1 June 2017 Streams in the Desert Reading in honor of my Dad’s birthday and Sleeping Enough to be Truly Awake (Daily Good feature article)

Good morning to you, it’s 5:00 am here as I start to write to you.  I hope this finds you well wherever and whenever you are in time.  Todays message from the Streams in the Desert devotional was visited by me 2 years ago and I revisited it again last night in honor of my Dad’s 74th birthday.  It is a beautiful message for my Dad who served in the in United States Navy as a young man.

8 May 2016 – My Dad Larry, Mom Dianne and Kyle and I at DQ Alvarado TX

(I ate at DQ yesterday in honor of this moment)

May 31

“Like a shock of corn fully ripe.” (Job 5:26.)

A gentleman writing about the breaking up of old ships, recently said that it is not the age alone which improves the quality of the fiber in the wood of an old vessel, but the straining and wrenching of the vessel by the sea, the chemical action of the bilge water, and of many kinds of cargoes.

Some planks and veneers made from an oak beam which had been part of a ship eighty years old were exhibited a few years ago at a fashionable furniture storeon Broadway, New York, and attracted general notice for the exquisite coloring and beautiful grain.

Equally striking were some beams of mahogany taken from a bark which sailed the seas sixty years ago. The years and the traffic had contracted the pores and deepened the color, until it looked as superb in its chromatic intensity as an antique Chinese vase. It was made into a cabinet, and has today a place of honor in the drawing room of a wealthy New York family.

So there is a vast difference between the quality of old people who have lived flabby, self-indulgent, useless lives, and the fiber of those who have sailed all seas and carried all cargoes as th eservants of God and the helpers of their fellow men.

Not only the wrenching and straining of life, but also something of the sweetness of the cargoes carried get into the very pores and fiber of character. – Louis Albert Banks.

When the sun goes below the horizon he is not set; the heavens glow for a full hour after his departure. And when a great and good man sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after he is out of sight. Such a man cannot die out of this world. When he goeshe leaves behind him much of himself. Being dead, he speaks. – Beecher.

When Victor Hugo was past eighty years of age he gave expression to his religious faith in these sublime sentences: “I feel in myself the future life. I am like a forest which has been more than once cut down. The new shoots are livelier than ever,. I am rising toward the sky. The sunishine is on my head. The earth gives me its generous sap, but Heaven lights me with its unknown worlds.

“You say the soul is nothing but the resultant of the bodily powers. Why, then, is my soul more luminous when my bodily powers begin to fail? Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. I breathe at this hour the fragrance of the lilacs, the violets, and the roses as at twenty years. The nearer I approach the end the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. It is marvelous, yet simple.”

Whenever catching sight of others, look on them with an open, loving heart. Patrul Rinpoche

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/05/31/sleeping-enough-to-be-truly-awake/

Sleeping Enough to Be Truly Awake

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1615/matt-walker-sleeping-enough-to-be-truly-awake-awakin-call-editors/http://www.dailygood.org/story/1615/matt-walker-sleeping-enough-to-be-truly-awake-awakin-call-editors/

May 31, 2017— “Human beings are the only species that deprives themselves of sleep. No other species that we see will do this… And what that means is that evolution has never faced the challenge of insufficient sleep since the dawn of time. As a consequence, Mother Nature has never had to solve this problem of insufficient sleep — so there is no safety net [to bank on when it comes to sleep loss.]” In this Awakin call, guest Matt Walker, a professor of Neuroscience at UC Berkeley and director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, describes the critical importance of good sleep for learning, memory, creativity, emotional regulation, cardiovascular health, and healthy aging. Calling the global sleep loss epidemic “the greatest public health challenge we now face in the 21st century,” Matt examines the impact of sleep loss on the human brain function. In this lively discussion, Matt also answers several pertinent questions from participants on issues ranging from the use of electronic devices during bed time to working late-night shifts to napping during the day to long-term use of sleeping pills — and helps demystify this fundamental biological drive. (5172 reads)

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. –E. Joseph Cossman

Matt Walker: Sleeping Enough to Be Truly Awake

–by Awakin Call Editors, May 31, 2017

“The evidence is overwhelming, it is irrefutable. Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health each and every day,” — Matt Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory.

Calling the global sleep-loss epidemic “the greatest public health challenge we now face in the 21st century,” Walker examines the impact of sleep on human brain function in healthy and clinical populations. Through his work at UC Berkeley, he has been at the forefront of sleep research. He has linked sleep deprivation to psychiatric disorders, obesity, risky behavior, post-traumatic stress disorder, learning, and memory loss in old age. And recently, his research demonstrates that a poor night’s sleep may also hinder one’s ability to accurately read the emotions of others – an impairment that may have wide-ranging consequences for our social interactions. “Few things come unhinged as quickly and profoundly as our emotional stability…when we are not getting enough sleep,” What follows is the edited transcript of an Awakin Call interview with Matt Walker, moderated by Aryae Coopersmith.You can read or listen to the full version of the interview here.

Aryae Coopersmith: Would you start off by talking a little bit about what is sleep and the different issues and ways we deal with sleeping?

Matt Walker: “What is sleep?” That is such a critical question. I think many of us believe that we lose consciousness, and our brain is dormant and our body gets a little bit of rest, and gets some recharging, and then we wake up. So what is the harm if we short change our sleep by going to bed late or waking up a little too early with an alarm clock?

Sleep is not a dormant state. It is an incredibly active state in the brain and body. There are some parts of your brain that are up to 30% more active in some stages of sleep relative to when you are awake.

There are two principal stages of sleep that we cycle through when we are asleep that many people might have learned about. One of them is non rapid eye movement sleep or non-REM sleep. The other is rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep, which is commonly associated with dreaming.

You ebb and flow through a cycle of REM to non-REM sleep every 90 minutes. You will replay that 90 minute cycle every 90 minutes throughout the night. It is an incredible cerebral war that is won and lost between these two stages of sleep.

What is interesting is that although that 90-minute cycle of non-REM to REM is stable across the night, the ratio balances of REM to non-REM sleep changes as you move across the night. So in the first half of the night the majority of those 90-minute cycles is comprised of that deep non-REM sleep.

As you push through the second half of the night, now that seesaw balance actually changes. And instead much more of those 90- minute cycles are composed of rapid eye movement sleep and a lot less deep non-REM sleep.

If you go to bed a little bit too late—perhaps an hour or two hours later than you normally would and you asked, “How much sleep have I lost compared to a normal eight hours?” You might think you have lost 25% of your sleep since you have gone to sleep 2 hours later than normal. I am going to wake up at the same time, so I only got six hours of sleep rather than eight. But that is not true. You didn’t just lose 25% of your sleep. You have probably lost up to 60 to 70% of your deep sleep. And it works the same way on the backend, too. We can’t afford to burn the candle at either one of those ends based on how sleep plays out throughout the night in terms of this canonical structure.

Over the past 10 years, through an explosion of the most wonderful science, we understand that there is no single process within your brain, and there is no single physiological process within the body, that is not powerfully enhanced when you get sleep or demonstrably impaired when you don’t get enough.

So now we’ve been forced to up-end the question in a way. Rather than asking “What is the function of sleep?”, we’ve been forced to ask, “Is there anything that does not benefit from sleep?” And the answer is no.

Aryae: The complexity of this is very interesting. I know that my own habits tend to be I’ve lost an hour or two of sleep tonight, so I’ll sleep an hour or two extra tomorrow night. My understanding of what you’re saying is that this will not catch me up?

Matt: No, this is one of the myths that are so critical for people to recognize and embrace. We’ve found no evidence that you get back all of the sleep that you lose. What I mean is that sleep is not like the bank. You cannot accumulate at debt and hope to pay it off at a later point in time.

Human beings are the only species that deprives themselves of sleep. No other species that we see will do this without biological gain. And what that means is that evolution has never faced the challenge of insufficient sleep since the dawn of time. As a consequence, Mother Nature has never had to solve this problem of insufficient sleep, so there is no safety net.

Aryae: What is the difference between sleep in a younger person and sleep in an older person?

Matt: There are two interesting questions there. When is and how is sleep different across the lifespan? And the second is how do older and younger adults deal with insufficient sleep?

In terms of sleep across the lifespan, there are just dramatic changes. Some of the most dramatic changes happen in the first 18 to 24 months of life. Your sleep structure changes and you begin to stabilize. You start to have longer regular bouts of sleep. And then you start to have different types of sleep. An infant seems to have predominately rapid eye movement sleep and very little deep sleep. That seems to be common across almost every single mammal that we have studied. Then non-REM sleep starts to develop later in life. And we’re not entirely sure why. Why is it that REM sleep dominates early in life? There’s a theory that it’s actually a critical igniter of brain development. That REM sleep or dream sleep sparks all of these neural pathways and makes them flourish. It is like an internet service provider in the brain that populates the brain with all of these high-speed broadband connections.

Then there’s another dramatic change that happens in our sleep. And it happens right around adolescence. What we see is that sleep time preference changes. What I mean by that is that when you are a younger child, you want to stay up late, but it is nearly impossible. You fall asleep early and much to the chagrin of your parents, you wake up early. Once you hit adolescence a dramatic shift happens in what we call the 24-hour biological clock rhythm, or your circadian rhythm. What that means is that you now want to go to bed later and wake up later. And there is nothing you can do about it. No amount of parental ranting and raving is going to make you fall asleep as a teenager at 9 o’clock because you have to wake up at 6 a.m. the next morning to catch the bus. And that is one of the most profound tragedies of society in industrialized nations right now—the brute forcing of adolescent teen sleep against its biological natural tendency. And this is doing our youth a terrible disservice.

Then we maintain this regular sleep pattern in our mid-to-late twenties. But then, sadly, the great sleep depression comes—somewhere between your thirties and forties. If you were to come into my laboratory, we could measure the decline of your deep sleep quality. So even by the fourth or fifth decade of life, sleep starts to deteriorate.

By your seventies/eighties, it’s actually really difficult for us to pick up really deep sleep. We’ve actually done work in the last five years to explore why. And it is even more profound in diseases like dementia, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. Very recently we’ve discovered that these two things that we very commonly associated with aging—poor memory or poor cognitive function and poor sleep—they aren’t simply coincidental. They are, in fact, significantly interrelated. And the destruction of deep sleep in later life is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated factors that are contributing to what we call cognitive decline, and now it seems Alzheimer’s disease as well.

So it is very difficult with aging. All signs point to the fact that sleep need remains just as high, but sleep-generating capacity is eroded and declines. In other words, the older adult brain cannot produce the sleep that it nevertheless still needs. We are now desperately trying to find innovative new ways to restore sleep in the elderly. It is one of the moonshot goals in my laboratory. Can we give back and boost and amplify deep sleep in older adults? And in doing so can we salvage aspects of learning and memory function? And can we start to fight back against disorders like Alzheimer’s disease? That is the very real hope now.

Aryae: Would you tell us a little bit about the work that you’re currently doing in the lab? And how is it helping you discover some of these new things about sleep?

Matt: The research that I perform in my lab has many different programs. Some of them are clinical. I’m not an M.D. by the way, and I don’t pretend to be one or play one in the public forum. I am a Ph.D. But we do work with clinical populations and psychological populations and patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. But we also do a lot of basic science research. We’re still trying to uncover all of these nutritional benefits that sleep provides to the brain and body.

The explosion of research and understanding about sleep has been driven by technology. We have these new methods of brain science to explore sleep in ways that we never could before. We can measure patterns of brain wave activity during sleep. And we can also peer deep into the brain with things like MRI scanners as people are sleeping. We can look to see which parts of the brain are switching on and switching off. And we can also sort of decompose these brain wave patterns, and really understand their individual parts, like a prism where you’re beaming white light and you can break it apart into its component shades and hues. By doing this we are able to speak in the currency of the brain which is in oscillations and brain waves and patterns of brain activity and networks of brain activity. And we are able to explore the body and find out more detail than we ever could before. We can look at genetics now through genetic screening—we can do blood draws; we can do measurements of heart rate and cardiac function, and we can start to unite all these things together. We can get a holistic view of the human while they sleep. And then we can see how that predicts the same set of measurements while they are awake. And then pattern match those two and then understand so much more about sleep. So it’s been this revolution of new science and technology that allows us to understand these living organisms and live homosapiens included.

Aryae: Is there a particular focus of your research currently for this year—a particular direction that you are going?

Matt: We have several different areas at work that we are doing. For example, one of them is working with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Right now, based on work that is coming out of my lab and some other labs around the world, insufficient sleep across the lifetime is becoming one of the most important lifestyle factors determining whether or not you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. This is an incredibly hot topic now. And it is bi-directional. What we now understand is at night during deep sleep the brain actually cleanses itself of toxins that have been building up during the day. It is important that people realize that wakefulness is low-level brain damage. And I don’t mean to be an alarmist in saying that. It is simply a scientific fact. From all of this metabolic combustion and activity that happens when we’re awake inside of the brain you build up excretory products just like in the rest of your body.

This system in your body, the sewerage system, is called the glymphatic system. At night is when that glymphatic system kicks into high gear. One of the things that this system clears out at night is this toxic protein called beta-amyloid, which is one of the leading factors that we believe causes Alzheimer’s disease. Now we realize why insufficient sleep can set you on a trajectory path towards Alzheimer’s. Because if you’re not getting the deep sleep that you need throughout your life, you’re not cleansing the brain of that toxic protein. Then we made a discovery that where that toxic protein builds up is not just in random places all over the brain. The Alzheimer’s protein amyloid will actually develop in some parts of the brain and not in others. Now we understand that if you don’t get that deep sleep at night, that toxic protein builds up in these deep sleep areas so you can’t generate the deep sleep even if you allow yourself the chance to get it. So more of that toxic protein builds up and prevents us from getting the deep sleep that we subsequently need. And through this sort of spiral, it leads to what we know is an accelerated trajectory. That is one of the areas that is exciting for us right now.

Of course, one of the other features of that discovery is that there is a silver lining—in making this discovery that sleep is a new missing piece in the puzzle about Alzheimer’s. Yet it’s not the only one. Please don’t think that. There are many factors we know that contribute to Alzheimer’s. But sleep seems to be one unlike many of the other factors—changes, for example, in the blood flow dynamic of the brain or the chemistry of the brain—sleep is a particularly treatable target. We can actually do something about sleep. It is very difficult for us to change blood flow in the brain right now. Modern medicine doesn’t have the technology to do that. But we do have some new methods to change sleep, and one of the ways that we’re exploring is by electrical brain stimulation. We’ll try very small amounts of electricity in the brain. But if you pulse that electricity in time with those deep sleep brain waves I was describing, almost as if you’re singing in time with the natural rhythm of the brain, in young healthy adults you can amplify the size of those deep sleep brain waves. And you can almost double the amount of memory benefit that you get from sleep as a consequence.

So the question now is—can we translate the same techniques into older adults and those with dementia and give back that sleep?

Sleeping pills are not advised for the long term, and in fact, they are not advised as the primary method for treating poor sleep. Sleeping pills do not produce naturalistic sleep. If I were to show you the electrical read out of your brain while you are taking sleeping pills verses natural sleep, they are not the same. Those sleeping pills have been commonly called the sedative hypnotics and for good reason. Sedation is not sleep. Now I’m not going to argue that when you take those sleeping pills that you are awake at night. You are not. But to suggest that you are in naturalistic sleep is equally a falsehood. And now there’s some quite damning evidence of the use of sleeping pills and increased risk of mortality and increased risk of cancer.

There is hope here. There’s a new method called cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia. It is just as effective, if not more effective, than sleeping pills. You work with the therapist. It doesn’t require drugs. But better still its much longer lasting than sleeping pills. One of the problems with sleeping pills is that you start to use them and if you stop you have what’s called an insomnia rebound effect which is that you not only go back to having the poor sleep that you had before but your sleep is even worse due to drug tolerance and drug expectation.

So we’re looking at non-pharmacological ways to cure sleep in the elderly. We are not using drugs because right now the evidence isn’t strong enough to prove that they are beneficial. If we can find a drug that does improve sleep, and we can scientifically prove that, I will support it.

Mila from the UK: What’s one thing that we can do to salvage that lack of sleep in our older age? And why is it that some people have dementia and Alzheimer’s and others don’t? Does it mean that those who do have it have lost valuable sleep in their lifetime?

Matt: Two great questions. Firstly, in terms of sleep as we get older, there are several things that we can do. These are things that we call sleep hygiene.

Firstly, you can try to help regulate your rhythms. As you get older you actually start to regress back to childhood in terms of your sleep preference. You want to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.

The other thing that older adults commonly do, which is a mistake is to fall asleep in the afternoon and evening. Here is the problem with that behavior. During the day when we are awake we build up something called sleep pressure. There is a chemical that builds up. The chemical is called adenosine. The longer you are awake, the more adenosine builds up. The more adenosine that builds up, the sleepier you feel. And after about sixteen hours of continued wakefulness, you are usually so sleepy that it’s time to go to sleep. And you fall asleep naturally and easily.

When we sleep at night it is like a pressure valve on that cooker. We release and remove all of that adenosine. We clear it out. And then we wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, because we’ve removed those adenosines—that sleep pressure.

And here is now the problem. If you stay awake during the day like all us adults, and you’re building up all this sleep pressure and ready to get a full night’s sleep, and then you fall asleep on the couch or you go to the movies and you fall asleep, now you’ve released that sleep pressure or some of that sleep pressure. Even just a couple of minutes can relieve that sleep pressure. So no wonder then you find it difficult to fall asleep at night or stay asleep throughout the night. So be really mindful of unplanned napping. And falling asleep on the couch is napping.

The three final things I would say for elderly individuals: firstly, when you go out in the morning, get lots of bright light and try not to wear shades. Make sure you have sun protection. Get lots of light. Suppress your hormone called melatonin. It signals darkness to your body, and when you block it with light which is what happens—daylight helps put the brakes on melatonin—it makes your body realize that it’s no longer darkness, and it wakes you up so that you feel good and alert in the morning. But then what we need to do is decrease our light exposure throughout the afternoon and evening. So if you go out for a walk in the afternoon now is the time to put shades on. People with televisions in their bedrooms tend to sleep worse than those who don’t. People who use iPads or iPhones an hour before bedtime tend to have considerably worse sleep than those who don’t.

Secondly, avoid caffeine after midday. That is critical.

The last thing for older adults is medications. Some medications that older adults take for hypertension, for example, actually prevent sleep at night.

Parniti: Often sleep is compromised by other people—sleeping with our partner—is there a biological or evolutionary benefit to sleeping or to not sleeping alone? Also, I have a difficult time adjusting to Daylight Savings Time. Do you have any tips on adjusting to the time change every six months?

Matt: So how are we supposed to sleep as a species? If you look at cultures that are untouched by electricity, many of them are actually co-sleepers. They sleep as a community or group. We shouldn’t necessarily adhere to that sort of classic hominid curtain. And the reason is this. Firstly, the frequency of sleep disorders in industrialized nations is astronomical. About seventy million Americans now suffer from some sleep disorder. And there are over a hundred types of sleep disorders.

If you look at these cultures that are not affected by electricity those rates of sleep disorders are usually less than 1%. What that means is that when sleeping as a group, the group tends to sleep largely at the same time. They are driven by dusk, by the sun, and by dawn. So everyone has a much more stable regular common sleep pattern. Now that is not true in industrialized life. First, we have higher rates of sleep disorders and people are going to bed at different times for different social and professional reasons. As a consequence, having a partner in your bed who is off your schedule and sleeping at a different time and/or has a sleep disorder—snoring, sleep apnea, tossing and turning with insomnia—has a profound impact on your sleep, too. And we now know that between some 40% and 60% of couples will either not sleep in the same room or they will start sleeping in the same room but then end up sleeping in different locations, either on the couch or in a guest room. So now there is a revolution, largely unspoken of because of the stigma, which is called the wonderful sleep divorce, where people are deciding to go to sleep in different rooms where they sleep better. And the stigma around this of course is that it signals that you’re not having a healthy relationship if you are not sleeping in the same bed then perhaps you are not having a physical relationship. In fact the opposite is true if you look at the data. People who get more sleep are more physically engaged in their relationships than people who are not getting sufficient sleep in part because it regulates many of our hormones and our energies that are critical to that side of nurturing physical relationship. So that’s a big topic, and I think we’ll see a continued recognition and acceptance of it in the community.

Coming onto Daylight Savings Time, it is a problem. It is very hard on the body when it shifts between time zones. It cannot make up time zones as quickly as we can now travel with on a jet airplane. It causes a mismatch between the biological clock and the new clock time in the time zone. That mismatch causes what we call jet lag. Every day that you are in a new time zone your biological clock; your circadian rhythm, adjusts by about 1 hour of time. So if I fly back to the United Kingdom, which is 8 hours ahead of us, it is going to take me 8 days to catch up an hour each day. Now for Daylight Savings Time: what that means is it’s going to take a little bit of time to catch up. The best way to try and deal with Daylight Savings Time is to use an alarm to gradually titrate. It is almost like coming off a drug. You’re at full dose and you come down to 80% dose and then you come down to 60% dose. If you were in the springtime where you are losing an hour sleep, and we’ll have to wake up an hour early, in the weeks before, try to start waking up 10 minutes earlier then 10 minutes earlier the next day and 10 minutes earlier the following day.

Aryae: You talk about the global sleepless epidemic as the greatest public health challenge that we are now facing, and hearing what you are now saying, it makes a lot of sense. Before the call, I was curious and Googled public health challenges and I got all kinds of lists. Here is one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was published in March 2017. They have on the list alcohol-related harms, food safety, healthcare-associated infections, heart disease/strokes, HIV, motor vehicle injuries, nutrition, physical activity and obesity, prescription drug overdose, teen pregnancy, and tobacco use. They do not have sleep on their list. So what do you say about that discrepancy?

Matt: What is fascinating is that almost every one of those large public health concerns is directly related to insufficient sleep. So, for example, we know that insufficient sleep is tied to high rates of cardiovascular disease, the calcification of the coronary arteries, hypertension, and stroke. We also know that sleep loss is causally related to obesity. Sleeplessness has a profound impact on your immune health and in fact you can go to so many of the classic immune disorders even the common cold. People who get six hours of sleep or less are between 50% or 60% more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep more.

Cancer is now strongly related to insufficient sleep. That includes cancer of the bowel, cancer of the prostate, and cancer of the breast. So much so that in fact the World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified any form of nighttime shift work as a probable carcinogen. Set jobs that disrupt your sleep wake rhythm are cancer-inducing, that is how strong the evidence is right now.

We now know that drowsy driving causes more accidents on our roads then either drugs or alcohol combined. And yet we spend a fraction of 1% of our public health policy budget on educating people about the dangers of insufficient sleep.

Risk-and-reward behaviors are intimately tied to insufficient sleep, from risky behavior to drug addiction and drug-taking and teenage pregnancy. We’ve done a lot of work in this area, too, particularly on adolescent youth. You shorten their sleep; they become much more risk-taking and sensation-seeking. They engage in behaviors that are high-risk behaviors.

Every one of the conditions on that list has a link to insufficient sleep! So why sleep is not on that list is so desperately sad and striking to me. That is why people like me needed to become much better sleep ambassadors. We need to go to places like Capitol Hill. We need not just go there waving our hands saying look at this problem. We need to come up with 21st century new visions of solutions. And that is one of the things that I speak about in the forthcoming book. And is one of the things that I am trying to now push very hard with a number of quick advocacy policies. We need to change society for the better. We need to reorient and prioritize!

Aryae: How is the way any of us might be getting a night’s sleep affected by where we live, by our cultural background, by a socioeconomic status?

Matt: I’ve spoken a lot about how and why we sleep from a biological angle or from the physiology of our brains and our body. Of course they are strong determinants. Our biology is a big determinant of how we sleep. But sleep is also determined socially. It is a social construct. Just think about it. Like who are you? What is your social standing? And do you think that makes a difference with how you sleep?

For example, take someone who is of a low socioeconomic status. What is their sleeping condition like? Do you think that social status changes their opportunity to get good night’s sleep? And the answer is of course is yes. There are different factors that play out pressure on sleep in low socio-economic classes. There’s a deep sleep disparity right now. But it is not just biologically caused. It is socially caused. Firstly, one of the principal reasons is your sleeping situation. If you live in a neighborhood where there is high crime, for example, then that psychological threat of danger will prevent you from getting a full and normal night of sleep. And this we know from lots of good studies—that psychological weight of danger if you’re in the neighborhood where there is constant violence or there is constant threat of burglary or home intrusion, imagine how well you would sleep at night. Not particularly well, I’m sure.

The other thing is how work pressures sleep and grabs sleep like a vice grip and squeezes it from top to tail. What I mean by that is a lot of low-paying, low socio-economic employment is in the service industry right now. Service industry jobs tend to start very early in the morning. And as a consequence, people from low socioeconomic families also often don’t have a car, so they are taking public transport which can sometimes start at 5 or 6 in the morning, they may have to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to get to those jobs. And then when they come home sometimes they may have two jobs–one that goes from the afternoon into the evening. Often these are families that have just one parent. You have this huge burden of child care in the evening and then you are waking up at 4 o’clock the next morning to get to your job again. So there is an economic and employment disparity that forces poor sleep in these communities.

Amit: We have a lot of interest from people around the world. Isabel from Germany says, “I’m one of those people that are sleeping less and less and can that be reversed? I’ve done this for years. Is there any benefits to changing now rather than in my late sixties?”

Matt: There is always benefit. And one should always hold out hope to try and obtain the very best sleep that your brain in that time of life is capable of. As I said some of these sleep hygiene principles–you can just Google sleep hygiene–should really help your biology at this stage of life, which is about finding the best chance of producing the best quantity and quality of sleep that you can have. So I think there is usually always room for improvement.

Kozo (a caller): Hi Matt. Thank you for this wonderful information. I was really struck by when you said that sleep and bad sleep patterns can actually cause disease. I’m wondering if you know if there’s any research being done on sleep being a therapeutic for disease. So let’s say you are diagnosed with cancer, is there any research being done where they require people to sleep in a certain way for a certain amount of time and then check and see if that affects the disease? Also, is there any movement or any research being done on sleep and hospitals, because it seems to me like you said sedation is not sleep? And in a hospital environment it seems like sleep is almost impossible. They come in and check on you. You have a roommate. They are moving things around. They have lights on. I’m just wondering if that is causing more disease or causing more mortality?

Matt: So the answer to both of those questions is an emerging area but the movement isn’t really in full swing right now. The evidence is concrete. We have good evidence and clinical studies in animal models that suggest that if you bi-directionally perturb sleep you can accelerate or retard certain diseases. A good example of this is cancer. If you are fighting a battle against cancer and not getting sufficient sleep, we now know that the cancer will grow more aggressively and more quickly. So people are now trying to think about prioritizing sleep as an agent that will aid in in the fight against cancer. Some really powerful and quite disturbing animal studies are out there showing that if you are short changing animals who have cancer of sleep, that cancer can increase in its speed and size and growth by 200%. So the evidence is that sleep is causal and bi-directional. It has forced people like me to try and advocate to medicine and doctors that we need to start prescribing sleep. Not prescribing sleep medication but prescribing sleep as the elixir of life, as a panacea for good health, and perhaps one of the best Archimedes levers that we can think of for actually brute forcing health under the attack of disease. And we will see more of that in the future.

In terms of sleep in the hospitals, you are absolutely right. There’s now a slow but growing recognition that it is a major problem. The place where I would argue you need a good night’s sleep the most is perhaps the last place that you get it, which is a hospital. And one of the things that I write about in the forthcoming book, is why don’t we do what we do on transatlantic flights. We give people a free eye mask and a free pair of earplugs. Add a small cost and it would help significantly with improving sleep. Now we’ve even seen evidence in neonates in the Intensive Care Unit that if you regularize the sleep they will exit out of the Neo Intensive Care Unit in half the time. It’s a dramatic improvement in health.

Albert from Oakland: Thank you so much. So, what I’m hearing is that a nap during the day is not really encouraged, which is contrary to a lot of older stories of certain cultures that may have benefited from the tradition of a siesta. Or if you take a look at children for example napping is encouraged for them for brain development. So is there a shift that happens at a certain age where it is no longer required or needed?

Matt: Let me be very, very clear about naps and their use. Firstly, children should be napping. Children very early in life are what we call Polyphasic sleepers, which means they have many phases of sleep. Then they become biphasic, which means they have an afternoon nap and then they sleep at night. If you do look at cultures that are touched by electricity, many of them are biphasic. They will sleep six and a half or seven hours of sleep at night and then they will have a siesta-like phase in the afternoon. We may be in modern-day societies not sleeping in the way we are naturally programmed. And I think there’s good evidence for that. But here’s the problem. Most people are not able to regularly nap. And it is in that context that sleep medicine now advocates against napping.

So if you can regularly nap during the day, day after day in a very stable manner and you can do so early in the afternoon, then napping is advantageous only under the condition that you are not having problems falling asleep at night. But if you cannot nap regularly then it is not advisable. Secondly, it is not advised that you nap later in the day. And finally, for older adults, if you are napping and having problems with sleep at night it is strongly advocated against that you don’t nap during the day and that you try to just push all of that sleep pressure into getting a good night’s sleep throughout the night.

So children—great to be napping. It is natural. Human beings, innately, we may be biphasic. We may be born natural nappers throughout our adult life. It is just that in modern day society very few people can nap regularly and if you can’t then it can be problematic especially late in the day.

Amit: Do natural supplements support sleep like calcium and magnesium or melatonin?

Matt: Sadly the evidence isn’t particularly strong in clinical trials. If you are in a severely nutrition deficient state then that can have an effect on your sleep and I want to be clear about that, but many of the homeopathic medications and even melatonin—and this is melatonin in the context of once you’re in a new time zone and you’re stable and you’re not suffering from jet lag—homeopathic medicines and melatonin for the most part have not held up under clinical trials to be any more efficacious than a placebo. If you are taking melatonin or some kind of a homeopathic medication and you feel as though it helps you sleep, my recommendation is keep taking it. The reason is that the placebo effect is the most reliable effect in all of pharmacology. What that tells us is that there is such a thing as mind over matter, and science is now grappling with this. It is acknowledging the placebo effect and we should take advantage of it.

Caller: Hello my name is Suzanne. Our new president (President Trump) concerns me in that he stays awake tweeting all night Is he going to be able to judge adequately not sleeping?

Matt: Great question. And it strikes at the very heart of one of the biggest problems with sleep. The answer is no he’s not going to be able to judge based on the scientific evidence. The fact is this your subjective sense of how well you are doing when you haven’t been sleeping enough is a miserable predictor of objectively how poorly you are doing with insufficient sleep. What I mean by that is you don’t really know that you’re sleep deprived when you’re sleep deprived. The analogy is a drunk driver at a bar who has had five or six shots of vodka and a couple of beers and who may pick up their keys at the end of the night and say, “I am fine to drive home.” And your response is, “No, no, no, I know you think you’re fine to drive, but trust me you are, objectively speaking, certainly not.” It’s the same with sleep deprivation, and we’ve got great data demonstrating this. That’s the reason why people will say to you, “No I’m actually one of those people who can survive on 6 hours of sleep or less.” That is sadly not true based on the scientific data of about 17000 studies; the number of people who can survive on 6 hours of sleep or less without measurable impairment rounded to a whole number and expressed as a percent is zero.

Mish (a caller from New York): I am now questioning the benefit of my sleep pattern after listening. I’m a senior, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and I sleep straight through for about 4 hours. I wake up between one and three times for a few minutes, go back to sleep right away each time, and then wake up as soon as my feet hit the floor. Is there any quality to the sleep pattern?

Matt: You’re worried about the waking up throughout the night— is that your concern?

Mish: Yes.

Matt: As long as you are finding that you’re able to fall asleep quickly after those awakenings without a problem, and secondly during the day if you are feeling restored by your sleep and you’re not feeling as though you’re nodding off, or you’re lacking in energy, then the chances are that the sleep you’re getting is sufficient. But if it’s not, or you’re concerned and don’t think your sleep is sufficient, definitely do go and see your doctors and let them know about those sleep problems. But from the sounds of it, it doesn’t seem like you’re suffering one of the two forms of insomnia. One of them is called sleep onset insomnia which is having trouble falling asleep and the other is sleep maintenance insomnia which is trouble staying asleep where you wake up throughout the night and find it difficult to fall back asleep. It sounds like you do wake up, but you’re able to get back to sleep.

Amit: I’m going to go to one of our online questions: “Do you have any recommendations for getting smartphone apps for monitoring the quality of our sleep? Have you heard of things like motion eggs and are there techniques for getting dream sleep and non-dream sleep?

Matt: It’s a little bit of a mixed bag out there in terms of these sleep assessment tools, and I should also mention that I work with a start-up company up in San Francisco as the Scientific Advisor. But I think right now the apps that track your sleep are perhaps not particularly accurate. I think we’ll get there very soon, and in the next 2 to 3 years, we will have good sleep-tracking devices, and I’m excited about that because right now technology is one of the biggest enemies in the bedroom for sleep. But I think it’s going to be technology that is our salvation. And the reason is this, there’s a common adage in medicine which is, “What gets measured gets managed.” And for so many of us for so many decades we’ve never really had a handle on how we are sleeping because we couldn’t measure it apart from our subjective sense of what time we turn the lights off and what time we woke up–and that’s not a very accurate rendering of our sleep. I’m very hopeful that soon we will have wearable technology or technology in the bedroom that accurately tracks our sleep. And once we take control of our sleep we will be able to better manage our sleep, and I think that’s fast going to happen and it will only be good for society.

Pranidhi (a caller) What do you think of advocacy for institutional change in this realm?

Matt: There is just no way to cheat the brain and body out of sleep. One way or another it will catch up to you whether it’s chronic sleep deprivation across a lifetime, leading to chronic disease and ill-health, or it’s the tragedy of mortality and this brings us back to road traffic accidents. When you are not sleeping, you are having micro-sleeps at the wheel. Sometimes your eyelids will partially close. Now at 65 miles per hour if you have a micro sleep that usually lasts just for 1 or 2 seconds, at 65 miles per hour that means you’ll drift from one lane to the next. So at that moment for those 2 seconds there is a one ton missile traveling at 65 miles per hour and no one is in control. And that can lead to fatal consequences not just for you but for those around you on the road. There’s sadly no way to short change it. It’s non-negotiable; it’s a life support system. It’s a biological necessity, and it’s Mother Nature’s best effort yet to counter death.

Alissa (a caller): I work sling shift so I do have an odd schedule but I try and keep my sleep regular. And this is for all the people who can’t do what you describe and go to bed an earlier time—is that still okay as far as maintaining your sleep regularly but working at odd, different times?

Matt: Right now shift work is a real problem and working at different times of day causes that normal window of sleep to slide across the 24 hour clock face. That really isn’t an optimal way to be falling asleep. Right now the advocacy in shift work is, if you’re on a shift, try to maintain that shift for long durations of time, and then come off and have a long period of recovery, and then go back on that stable shift. The biggest problem with shift work is having shift work that is inconsistent. Now technology is going to help try to limit the burden some, but people still make that sacrifice for us and we need to make it better for them and this is one of the ways that seems to be best. If you do need to do shift work, maintain that stable shift; that off normal natural rhythm shift, for a long period of time and once that shift ends give yourself a long period of recovery before you have to go into that same shift again.

Unfortunately if you give yourself eight hours of sleep during the day versus eight hours of sleep at night, the sleep you get during the day is not the same that you get at night; it is more fragmented, and it’s not as deep quality of sleep. It doesn’t necessarily contain the same stages of sleep. The reason is that biologically you’re not designed to sleep during the day. However, other species are. We’re not nocturnal species; we are a diurnal species. And so the recommendation is make sure you do give yourself 8 hours, that’s critical, but do realize that it’s probably not going to be as good a quality as 8 hours of sleep during the day as it would be 8 hours at night.

Just a little bit of a caveat on that: everyone has their own circadian preference, the fancy name is pronotype which means some people are owls, and some people are larks. Some people like to go to bed late and wake up late. Others like to go to bed early and wake up early. It’s a natural variation and it’s determined by genetics. It also changes across the lifespan, of course. If you’re one of those people who like to go to bed late and wake up late then the schedule of going to bed at 2 am and waking up at 10 am, may actually be fine. It fits perfectly with your biological rhythm. But if you’re someone who is a lark then you would like to go to bed at 10 o’clock and wake up at 6:00, then going to bed at 2:00 am and waking at 10 is not going to be optimal for your biology.

Amit: This is a very hot topic. We really appreciate you coming to share with us today. As a community how can we support your work?

Matt: I think I would just ask people to propagate the good work. And rather than necessarily support my work try and learn more about sleep and advocate more the critical thing for us to do as a society is to get rid of the stigma of sufficient sleep. This is one of the major problems right now that we face is in the civilized world is that we have associated getting sufficient sleep with this thing called laziness. That we think people who get 8 hours are slothful, and they’re not productive and the opposite is true. So as a society we need to be proud of our sleep; we need to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep without embarrassment and without that terrible stigma of laziness. And in doing so, we may all feel what it’s like to be truly awake during the day. So please don’t chastise others for getting sufficient sleep. As parents we shouldn’t chastise our children because that parent-child transmission of sleep neglect is powerful and it is problematic. That’s the only support I would ask for.

***

Join an Awakin Call this Saturday with dedicated yoga-teacher and innovative gift ecology practitioner Pranidhi Varshney. More details and RSVP info here,

This interview was edited by Lisa Clayton. Awakin Calls is a weekly interview series and community podcast that highlights the work and inner journeys of individuals who are transforming our world in large and small ways. Each call features a moderated conversation with a unique guest. Past interviewees include a calligraphy artist, a path-breaking neurosurgeon, an evolution biologist, a pioneering venture capitalist, and a socially conscious hip-hop rapper. Awakin Calls are ad-free, available at no charge, and an all-volunteer-run offering of ServiceSpace, a global platform founded on the principle of “Change Yourself. Change the World.”

 

27 May 2017 No more pictures, cell phones and todays message from Streams in the Desert (letting go and letting God – true faith)

Good morning to you – it’s 5:59 am as I write.  I have come to an impasse with this blog – my picture allowance is maxed so just words and existing images.  I will say that I was going to share a picture from Gateway to the heavens – pages 104 and 105 and the meditation I did last night 1007pm that involved a drawing I had done earlier with the fragment of purple chalk….a Goddess and the Prussian iron cross.  What happened is I was burning a red cinnamon candle in the darkness and it kept going out so I thought to pour the wax out and was lead to pour it on the drawing in the lower abdomen part – this happened twice which matches the number of times I was operated on for fibroid cyst removal by two separate doctors, two years in a row.  I was pretty upset after I realized this is what I was seeing was about and tried to turn off my phone.  Well as I did a voice activation feature for the phone came on and for some reason it wanted to call my broker of several years, Seth Peritzman!  I thought that was very strange.  When that happened a very small flying insect flew itself into the hot wax of the candle I was burning and died.  Why couldn’t I just turn off my phone?  Then I started looking at the features of the phone and realized all kinds of tracking elements had been activated on it and that was interesting.  I realized if something were to happen to me, if someone were trying to find me, a tracking feature would be useful.   Cell phones can be very useful but as with any tool, only if used for good reasons.

The message from Streams in the Desert resonates with me on many levels and it puts to words beautifully a message I have tried to share in so many ways, through the years.  People like me don’t always get listened to.  People like me – middle-aged house wife with “labels” and no children who live in the lower middle-class income bracket.  I have been speaking, writing, drawing and attempting through my crafts to share so many things that if only had been acknowledged long ago could have helped so much.  I do not expect today will be any different than any other day in this regard but I have faith in the God who has walked with me thus far, through all things, that may today will be different.  I also have Hope – not the child….the daughter….the vision and spirit of the future I want for all creation.   Much love to you today wherever and whenever this message finds you.

9 years and going strong! Happy snap to note the special occasion 🙂

Streams in the Desert message for the today that is also tomorrow:

May 28

“I will not let thee go, except thou bless me…and he blessed him there.” (Gen. 32:26, 29.)

Jacob got the victory and the blessing not by wrestling, but by clinging. His limb out of joint and he could struggle no longer, but he would not let go. Unable to wrestle, he wound his arms around the neck of his mysterious antagonist and hung all his helpless weight upon him, until at last he conquered.

We will not get victory in prayer until we too cease our struggling, giving up our own will and throw our arms about our Father’s neck in clinging faith.

What can puny human strength take by force out of the hand of Omnipotence? Can we wrest blessings by force from God? It is never the violence of willfulness that prevails with god. It si the might of clinging faith, that gets the blessing and the victories. It is not when we press and urge our own will, but when humility and trust unite in saying, “Not my will, but Thine.” We are strong with God only in the degrees that self is conquered and is dead. Not by wrestling, but by clinging can we can the blessing. – J.R. Miller

An incident from the prayer life of Charles H. Usher (illustrating “soul-cling” as a hindrance to prevailing prayer): “My little boy was very ill. The doctors held out little hope of his recovery. I had used all the knowledge of prayer which I possessed on his behalf, but he got worse and worse. This went on for several weeks.

“One day I stood watching him as he lay in nhis cot, and I saw that he could not live long unless he had a turn for the better. I said to God, “O God, I have given much time in prayher for my boy and he gets no better; I must now leave him to Thee, and I will give myself to prayer for others. If it is Thy will to take him I choose Thy will–I surrender him entirely to Thee.’

“I called my dear wife, and told her what I had done. She shed some tears, but handed him over to God. Two days afterwards a man of God came to see us. He had been very interested in our boy Frank, and had been much in prayer for him.

“He said, “God has given me faith to believe that he will recover–have you faith?”

“I said, ‘I have surrendered him to God, but I will go again to God regarding him.’ I did; and in prayer I discovered that I had faith for his recovery. From that time he began to get better. It was the ‘soul-cling’ in my pyrers which had hindered God answering; and if I had continued to cling and had been unwilling to surrender him, I doubt if my boy wold be with me today.

“Child of God! If you want God to answer your prayers, you must be prepared to follow the footsteps of ‘our father Abraham,’ even to the Mount of Sacrifice.” (See Rom. 4:12.)

————–

This Kyle and I did on 27 April 2011 with our cocker spaniel Samuel and God’s answer was to let him go to God. God didn’t abandon us in our grief…..we surely thought so! But we waited and through love, patience and friendship we were blessed with Link who came to us along with two brothers on 9 Dec 2015. When Sam died, it was like Kyle and I had lost a child. I went looking everywhere to get him back – screaming in the field down the street that was my sanctuary, my church that has been turned over and made into houses for profit. In 100 degree temperatures I walked that blooming field and stood by it’s waters begging for Sam to come back….screaming at the air….the God of my understanding in all things and all it seemed I got was more searching. Then came the day I found the first part of a Christmas ornament in that field and the other at the entrance to the neighborhood. I thought it was to tell me my friend Erin was going to have a son as she is part Choctaw because the ornament was from a Choctaw Casino.  But  no…..she and I were to be blessed with Link and his two brothers. Two women not able to have human children but having maternal instincts to care for all God’s children whatever their form.

God answers your prayers, God is always listening, God never fails – it’s just that you must let go of YOUR plans, YOUR timing, YOUR expectations of how those prayers will be answered. As I have learned to pray and have shared many, many times all through this blog:

“Whatever is for the greatest, most loving good for this (person, place or situation) – not as I would have it but as you would have it. I do not know what is best for my sight is limited to this moment and what has already been and you see all directions of time and space….all possible outcomes and you know what is best….you see the big picture.”

Then LET GO! Stop holding on, “clinging” to your prayers because when you do that is not faith….that is using God like a wishing well. God doesn’t require your monetary homage to answer your prayers, God needs your faith, hope, praise and trust. Let go, Let God – learn acceptance as a path to peace.

 

26 May 2017 Link and Pen and Ink Meditations “with a couple of Kooks”

Good morning.  It’s 3:30 am as I begin to write to you, woke up a little before 3.  I am pretty rested as I took a nap yesterday afternoon when I felt I was getting too tired.  We had to take Link to Banfield Animal Hospital yesterday to have an itching problem dealt with.  We were blessed and fortunate that Dr. Haydn was there and she charted a course for him.  She’s the first vet we’ve had in a long time that Link has completely trusted – didn’t even mind getting his temperature taken!  This is because she held him like a child and with love!  We are starting with an antibiotic/anti-itch shampoo and spray and see if that does it.  We also found that organic apple cider vinegar works well too — used some on several bites that have appeared on me again recently.  We aren’t sure if what he is experiencing is an allergic reaction to something or from messing with the possum that is trying to take shelter under our bandstand.  He and Link don’t like each other very much but I don’t have a problem with the possum being there.  So much territory around us has been dug up or farmed for development that beings like Possums, squirrels, mice, rats, ants, wasps and others need homes.   I try to find way to peacefully co-exist with them.  The fire ants and mosquitos and I are still working on boundaries lol.

Anyhew.  Last night I went out with pen, ink and paper and just let my thoughts go.  One of the songs that came up before I really delved in was and comforted me was Kooks by David Bowie.

What I was musing about was the fusion of numbers that is Kyle and I, what are we (star cars) and how the trucks and cars we make, sell, buy and own are often reflections, like most things, of who we are.

 

25 May 2017 A New Design

Hello to you – it’s 1:41 pm as I write.  The pictures that I have to share with you will hopefully make sense in the sequence of the previous posts.  What has come to me is the only way through this design is through energy of creation…..creativity….originality….free-form thinking and subsequent design and manifestation.  What I made this afternoon I did with materials I already had – the only thing new was how I perceived what was before me, input from Kyle for how to start it and then just going with the flow.  We can’t change the past.  We can only live in the moment we are in and imagine the future while we are in the present.

25 May 2017 Twins (chalk meditation with Crayola outdoor chalks – courtesy of Hallmark and Serpentine Design)

As I’ve come to this day and everything I’ve been through in the past and to this point, especially what has come through in my various forms of active meditation, I realize this world is much more than it seems to the casual eye.  As I learned by reading some of Philip K. Dick’s work, “The Empire Never Ended” all we’ve done all these millennia is add more and more layers on top of the “origin stories” of old.  Instead of cleaning up after ourselves and owning up to our faults, we’ve created elaborate ‘”stories” and “distractions” to hide them and now this present is what we are left to work with.  With great power comes great responsibility they have said and I believe that is true.  If you have the power to make the world a better place for “all the crayons” and you intentionally do not, you have failed in honoring the gift of your power….you have abused it.  I don’t have all the answers….I’m just a channel and this is what is broadcasting.  Whether it makes sense to most or not, for over 30 years I have tried to share these messages and all I’ve gotten from most is the changing of the channel and or static….interference.  I’ll leave it at that.  You don’t have to like it, it is what it is.

24 May 2017 Spirit walk this morning (sound and vision – Cygnet Committee David Bowie) and The Vibrations of Conflict (Kenneth Cloke, Daily Good Feature Article and Meditate.com)

Hello to you.  It’s 9:52 am and taking a break after a pretty intense spirit walk/meditation session this morning.  I can tell I’m working through more things I need to and it’s good.  The song by David Bowie Cygnet Committee felt like listening to him talk to me directly.   I know it’s not really so, but that’s how it felt! I had never heard it before today but it is certainly timely and resonates with our current days.

David Bowie – Cygnet Committee

Cygnet Committee

I bless you madly,
Sadly as I tie my shoes
I love you badly,
Just in time, at times, I guess
Because of you I need to rest
Because it’s you
That sets the test

So much has gone
And little is new
And as the sparrow sings
Dawn chorus for
Someone else to hear
The Thinker sits alone growing older
And so bitter

“I gave Them life
I gave Them all
They drained my very soul
…Dry
I crushed my heart
To ease their pains
No thought for me remains there
Nothing can they spare
What of me?
Who praised their efforts
To be free?
Words of strength and care
And sympathy
I opened doors
That would have blocked their way
I braved their cause to guide,
For little pay

I ravaged at my finance just for those
Those whose claims were steeped in peace, tranquility
Those who said a new world, new ways ever free
Those whose promises stretched in hope and grace for me”

I bless you madly,
Sadly as I tie my shoes
I love you badly, just in time,
At times, I guess
Because of you I need to rest, oh yes
Because it’s you
That sets the test

So much has gone
And little is new
And as the sunrise stream
Flickers on me,
My friends talk
Of glory, untold dream, where all is God and God is just a word

“We had a friend, a talking man
Who spoke of many powers that he had
Not of the best of men, but ours

We used him
We let him use his powers
We let him fill our needs
Now we are strong

And the road is coming to its end
Now the damned have no time to make amends
No purse of token fortune stands in our way
The silent guns of love
Will blast the sky
We broke the ruptured structure built of age
Our weapons were the tongues of crying rage

Where money stood
We planted seeds of rebirth
And stabbed the backs of fathers
Sons of dirt

Infiltrated business cesspools
Hating through our sleeves
Yea, and we slit the Catholic throat
Stoned the poor
On slogans such as

‘Wish You Could Hear’
‘Love Is All We Need’
‘Kick Out The Jams’
‘Kick Out Your Mother’
‘Cut Up Your Friend’
‘Screw Up Your Brother or He’ll Get You In the End’

And we know the flag of love is from above
And we can force you to be free
And we can force you to believe”

And I close my eyes and tighten up my brain
For I once read a book in which the lovers were slain
For they knew not the words of the Free States’ refrain
It said:
“I believe in the power of good
I believe in the state of love
I will fight for the right to be right
I will kill for the good of the fight for the right to be right”

And I open my eyes to look around
And I see a child laid slain
On the ground
As a love machine lumbers through desolation rows
Plowing down man, woman, listening to its command
But not hearing anymore
Not hearing anymore
Just the shrieks from the old rich

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls ‘Now’
And I want to believe
That a light’s shining through
Somehow

And I want to believe
And you want to believe
And we want to believe
And we want to live
Oh, we want to live

We want to live
We want to live
We want to live
We want to live
We want to live

I want to live
I want to live
I want to live

I want to live
I want to live
I want to live

Live
Live
Live

Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE
© EMI Music Publishing, TINTORETTO MUSIC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met. William Butler Yeats

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/05/24/the-vibrations-of-conflict/

How strange the change From major to minor, Every time we say goodbye. Cole Porter

The Vibrations of Conflict

May 24, 2017— “Cole Porter clearly got it right. But what exactly is it that changes from major to minor when we say goodbye? What permits music to express and stimulate our moods so precisely? How does it ignite or dampen our spirits, make us feel romantic or cynical, lighthearted or blue? Why do simple sequences of musical notes or complex symphonic strains cause us to weep with sorrow, waltz with elegance, march in disciplined military formations, or swirl sensuously across a dance floor? And what does any of this have to do with conflict?” Kenneth Cloake specializes in mediation, negotiation and the resolution of complex organizational, interpersonal, and public policy disputes. He shares more in this thought-provoking excerpt. (1969 reads)

http://mediate.com/articles/cloke3.cfm

The Vibrations of Conflict

Kenneth Cloke August 2003

The Vibrations of Conflict [Excerpted from Kenneth Cloke, The Magic of Mediation: A Guide to Transforming and Transcending Conflict (to be published) © 2003]

How strange the change From major to minor, Every time we say goodbye. Cole Porter

Cole Porter clearly got it right. But what exactly is it that changes from major to minor when we say goodbye? What permits music to express and stimulate our moods so precisely? How does it ignite or dampen our spirits, make us feel romantic or cynical, lighthearted or blue? Why do simple sequences of musical notes or complex symphonic strains cause us to weep with sorrow, waltz with elegance, march in disciplined military formations, or swirl sensuously across a dance floor? And what does any of this have to do with conflict?

The Music of Conflict

In a brilliant comedic sketch on the 1950’s “Your Show of Shows,” Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray pantomimed a marital spat to the strains of the Overture to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Words were wholly unnecessary, as music gave the audience everything it needed to recognize the flow and commiserate with the futility of their argument.

It has often occurred to me, sometimes in the middle of a mediation, that even the most prosaic conflicts have a subtle musical quality about them. In the first place, there is the explicit music of the parties, reflected in their contrasting tempos, pitches, inflections, timbres, and tones of voice. There are solos as individuals hold forth, duets as they discuss, and dissonance as they argue and interrupt each other. There is fortissimo, pianissimo, diminuendo, and crescendo, mirroring the stages of their dialogue and transporting them from fear and rage to forgiveness and reconciliation.

Second, there is the mediator’s calming, measured, propitiating, yet hopeful tone, using tone of voice to draw the parties together. There is the refusing of invited counterpoint, the offering to each side of a solo or aria, and the prompting of a duet or chorus. There is the soprano of injury and distress, the baritone of bitterness and injustice, the bass of hopelessness and depression, and the tenor of optimism and resolution. There is the interplay of score and libretto, moving toward a single harmonious and satisfying finale. Throughout, there is the mediator, trying to orchestrate and harmonize the diverse instruments and blend them into a single symphonic whole.

Third, there is the emotional attunement of the listener to the music that transmits the emotional experience of the storyteller, allowing the listener to resonate, and thereby empathize and approximate the experience of another. Empathetic resonance allows the music to vibrate inside the listener, who experiences secondhand what the speaker experienced, and thereby discovers internally what it might have felt like to have experienced it firsthand.

Historically, it has long been recognized that music stimulates intense emotions. Plato distrusted the emotional power of sensuous music and saw it as dangerous enough to justify censorship. Schopenhauer recognized the deep connection between human feeling and music, which “restores to us all the emotions of our inmost nature, but entirely without reality and far removed from their pain.” Nietzsche described an Apollonian-Dionysian dichotomy in music, representing form and rationality versus drunkenness and ecstasy. For Nietzsche, music was the sensual, Dionysian art form par excellence, which could be used to convey all the emotions for which words would never be enough. Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva declared that “The heart: it is a musical, rather than a physical organ,” and Austrian Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein maintained that “Every word strikes an emotional tone.”

These observations help us recognize that every emotion, attitude, and mood in conflict possesses a signature frequency and amplitude, a unique rhythm that is communicated as much through tone of voice, pitch, pace, and timing as through verbal description. These unique emotional frequencies are also communicated through body language and gestures, choice of words, and the narrative structure of conflict stories to listeners who are asked to resonate, empathize, evoke, and experience what happened to the speaker within themselves. The mediator or facilitator in this scenario can be thought of as a tuning fork, grounding the conversation in a tone or musical theme with which everyone is asked to resonate, and, if possible, combine into a single all-encompassing, harmonizing melodic strain.

It is clear that different musical rhythms evoke radically different moods. There are rhythms of control, as with marching music; rhythms of exploration as with jazz; rhythms of sadness as with the blues; and rhythms of devotion as with gospel. Each style of music evokes a different set of emotions, memories, and spiritual or energetic responses. Can we then use rhythms of speech to elicit sadness, anger, or fear? Can we counter these dusky tempos with lighter, upbeat rhythms in order to elicit joy, affection, or courage? What are the qualities of vibration that impart these special, substantive meanings? What, for example, is the vibratory quality of a sincere apology as opposed to an insincere one? And how do we know the difference between them?

We appear to decide these issues by combining sensitive, even subliminal information from multiple resonating sources, including inflection, body language, eye contact, auditory signals of stress, and other signs that are often too faint to distinguish consciously, yet are perceived subliminally. Much of what we think, feel, and do in conflict is grounded in these microscopic, subliminal, nearly unconscious messages that are often beneath the level of conscious awareness. In one experiment, for example, volunteers were shown a video with peaceful visual images punctuated by a car crash that produced a characteristic stressful response in the brain. Researchers then sped up the video so that none of the subjects could recognize that there had been a car crash, yet their brains continued to respond as though they had.

The vibrations we receive from others tremble, sway, and oscillate subtly inside us. The consequence of this internalization is that all our conflict responses, from rage to reconciliation, take place within us, and do so at a level that is below that of conscious attention. We routinely make subtle assessments, such as whether we feel respected or discounted by the other person based on the vibratory quality of their speech, or their posture, attitude, or quality of presence as these resonate within us. We make these assessments by paying attention to how we feel when we are with them. As the Sufi poet Rumi wrote:

‘What if a man cannot be made to say anything? How do you learn his hidden nature?’ ‘I sit in front of him in silence, and set up a ladder made of patience, and if in his presence a language from beyond joy and beyond grief begins to pour from my chest, I know that his soul is as deep and bright as the star Canopus rising over Yemen. And so when I start speaking a powerful right arm of words sweeping down, I know him from what I say, and how I say it, because there’s a window open between us, mixing the night air of our beings.’

Indeed, there is rhythm and refrain, euphony and cacophony, not only in music, but in sight, touch, smell, taste, and thought, which are subtly present in every conversation. Unfortunately, we spend so much time and energy focusing on the relatively superficial literal meanings of what people say that we miss much of what they really mean beneath the surface of what they are saying. If we discount the words and simply focus on facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and the ways their conversation affects us, we may gain a far better understanding of what they actually mean. We know that music strikes people in different ways, so while these effects may be experienced and encouraged, they cannot be predicted or calculated. For this reason, it makes no sense to think of conflict as being created by others without our active participation. When we describe conflict as a tango, we suggest not only that a dance partner has selected us, but that we have selected them, and agreed to sway together to an agreed-upon piece of music. Yet this fact implies that we can stop the dance or change the music whenever we decide to end it, or respond to a different strain of music. Science as Metaphor

Once we recognize that every conflict has emotional, energetic, and spiritual overtones, we can go deeper, and explore the subtle, invisible, vibratory lines along which it, and much of reality, runs. By paying attention to the music of ordinary communication we can discover a hidden fulcrum that can be used to nudge a conflict from impasse to resolution. We can use scientific understanding as a metaphor to find this fulcrum, and consider, for a moment, the part scientists believe may be played by vibration in the universe as a whole. Since Einstein, physicists have been clear that our universe consists of matter and energy which translate directly into each other, and are therefore simply different expressions of the same thing. Matter, which is merely energy moving very slowly, behaves at a quantum level like a wave. Energy, which is matter moving very rapidly, takes the form of a field whose invisible lines of force are revealed, for example, through patterns that can be seen in iron filings sprinkled on a sheet of paper covering a magnet.

Without digressing too far from our topic, many physicists now believe that all matter is composed of vibrating 10 or 11 dimensional strings or “branes,” that vibrate at different frequencies to produce all the known elementary particles. A super-symmetrical unification of all known forces and particles within a single vibrational framework would tell us that the universe does not consist simply of lumps of matter separated by vast reaches of empty space, but of a constant translation of matter into energy and back again, that is expressed through vibrations, waves, fields, “spin” and similar qualities that have no discrete corporeal existence. Particles, which we usually think of as matter, are a tiny part of the universe, separated by unimaginably vast distances. To illustrate, if a proton in the nucleus of an atom were the size of a tennis ball, its electron would be circling two miles away, and the strings scientists theorize would have the same size compared to an atom as an atom has to our solar system. Yet our focus and attention are attracted to particles, or by analogy, to the substantive issues in conflict, with little dedicated to the energetic or vibrational fields created by polarization.

If these speculations by physicists are correct and we live in a world that consists not only of particles of fixed matter, but waves of vibrating energy; if we ourselves inextricably express that world; and if our emotions and spirits are partly explained by thinking of them as wave-like, vibrational, and energetic, we are drawn to consider how our view of conflict and efforts at resolution might shift by treating them as vibrations or waves, rather than as static or particulate. There are many deep and profound issues related to the physical nature of the universe that have had a significant impact on how I think about and respond to conflict. It has been useful to me in mediation, for example, to recognize that I cannot pin down someone’s position and at the same time be precise about their momentum; that my uncertainty about them imparts a kind of structure to the mediation process; and that there is a complimentarity to conflict that allows it to be both fixed or particulate and flowing or wave-like. It has been my experience in mediation that if anything vibrates or resonates, it can be tuned to less adversarial and destructive frequencies. I have found it useful to recognize that in mediation, as in physics, there is no absolute or fixed frame of reference for the perceptions of parties, and when I am able to open heart-to-heart communications, previously hostile combatants merge to form a new, unified, collaborative state, much like a Bose-Einstein condensate in which, at temperatures near absolute zero, individual atoms lose their distinctness to form a single integrated whole and a new state of matter out of thousands of otherwise discrete parts.

I have sometimes found it useful to adopt a geometric analogy that views the parties perceptions of time and space as relative, elastic, and warped by their gravitational attraction to some emotionally massive invisible black hole of pain, around which they rotate at rapid speeds; or to think of impasse as a vacuum in conflict space, and not empty, but seething with polarizing energy that I can borrow for an instant to create something new. These diverse, seemingly inapt physical perspectives have helped me improve the way I think about and articulate what I do, and in the process, led me to new techniques that draw on these understandings.

While these physical examples are metaphoric, they point to underlying unities and relationships. Thus, if I begin with Einstein’s proof that space and time are part of a single equation; that mass bends the shape of spacetime, and that this elastic geometry of spacetime tells matter how to move, I can predict that the greater the density or mass of emotion surrounding a conflict, the greater the distortion it will create in the relational spacetime geometry that connects and separates people, and the greater the gravitational tug, which may result in their going into continuous orbit around each other, or fall more rapidly toward its’ center. Following this line, it helps my understanding of conflict to shift from linear, particle-like, mechanical theories of causation to complex, wave-like, relativistic fields with multiple interacting causes and effects. Developing a field theory of conflict will allow us to recognize its’ complex movements and energetic fluctuations at different points of time and space. Similar changes in our understanding take place when we shift from assuming conflict is regular and predictable to seeing it as chaotic, self-organizing, and sensitively dependent on initial conditions.

Geometry can also be used to enhance our understanding of relationships, since conflict is above all a relationship – not only with others, but with ourselves, the past, present, and future, and the environment in which it occurs. Space, then, translates into relative qualities of distance, angle, and trajectory, while time translates into relative qualities of speed, frequency, and direction, and the angle by which one approaches or examines something. Examining the angle of our speed and position relative to others can help define the meaning of our conflict.

Similarly, we can learn from evolutionary biology and computer algorithms about the competing and collaborating elements that are responsible for the evolution of conflict as a complex self-organizing system. Just as gravity was reduced by Einstein to the flexible geometry of spacetime, so species differentiation was reduced by Darwin to the adaptive process of evolution, in which birth and death, competition and collaboration, change and conservation combine to produce a continuously fluctuating natural selection process that carries useful lessons for conflict resolution.

Using evolution as a metaphor allows us to see that people in conflict face environmental pressures from their partners, families, cultures, organizations, and societies that subject them to the unpredictability of non-equilibrium conditions, and require them to learn and adapt in order to survive. Conflict can then be seen as a series of competitive environmental or ecological crises that require ever more advanced levels of skill and collaboration to resolve.

In these ways, nature provides us with metaphors about symmetries, forms, and patterns that can be used to analyze and affect conflict behaviors. We may then recognize that nature is not “out there” but “in here.” We are nature, perhaps constituted out of vibrating ten dimensional strings, but certainly made up of wave-like quarks, gluons, protons, neutrons, and electrons, all obeying the laws of physics. We are living, evolving organisms composed of organic compounds, bacteria, and diverse collaborating cells. We are primates with a capacity not only for rational thought, self-awareness, and strategic thinking, but irrationality, blinding emotion, and self-destruction. Every part of nature is manifested through us in countless ways that can help us understand how and why we behave as we do when we are in conflict, and lead us to newer and more powerful methods of resolution.

Orchestrating the Vibrations of Conflict

Adopting a vibrational metaphor for conflict allows us to develop our skills by treating communications as though they were waves rather than particles, and working with their elements at a more subtle level. For example, waves possess both amplitude and frequency and can be cancelled by equal and opposite waves, or amplified and increased by adding waves of a similar frequency. We can use tone of voice to stimulate others to increase their empathy, or communicate emotion at a deep level of authenticity, or acknowledge a willingness to settle, or let go of grief and rage. All this can be done not merely by using words that convey precise meanings, but by tone, pitch, frequency, and modulation.

We can stimulate awareness through intentional acts and rituals as by shaking hands, through body movements as by nodding, through tone of voice as by whispering, through repetitive phrasing as by summarizing, through timing as by process intervention, or simply through the vibrational quality of who we are as by spirit and heart-based communications. Each of these, if used with the right person at the right time can create a sense of spiritual connection, relational synergy, emotional resonance, and sympathetic vibration without words. As Rumi also observed:

There is a way between voice and presence where information flows.

By thinking of emotions as waves or vibrations, we can consciously de-escalate our conflicts by lowering or deepening our tone of voice, slowing the pace or frequency of our comments, softening our pitch, using repetitive, modulated phrasing, and emphasizing vowel sounds as opposed to harsher sounding consonants. We can release pent-up emotion by leaning forward, nodding rhythmically and repetitively, taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly, using caressing gestures while not actually touching the other person, or using a gentle touch or pat to produce a calming effect. All these vibratory acts intersect, resonate with, and direct the attribution of meaning within the listener.

At a deeper level, it is possible to change the rhythmic patterns of our words. We can significantly alter what is communicated, for example, by repeating key words or phrases, slowing down, or using rhythmic emphasis, as was done to great effect by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy. At a deeper level still, it is possible to make peace and tranquility so powerful within ourselves that without any of these interventions, others intuitively understand that it is unnecessary to act aggressively toward us.

I frequently use vibrational qualities of voice, body language, metaphor, pacing, liturgical repetition, and my own clear, committed, heart-based intention to calm parties in mediation and induce a sense of trust and comfort in the process. To do so, I expand my awareness of what is happening in the present moment and do not get stuck in the past or the future or worry about what I am going to do next. Sometimes, as in deep meditation, I experience a subtle, background vibration that is extremely calming. This vibration does not occur as thought or emotion or body sensation, but transcends them. The phrase that best describes this state of mind is an ancient Zen definition of enlightenment, which is: being available for anything at every moment. When I am in this state, others may become calm effortlessly. In truth, conflict is inherently chaotic and so sensitively dependent on initial conditions as to be unpredictable, making it impossible to plan in advance how to respond. It has been my experience that when I have a pre-set plan it often goes awry because I cannot move naturally, in concert with what people just said or did. On the other hand, when I am able to sense the vibratory, wave-like quality of what is occurring in the conversation and am completely open, present, and available for whatever others may say or do, I am able to respond in creative, unimaginable ways that are far more effective than the best prepared strategies. This does not make strategy or planning irrelevant, but provisional and secondary to experience.

How We Attribute Meaning

The more we listen to our inner voice, the more clearly we can hear the voices of others. Indeed, when we consider how sense impressions are processed, the entire distinction between self and others begins to unravel and dissolve. It is clear, for example, that all our sensory perceptions are based on a combination of unreliable factors, including external objects that produce or reflect waves or vibrations which strike specialized sensory detectors, which transmit electrical signals through neurons to the brain, where synapses are arranged in patterns based on previously experienced patterns stored in memory, which result in our attribution of meaning. Minor errors in any of these maneuvers will result in radically distinct meanings.

Vision is a coordinated, even collaborative relationship between an object, light, the eye, nerve cells, the brain, and patterns of meaning created by our prior experiences. What we see is therefore not actually outside us, but a relationship between what is inside and outside. Light waves of specific frequency and amplitude are reflected off objects at angles that render them perceivable by the eye, but perception necessarily includes the attribution of meaning, which takes place inside us. This does not mean the things we see are not also seen by others and therefore, according to convention, objectively exist. It means that attributing meaning is highly personal, based on individual prior experiences, dependent on multiple variable inputs, interpretations, and choices that can be altered to create equal and opposite meanings. Thus, it can be argued that the people we love and hate are only a complex set of externally triggered internal vibrations we have imbued with special meaning based on past experiences, and that these meanings exist only inside us due to our unique history. While others may experience something similar, it is clearly impossible to say anything about anyone else without simultaneously describing ourselves.

Every attribution of meaning is therefore a combination of sensory perceptions and individual experiences, intentions, personalities, and innermost nature, all of which are communicated through wave-like interactions. As a result, we can chose at any time to interpret our perceptions differently, or recall and amplify a set of experiences we previously ignored, or interpret events differently. We can design fresh experiences that cancel previous wave patterns, recognize that we have selected from a mass of perceptions only those that fit a predetermined emotional pattern, discover the source of this pattern within ourselves, and consciously dismantle it. Attribution of meaning is therefore not fixed or static, but open to change and constantly evolving, as revealed in the following case study.

No More Teachers Dirty Looks – A Case Study

Several years ago, I mediated a dispute involving Rose, a teacher who was being fired for yelling at three other teachers and using what might be considered “world-class” swear words in front of children during school hours. Rose had been chair of the union at her school for twenty years and a strong advocate for teachers. The incidents that threatened her job all began six months after she stepped down as head of the union.

At the mediation, the three teachers angrily described what Rose had said and done to them. Rose responded defensively, first by denying that what she had done was so serious, then by attacking the other teachers for having provoked her, and finally by quibbling over details in their descriptions of each event. The mood was one of entrenched animosity, unyielding blame, impasse, and shared recrimination.

Sensing the determination behind her resistance and at the same time being aware of its’ utter futility, since the Principal had made it clear that without a full resolution Rose would be terminated, I did something I had not planned or thought about in advance. I stopped her mid-sentence in one of her defensive counter-attacks against her accusers, and said: “Excuse me, Rose. Can I ask you a question?” She said “Yes,” and I asked simply, softening my tone of voice, lowering my posture, and leaning towards her until I was at the very edge of her personal space: “Has anyone ever thanked you for what you have done for this school?” Her mouth dropped open and she burst into tears and sobbed uncontrollably. I decided to deepen the spiritual opening created by her response, and after a moment of warm, sympathetic silence, I turned to her accusers and asked them if they would each tell Rose directly one thing she had contributed to the school, and thank her for having done it. Now they all began crying, and as they told their stories about Rose’s dedication to teachers and the school, the defensive “vibrations” and atmosphere of impasse were totally transformed.

After the teachers finished and Rose stopped crying long enough to speak, she apologized profusely for what she had done. She said she cared so much about the school and about the teachers and children, but didn’t know how to show it, and was desperately unhappy about how useless she had become. Her “accusers” supported her by saying they knew she cared about them and about the school, and apologized to her for becoming accusatory rather than reaching out and helping her make what must have been a very difficult transition. Together they decided there was something they could still do – not merely for teachers, but for the school as a whole, by helping everyone learn from what happened, work more collaboratively as a team, and develop new teacher leaders.

I suggested they might start by letting people know how they had resolved their conflict, and asked what they wanted to do to communicate to others what they had decided and help the school heal. Rose said she felt she needed to apologize to the entire faculty and staff, and would start by asking to be put on the agenda for the next all-hands meeting. The other teachers said she should not have to do this alone, and wanted to join her in apologizing for their role in the conflict. Everyone began crying all over again, but this time with joy at their newfound solidarity. I suggested that they go together to ask the Principal to put them on the next agenda, and that they each describe at the meeting what they learned from this conflict about teaching, teamwork, and solving their problems together. They readily agreed.

I again decided to do something unplanned and push the opening just a little wider. Rose said she had gone to one of the teachers after yelling at him, apologized, hugged him, and asked him if she could take him to lunch to make up for what she had done. The teacher said it had shocked him at the time because Rose was not known as someone who hugged people or invited them to lunch. Riding this wave of collegiality, I asked them if they would all agree to hug each other each time they meet, and go to lunch as a group at least once a week between now and the end of the semester. They enthusiastically agreed, and I asked Rose whether she would agree to invite others who also had problems with her to join her for lunch, and find out what they could do together to improve the school. She agreed.

I later heard from the Principal how shocking and transformational it was to see Rose, the tough-talking union advocate, hugging everyone and inviting all her former enemies to lunch. He said the faculty meeting at which they apologized had transformed the culture in the school, triggered a profound conversation about how the faculty and staff needed to care more for each other, and actually resulted in better teaching and fewer disciplinary problems with students.

In retrospect, it is clear that while Rose was thoroughly defended against insult, isolation, and attack, she was utterly defenseless against compliment, inclusion, and acknowledgement. Her toughness was a barrier erected to protect herself against her own vulnerability, which collapsed at the slightest push in the right direction. Analyzed in vibrational terms, the gentleness, kindness, and open-heartedness that were contained in the question I asked regarding acknowledgement conveyed a vibrational frequency that spoke directly to her heart and touched a deep chord that released her pent-up emotions. What allowed me to discover that question was not merely a sense of intellectual futility about the way the conversation was going, or a sense of emotional frustration over her lack of ownership, or the depth of understanding in the teachers’ stories, or even a physical discomfort with the stress-filled accusatory/defensive dynamic that filled their argument, but a spiritual, energetic, vibrational sense of what must lay beneath those layers of defensiveness and rationalization.

By going to my heart and asking a question that came directly from the vibrational quality I wanted to elicit, I was able to touch her heart in ways I could not have done by asking a question from intellect. Although it happened very quickly, the question flowed from intuition, empathetic resonance, and my willingness to place myself in her shoes. From there, I asked what would have made me do as she did, and was able to find a question that would reveal whether my intuition was correct.

These moments of “sublime mediation,” or what is sometimes called “crazy wisdom,” represent a kind of “peripheral mind,” which, like peripheral vision, consists of paying attention to the background rather than the foreground, and empowering one’s intuition. In this state, it is possible to notice the subtle vibrational differences between anger and caring, defensiveness and pain, and within myself, between judgement and empathetic resonance. Intuition is not infallible, and for this reason should take the form – not of an answer, but of a question that might be asked by a three year old. If my intention is clear and I have no judgements, agendas, or stake in the outcome, I may be able to combine innocence and curiosity with directness and honesty in a simple, disarming, heart-based question that suddenly exposes the nucleus of the conflict.

 

Biography

Kenneth Cloke is Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, consultant and trainer, specializing in resolving complex multi-party conflicts, including community, grievance and workplace disputes, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes, and in designing conflict resolution systems for organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker and leader in the field of conflict resolution, and a published author of many journal articles and several books, including Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness and Mediating Dangerously: The Fontiers of Conflict Resolution . His consulting and training practice includes organizational change, leadership, team building and strategic planning. He is a co-author with Joan Goldsmith of Thank God It’s Monday! 14 Values We Need to Humanize The Way We Work, Resolving Conflicts at Work: A Complete Guide for Everyone on the Job, Resolving Personal and Organizational Conflict: Stories of Transformation and Forgiveness; The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy, and The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work. His latest book, Journeys into the Heart of Conflict will be published in 2015.

He received a B.A. from the University of California; a J.D. from U.C.’s Boalt Law School; a Ph.D. from UCLA; an LLM from UCLA Law School; and has done post-doctoral work at Yale Law School. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. His university teaching includes law, mediation, history and other social sciences at a number of colleges and universities including Southwestern University School of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law, Antioch University, Occidental College, USC and UCLA.

24 May 2017 Meeting famous musicians and the half-breed (Dreams)

Good morning to you.  How are you today, now?  It’s 6:41 am as I begin to write to you and I hope this finds you well in your place in time. Last night I did a lot of dreaming and actually got some deep sleep for a change.  Link’s bites are healing – amazing stuff organic apple vinegar!  Nothing really worked but that to help stop him from itching so much.

I had more than the two dreams I am going to share but these are the important ones I think.

I dreamt about talking to my brother-in-law Drew about meeting famous musicians and how nice it would be.  I always wanted to meet David Bowie but it just wasn’t meant to be.  There was something about his fiancé Ale’s hoodie being cut into three parts and sewn back together.  The next one was about stopping a stray dog from running into the street.  Kyle was greeting dogs in a yard and I saw men/boys coming that didn’t like it (they were carrying what looked like gun cases) and one of the dogs in the yard tried to run but I stopped him before getting in the street – the dog looked like a mix of a King Cavalier spaniel and a Chihuahua.

The second dream was unlocked by a couple of things.  All the thoughts I’ve been about what has been going on in Europe, specifically Great Britain, thinking about Diana last night, having Queen Elizabeth on my mind and having seen some historical footage of her recently on PBS and the news I had heard about the Queen getting on Harry and William about airing their laundry too much in public.  The dog in the dream makes me think of Prince Harry.  I couldn’t access this article but it is the one that came to mind.

What the dog in my dream looked like – King Cavalier and Chihuahua Mix

  1. News about Queen Elizabeth Getting On Harry And

    bing.com/news
    Queen Elizabeth Thinks Prince William & Prince Harry Need to Put a Lid on It
    The Stir · 2 days ago

    According to a new report, Queen Elizabeth has had it up to her scepter with Prince William and Prince Harry baring their souls … feels “lonely” sometimes. While the public, understandably, can’t …

23 May 2017 Night Rose (drawing)

Good evening to you, it’s 9:26 pm and before I head to the bath for a soak, wanted to share this one last drawing for today.  There were many others I did but this one is special.  It is an amalgam of my first best friend Laura and a woman I thought she looked a lot like and that I greatly admired Princess Lady Diana.   Diana comes to my when I think of  all the turmoil going on in Britain right now.  I am certain if she was still here, she would be out trying to bring comfort to those hurting!  Much love to everyone.

23 May 2017 My spirit walk at home and Combichrist – Get Your Body Beat

These pictures are the result of my spirit walk at home today.  The rain stopped and the wind blew enough to dry off my canvas to do it.  For me, what a spirit walk is about is allowing myself to flow and process, without question or examination, what comes to me.  This is my daily practice.  What comes may be confusing and off-putting so some or crystal clear to others.  I’m just passing things along as they come, as I feel I am supposed to do with this.  Nothing belongs to me and if I can help even one other person, albeit it just be me, than so be it.  As you will read in the lyrics below, I have given up on giving a fuck what anyone else feels, thinks or believes about me.  All that matters is what I am doing, thinking and feeling.  I do censor myself with what I share here and anywhere else for concern of others to a certain extent, but not to the point it obstructs the overall message.  What is here is in no way to imply that I am anything other than just me, Jackie.  Just one of 7 billion plus “channels” for which information of this nature can be sent and received.  Mindfulness, awareness and paying attention – this is what you must practice each day and I am trying to do that.  What I have come to realize for myself is the image I am developing of the God is a being of energy made up of each one of us as part of the one.  It’s partially why things are not going so well right now — imagine there being 20 of different versions of you in one room trying to solve a problem?!  One of you is Christian.  One of you is a Jew.  One of you is an Muslim.  One of you is Black, White, Brown, Yellow or even Gray skinned.  One of you is an artist.  One of you is an car mechanic and so on but all still the one You.  This is why “group-think” like governments, religions and other organizations like major corporations frequently experience discord, in-fighting and literal division of the “cells” and factions.  We are biologically incapable of perceiving the world all of the same way!  There must be learning to agree to disagree….compromise….being willing to walk in another’s shoes.

My prayers go out to every living being on this planet today like they always do – especially the folks in Manchester.  As always my prayer is for whatever is for the greatest good of all which I hope doesn’t include the caning, maiming, abuse, neglect and murder of anymore people that can’t help being who they were born to be.   People can’t just “stop being gay, straight, or otherwise.”   They can make choices about their religious, political and entertainment which is part of the direction perspective can go with being “gay, straight or other – LGBTQ.”  Fear is at the core of most wars whatever the battlefield.  I’m sick, tired and frankly bored with wars, the perpetual “loops” aren’t you?!

This song was playing on my Ipod shuffle when the battery suddenly failed.  I went to my phone that also has my playlist on it and the song was next along with  “Live from NY radio…..”  That will make sense to some of those who know me.  Just passing things along as they come.

Combichrist “Get Your Body Beat” Music Video

 

http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Combichrist:Get_Your_Body_Beat

Combichrist:Get Your Body Beat Lyrics

1,908,746pages on
Get Your Body Beat

This song is by Combichrist and appears on the album What The Fuck Is Wrong With You People? (2007) and on the Soundtrack album No Redemption (2013).

Trick your brain to set the score
Can you take the pain at all?
I try to understand you girl
But you gotta earn it
Fuck it up and let it go

Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow

Doesn’t matter what you say
Never understood at all
Don’t give a fuck what people say
Glad your piece is just for show
Grab its neck and don’t let go

Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow
Get your body beat
Let your blood flow

Get your body be-at

Uploaded on Jun 10, 2006

Get Your Body Beat, Combichrist’s new single released in the summer of 6/6/06 following the music video containing clips from the movie “The Gene Generation”

 

23 May 2017 Home Repairs (is it only about profit?), evening drawings and Against the Clock: How Tech Has Changed Our Perception of Time (Daily Good Feature article)

Good morning to you. It’s 11:28 am as I begin to write to you on this very wet Tuesday morning. More rain came through but didn’t preclude the folks working on replacing siding on our house from completing the job today. Just as they finished it started pouring down rain lol.

In talking with the subcontractor Home Depot used to do the work on our house, I found out about a couple of things worthy of discussion. One was the burden of disposal of supplies after a job (cardboard etc) being put on the contractor and two, how jobs are coordinated.

Apparently after a job is complete Home Depot doesn’t seem to have a system in place for the subcontractors they hire to dispose of materials and packaging for material after a job is complete. It is put on the subcontractor to do this and for the one that was hired to do our house, it can be an expensive problem. With the volume of cardboard and material he has to dispose of, he can’t just put it curbside for trash pick-up and it is expensive to take it to the landfill. Cardboard shouldn’t be going to a landfill anyways! I found myself rather surprised that a major company like this wouldn’t have a system in place for this. If they did, and they might but just not here, which means lack of standardization and cohesion in business practice in my opinion, they would be doing their part to help the environment. I don’t understand why every Home Depot and Lowe’s wouldn’t have a contract set up with recycling companies to take care of all reusable/recyclable waste from the jobs they do and the business they conduct each day. I feel everything we use should be reusable and or recyclable.

Job coordination. The steps that occurred for us to get new siding on our house involved a sales man to come out and make the pitch, a person who came out and did measurements for the job and then the subcontractor who actually did the work – oh and don’t forget the engineers and job coordinators and schedulers! Each of the parts leading up to the actual installation were loosely, if not connected at all. This doesn’t make sense to me. What does make sense to me is the subcontractor and each of these people should be involved with the process from start to finish. Working together as a team for cohesiveness and continuity all the way through the process to ensure the best quality of jobs are done. This way everyone is in the loop!

Engineers design things through drawings, models and simulations but seldom are directly involved or see the outcome of their designs and this is unfair to all those in the steps that follow. The vision of the engineer does not involve being on the ground where there is weather conditions to contend with as was with our job – rain. They do not see how much work sometimes has to be done to make their designs “work” properly because it’s one thing to imagine something and quite another to make it reality.

We are very pleased with the work but disappointed in the process!

What I see from the perspective of a homeowner from our latest home repair experience, is in businesses like Home Depot and Lowe’s, they seem to be focused on the end rather than the means to get there. Meaning, they seem to be placing more emphasis on what they will get for the job, than what it takes to do the actual job like the people who work for them directly and indirectly, supplies and the environmental impact of the resources they buy, sell and use for their businesses. I would venture to bet this is an issue for most major corporations in our world these days. It used to be about taking care of those who worked for you so they would want to do their best for you in turn. It used to be about caring about the quality of your goods and services and customer satisfaction….not just profit.

Profit from misery of any kind be it emotional, physical, mental and or spiritual is a flawed modality in which to conduct business. You get as good as you give.

There are some who are in the business of profit that I suspect will never be content, never satisfied, never “full”…..there will never be enough. I would say to them that you can’t put tangible into the space reserved for the intangible. It’s like trying sustain light in a black hole.

3 Aug 2016 – sometimes we see things from a single point of light (our front door peephole)

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/05/23/against-the-clock-how-tech-has-changed-our-perception-of-time/

Forever is composed of nows.
Emily Dickinson

Against the Clock: How Tech Has Changed Our Perception of Time

Against the Clock: How Tech Has Changed Our Perception of TimeMay 23, 2017— Alan Burdick’s most recent book, “Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation,” chronicles his quest to understand the nature of lived time. He recently joined Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author of “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now,” for a conversation on what we miss about the nature of time when we only think about it as a number. The conversation touches on the tension between experienced time and number time, how to align more closely to the body’s natural chrono-biology, and how, because of technology, we are losing the experience of the expansiveness of time. (1605 reads)

Forever is composed of nows. –Emily Dickinson

 

Against the Clock: How Technology Has Changed Our Experience of Time

–by Heleo Editors, syndicated from heleo.com, May 23, 2017

Alan Burdick is a staff writer and former senior editor at The New Yorker whose first book, Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion, was a National Book Award finalist and won the Overseas Press Club award for environmental reporting. His most recent book, Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation, chronicles his quest to understand the nature of lived time. He recently joined Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, for a conversation on what we miss about the nature of time when we only think about it as a number.

This conversation has been edited and condensed. To view the full conversation, click the video below. 

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=381176748913913

Douglas: [Both our books are] about time, or about the now. For me, the Present Shock was that there are two kinds of time. The Greeks have two words for time: “chronos”, which is like time on the clock, and “chiros”, which is more like readiness, human time. You crash the car at 4:27, but when do you tell dad that you crashed the car? I always say, “After he’s had his drink, before he’s opened the bills.” That’s chiros, human time, the way we experience time, versus real time or number time.

For me, it became important in the digital age, as our style of clock time changed, what does that do to our understanding of real time? You looked at the same relationship in a different way.

Alan: I started out feeling like I understood what space-time is, but that doesn’t really have a lot to do with the time that we actually live in from moment to moment. Then there’s clock time. I came to understand what that is, and it turns out to be really strange. But I didn’t really understand what is this stuff in us that we call time? It turns out that we have all kinds of clocks in us—in our cells, in our mind—and I had begun with a notion that there is this tension between clock time and technological time. I didn’t even want to wear a watch for a long time.

Then I came to embrace it, as I began to understand that time isn’t just a thing that I put on my wrist, but it’s a thing that we create organically between us, almost like a language.

Douglas: Right, if you burrow deep into it, it becomes real again. [When] the clock went up in the clock tower in the medieval village, people stopped trading value and started working for time. It was the invention of the employee and hourly wages, which led to five centuries of “time is money,” which is why in some ways the watch or the Google Calendar feels oppressive. Then you pushed through that and found something reassuring.

Alan: I think so. Even cavemen had to deal with time, to a certain degree. Even if their clock is just the sun, daylight and nighttime, you need time in order to coordinate your activities, even if it’s hunting wooly mammoths. “Let’s all meet at the cave entrance at sunrise.” Then we get it in our clock towers, and now we have it on our wrists, and it is this organizing force, for better or worse. But it does start to get oppressive when you’ve got it on your phone and you pull your phone out of your pocket, and there’s the time, and you’re always thinking about the time. It gets a little overwhelming.

“Indigenous cultures tended to use the moon as a way of organizing their sense of time, and when they used the moon, they were getting in sync with some stuff that we’re only learning about now, the different neurotransmitters that tend to dominate during different weeks of a lunar cycle.”

Douglas: And that stream of time feels like it doesn’t really take into account the way my organs and the body and the culture moves through temporal landscapes. There’s the circadian rhythms or chrono-biology through which we experience the world. Indigenous cultures tended to use the moon as a way of organizing their sense of time, and when they used the moon, they were getting in sync with some stuff that we’re only learning about now, the different neurotransmitters that tend to dominate during different weeks of a lunar cycle. It’s like our obsession with that number makes us lose track of all these other cycles that are moving along with it.

Alan: All times become basically equivalent, even though they actually aren’t.

Douglas: Right, generic, it’s just a number. It’s not just a number.

Alan: That was really interesting to me, this notion that there are different better times of the month to be doing things. Your own schedule takes that into account. Can you say more about that?

Douglas: I did take it into account until I surrendered back to the demands of the world. I got disciplined when I found out that the four weeks of the lunar cycle and the first week of a new moon tends to be dominated by acetylcholine, the next week is dominated by serotonin, then dopamine, then norepinephrine. I started looking up what happens to a body and a brain when it’s bathing in acetylcholine versus dopamine. I realized, in the first week of a new moon, acetylcholine, I’m going to do lots of gathering of new ideas. The second week, the serotonin week, it’s as if you’ve got a bunch of Prozac in you: I’m going to work, to barrel through and get my writing done.

Dopamine week is a party week, a week that I stop writing, force myself to not write, to engage with people. Then the norepinephrine week is the fight or flight week, which is when you pull back and get very analytic. That’s where I would put all my notecards on the wall, make my crazy wall of ideas, and reorganize things, what goes in what chapter. When I worked that way, I actually wrote fewer days per month, but I got more done.

My productivity went up, and my sense of well-being went up too. It felt like a discipline at first, and then it almost felt like there was an internal compass I was getting in touch with. It made sense—there’s four seasons, there’s four parts of the breath, there’s four directions. Not being religious about it, but being aware of it.

Alan: But you let all that go?

Douglas: Well, it let me go. The problem is the demands of the modern life. You’ve got the inbox, and there’s all these people and everybody wants something, or you’re in book promotion mode. When a book comes out, your schedule is no longer your own, the publisher calls, there’s NPR that wants to talk to you at four in the morning, you’re up. You serve that, but you can’t live like that all the time.

Alan: When I was working on this, I had a full time job, and so I always had to decide, “Am I going to get up super early, at four o’clock in the morning?” which is a time of the day not particularly conducive to doing anything except lying in bed. “Or am I going to stay up until two o’clock in the morning?” What I ended up doing was neither. I would go to bed early, and then wake up at midnight or one o’clock in the morning and work for two or three hours. It was like there was this whole other day packed away in the middle of the night. I actually learned there’s a great book about the history of the night.

It turns out that before the advent of modern lighting, people did not sleep eight hours straight. They would go to bed, have what they called the “first sleep”, and then they would wake up at midnight or one. Sometimes they’d stay in bed, but a lot of people got out and dealt with their cows or their fields, or they would even go into the village and do a little work in their shop.

Douglas: At night? With little candles?

Alan: Yeah, and then they would go back to bed at two or three in the morning.

Douglas: The opposite of siesta. That’s so weird, but in a way that’s perfect.

Alan: But it all went away with electric lights, because now—

Douglas: You stay up later.

Alan: Now we think you can colonize any part of the day.

Douglas: Right, the colonization of human time. I’m sure there’s people from the captology labs of Stanford thinking, “How can we use what we’ve learned from [Why Time Flies] to make people spend more time on our website, but think that it’s only been a minute?”

Alan: Science has half-figured out how. Mars has a 25-hour day, and our circadian cycles are 24 hours long, so if we do make it there and live there, it’s like crossing three time zones every two days. They figured out a way to zap you with certain wavelengths of light at certain times of day that will actually give you a 25th hour of the day.

“Time can go faster, or slower, depending on what drug [a person takes] or what they’re doing—meditation, ecstatic experience, entertainment experiences—there’s a joy in it. The disconnection from the clock itself is exhilarating, whichever way it happened.”

Of course you’re spending that hour of the day being exposed to peculiar wavelengths of light, so I’m not sure you’re really gaining.

Douglas: The joy of your book is this sense of connection and disconnection from the clock, this sense of what does it take for a person to move into almost a god-like place. Time can go faster, or slower, depending on what drug [a person takes] or what they’re doing—meditation, ecstatic experience, entertainment experiences—there’s a joy in it. The disconnection from the clock itself is exhilarating, whichever way it happened.

Alan: I was in Alaska for a couple of weeks in the summer, where the sun never sets. It’s freaky and disorienting. It’s absolutely beautiful. But people divided themselves up into two groups. There were the people who just went with it and slept whenever they wanted and ate whenever they wanted. They were in their own temporal world. Then other people, including myself, felt like, in order to remain sane, “I am going to wear my watch and go to bed at 9:30, even if it’s broad daylight, and I’m going to wake up at six a.m., even if it’s broad daylight, and I’m going to live according to my watch.”

Douglas: That’s a little bit like Lord of the Flies—there’s the ones who stay with civilization, maintain the codes to stay sane, and the others who are like, “We’re free, let’s go nuts.” But you want both in your life. You want to have those moments where you’re disengaged. Because our brain is working all the time to make sense of this stuff. You’ve got this great section where you say that one of the main things the mind does is it takes all these data points from reality, and desperately tries to string them together into something that makes sense.

You said it almost as if it’s quite possible it makes no sense. We’re just doing this in order to have a coherent experience of this chaos.

Alan: Part of time is understanding and grasping the order in which things happen in time—sequence. That actually turns out to be a lot more plastic than we give it credit for. You can fool the brain into thinking that B comes before A, in some cases.

I took part in an experiment in which you press a keypad and move your mouse on the screen, but effectively, it had the appearance of the cursor moving before I pressed the button, so effect came before cause. It was super freaky. Every time, I would see my cursor move and think, “I’m going to fool it now and not press the button,” and then I couldn’t stop myself from pressing the button.

How would you describe your relationship to time?

Douglas: It’s gotten screwed up. I don’t blame tech, but I blame the way we’re applying tech, at least. It has to do with my ability—and I feel like this is a national problem—to have perspective on the past. I feel like the past used to be smaller, because it happened a long time ago, and now… The simplest way to say it is if a person I utterly forgot about from second grade now tries to friend me on Facebook, they come into my present without the scale of a person from far away.

They’re at the same scale as any other friend on Facebook, and I feel like this whole nationalism thing, whether it’s Britain doing Brexit, or Trump saying, “Make America Great Again,” it abuses a false connection to the past. It’s exploiting this inability to have proper proportion and perspective on the past. That feels so digital to me.

Alan: When Edison invented the phonograph, there was this scathing review in the Spectator, of this critic saying, “We’re completely disregarding the virtues of oblivion, the benefit of being able to forget.” Now that every voice can be stored forever, we’re going to be haunted by these voices that won’t ever go away.

Douglas: That’s true. Somewhere in Talmud there’s this rule that Jews are not supposed to remind someone of something embarrassing from their past. You can’t say, “I remember when you were 12, and you used to…” Because it doesn’t give the person the liberty to move past that. You keep bringing them back to it.

This whole effort, whether it started with My Life Bits and Facebook timelines, that everyone’s supposed to record their history as if Yale University Library Archives is waiting to store our entire history for future researches—most of us are not that interesting. But everyone is doing that. That’s a strange thing, it pulls you out of the chiros, the present, it doesn’t give you those when time flies moments. It keeps tying you back.

Alan: I have this vision of Facebook in 100 years in which even people who have died, their Facebook presence continues—not only remains, but expands. We’ll not only be able to see pictures of them, but we’ll hear their voices. Your great-grandmother will be calling you with advice about who you should or shouldn’t date. It will all not only be available, but will start speaking.

Douglas: With AI, Ray Kurzweil-ian now-ness to it.

Alan: We’re going to be nostalgic for futurism, because it’s going to be all past-ism.

Douglas: The other thing that got me weirded out from your book was I thought that atomic clocks didn’t really work right, which is why they moved them every once and awhile. But it’s not.

Alan: No, Earth is the problem.

We’re drifting away from the sun, but the sun is getting bigger. That could be a problem in five billion years. In the 1960’s, seconds were defined from the top down: there’s the day, rotation of the Earth, 24 hours, 60 minutes in an hour, 86,450 seconds in a day. It’s just division, a theoretical thing.

Then physicists were like, “Well, if you get a cesium atom and it goes through nine billion plus phase transitions in the span of a second, as defined by this 86,000 metric, then we can do the same thing,” and that’s what we’ve been doing, except that we get farther and farther away from that 1960 definition of the top-down second, because that keeps slowing down.

Douglas: But as far as human bodies are concerned, that’s the only one that matters. When we change time from the segments of the day from the portions of the cycles of life to these independent durations, a second is no longer a part of a minute. That’s screwed up, too. Doesn’t that turn time from this way of understanding our experience to this tyranny of numbers?

Alan: The way that national clocks create time is they have atomic clocks that tick seconds, and then you can add seconds up to figure out the time of day. But the phrasing they use is they “realize” seconds, and they “disseminate” the time. It’s like propaganda.

Douglas: I love that, though. Time is the ultimate propaganda because death is the ultimate fear. Time is the best medium through which to trigger and exploit that Becker denial of death stuff.

Alan: Do you have tricks for turning off the time?

“When we talk about this experience of time flying as we get older, the years seem to go by faster, what’s actually happening, studies show, is that we’re under more time pressure as we get older.”

Douglas: It’s hard when there’s a child going to school in the morning. This is a big project, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to be free of the Google Calendar, if I could do it for a month or two. I don’t like that I spend a large portion of my day answering emails which means putting more things into that calendar, most of which I don’t even really want to do. Then, if the Google Calendar is dictating my next month, and there’s only three hours in it left for me, that’s not good. I don’t want to keep doing things now that screw up the passage of time in the future. I’m bankrupting my own temporal landscape.

Alan: When we talk about this experience of time flying as we get older, the years seem to go by faster, what’s actually happening, studies show, is that we’re under more time pressure as we get older. It’s not that the years are actually going by faster, it’s that we are spending more of our later years scheduling. We’ve got more to do, you’re looking at your calendar more, you’re trying to get more done in the same amount of time than you were when you were five or 10 years old. Of course time went a lot slower when you were five or 10, because you didn’t have a schedule, you weren’t thinking about time.

Douglas: We didn’t have play dates. That infinite, open sky quality of childhood, which is [now] less and less wandering around the neighborhood and finding worms, good stuff. There was an expansiveness. After reading your book, I would say the expansiveness was expansiveness of time. I thought of it as space; it wasn’t, it was time.

Alan: It was the expansiveness of not thinking about time.

Douglas: That’s a liberty I think we deserve, and I’m going to make it come back, I am.


Syndicated from Heleo.com. Heleo seeks to elevate ideas and deepen the cultural conversation. From science to business, healthy living to the arts, Heleo features insightful writing and in-depth conversations with the world’s top writers and thinkers.