s been a skeleton key ever since. Symbolic to me of no doors that cannot be opened when you use your heart.

15 Dec 2017 Dreams, A Need Versus A Want, The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV) and Emotional Intelligence (Dalai Lama)

11 Dec 2017 – Everything has become a need versus what most things are a want. We need food and water for example – squirrel. (After I wrote this our neighborhood squirrel came and got a drink of water from the bowl I try to keep full for them).

Hello to you.  I wasn’t sure I was going to post anything after the FCC net neutrality repeal yesterday (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/fcc-reverses-landmark-rules-aimed-at-free-and-open-internet/ar-BBGJMoz?OCID=ansmsnnews11).  I prayed and meditated about it like I always do when it comes to things of this nature and now we wait.  Kyle and I had some pretty choice words about this yesterday but I am not going to dwell on it.  It’s like drinking poison and expecting a cure.

Last night’s dreams were interesting.  The two I remember kind of go together.  The first one was of watching a plane almost crash over the house and then going from that and watching the plane go into the ocean and become self automated like AI (a mech or robot) but no passengers.  It was looking at me but had empty chairs behind glass for eyes.  The other dream was about watching a bunch of Asian people sitting around a white table with boxes beside them like microphones to amplify their voices.  They were playing some sort of word game.

A topic that has come up many times for me through the years as I’ve tried to navigate my way through living in this world has been knowing the difference between a want and a need.  It seems to me that in our world we have lost the ability to discern the difference.  For example we need food and water.  Most everything else above and beyond what it takes for us to survive is a want.  What drives wants and all the labels that come with those wants (infidelity and many other life traps)?  The human propensity for boredom.  The color green goes from green to teal, to olive, to sea foam green.  The gratitude that comes from just having a car to drive goes to I want one with these features, this color, these rims on the tires.  I want to be special.  I want to be unique.  I want to be different from everyone else.  I want people to notice me.  The irony in all this is the mess we’ve created our of ourselves and this planet in our quest for alleviation of boredom and individuality.

Is what you are about to buy or what you are about to do going to bring you lasting fulfillment, joy, happiness, make your life better or is it just a an attempt to put a mask on something else?  There is no person, place or thing that can fill the void of spirit within all of us – the place that animates us in this existence.    It is important to learn what you need to live a fulfilling life and let go of what you don’t.  Learn the difference, for yourself, what you need and what it is you simply  a want and ask yourself why you want it. 

This came to my mind this morning.  There is a lot about the internet that is good.  My being able to be here doing this right now is pretty amazing.  There is a lot about the internet that has become very destructive.  A child being able to broadcast their suicide livestream on Facebook for example is not a good thing (https://nypost.com/2017/01/25/teen-broadcasts-her-suicide-on-facebook-live/).

The word Babble and it’s definition is how the Internet seems to be to me most times.  A bunch of people talking, screaming and yelling to be heard but who is actually listening?  Go back to the dreams I shared with you.  What if this chaos we’ve created in a “box”  was unleashed into an AI form.  Something to think about.

https://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/facebook-bots-create-language/2017/08/01/id/805126/ – Facebook Bots Create Language Amongst Themselves

bab·ble
[ˈbabəl]

VERB
babbles (third person present) · babbled (past tense) · babbled (past participle) · babbling (present participle)
  1. talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way:
    “he would babble on in his gringo Spanish”
    • utter something rapidly and incoherently:
      “I gasped and stared and babbled, “Look at this!”” ·

      [more]
      “he began to babble an apology”
    • reveal something secret or confidential by talking impulsively or carelessly:
      “he babbled to another convict while he was in jail” ·

      [more]
      “my father babbled out the truth”
    • (babbling)
      (of a stream) make the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones:
      “a gently babbling brook”
      synonyms: burble · murmur · gurgle · tinkle · plash
NOUN
  1. the sound of people talking quickly and in a way that is difficult or impossible to understand:
    “a babble of protest”
    • foolish, excited, or confused talk:
      “her soft voice stopped his babble”
      synonyms: prattle · chatter · jabber · prating · rambling · blather · gab ·

      [more]
    • the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones in a stream:
      “the babble of a brook”
    • background disturbance caused by interference from conversations on other telephone lines.
ORIGIN
Middle English: from Middle Low German babbelen, or an independent English formation, as a frequentative based on the repeated syllable ba, typical of a child’s early speech.
-babble
COMBININGFORM
  1. forming nouns denoting confusing or pretentious jargon characteristic of a specified field or group:
    “psychobabble” ·

    [more]
    “technobabble”
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11%3A1-9&version=NIV

Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:2 Or from the east; or in the east
  2. Genesis 11:2 That is, Babylonia
  3. Genesis 11:9 That is, Babylon; Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

 

What the Dalai Lama Taught Daniel Goleman About Emotional Intelligence

May 04, 2015
MAY15_04_dalai_lama

Two decades before Daniel Goleman first wrote about emotional intelligence in the pages of HBR, he met his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Amherst College, who mentioned to the young science journalist for the New York Times that he was interested in meeting with scientists. Thus began a long, rich friendship as Goleman became involved over the years in arranging a series of what he calls “extended dialogues” between the Buddhist spiritual leader and researchers in fields ranging from ecology to neuroscience. Over the next 30 years, as Goleman has pursued his own work as a psychologist and business thinker, he has come to see the Dalai Lama as a highly uncommon leader. And so he was understandably delighted when, on the occasion of his friend’s 80th birthday, he was asked to write a book describing the Dalai Lama’s compassionate approach to addressing the world’s most intractable problems. Due out in June, Force for Good, which draws both on Goleman’s background in cognitive science and his long relationship with the Dalai Lama, is both an exploration of the science and the power of compassion and a call to action.  Curious about the book and about how the Dalai Lama’s views on compassion informed Goleman’s thinking on emotional intelligence, I caught up with Goleman over the phone. What follows are edited excerpts from our conversation.

HBR. Let’s start with some definitions here. What is compassion, as you are describing it? It sounds a lot like empathy, one of the major components of emotional intelligence. Is there a difference?

Goleman: Yes, an important difference. As I’ve written about recently in HBR, three kinds of empathy are important to emotional intelligence: cognitive empathy – the ability to understand another person’s point of view; emotional empathy – the ability to feel what someone else feels; and empathic concern – the ability to sense what another person needs from you.  Cultivating all three kinds of empathy, which originate in different parts of the brain, is important for building social relationships.

But compassion takes empathy a step further. When you feel compassion, you feel distress when you witness someone else in distress — and because of that you want to help that person.

Why draw this distinction?

Simply put, compassion makes the difference between understanding and caring. It’s the kind of love that a parent has for a child. Cultivating it more broadly means extending that to the other people in our lives and to people we encounter.

I think that in the workplace, that attitude has a hugely positive effect, whether it’s in how we relate to our peers or how we are as a leader, or how we relate to clients and customers. A positive disposition toward another person creates the kind of resonance that builds trust and loyalty and makes interactions harmonious. And the opposite of that — when you do nothing to show that you care — creates distrust, disharmony, and causes huge dysfunction at home and in business.

When you put it that way, it’s hard to disagree that if you treat people well things would go better than if don’t or that if you cared about them they would care a lot more about you. So why do you think that just doesn’t happen naturally? Is this a cultural thing? Or a misplaced confusion about when competition is appropriate?

I think too often there’s a muddle in people’s thinking that if I’m nice to another person or if I have their interests at heart it means that I don’t have my own interests at heart. The pathology of that is, “Well, I’ll just care about me and not the other person.” And that, of course, is the kind of attitude that leads to lots of problems in the business realm and in the personal realm. But compassion also includes yourself. If we see that if we protect ourselves and make sure we’re okay — and also be sure the other person is okay — that creates a different framework for working with other people and for cooperating with other people.

Could you give me an example of how that might work in the business world?

There’s research that was done on star salespeople and on client managers, which found that the lowest level of performance was a kind of “I’m going to get the best deal I can now, and I don’t care how this affects the other person” attitude, which means that you might make the sale but that you lose the relationship.  But at the top end, the stars were typified by the attitude, “I am working for the client as well as myself. I’m going to be completely straight with them, and I’m going to act as their advisor. If the deal I have is not the best deal they can get I’m going to let them know because that’s going to strengthen the relationship, even though I might lose this specific sale.” And I think that captures the difference between the “me first” and the “let’s all do well” attitude that I’m getting at.

How would we cultivate compassion if we’re just not feeling it?

Neuroscientists have been studying compassion recently, and places like Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, among others, have been testing methodologies for increasing compassion. Right now there’s a kind of a trend toward incorporating mindfulness into the workplace, and it turns out there’s data from the Max Planck Institute showing that enhancing mindfulness does have an effect in brain function, but that the circuitry that’s affected is not the circuitry for concern or compassion.  In other words, there’s no automatic boost in compassion from mindfulness alone.

Still, in the traditional methods of meditation that mindfulness in the workplace is based on, the two were always linked, so that you would practice mindfulness in a context in which you also cultivate compassion.

You and Your Team

Emotional Intelligence

Feelings matter at work

Stanford, for example, has developed a program incorporating secularized versions of methods that have originally come from religious practices. It involves a meditation in which you cultivate an attitude of loving kindness, or of concern, or of compassion, toward people. First you do this for yourself. Then for people you love. And then for people you just know. And finally for everyone. And this has the effect of priming the circuitry responsible for compassion within the brain, so that you are more inclined to act that way when the opportunity arises.

You’ve remarked that the Dalai Lama is a very distinctive kind of leader. Is there something we could learn from his unique form of leadership, as leaders ourselves?

Observing him over the years, and then doing this book for which I interviewed him extensively, and of course being immersed in leadership literature myself, three things struck me.

One is that he’s not beholden to any organization at all. He’s not in any business. He’s not a party leader. He’s a citizen of the world at large. And this has freed him to tackle the largest problems we face. I think that to the extent that a leader is beholden to a particular organization or outcome, that creates a kind of myopia of what’s possible and what matters; focus narrows to the next quarter’s results or the next election. He’s way beyond that. He thinks in terms of generations and of what’s best for humanity as a whole. Because his vision is so expansive, he can take on the largest challenges, rather than small, narrowly defined ones.

So I think there’s a lesson here for all of us, which is to ask ourselves if there is something that limits our vision — that limits our capacity to care? And is there a way to enlarge it?

The second is that he gathers information from everywhere.  He meets with heads of state and he meets with beggars. He’s getting information from people at every level of society worldwide. This casting a large net lets him understand situations in a very deep way, and he can analyze them in many different ways and come up with solutions that aren’t confined by anyone. And I think that’s another lesson everyday leaders can take from him.

And the third would be the scope of his compassion, which I think is an ideal that we could strive for: it’s pretty unlimited— he seems to care about everybody, and the world at large.

You’ve called the book a call to action. What do you hope people will do after reading it?

The book is a call to action, but it is a very reasoned call to action. The Dalai Lama is a great believer in a deep analysis of problems and letting solutions come from that analysis. And then he is also passionate about people acting now. Not feeling passive, not feeling helpless, not feeling, “What’s the point; I won’t live to see the benefit” but rather to start changes now even if the change won’t come to fruition until future generations.

And so my hope, as is his, is to help people understand what they can do in the face of problems that are so vast— creating a more inclusive economy; making work meaningful; doing good and not just well; cleaning up injustice and unfairness, corruption and collusion in society, whether in business, politics or religion; helping the environment heal; the hope that one day conflict will be settled by dialogue rather than war.

These are very big issues. But everyone can do something to move things in the right direction, even if it’s just reaching across the divide and becoming friendly with someone who belongs to some other group. That actually has a very powerful end result: that is, if you have two groups somewhere in the world that have deep enmity toward each other, and yet a few people in each group like each other it turns out that’s because they’ve had personal contact — they have a friend in that other group. So something as simple as reaching out across a divide is actually a profound thing.

In each of these areas, with whatever leverage we have, the point is to use it, not just to stand back.

 

13 Dec 2017 Random Sharpies and Women with wings (dream)

Hello to you.  It’s Wednesday.  There is the sound of rapid gun-fire somewhere in town just now – sounds like it’s just down the street by the man-made pond where they just built a bunch of new houses.  Living where I do that isn’t  uncommon to hear people target practicing or hunting but not at 6:55 am on a school day!  Kind of weird.   With all the mass shootings in this country now it’s unsettling to hear gun fire like that because it’s hard to know if people are hunting animals or other people!   We live right near an Jr. High School and an Elementary school.

23 July 2016 the process today — getting fancy!

Yesterday afternoon I decided to revisit making music with my lap harp (https://saymber.com/2016/07/23/22-july-2016-my-first-light-song-using-my-music-maker-lap-harp-to-help-me-a-possible-new-way-to-make-music-practicing-the-exercise-of-following-through-for-people-with-adhd-aka-monkey-mind/).  The pendant I was using before lost all the color coating on it so I can’t really use it and it’s difficult to use.  So I came up with an idea to toss my collection of colored Sharpie markers and that actually worked lol!  I definitely need to refine this idea.  It’s fun to be creative and explore new ways of making music.

It all started with this pendant I got for like a $1 at a neighbors garage sale last year

This is the combination that came up.  I had to laugh when I actually played it on my harp because it sounded horrible, dissonant just like this world looks and sounds to me right now:

So – Blue, Do – Pink, La – Indigo, G – Teal, Fa – Green, Ti, Violet, Do – Red, Re – Orange, Fa – Lime Green, B – Pink, Fa – Green, Mi – Yellow, D – Brown, Do- Red, Ti –  Violet, B – Pink, Ti – Violet, C# – orange, La – Indigo, Fa – Green, Re- Orange, B- Fuchsia, Ti – Violet, Re – Orange

When I had the markers laid out, a large fly landed specifically on an orange marker and flew away.  Colors can “mean” many things.  Lately orange for me has been about our President.  This time the colors orange, green, black and brown brought to mind the Irish slave trade: https://saymber.com/2016/09/24/24-sept-2016-london-town-2016-film-starring-jonathan-rhys-meyers-and-inconvenient-truths-of-our-past-the-irish-slave-trade/.

This phrase, “Slavery is not a color problem it is a human problem” came to mind looking at these colors put together.  In this very day and age we have human beings being trafficked, bought and sold into slavery  (Lybia:  http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/horrified-by-libya-slave-trade-rwanda-offers-refuge-african-migrants-wishing-leave-country-1648518).  Sometimes the slavery is consensual but it is slavery nonetheless.

The dream I had last night/this morning (time doesn’t exist in the dream world of course) was about being in a place where women had wings.  I had wings too but we didn’t use them, we hid them until one day when “Grandma” was gone.  I can remember flying over water were other women with wings were.  Then she was coming back unannounced and we had to hurry and clean up before we got caught using our wings.

This dream is resonant to what I am seeing in the headlines ever day about sexual misconduct.  Women want to soar next to the men and make this world a better place without shame for being who they are…without the four letter word FEAR clipping their wings.  People just want to be who they have been put on this earth to be.  They just keep getting obstructed!  If you notice, babies are talking and becoming aware faster and faster than I’ve ever seen before.  I wonder if this is an indication of the state of emergency we are in?

12 Dec 2017 – I was thinking the spiral on the tips of our fingers is a reminder of our connection to God and the Universe.

The way I’ve been feeling lately – on a bridge walking to the unknown.