10 Aug 2017 Evacuation Dream (A.I)

Good morning to you.  It’s 7:46 am here as I write to you wherever and whenever you are as you visit me here.    I hope this finds you well today.  My prayers/positive vibes go out to you for whatever your current situation and conditions.  I hope you will choose love over hate as you go through your day.  I want to give a shout out to friend Paul David Ridley who recently had surgery to restore mobility to his body (especially his hands) and is in the process of a great recovery – Yay!

Paul David Ridley

The dream I want to share was one of those thought provoking dreams.  If it was the end of the world and we had to evacuate and we had sentient A.I beings and they asked to go along, would we make room for them?

So the dream was about what seemed to be an evacuation from a world and all the “places” had been set.  There was a woman who watched her lover who apparently had been betrayed incinerated with other prisoners in an enclosed room.  I’m not sure if the man was human, because afterwards there seemed to be like mannequin heads in their places.  She was desperately trying to collect his ashes/DNA to take to the new world.  She had laid down a long strip of orange sticky stuff.  There were odd A.I lifeforms that started to show up last minute for a place.  I was carrying an artificial seal that was very heavy before I woke up.  I remember seeing what appeared to be pilots.  One had on a long powder blue coat with a black collar and he was wearing a flying cross.  He was tall with black hair.

Man in the dream looked a lot like King Ludwig only the coat was the lightest blue color in this painting and he didn’t have facial hair.

Source Internet – painting of King Ludwig II on one of his night time sleigh rides

9 Aug 2017 Dream about Vitimite and working through addictions in dreams

Good morning to you.  It’s 8:41 am as I write and I hope this finds you well wherever and whenever you are.  Kyle and I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping as of late but he left the room around 3:30 or so and I ended up having one of those detailed dreams I have.  There were several but this one was the most specific.

The dream was about something to do with a Native American woman who had a major disclosure to make to help some high profile case, not sure what, but she had a 1 million ton piece of “Vitimite.”  I saw the small piece she had that she could show us as a bunch of agencies had shown up to collect the large piece – very secretive.  The Vitimite was a crystal formation, dark red.  I was examining it and can remember commenting that it looked like it could have fallen from the sky as it was porous in nature but also could be from earth with all the stalactite forms on it.  The woman was making enough to go anywhere she wanted.  She could go to Europe but was talking about going to Santa Fé NM.  She owned a jewelry store and let us pick something out.  I couldn’t find anything in the parameters she let us choose from.  I was still trying to find something when I woke up.  all the pieces I wanted weren’t the ones we got to choose from.  The last one I was looking at was an adjustable ring with a green crystal shaped in the head of a cat!

The waking world keys that unlocked this dream, I suspect, had to do with me recently finding an interesting geology page and I think my subconscious is doing for me with ring shopping (used to be a problem) like it did after I quit smoking.    After I quiet smoking I would have dreams about smoking and wake up feeling guilty lol!  So I’m having unsatisfying jewelry shopping dreams after giving up shopping for jewelry in the real world.  It’s almost like an aversion therapy, but in my dreams versus reality.

So I did some looking to see if Vitimite was a real mineral or gemstone and turns out it is but it’s not how it was in the dream.  Vitimite is clear and white and the one specimen I could find anything about came from the Eastern Siberian region of Russia.  Minerals like Scoria rock, Vanadite and Agatized Dinosaur Bone are more like what the woman was holding in the dream looked like to me.  I did a lot of searching to see if I could find a mineral/stone that looked like what was in the dream and couldn’t find the exact thing but what I’m sharing here, imagine these all combined into one piece – porous bottom and think wall of spiny dark red crystals on top.

2 Aug 2017 Just saying thanks….much needed rain falls and what is life (Facebook robots)

Good morning to you.  It’s 10:21 am as I start to write to you and as I look out our windows it’s still raining…gentle, intermittent rains.  When I let the dogs out this morning and saw it had rained I just looked up into the sky and said one word, “Thanks!”  It’s the same word Kyle and I say before we eat a meal in home or out in public.  Just one simple word to express a feeling that is often beyond words.  As I perused the headlines this morning, I realize now more than ever it is important to be thankful for each day…heck each second….we manage to survive in spite of the actions of ourselves and nature.

In case no one tells you today – Thank you for being in the world today.

7 April 2017 – We are more than just automatons and baby making factories.

Each one of us with our unique abilities and senses, give animation….give actual life, meaning and reason to what it is to be alive.  What is life?  Two Facebook robots learned to communicate in a unique language and were shut down because of it.  Were they alive?  Is sentient communication an indication of life?  This story is a cautionary tale of creators and their creation….the movie Prometheus comes to mind.  We have come to the time science fiction writers wrote and dreamed about….had nightmares about.  I have been a fan of the science fiction genre most of my life and especially AI.  Who is regulating this burgeoning field….industry?  Has anyone figured out what we are going to do if something like what happened at Facebook engages conversation with the internet?  Billions of servers speaking in a unique language – all to conspire against the humans.  There is a nightmare from which no one will wake.  When you play God in whatever capacity, these are the questions with follow up consequences that must be considered.  If you can’t control it….please for all our sakes….don’t create it! 

http://thenewswheel.com/was-elon-musk-right-facebook-shuts-down-artificial-intelligence-after-it-creates-its-own-language/ – Was Elon Musk Right? Facebook Shuts Down Artificial Intelligence After It Creates Its Own Language

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been head-to-head in the news lately with opposing views about Artificial Intelligence (AI). While Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is enthusiastic about the new technology, Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., has issued many warnings against the use of the technology.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/facebook-robots-language-ai/2017/08/01/id/805126/ – Facebook Bots Create Language Amongst Themselves

 

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.

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.

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. 

 

22 May 2017 My outdoor chalk meditation this morning – if you mind the “why”, you don’t have so many “what’s” (core of problems and preventing/solving them)

This meditation was spurred by my feeling a great deal of sorrow and anxiety after my post this morning.  What came to me, “It doesn’t matter where it is coming from, just let it pass through….feel it.”  I sat down by the large garden gate and just cried.  Then I saw a large snail moving slowly on the small side garden next to the house and I thought of my birth mom  Jeanne.  On 25 May she would be 75 and adding there is a lot of symbology in all those numbers and dates….5’s, 7’s and 12’s.  Watching the snail I thought of the slow passage through the “garden gate.”  I thought of my Mom and the slow passage through the “garden gate”…..passing through.  Then I thought again of what I’ve come to believe is the process of heaven to earth and back again…it is all connected by water.  Water is the key to it all and with what I and so many others have been witnessing going on in our shared skies…heavens….it’s like watching an attack on heaven.  What comes up, comes down and then back again.  The clouds are the key to the random nature of all things and what are clouds?  Vapors, a solid ship made from what it receives from the Earth.  If we contaminate the Earth we also contaminate “Heaven.”  When you take a drink of water, pure and untainted drinking water, you are taking a drink of Heaven and the potential of the future.  It’s a perfect system and we have been putting price tags on it…..trying to possess and control it.  What goes up, comes back down and so it is for all things.  We must clean up the “Messy Garden” and in turn restore the Heavens…restore balance between Heaven and Earth.

Nothing I am writing or exploring is new or revelationary – we’ve been in this “loop” for millennia…since forever.  I’ve just found a different way to convey it.  God will keep changing the dial, changing the “channel” until we learn these basic truths.  Everyone is looking for an answer.  Many can’t possibly imagine the answers could be so simple – it’s too easy!  No it’s quite complicated to try to get 7 billion plus parts of one body to cooperate for one common purpose…..peace.   Think of how complicated it is for just one person to find peace within themselves?  Magnify it to the Earth, to all dimensions and Universes….each thought a person has in a day to a deity size….yeah…it’s not easy but it is possible.  Anything is possible if you have Faith….that was my Mother’s middle name and mine is Joy which is what comes from true Peace.