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Bill,

Are those in power wanting the currency to fail so they can install a new currency? Of course the new currency comes with new laws that grant privileges (that can be taken away) as opposed to rights which are ‘god’ given.

When things get bad enough ie hyperinflation, the disappearance of our savings to buy hundred dollar toilet paper, etc. it seems then we’d all be willing to accept any solution even the giving up of our rights for ‘privileges’ in order to make the pain of inflation stop.

Is this some version of what the next 5 years might bring in your opinion?

My answer:

A new currency might happen. It won’t really affect what we are facing, though. It will merely be a smoke screen. I am skeptical about hyperinflation. I have no crystal ball, but I don’t see how that could be the final outcome. Here’s what I think:

Last time, in Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Part 1 (please read or listen to Part 1 first, before reading or listening to this post), after describing how everything in the universe is in the process of falling apart, I ended by posing what I called The Big Question:

How, in a universe irrevocably moving toward increased disorder, did something as complex and organized as life develop? Why do some things become more ordered?

How, indeed. This is an incredibly important question. You wouldn’t be here if SOMETHING had not happened to counteract all that entropy.

Despite the evil Mr. Entropy, here’s what happened, beginning eons ago:

“Breaking up is hard to do…”

Wednesday, 01 December 2010 by

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Chaotic inside?

Me, too. Everyone feels this way at times. Is this just bad luck? Crappy planning on the part of the universe? Or does overwhelm–that feeling that you might fall apart–play a positive role in life?

I’ve been thinking lately about the key ideas that have shaped my thinking. One is the principle of chaos and reorganization–a description of how complex systems, such as human beings, develop and change. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ve heard me say many times that we’re all caught in a giant matrix of cause and effect over which we have minimal control. The principle of chaos and reorganization is an elegant explanation of how that matrix of cause and effect–which ultimately includes everything in the universe–evolves.

More great questions…

Thursday, 29 April 2010 by

My last post (in which I answered two questions submitted to me) generated such a positive response that I thought I’d post two more very interesting and pertinent questions and my answers. I think you’ll find both exchanges to be quite interesting and thought-provoking.

This first question is about one of the early lessons in the second of my three Life Principles Integration Process online courses. This second course is about metaphysical questions, spiritual practice and spiritual awakening, and other related topics. I had explained in this lesson, among other things that (contrary to what most people believe) the past does not create the future. This, you’ll probably agree, is a very interesting question.
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Now THAT’S a good question…

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 by

I tremendously enjoy teaching and interacting with people to help them become more aware, and improve their sense of well being and the quality of their lives. I interact with people as a teacher in three main ways: at public events I do from time to time, on this blog, both by posting these articles and by responding to selelcted posts, and also through the questions students ask me by email as they take my Life Principles Integration Process online courses.

In this post I’d like to share a REALLY good question I received from someone taking my online courses, along with my answer, and a second great question I received on this blog, along with my answer.

I suspect that you’ll find these two questions extremely helpful to you.

So far we’ve looked at two aspects of seeing things the way they really are. The first was to see the connectedness of all things, to see that separate things and events are mental events and that, in reality, everything is one interconnected thing/event. Though it might be convenient (even essential) to chop the universe into separate things and events, all of this happens in the mind.

Though we need to create these mental divisions in order to navigate our life, when we mistakenly assume that these divisions are intrinsic to reality, we create suffering for ourselves–especially in the sense that we begin to feel as if we are one of those separate things, and that we are separate and alone and at risk in a dangerous world. As the poet A.E Housman put it, we feel “separate and afraid, in a world I never made.”

In reality, everything is connected and flowing along like water in a river. We mentally chop it up in order to help ourselves navigate our way through life. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. The problem isn’t dividing things into this and that, but forgetting that things aren’t really divided. We’re just doing it, in our mind, as a convenience.

Seeing this aspect of reality “the way it really is” allows us to feel a connection to everything else that is quite real–it IS the way things really are. Experiencing our unity with the rest of existence at least mitigates the feeling of isolation and separation we feel as humans. Since this involves seeing the interconnected onenessness (to use the New-Agey term) of everything, you might say that this is the positive side of the coin–the aspect of existence that most people idealize and would like to see as it really is. Few people would say, “Ugh. I don’t want to experience my oneness with everything.”

On the other side of the coin we have what people generally don’t want to see as it really is, the side of the coin that they perceive to be a source of suffering and pain. What’s on the other side of the coin? That all things in this world are impermanent and ultimately fall apart or end, and that we exist in a huge matrix of cause and effect relationships over which we have little control and which sometimes causes things to turn out in ways we don’t like.

We would love to escape from the fact that the things we love or want, even if we do get them, are impermanent. We naturally become attached to people and things, and inevitably those people or things go away, fall apart, or end. But there is no escape from impermanence. It’s build into the human condition. And, it’s painful.

We also often don’t like what we experience as a result of all the cause and effect relationships we’re caught in, because much of it we have no control over. As a result, we inevitably end up, at least part of the time, either failing to get what we want, or getting something we don’t want.

So impermanence and cause and effect represent the side of the coin most people don’t want to look at or acknowledge. Many who seek spiritual awareness, for instance, mistakenly think that spiritual awakening is a way of eliminating this “negative” side of the coin. Most of the new Western spirituality is based on this “get rid of the negative” type of thinking. Isn’t there a contradiction in the idea that we should be negative about negativity? What a rude shock it is to find that as you become more aware you also become aware of the parts of the universe you don’t like! [See parts 1 &2 of this series for a more complete treatment of these “two sides of the coin.”]

In this post I want to personalize the idea of seeing things the way they really are a bit more by looking at another aspect of this other side of the coin and asking you whether or not you can see yourself (and accept yourself ) as you really are.

May you have a great 2010

Thursday, 31 December 2009 by

Just a short note to thank you for reading this blog and for being a part of Centerpointe. I so appreciate the opportunity to play some small role in your life, and to hear your feedback.  I hope that what I’ve shared this year (along with your use of Holosync) has made you more aware, helped you think

So, in our last episode, we were talking about “seeing things the way they really are.” We could also say, “Don’t see things in a deluded way.”

This is a fascinating topic, so let’s dig into it a little more.

Seeing things the way they really are includes dealing with some key existential problems, which I’ve written about before. You could call these problems the Problem of Cause and Effect, and the Problem of Impermanence. The Problem of Cause and Effect results from the fact that there are many forces in the world–other people, the weather, earthquakes, the sun, your spouse, that rocks are hard, and so on–that we have little or no control over.  As a result, sometimes we don’t get what we want, or we get what we don’t want, both of which create frustration and suffering.

The Problem of Impermanence results from the fact that even if we do get what we want–either by accident or because we skillfully exercised what influence and control we do have–it eventually falls apart, is used up or, in some way, ends. And, of course, the most disturbing example of impermanence is that we eventually end, too. Everything in this world is impermanent–including us.

A thoughtful person, then, in addition to dealing with the problems of food, shelter, friends, and something meaningful and fulfilling to do, eventually asks certain questions: What’s going on here? Why is there so much suffering? Is there something I can do about it? What does all this mean? What should I do with my life? Can I do something about the fact that my body doesn’t always work right? Am I really going to die? Is there anything I can do about it? And, so on.

I do my best to stretch you in these posts. I’m trying to describe life and the human condition in a way that might be new and different for you, hopefully expanding your perspective. Unfortunately, people use much of what they read or hear to reinforce what they already believe, cherry-picking the parts that confirm what they already think and ignoring or misunderstanding the parts that don’t fit their current view.

Some of what I share isn’t easy to express, or get, using the written word. I try to write in a way that might in some small way help you have an experience of what I’m talking about, or lead you to do something on your own that helps you have the experience. This isn’t always possible, though.

What I write about almost always comes from my personal experience. A full understanding requires a similar experience, in the same way that a full understanding of Mexico comes from having been there. Just hearing about it might be informative, but incomplete. Since I’m talking about some rather rare and esoteric experiences, with no foolproof recipe for making sure you have the experience (much less fully embody it) writing in a way that gives you the experience is difficult. In that case, the value comes in at least having some context for understanding the experience if you ever do have it.

Sometimes merely knowing about something is almost useless. If I tell you about my experience of emptiness you end up wondering what the hell I’m talking about because no written or verbal description can adequately describe it, any more than you could adequately describing to a child what it’s like to have sex (not that you should do that), or describing to a child what it’s like to be an adult.

Whether the experience is profound or mundane, you have to experience it for yourself in order to really know about it. Understanding this, for most people, is an entirely new way to look at life. Almost all people decide what is true and real based on what someone else tells them or on something they read. Though you’re reading something I’ve written, I don’t want you to use it as a source of information that you just swallow whole, but rather as an impetus to find out for yourself by sitting with it, and by trying on the perspective I suggest.

I recently had my mind blown by an incredibly profound experience of what Buddhists call emptiness, or “dropped-off body-mind.” In such an experience “how it all is and what it’s all about” becomes stunningly obvious. All ideas dissolve–ALL ideas. Ideas, premises, beliefs, theories, maps of reality, are seen as inconsequential, insubstantial, uninteresting, beside the point. Instead, there’s just an infinitely deep peace, a vast expansiveness, a deep and profound knowingness about the essence of it all–and, the realization that all of this is who you are.

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