Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Post No. 179 - IQ and car speed cameras

I've never been much of a believer in "Intelligence Quotient" as having much significance for anything in particular - although, mind you, mine is, I have been told quite high [1]. I mention that to show that I am not downplaying IQ out of bitterness or anything similar: it's just that I'm in a good position, I consider, to argue the point that IQ is overrated exactly because I have an IQ that is well above the average.

I have NO desire to be part of Mensa, incidentally: the people I saw applying when I was at Uni put me off because of their arrogant attitudes. I suppose they, as is the case with most people, wanted to feel good about themselves. In their case, what they excelled at was stuff measured by IQ, so ... they used that to feel good, and then they made the mistake of trying to feel even better by belittling others who had skills in other areas.

You never acheive anything of merit or genuine value when it is founded on tearing down or attacking something that is different: treasure and appreciate the good things you have, but do so because they are good, not because they are a means to lord it over others.

I consider Emotional Quotient to have greater relevance to most people's lives, for instance. One of the advantages of EQ, or Emotional Intelligence as it is sometimes called, is that it forces those who may over-intellectualise, to the exclusion of all else (and I am writing on the basis of, in part, 30 years of engineering, working, at times, under some truly appalling, dreadful managers who should never have been allowed to manage a pencil case, let alone a human being) to become aware that human interactions are important.

However, getting back to what I wanted to cover, on SBS television last night was a programme examining the alleged link between racism and intelligence. After some really aggravating views claiming that a link was found, the best objective evidence was that things like educative support and opportunities (the sort of things missing in situations of gross poverty) were what made the difference in terms of IQ. The best comment, to me, was along the lines that what IQ measures is really extent of adaptation to modernity.

I can SO relate to that. There are people I've known who have low IQ, but their skills in non-academic areas such as living rough or going bush are phenomenal. For instance, there was an Torres Strait Islander at the high school I went to in Mackay who was, to me, very clearly intelligent, but his focus was not on academic acheivement: his interest was elsewhere in life [2].

I tried to find a link to the documentary, but the SBS website defeated me ... :(

I have been thinking about this issue of adapation to environments: I think focusing too much on an intellectual situation can lead to some downright stupid behaviour elsewhere. I'm particularly thinking of some pedestrians I've seen in the last few days doing some incredibly stupid things - one man, in the city, ran across cars that had just started moving because their traffic lights had turned green. If the cars hadn't braked, he would have been hit.

This situation probably involves a whole host of other things, such as focus on the music he was listening to, focus on trying to get fit (he was clearly running some distance at some speed, and probably didn't want to stop the flow of that), not to mention to tendency I've noticed in many people to put the great God *bow, scrape, worship* PERSONAL CONVENIENCE *bow, scrape, worship* ahead of everything else, such as waiting for traffic lights. At he time, I remember thinking this person coukld quite possibly be someone who is quite intelligent in their workplace, and yet they are so incredibly dumb out on the street.

And talking of streets and traffic leads me to my final point, a nice little story from Sweden about a speed camera where (a) speeding motorists were fined, and (b) the fine money went into a lottery and those obeying the speed limit had a chance to win some of it. I like that - think i might suggest it to our new State government ...

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:
  1. When my family moved from Victoria to Queensland in the early 70s, one of the things the new school system made me do was an IQ test - Goddess knows why. Anyway, after completing the test, I wasn't sure whether I was allowed to move or not until I saw someone else deleiver their completed test paper, so I did (and then found out that time to complete this was assessed! I had asked, but the supervisor must have misunderstood my question, as he said "take as long as you want"). Anyway, after that, I wasn't told my actual IQ (apparently the policy of the Department), but I was given a [percentage bracket, and it was quite high ... So that statment actually does have some objective foundation; it is not a case of being arrogant.
  2. I remember this kid because I actually offered to help him with his homework if he ever got stuck. The offer didn't lead to anything in the end.

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: IQ, indigenous, school, about me, attitudes, arrogance, irresponsibility, safety,

First published: Tysdagr 30th November, 2010

Last edited: Tysdagr 30th November, 2010

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Post No. 178 - Fear

I fear I have been planning (and doing some work on! It’s not all just daydreaming … :) ) a post on emotions for some time now. Well, I recently read an article in my engineering magazine, Engineers Australia (my version is from the civil engineering college), quite a few months ago now, and it gave me a spur to get this done, at least, on the topic of fear.To set the scene a little, I wrote some time ago about the notion that anger is not an emotion: that view works well for me, as it gives me a spur to get behind the anger, and see what is going on, which gives me (not necessarily ANYONE else, mind you [1]) the best tools for managing my anger. (This is something I decided to do when I was about ten: at that age, I resolved to ensure my anger didn’t control me, that I “used” my anger constructively – but that “used” is in the sense of “power with”, rather than “power over”. Suppressing something never gets anywhere …Buddhism was particularly good at teaching me that. [1]) Since then, I have been experimenting with the notion of viewing fear on the grounds that it also is not an emotion.Well, that didn’t work so well – and, after reading the article I mentioned, I know that that is because fear is not an emotion :)The article was titled “Physical safety achieved through emotional safety”, by Margot Cairnes (see here for more about this author, who I hold in high regard), and was about the importance of fear as an instinctive reaction. In my words, in effect what happens when one is strongly afraid is that the brain short-circuits the thinking part, and resorts to using just the "reptilian" residual, brain-stem of the brain (my descriptions may not be quite right, so I suggest you look up the links for more exact facts if you want them: I'm just explaining this as a prelude to my main post concepts). What this leads to is a nerve signal to the brain not having to go through a whole host of messy, time-consuming, energy-consuming thinking, it just hits the brain stem and is re-routed into whatever has to be done. So ... your hand touches a flame and flinches out of harm's way before you can think about it. (There's a section on the neurobiology of fear at Wikipedia - click here.)

In other words, fear switches in a biologically useful survival reaction - apart from preparing the body for a "fight or flight" response (which should actually be fight, flight or network-and-nurture [3]).
So, perhaps one could actually consider fear to be a sub-emotion, one of the foundations upon which emotions are built.

Those emotions can be expressed in a whole range of ways, some destructive (including an angry expression, such as losing one's temper and having an uncontrollable rage or temper tantrum), and some constructive (including an angry expression). As an example of the latter, if I find myself becoming angry at an injustice in the world, generally an abuse of human rights, I will do SOMETHING about it [4].

So what does all this mean?

It means that I need to acknowledge that fear, as with anger, has a good expression, and a bad expression.

I want the good expression of fear to continue - I want my hand to flinch out of the way before I have to waste time thinking about being burnt.

What I don't want to continue is the automatic expression of the now inappropriate expression of fear, possibly from the early mammalian parts of my brain, where I freeze and, in effect, "play dead". That's damn useful if I am a small mammal being threatened by a meat eater on a plain somewhere, but if I am, say, a human being bullied or threatened as a result of office politics (or, worse, being threatened by a criminal, or yet worse again, being threatened by someone who wants to continue a form of discrimination (think about the threats made to activists during the apartheid regime), then that reaction is not very useful.

What I want is to be able to function effectively while I am experiencing the effects of fear.

So, for instance, if I were inclined to use affirmations to deal with such things, I might consider using something along the lines of "I allow my good fear, whilst staying in my forebrain to function at my best despite any bad fear". Hmmm ... glad I don't write affirmations for a living :)
The second part of that is meant to focus on the more recently evolved, "superior" parts of the brain - i.e., let's use ALL the skills I have, not just the simplest, quickest, most instinctive parts.

So, if I am being threatened by a criminal, let's think carefully about how to defuse the situation and get out of it intact, rather than just fall in a screaming heap on the ground, which might aggravate them into, say, taking whatever they wanted and then giving me a kick or three for good measure for forcing them to actually do some work to get their money.

If I am being threatened by people who want me to stop doing something, then I need to think carefully and weight up the various threats, my vulnerabilities, my principles and ethics, the help I can get (including for advice on how to deal with the threats), etc, etc, etc.

Now, in terms of functioning while afraid, I recently read a book written by an ex-SAS trooper on the topic of self defence: "Self Defence in 30 Seconds", by Robert Redenbach (Pub. Courtney Ballantyne, Bond University, Qld., Australia, 2007, Dist. Macmillan, ISBN 9 780980 382204 0 4). In this book, his comments about fear are (in part):
  • there are rubbish attitudes towards fear such as the acronym "False Evidence Appearing Real", whereas fear is something that has survival value;
  • fear is natural, reliable, mobilises, constrains, inhibits, filters, distorts, is contagious, is proof and is an opportunity (you will have to get the book to get the explanations which go against this);
  • learn your personal response to fear (not everyone reacts the same way) by experiencing situations where you are physically and psychologically stretched (the physical component is because this book is focused on physical self defence; being psychically stretched could be used in lieu of that for the sort of context I am discussing)
  • gain as much knowledge and familiarity as you can with the techniques you are going to be working with;
  • develop health and fitness (which, again, for this context could be "develop psychic strength and wellbeing"); and
  • work beyond yourself (i.e. for others - which has been a massive motivator for me personally in many situations).
This little book is an interesting one, and I will return to it when I post more in the future about psychic attack. Interestingly enough, the book begins with an epigraph [5] by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Do the thing as you will have the power"

That is very similar to a saying I would consider for much of the gist of this post:

"Feel the fear and do it anyway." - which does NOT necessarily apply to situations such as physical threats, etc, but may do so to other situations.

In any case, what you need to do after something has stretched you or made you afraid, is analyse it - review it, see what your responses were, what signals you could see in yourself that you were afraid, etc, etc, etc.

Now let's consider a few examples which might show a few other aspects of this topic. Each of these originally started as a different post, but I have decided to combine them all together into one post.

As an initial example, there is my recent post of "fear of difference".

If you're afraid of difference, well, perhaps you were the victim of a pogrom in a past life, and what has carried through is the notion that, if you are different, bad things will happen to you - and being seen with, or associated with, anyone who is different may lead to bad things coming to you. [6] Or ... you could have had someone like a priest tell you that being different in certain ways (e.g., being gay or lesbian, not to mention bisexual, trans or intersex [the priest would probably have just used the word "homosexual" - which is one reason I NEVER trust people who use that word rather than the LGBTIQ acronym/words) you will not go to Heaven. In other words, difference will deny you your immortality, and hence you may want to keep it as far away from you as possible.

This is actually probably one of the few cases where the saying "False Evidence Appearing Real" would apply. The values and assumptions underlying this fear are complete, utter and absolute rubbish.

Still, it does raise a useful example for some self analysis: is there anywhere your behaviour is because you are reacting out of fear? If so, how are you going to overcome your problem?

Before moving on to the next example, I wish to make it abundantly clear that the problem of discrimination against any form of difference also has a whole raft of other causes that need to be addressed, including lack of awareness of difference [7].

Next, let's consider fear of problems.

When I was a kid at school, I hated being set problems to solve in maths - it was work! Didn't those pesky teachers know the Universe had decreed that kids should be allowed to play and do whatever they want and be given everything on a plate?

Evidently not :)

I still can't say I love problems - well, some I do. I enjoy working and puzzling out a solution to some engineering problems ("challenges"), and working out how to do things like boat design details better. I even enjoy things like practising so I can improve my psychic skills, and exercising to improve my health (which I must get back into, now that my sister has gone home after her treatment). But problems of the type where I have to learn something about myself, or develop a skill, are often still difficult. They may still be "not fun".

In fact, I would MUCH rather that I experienced a problem because of karma than because of learning. If it is karmic - GREAT! It will probably have a finite limit and then be over. But if I am experiencing something because I have to learn, grow and change, that will keep at me - just like those pesky teachers, all those years (decades!) ago, until I learn/grow/change as the case may be.

The point is: problems (I'm not going to give them the PC term "challenges", I'm going to call a spade a shovel, gosh darnit!) are part and parcel of life, whether you're incarnate or discarnate - after all, growing doesn't stop just because you're dead, for goodness sake! (Mind you, it does tend to happen in a MUCH more pleasant environment if you're discarnate and have passed over to the astral ...)

But there are people in the physical world who are either uncomfortable with, or downright afraid of, problems.

It is best not to suppress emotions: far better in the long term to get the facing them and resolving issues done early, before they build into things that are more set in one's character, and have to be attached with a pick and shovel, rather than a spoon, so to speak.

Of course, to view doing so as a benefit, one has to:
(a) believe or know that they won't go away, and unlike our views of such things when we are small children, and think we can trick our parents into forgetting about something, neither our parents nor the Universe will actually do so, nor, more importantly, will our own Higher Self or Soul; and
(b) have a long term view that short term pain is worth the long term gain (a bit like having a painful massage to get rid of a problem like shin splints, although that may need other treatments).

This raises the point that some fear, particularly fear relating to social standing or short term things like missing out on a party or an opportunity, are really a function of perspective. Change your perspective, and the fear may ease, or even go away entirely.

Finally, let's consider fear and parenting.

Now, parenting is something I have touched upon before - see my previous posts here, and here. (The topic also crops up here.)

In the context of fear, what I want to cover is the fear of being thought or accused of being a bad parent. I have seen this in a few people - actually, particularly men, who have to worry about whether or not they are going to be accused of being an abuser if they cuddle their own chidlren.

That is not a joke: I have met such men, I have read letters from the partners of such men: this worry is real. (It is also more than sad that most child abuse could have been stopped early if adults had believed the child - and that comment comes from the experience of a wide range of people who have been close to me over the last few decades.)

Such fear of not living "up" to society's views, standards and expectations is both a form of social control, and a major restriction on the parenting.

It is scary to see, as what this sort of fear leads to is exactly what was feared in the first place: bad parenting. If your first reaction is NOT "what is best for my child?", but rather "what would I be expected to do?", you are at risk of making decisions on the basis of others' approval/disapproval, rather than the best interests of your child.

This is one of the problems of unresolved fear generally: making decisions to sate the fear, rather than what is best.

Such an attitude can also, ironically, lead to not getting help, as one may be afraid of being thought incompetent. That latter aspect is one I have seen with a few engineers, actually ...

Well, I think that is just about enough for now. I'll just mention that fear of of the new can be an restriction on people learning new psychic skills, and here is a link to a story about someone who stood up to some injustice and abuse. May I be so brave - if, perhaps, a little more fortunate.
Note 1
I found some links which may or may not be of interest or value to others is assessing this notion of mine. I haven’t looked at them, but here they are:

On this, a young person fairly close to me recently apparently expressed the view that they held on to their rage because they then feels “powerful”.

Huh?

The one thing I NEVER feel when angry is “powerful”. I don’t even particularly feel “in control” of anything – in fact, anger suggests to me that things (i.e. the situation – people + circumstances) have reached a desperate situation of last resort.

It is interesting to hear that this young person feels that, as the energy concerned bleeds out of the person in many ways – especially psychic versions of “passive aggressive” behaviour (such as taking down psychic structures I have built up for protection, on the basis that this young (not even 21!) person subconsciously doesn’t want anything to change, or be different to their childhood – and I am a threat, as I bring change. The person concerned is completely unaware of what they are doing – and is not particularly open to psychic notions, so there is absolutely no point in talking to the person (guessing whether they are male or female yet? Good! Keep guessing!) concerned about this. This is something which I have to just sigh, and endure until either life teaches the young person this lesson (and there are other lessons to be learnt first, lessons of greater importance) or they move (apparently going overseas in the near future). If one is being affected by this sort of behaviour, one can always leave the situation if one cannot cope with it, of course :)

This is a good example of the down side of something I have advocated in the past, continue to advocate, and HAVE to (ethically) continue to advocate: that there are two options for dealing with emotions that are adversely impacting on others. (1) change the emotion; or(2) genuinely and effectively hold the emotion in so it doesn’t impact on others, whether directly (i.e. through your words or behaviour) or “indirectly” (i.e. through psychic attack – which is when [to simplify a whole lot] energy leaves your aura in response to thoughts/emotions). The reality is, option (1) is a lot easier and more reliable than option (2), but people are so afraid of change, afraid of success when trying to change, afraid of failure when trying to change, or just even addicted to holding on to emotional traits as definers of their uniqueness, that they THINK option (2) is easier …

SIGH – oh well, that’s life on the third rock from Sol. At the present – it will change :)

This example is also an example of something that is a little more widespread: using negative energy as a defence. It’s easy to do – for instance, just get into a habit of denial, and the negative energy (deceit) starts to build structures in your aura (reflecting, in part, the extent to which you are deceitful in physical life) and you start being “hard to read”, friends start getting wary for reasons they don’t understand, and so on. As another example, if you – as in this case – like to use anger or rage as a form of defence (maybe you think offence is the best form of offence?) or a way of interacting with people/situations/life, that energy starts to accumulate in your aura and can be intimidating – or at least unpleasant – to others. Start getting addicted to something – say, pain, or fear, or failure (sometimes done out of a misunderstanding of the details of karma, or because of a misplaced belief that self-punishment by feeling guilt can somehow offset one’s past misdeeds), or alcohol, and that energy (including the energy of addiction) will also start to accumulate in your aura and build negative structures (such as negative shields), and will start to lock you into that behaviour, lock you into your pain/fear/etc, making growth harder - and making it almost impossible for others to reach you – particularly psychically.

Of course, to indulge in building up these negative structures and energies willingly and consciously is to indulge in activities that some would classify as “evil”. I would consider each case “on its merits”, but there certainly are some such (none I personally know in the physical) who I would consider “evil”.

There is another aspect to this as well: responses to psychic attack.

Most debates I’ve seen about this take the place of: do I “passively” (I’ll explain why I think that is a misnomer shortly) deflect the energy away from both myself and my attacker, or do I return the energy to my foe (which is what the attacker effectively is)?

Now, keeping in mind that most psychic attack is between people who know each other (e.g., one family member who is resentful/jealous of another, or one friend being jealous of another, or a partner getting possessive [often out of insecurity arising from poor communication, maybe about needs], and the situation of “evil stranger seeking to dominate and possess innocent’s soul” is extremely rare (although it does happen – if you take out the word innocent!), and hence the situation is one where you may well feel a sense of duty/obligation/honour towards the other person, not to mention love, the preceding has the complication of another variation: do you, or don’t you, act to neutralise/remove the attacker’s negative shields – and other negative energies, links, etc (I was taught at ASPECTS to use the general term “unit”: I don't know if they still use that term, I went my separate way a couple of decades ago now) – that the attacker is either using, or are using the attacker, to create, maintain or increase the attack?

My short answer is that it depends on the circumstances: (1) is serious harm being done? If not, then no, leave them alone. If serious harm is being done, then consider: would you do nothing if serious harm was being done in the physical world? Wouldn’t you, if nothing else, call the police? What about using the psychic/spiritual equivalent of that – call your guides/patron deities/Higher Self? (2) is the attacker themselves a victim, and is it for the Highest Spiritual Good for them to have the control they are under removed? Well, if you know what is for the Highest Spiritual Good ... wow! You can, however, and should, use your mind to make your best judgement call about the situation – just remember it is YOU doing that, not me: if you aren’t prepared to take responsibility for doing so, then don’t.


Note 2
Interestingly, I recently was re-reading some of my Lobsang Rampa books, and on page 6 of "Twilight" found the following comments:
My personal belief, which I have never put in print before, is that Gautama, the Prince, was to utterly sheltered from the hard facts of life, and then when he suddenly became confronted with suffering, pain and death, then it "turned his brain", it gave him a severe psychic shock, it upset his sense of values, it destroyed something essential to his being. So, the Prince Gautama left the Palace, left all the comforts he had known, and became utterly disillussioned. My personal belief is that he became "negative".If one studies the Teachings of Gautama (let us say "Buddha" which is more normal to Western people) one will appreciate that Buddha was negative, everything was "no-ness", "all life is suffering". Well, we know that isn't true, don't we?

Interesting. Have a look at the last paragraph of my post here.

Note 3
I have read that the reason this response was described as "fight or flight" was because the lab rats being used to explore this reaction were all male. When the tests were done using female rats (which, by the way, is an appalling concept - I mean the whole animal testing thing, not just the gender of the animals used), they found the response were different.

I couldn't find a good reference for that, but try here and here for an idea of what this is about.

Note 4
Usually this is writing a letter to a politician - which I don’t view cynically.

I have trained myself to view this as a snowflake contributing to a glacier: imperceptible on its own, but my action my inspire other snowflakes to add to the weight of the glacier, and the glacier DOES exist, and is moving.

After all, human rights are discussed and considered now, and attempts – albeit arguably flawed attempts – are being made to improve human rights all the time.

Compare that with the situation a few centuries ago, where the concept that a human being could be owned by another
(whether through slavery or marriage) was almost universal: now, the acceptable of owning another through slavery is far less widespread (although possessiveness in relationships is still a widespread problem – see polyamory for my ideas of what could possibly cure, or contribute to a cure of, this problem).

Note 5
I just found that word this last week :)

Note 6
On a more subtle level, perhaps you could have been someone who committed the pogrom, and now you either (a) still have the same bigotry, prejudice and hatred, or (b) fear your karma coming back to you, and are trying to prevent that by being as "un-different" as possible.

Note 7
See here.
Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: activism, animal testing, attitudes, brain, Buddhism, challenge, control, emotions, evolution, family, fear, growth, Lobsang Rampa, parenting, problems, socialisation, society

First published: Sunday 27th November, 2010, after months hanging round as a few partially completed drafts :)

Last edited: Sunday 27th November, 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Post No. 177 - Some links for reading and ... maybe ... even thinkin'

Here are a couple of links about Lobsang Rampa.

Which one is right? Well, it could well be: both, and neither.

Which is wrong? Well, it could well be: both, and neither.

My experience of "official" Buddhism and Tibet is along the lines of what is on the serendipity site (i.e. the one critical of Lobsang Rampa), but that doesn't mean other does not necessarily exist. If other does exist, does not detract from official teachings - is still valid, important.

After all, the explanations given by Rampa could, of course, be correct - e.g., transmigration (if you want another view on that, see Ruth Montgomery's "Strangers Among Us"). After all, some of Rampa's predictions have come true - e.g., climate warming (Chapters of Life, p. 25), China emerging as a world power, large underground reservoir of fresh water in Australia.

Mind you, there are a few which appear to have been missed, too - such as NEW World Leader doing, in the year 2005, "much to confound godless people who do not believe in Gods, Saviors [sic], etc., etc." (Chapters of Life, p. 23).

(The pro site also includes some rubbish re gays and lesbians (medical extracts?!), and a hypothesis which many will find challenging: that Lobsang Rampa was, at this death, 270 - 300 years old. This is at http://www.lobsangrampa.org/hypothesis.html.)

Actually, this - having just allied myself to a conspiracy theory type stance! - would be a good place for me to have a little rant against conspiracy theories.

One of my former friends loved conspiracy theories - she loved the idea that the landings on the Moon were all faked (my view is that I was glad when an astronaut punched one idiot who was stupid enough to try challenging him face to face about it), she loved the X Files (I liked them too for a while, but it got a bit over-long for me). I know there is even a Flat Earth Society!

Some of this is just harmless, or even entertaining. Other conspiracy theories are not: there are some very vicious, nasty and evil theories on the basis of race, religion or sexuality, for instance. Those conspiracy theories are far from harmless.

Personally, I simply don't have time to engage in rubbish, and so I won't when it comes to conspiracy theories. In fact, my tendency to dislike conspiracy theories is one of the reasons I didn't like the Matrix series of films when they came out: my friend loved them because they played into her love of conspiracy theories, and I reacted against that. Well, to continue a recent theme, I actually wound up watching the series again: I still dislike the conspiracy-theory-like aspects of the film (I feel like conspiracy theories are a device of the week minded which detracts from the serious purpose of those of us who know our stuff isn't a conspiracy theory - it's real! [Joke, Joyce!]), but there are some interesting links I have come across as a result of that, including here and here.

Keep in mind that, as I evolve, my views on anything are liable to change - that was one of the reasons I started posts like this one, and this one, to show some of those changes I have made as I matured. I'm currently revisiting Rampa, and still find his views on women misogynistic, but a lot of the other information remains useful.

As a final example on change, one the things that attracted me to Buddhism was a perception that it was a more peaceful religion than others. Well, it may be more peaceful than, say, Christianity, but it cannot be considered a peaceful, problem free religion. An ABC Radio National programme I heard about the history of Sri Lanka made the lack of peace of some parts of Buddhism very apparent ... and the Dalai Lama has been embroiled in controversy over his treatment of one Tibetan Buddhist sect.

And that is now one of my past draft posts completed ... :)

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: Buddhism, change, evolution, Lobsang Rampa, conspiracy theory, Buddhism, Dalai Lama, controversy,

First published: Friday 26th November, 2010

Last edited: Friday 26th November, 2010

Post No. 176 - A few Friday thoughts: bullies, boot camps, genes and whistleblowers

When I was a kid at school, I was bullied as a kid. Mostly I just laid low and avoided trouble when I could, but occasionally I stood up to the bullies. On one occasion a bigger kid threw a football at me, hitting me in the head: I complained to the teachers and was taken to the Grade 5 classes to try and pick him out, but my nerve failed before I got to the even bigger Grade 6 classes. Which probably saved me getting bashed up after school as I walked home.

I also refused to visit one of my mother's friends: Mum's friend's son was one of the most sadistic bullies I ever met (his Mum said "oh he's so sensitive, and gets a bit misunderstood": no, he was a sadistic bully). I told Mum she should go and visit without me, but she wanted me to be the excuse. (The kid's mother was a nice human being, although a bit blind about her son.)

I was pleased to hear a few years ago that schools were implementing anti-bullying measures; but I was horrified to hear some of these measures included having victims talk of how being bullied made them feel. My experience was bullies are sadistic and want that confirmation that their behaviour is working to give them their little thrill.

So I was VERY pleased to hear a segment on ABC Radio National's Lifematters programme this week about anti-bullying measures which said: don’t talk about feelings, name the behaviour as bullying and challenge it because it is wrong.

YES! YES!! YES!!!

There were other very interesting points in the segment:
  • discussion on the "bullying triangle", which is perpetrator, victim and bystanders, all of whom have a role to play in fixing this problem;
  • that use of the phrase “dobbing in” (in the context of "don't tell teachers - that's dobbing, and no-one wants to be friends with a dobber" - see here and here) is in itself a form of bullying;
  • bystanders may not feel able to talk to teachers about what they've seen, but they can offer support in the immediate aftermath, which apparently has been shown to be very effective;
  • schools need a range of strategies to deal with bullying, not just one policy; and
  • bullying is a learned behaviour: it can happen in adults if not nipped in the bud in kids.
Having put up with office politics for several decades now, I can vouch for the latter point.

The link for the segment is here.

On the topic of young people, one of our State politicians has proposed sending kids to a sort of "boot camp" to make sure they get adequate training in "life skills" such as budgeting, and, if from the city get to know what country life is like and vice-versa. I am fortunate to be sharing my life with a partner who is very much aware that she is more or less running an apprenticeship for her kids (i.e. they are apprentice adults), but I suspect such a programme could be of benefit to some kids - PROVIDED it is NOT run along military lines.

The original news article is here (Brumby plan for teenage boot camp, The Age, 16th November, 2010.)

Another one from a while ago about parents who do too much for their kids is:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/helicopter-parents-not-doing-enough-to-let-children-fail-20100402-rjxy.html

And on interesting news articles, how about this one, which reports that trauma has been found to have a genetic influence on offspring:
Trauma found to affect genes, The Age, 25th November, 2010
I'm going to think about that ...

And finally, whistleblowers. One of the engineering companies I've worked for in the past (and, as I have been seconded out to a few companies, those who know me should not make any assumptions about which one that is :) ) considered doing something which I considered unethical (I honestly don't remember what it was, now - it was far too long ago). I told them I had concerns, which had no effect, so I started the process of lodging a complaint with the Institute of Engineers Australia's Ethics Committee. I don't know whether it was my action, or cooler heads prevailing, but anyway, the action didn't go ahead.

So, when I read the following article about a pilot who was sacked for raising safety concerns, my immediate reaction was that the shame here is of the company, not the pilot. This does show, however, that being ethical can cost one (in many ways, I am worse of for having changed jobs in protest at human resources policies). There are many aspects to a situation, of course, so it is worth reading the article to get both sides of the story - and then, make up your own mind, which does not mean agree with me!

The article link is here, and the details are: Challenge to pilot's sacking, The Age, 26th November, 2010

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: about me, abuse, activism, attitudes, awareness, bullying, depression, group dynamics, human rights, immaturity, interpersonal interactions, ethics, school, whistleblowing,

First published: Friday 26th November, 2010

Last edited: Friday 26th November, 2010

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Post No. 175 - Privacy, fraud and identity theft

In one of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series of books, there is a scene where a couple of poles are crossed over a doorway, and that is enough for others to stay out of the room and leave the couple inside some privacy. Those sort of days are long past now :)

These days, we have a whole series of new crimes to watch out for, including identity theft. Now, whilst I am of the view that improving your karmic situation (see here and here) and using protection will help you avoid crime, there is a time and place for common sense also.

I recently heard of someone giving numerological readings where people were required to submit their name, date of birth and address. Now, there could well be valid reasons for seeking that information - name (in some cases, birth) and date of birth are used in various forms of numerology (I myself use use name, and have studied systems based on date of birth, although I no longer use those), but your address is NOT part of systems (other than, perhaps, the number of your house) - although maybe it is obtained so they can send you a hard copy?

In any case, if you give that much information, you have provided enough information for criminals to start committing identity theft and fraud in your name. Sure, there are protections under law, but if that happens, you will still experience enormous stress and expense as you try to set things right. 'tis better to exercise an ounce of prevention ...

In the case of the numerological readings I mentioned, I would check why the information is being requested, do what checking on the person I can (e.g. internet search) and then make sure I did not give all three pieces of information. These days I do not use my true date of birth anywhere on the internet (I also do not hand over photo ID unless it is to someone I am satisfied has authority AND genuine need for that), and I have never done things like put my address on a social networking site (which is one of the many reasons I do not use Facebook).

In the case of psychic readings, I can understand people wanting to get a reading (often as part of the desperate search for love many of us go through, particularly when young): don't, however, make yourself vulnerable through your desire: exercise a modicum of common sense. If someone asks for your address, perhaps arrange with friend to give theirs instead. If someone asks for your birth date, be VERY wary of giving it out - your address can be got from the phone book once they have your name, but getting a date of birth is a little harder. I know many people like to put their date of birth up so they can get birthday wishes from friends who have been reminded by the website: I am perfectly willing to forego the "pleasure" of having a computer programme congratulate me on my birthday. My friends know when I was born, their well wishes mean something, the computer's do not. If this is important to you, choose a fake public date that is close to your real birthday, then, but be wary of putting too much information up.

I know that psychism is real: I also know that crime is real. I know that you, dear Reader, have the capacity to think: do so.

PS - people in workplaces who read out their details willy-nilly over phones are also being incredibly irresponsible. Voices carry, and workmates can fall out ...

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: crime, privacy, Internet, misleading others,

First published: Thursday 25th November, 2010

Last edited: Friday 26th November, 2010

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Post No. 174 - Fear of difference

Today I happened to drive up to some shops to do some shopping. Nothing particularly remarkable in that, except I was abused my an elderly "gentleman" because I was driving with my headlights on during daylight hours. Now, I happen to drive with my headlights on for very good reason: safety.

When I don't, I get all sorts of idiots who seem to assume that because I drive a small car I don't matter, and therefore they can cut me off. When I drive with my headlights on, which is recommended in some areas of New South Wales and, I understand, is compulsory in some parts of Canada, I don't get the same extent of problem.

But this particular idiot this morning - and I have come across others like him - was affronted at someone doing something so unnatural as driving during daylight hours with her headlights on that he had to show his beak into the situation.

Ah well, at least he didn't attack me for it, unlike the bigot at yesterday's Equal Marriage rally who attacked one of the (straight) supporters there.

The things people do because they cannot handle difference.

It's quite a widespread problem, actually. Have you ever made an assumption, for instance, that a loved one/friend/colleague will like something because you do? The energy of that assumption is very much akin to the sort of bigotry that led to yesterday's assault and this morning's rant.

Remember, if something you see is not ACTIVELY HARMING others, you may well be supposed to just keep your nose out of it. If someone is different to you, that isn't necessarily a problem ... for instance, if you're a particular sexuality, and they have a different (but consensual) for of sexuality or relationship orientation, then their sexuality (which is far more fundamental than is implied by calling it a flippant "preference") is none of your business. Butt out!

For those readers who do NOT have these problems, I apologise for this rant: I needed to vent.

Normal service will now resume :D

Oh, and I might be able to try some Ranger techniques with someone in the near future, so I will hopefully be able to report on something good, soon.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, minding others business,

First published: Sunday 21st November, 2010

Last edited: Sunday 21st November, 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

Post No. 173 - Materialism ... not?


In my experience, rich people seem to cop a fair bit of stick (criticism). In my view, much of that may well be justified - of the very few well off people I've met (and I have never met anyone - in this lifetime - who was a millionaire), some are very tight-fisted. Not all have been stingy, and some have actually been quite pleasant and reasonable people. There are, of course, also rich people like the philanthropist Elisabeth Murdoch.

It is the stinginess and materialism that I object to - NOT the fact that they are rich and I am not. My experience of many people is that the objection they have to rich people is it isn't themselves who are rich, it is someone else.

Keep in mind here that there has been research which found that, once you had enough money to meet your needs, having more money didn't necessarily make you more happy. So ... once you have enough to live reasonably comfortably, money doesn't buy you happiness. Conversely, it is vital NOT to be living in poverty in order to be happy!

The saying about money doesn't buy you happiness doesn't apply to those in poverty.

This attitude of - effectively - hatred towards the rich probably had an extreme in the stories told to me by a former work colleague who came from difficult circumstances in southern China [1]. There, if someone was involved in a car accident, people would not help them because of the anger they felt that someone else was rich enough to have a car. That sort of attitude is not good karmically, or from any other spiritual perspective.

Nevertheless, it is refreshing to come across rich people like Warren Buffett, who has taken a pledge to give away most of his fortune (mostly via Bill Gates' Foundation), and urged other rich people to do likewise.

When I started writing this, it was in response to some newspaper articles. The links may be dead, but here they are, for what (if anything) it is worth:

Interesting food for thought on an aspect of materialism.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:
  1. Once, when my friend's sister was crying with hunger, he tried to steal a chicken for her, was caught, and spent the day strung up in chains.

This post's photo is of my palatial "office" - note the 3/4 screen that I use, as a result of the screen being closed on a crystal some years ago :) The timber is so I can finish building a table (which I have been a bit slack about). I enjoy woodwork - one of the results of trying to sail competitively on a tight budget as a kid: the shelves you can see are my work. It's a fairly confined space, and my working tools are imperfect: nevertheless, I can get things done. I consider too many people make excuses that they cannot do stuff because situations or tools are imperfect. Well, learn to improvise and make do - MAKE it work with what you have!

Tags: aggression, anger, attitudes, China, ethics, materialism, personal characteristics, society, poverty,

First published: Saturday 20th November, 2010

Last edited: Saturday 20th November, 2010

Post No. 172 - Scientific proof that the future can be predicted?

As I was driving home tonight, I was listening to the BBC The World Today programme (I think) via ABC Radio NewsRadio, when they had a segment which was more or less introduced along the lines of scientific proof that people can predict the future.

The segment was an interview with a Professor Daryl Bem, a psychologist working at Cornell University, who may have found scientific evidence that people can predict the future.

What Professor Bem did was a variation of a memory test.

In the standard form, volunteers are shown a list of 48 words, one word at a time for three seconds, on a computer screen. They are then given exercises to do with half of those words - selected at random by the computer. After this, they are asked to write down as many of the original list of 48 words as they can. Not surprisingly, the 24 words that they had exercises for are more frequently (as a "long term" statistical trend) remembered.

In the modified form, the 48 words are shown to the volunteers, then they write the list, then get exercises for randomly selected words. The same trend is still apparent.

Interesting - I'll have a think about how much credence I will give to this. It will possibly only mean something to me if one of the Skeptics organisations acknowledges it as valid - I don't need a scientist to tell me what I know to be truth.

I found a few links for this story; here is the New Scientist link. Have a read and see what you think.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: science, scepticism, precognition, psychism, psychology,

First published: Friday 19th November, 2010

Last edited: Friday 19th November, 2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Post No. 171 - Convenience vs. responsibility

Something which is important to me is living responsibly. That includes things like shopping as ethically as I can. In many cases, that involves not going to the closest or most convenient shop, but one that may be a little out of the way - as well as planning shops so they minimise use of petrol whenever I can. I'm greatly helped in this by my partner, who is the most ethical woman I know, and has had great experience in planning her life to be ethical - as has her other primary partner (we are all polyamorous - see here if you haven't come across that before). I also actively avoid certain shops that, for instance, are known to discriminate against trans women. [1]

A similar principle applies to psychic energy. I avoid travel routes, for instance, that I can sense significant amounts of negative energy on - or, if I do, for whatever reason, have to go that way, I make sure I am well protected [2], and focus on things like flaming (see here and here) and grounding afterwards.

This is not always convenient: in fact, it can be downright INconvenient ... but it is part and parcel, as far as I am concerned, about being an adult with respect to psychic energies.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:
  1. If this is something you would like to try, I recommend making contact with socialist and/or vegan groups/individuals. My experience is that they are two groups who are quite likely to be able to give you good, thoughtful advice on ethical choices - you may not necessarily agree with their decisions, but at least you will get to a place of well-considered views, whatever those may be, by engaging in such discussions.
  2. For some of my previous posts on protection see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: activism, personal responsibility, protection, flaming, grounding,

First published: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Last edited: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Post No. 170 - Some idle speculation: names and readers

One of the things that is important to many people starting off in Wicca is choosing a craft name. I was fortunate in that aspect, in that, before I found Wicca, I found what would become my craft name (Gnwmythr) through a dream. Otherwise, I would probably have gone through the same sorts of agony as other newbies to Wicca, and probably chosen something just as fluffy bunny as the other newbies :) In fact, this choice of names is something that was sent up by a programme that was being circulated a few years ago : my (send up) craft name according to this programme was something like "boadicea pixie dolphin" ... hmmm.

More seriously, I am interested in names - I've been doing Qabbalistic numerology for decades, from the time I was a teenager, actually, and have used it several times to choose legal names (although I have settled with my current legal name for quite some time now :) ).

I just tried to find a good link on the topic of Qabbalistic numerology, and couldn't (some good links of the Qabbalah generally, though - beginning here): I might have to do a post on that myself ...

Anyway, going to back to my speculatin' ... Occasionally I bug my friends with questions like "what do you think would make a good middle name for me?" I ignore the answers along the lines of one friend who suggested anything beginning with O, so my initials would spell KOW :)

Now, I'm thinking of bugging them with a question along the lines of: "what do you think would make a good craft name for me?" I like owls, I like female warriors, I like stormy weather ... maybe Stormwings Owl ... If I had more people (well, any people, actually :D ) calling me a mage, I could go for Storm Owl Mage ... hmmmm ... maybe not :)

Still it can be interesting to speculate about such matters. This was, to some extent, triggered by a post I read recently on the Witches' Voice website, "Learning from the Fluffy Bunny", which is well worth a look.

Another matter that has been intriguing me is the readership of this blog. Blogger now allows bloggers to get access to statistics (actually, I think they have for a while, but I only cottoned on to that a year or so ago). It is fascinating to me to see the nations that viewers come from, and it seems that there may be a pattern. I don't have the time, energy or inclination to invite comments on my posts (I am too busy, too exhausted most of the time, and too cranky :) ), but I am idly speculating about possibly inviting readers to complete an on-line survey. That would need a LOT of careful planning - privacy needs to be maintained, which means I have to think carefully about what I could do with any information, and nothing could be included in any published statistics without prior permission (some of the views are from nations where being publicly identified with Wicca could cause serious problems) ... I would need a form of software that gets my Internet guru's seal of approval ... still, I may actually be curious enough to have a go at this.

If I do, keep in mind that I currently get NO personal identifying information about any reader, and I am not seeking such information. I'm mostly just curious about why people have come to this blog.

Anyway, enough speculatin' ... back to work :)

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: names, numerology, Qabbalah,

First published: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Last edited: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Post No. 169 - An interesting radio programme about solving violence

On the way home tonight, I listened to an interesting session on ABC Radio National's
Background Briefing programme: Making violence men's business

The blurb about this segment says:
In Central Australia traditional payback law is corrupted, leading to grog fuelled killings. Suicide has become a payback issue too. For the first time Indigenous men are trying to stop these escalating cycles of violence.

There were a couple of aspects which caught my attention in particular:
  • the services tend to be focused on either men or women, but the main subject interviewed when I was listening, who runs a programme for men, commented that it was important to visit both sides of the street, so that the male-focused services do not forget the effects of violence on women, and the female-focused groups do not miss the motivations of the violent men;
  • simple jealousy and insecurity was identified as an underlying issue, and the men's service was having success with an advertising campaign which focused on "do you feel not good? That can be bad for you/your family/the community/etc. Want to feel better?";
  • many women didn't involve the police because they didn't want their families broken up - which came across as more than the tendency of some abused women to stay in abusive relationships, it was also a fear of having children taken away, which would quite probably be less likely to happen in the equivalent white family;
  • there were some interesting comments for and against traditional, "payback" justice [1].

If you are interested in making this world a more peaceful place, it is worth a listen. If you have an interest in rights for indigenous people [2], or human rights generally, also have a listen.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:
  1. See here, and keep in mind that prisons are a relatively recent development - only around five centuries old.
  2. Have a look here for some introductory information. If you'd like to do something to help, try contacting ANTAR or GetUp. That applies even if you're not in Australia, by the way ... there are lots of email campaigns you can help with ... think about it as an opportunity to practically apply your spiritual principles :) - and if you're already busy doing so elsewhere in life (e.g., Amnesty International, or charities such as Médecins Sans Frontières, or any of the many other worthy causes), that is great. If you feel you cannot get involved in a direct way (for instance, if that could cause cultural problems), then you can send good wishes :)

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: violence, alcohol, drugs, emotions, human rights, indigenous,

First published: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Last edited: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Post No. 168 - A miscellany on leadership, growth orientation, Charmaine Wilson, acne and security theatre ...

I'm being lazy in this post, and combining a few things together in the one post :)

What I am going to cover is:
  • a few thoughts on leadership, from watching the film "The Core";
  • a few thoughts on the implications of different spiritual growth orientations;
  • my response to being an audience member at a Charmaine Wilson proof-of-survival event;
  • an interesting post I heard recently on the ABC; and
  • a forwarded post about "security theatre".
I recently re-watched the film "The Core", which I watched once before when I wasn’t in the right mood to suspend disbelief. This time, I actually enjoyed the story-telling - and I particularly noted one theme, on leadership. Bruce Greenwood's character tells Hilary Swank's character (I obviously paid a lot of attention and memorised the character's names ... not) that she hasn't been given leadership because she has breezed through everything. She is told she needs to know failure - and she does so later in the film. This is a bit like the saying to the effect "those who have never made a mistake have never tried anything". I will think about this - I might even add in to the Rangers training materials when I get back to that ...

Clearly, being in charge is important to Hilary Swank's character, and she learns the difference between "being in charge" and leadership. That leads me to my next point: what is important to you?

If you are, perhaps, predominantly of a Bhakti Yogic path of spiritual growth orientation (see here for my previous post where I commented on the various forms of growth orientation), what is likely to be important to you is people, relationships, interactions, love. On the other hand, if your spiritual growth orientation is along the lines of the Jnani Yogic path, then perhaps truth is what you consider above all else. On the Raja path: perhaps being all that you can be is most important, and if you are on the Karma path commitment, honour and work would be what you consider most important.

EACH of these preferences is valid - as valid as any other. I find debates on topics such as "what is better: X or Y?" extremely annoying, as the truth is each is equally valid, and which is better depends of the people involved and the circumstances. Of course, that probably doesn’t make for what people consider "good entertainment" ...

Now, being focused on one spiritual growth path does not mean that you are necessarily incompetent in another, as you may have already travelled that path and decided to be a more rounded soul by travelling one or more other paths.

Of course, you may actually also be incompetent on other paths, as you may not yet have travelled them :)

Interacting with people on other spiritual growth paths can be source of disharmony - for instance, a person on the spiritual growth orientation path of Karma - actually, I'll simplify that, for the rest of this post, to "karma path person". So, a karma path person may see respect for privacy as more important than establishing emotional closeness, whereas Bhakti path person may see establishing closeness as a need that overrides all other considerations such as respecting other people's space. Neither is right or wrong: have to work out way to let each do their own thing. Of course, someone who thinks they are the Bahkti path and interprets that as meaning they are seeking to be loved (i.e., only receive, instead of also - equally - give) will annoy everyone on all paths. [1]

Recently I heard a stereotypical situation mentioned (as an example of a stereotype, more or less):a woman's car breaks down; the stereotype-woman wants to vent emotions about it to her (stereotype-male) partner (they’re stereotypically heterosexual, also), while stereotype-man wants to go fix the car.

(As a digression, I was recently involved in a conversation about the conflict between head and heart, and the comment was made that, although it is often best to follow one's heart [provided one has a modicum of spiritual maturity], the conflict between head and heart can be useful, as it shows the areas you may have past hurts to be tended to, or areas where you can learn or grow.)
From the point of view of stereotype-woman, once she has vented, the rest of it is just details to be sorted out; but from the point of view of stereotype-man, the venting is just details and the work of fixing the car still needs to be done. Both are right, and both are wrong: the stereotype-woman is wrong to consider fixing the car a simply details (it can be demanding, hard work - and expensive), and stereotype-man is clearly (well, clearly to me :) ) wrong to consider the emotions caused by the situation as trivial details. (By the way, I've had unreliable cars - and died in my previous incarnation as a result of a plane engine failing: lack of mechanical reliability has been, to me, almost terrifying, before I dealt with some of my past life issues - and it is bad enough just having to think "if I go to do the shopping, will I get stuck and lose all my cold goods?" let alone, as was the case for me when I was working in inland Queensland, "what will happens in the hours before another car could come along?" [I always carried water, blankets, etc for such an eventuality]).

This stereotype situation can be looked at from other points of view as well.

From an energy point of view, both right: after venting, they still have the issue of the car failure and what could have contributed to it to deal with (this is the same problem as getting drunk to forget something, usually pain: when the drunk sobers up, the problem is still there, and they have been weakened by getting drunk, and maybe had the problem exacerbated if they have picked up a lot of negative energy while their aura was blown wide open), but on the other hand, the emotional energy may have led to the problem.

If I may jump ahead to where I have the temerity to offer advice, I would suggest BOTH need equally to look at situation objectively.

From point of view of paths, karma-path-person wants to fix the whole situation, Jnana-path-person wants to know what happened and why (whether this is from a physical or psychic focus depends on the person's worldliness vs. spiritual focus), and so on. Each may not understand why the other is focused on what seems to be not important.

Doing a little more hypothesising on this theme, someone who is focused on solely one growth path may find someone who is focused on a few paths at the same time confusing. The former may be inclined to say to the latter "Whoa! Hold on! Just choose one thing, and look at that." On the other hand, the latter person may "know" that any situation has multiple aspects to it, just as a jewel may have multiple facets, and they all need to be looked at to understand the situation properly (which, it will no doubt surprise you, is my position :) ).

Now a few random thoughts which could possibly be related to my life experience of being on one particular mix of spiritual growth paths, and interacting with others who have a different mix:

  • I tend to not need a lot of people contact - just my partner and my friends (including those family members [I count myself as part of four families: adoptive, birth and two through relationships] who are friends, which excludes the few who are red-necks). In fact, I find people who fear being alone a bit ... sad. On the other hand, I NEED solitude and time in the bush (wild bush, not the manicured parks and gardens near where I live) and on water, or I feel that I am psychologically dying. I feel a great sympathy for stereotype-tribal person who withers and fades away when locked away from their land in a prison (for an example of this, see the quirky film "The Gods Must Be Crazy" [2]). I haven't had any worthwhile bush time for long time now ... but I am hoping to do so this weekend :) (On this, I also find people I am trying to teach who easily get bored frustrating: they are less likely to do the simple, repetitive practice that is necessary to develop skills - the sort of thing that people who make things look easy have already done ...)

    This, too, could simply be that my need for people contact has been more than adequately met, at the moment, but my need for bush-time has not, and hence that need predominates - so it is a case of having multiple needs, but one tends to be most predominant at one time or another. As an example of that, consider food and drink: we need both, but if we are hungry and thirst, and then drink (or eat), the need that will be most apparent will be our hunger (or thirst). Maybe the same sort of effect applies to those who are working on multiple growth orientation paths: when the more urgent needs of one path have been tended to, another path's needs become more pressing - and so we cycle on, over a period of hours, days, months, years, decades or even lifetimes ...

    A similar effect can be observed with karma: many people tend to bounce about between extremes (e.g. primly "good" in one life to compensate for a prior life of "badness") before they - eventually - find a way to maintain a dynamic equilibrium between their various competing needs/behaviours/etc.
  • Next, I don't have to justify myself or my views to anyone. I am owed respect inherently - which includes the right to have my privacy respected, and I have the right to be as irrational as I choose to be - provided no-one is being harmed. Of course, I need to be prepared to accept the consequences of that. For instance, if a partner asked me why I am doing or not doing something, and I chose not to answer, I have to be prepared to accept the possibility that such may destroy the trust/closeness that is a basis for that relationship, and hence end the relationship. I am, in this case, more thinking of other situations. For instance, when I left my first job as an engineer, after 7 years (which ,incidentally, was they day they (a) said they thought I was a good engineer, and (b) was the day they told me if I had stayed another two weeks I would have been paid pro-rata long service leave), I was fed up with engineering. At the send off, one of the directors said he hoped I stayed in engineering after I moved interstate, and I did not respond to that. As far as I was concerned, that was my business, and FORMER work colleagues had ZERO right to know anything of my future plans.

    Related to this, I have come across people regretting the loss of interaction between neighbours. I've lived in a small community where such interactions were good, but that was in the boating world, when I was living on a boat. If I was living on the banks of a river, interactions might be similar. In the 'burbs, however, I am cursed with having to cope with other people's bigotry: I don't want interactions that comprise other people telling me I should not exist ... This was probably worst in Menzies' Australia in the 50s and 60s, during which time Menzies made a comment about not needing to take some sort of repressive action (I have forgotten the details - sorry, and don't have time to look this up) as nothing could match the controlling behaviour in people's living rooms.
Now, moving away from spiritual paths from the point of view of yogic pathways, I spent some time (along with a few dozen others in the audience - there is NO special or particular connection between myself and this person) with someone recently who was on a related, but slightly different spiritual pathway to me: Charmaine Wilson.

Charmaine is a fantastic medium - and I consider some particularly good points of her session to be:

  • the beginning and end talks about depression, how there is no shame is being depressed and the importance of dealing with it;
  • that mediumship is not a perfect, exact science (as Charmaine said, she gets an image and may tend to interpret it in a particular way, whereas the significance of the image is something else; the example given was of getting an image of a bridge, which turned out to be because the spirit had been president of the (card-game) bridge club ...), and Charmaine did acknowledge when some connections were not very strong and left some attempted readings pass;
  • that it is possible and good to be connected to your own spirit;
  • some cautions about ways some people rip others off (e.g. by claiming that the "client" [rip-off victim!] has a ghost haunting them, and that the "client" [rip-off victim] needs to pay the pseudo-psychic [i.e. rip-off merchant] more money).
I have come across such rip-off merchants and "tricks", so it is good that a warning about such was given last night. It is also good that she attempted to defuse the fear of spirit matters, and mentioned that people pass over to the Light easily. I do, however, disagree with her on this somewhat: there are some people who don't pass over, and do need rescue. That is not Charmaine's area of speciality, whereas it is mine, and I consider my experience more relevant in this case (whereas is someone I wants a good "proof-of-survival" reading, I would recommend [strongly!] they go to her, not me :) ). Charmaine is dealing with spirits who have passed over, and are coming back to pass on messages; I deal with the ones who have got stuck - who, I should be clear, are NOT always or even often malevolent. My teacher gave an example of one "haunting" he was asked to work on, where the client said the spirit was doing evil; when asked to give examples of the "evil", she mentioned things like chairs being pulled out when people went to sit in them. What was the source of this "evil"? A young child who had found he was invisible ...

Have a look at some of my past posts on this: http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2010/06/saturday-morning-rescues-blog.html, http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2010/01/film-review-lovely-bones.html, http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2009/12/shades-of-exorcism.html, http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2009/10/service-to-guide-souls-of-dead.html, and http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2008/05/mediumship-part-three-last-part.html.

Also, Charmaine stated that it is not possible to be "possessed by malevolent spirits", and that events of the type shown in the film "The Exorcist" don't happen. Well, I agree that things like spinning heads don't happen, but there are "malevolent" spirits. More commonly (and perhaps less threatening or disturbing to some), there are energies and people which we are not in harmony with. In much the same way as two colours may clash, the auras of two people (possibly both incarnate, or one discarnate and one incarnate, or both discarnate) may clash. It is possible, and desirable, that one protect oneself against such disharmony - a statement made in exactly the same spirit (pun not intended by me, but I won't speak for the guides helping me with this!) as Charmaine's comments that being depressed is not wrong or terrible, but it is important to treat the depression.

Next, I was listening to ABC Radio National's Science Show programme, and heard a segment on acne. This programme hypothesised that the (evolutionary) purpose of acne is to ensure some partners survive the violence of sexual competition. That comment was based on "primitive" tribal lifestyles, where death rates are substantially higher than in "civilised" society (have a look at my post on Neanderthal Predation theory (at here). I have to say, in a milder way that pretty much matches my recollection of being teenager as being a decidedly unpleasant experience. Apart from my personal angst, there were all the "Queen Bees" and "Wannabees" (who I would term alpha females), alpha males and other bullies and bitches to put up with ... I'm glad I am personally finished (a long time ago, now) with that time of life.

Now my final point. I am including the link to this blog post as a matter of public interest. The author has requested that it be spread far and wide, and I will do so. There are major problems with the responses in Western nations to security threats: for some good comments on what is described as "security theatre" (as opposed to real, effective security) in this and other areas, I suggest you consider also checking out Bruce Schneier's website .

So ... the blog post is at: http://johnnyedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/these-events-took-place-roughly-between.html

A few other links relating to Bruce Schneier:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Schneier;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_theater;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_fear;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schneier%27s_Law; and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failing_badly.

Update:
There has been another blog post about this: see here.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:

  1. Now, with the qualification that I am NOT considering people who have been seriously injured in some way (e.g. been the victim of childhod abuse), and hence genuinely NEED healing, when I make this comment I am thinking here of people who are immature, or insecure, or otherwise needy, and seek an external cure, rather than seeking to cure the flaw within. Subject to my qualification, having a sense of being loved cannot be created from without: you have to at least be open to the possibility that you are loveable.

    I am also thinking of one woman who I heard as describing a new lover as "not selfish" because he stayed up all night rather than getting some sleep so he could do his work as he was paid to do the next day. (She hadn't thought about the work issue, by the way, only her personal pleasure.)
  2. I was staggered to read, at this link, that there had been four follow up films! The second one wasn't as good as the first, in my opinion, and there were others after that ... Please note the views about the faults of the film: the Wikipedia listing includes, for instance, the following comment: "Richard Lee, an anthropologist who studied the Ju/ʼhoansi, argues that the film's representation of the group was a "cruel caricature of reality" given the decades of highly problematic social changes".

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: leadership, growth orientation, Charmaine Wilson, rescue, mediumship, proof-of-survival, sexuality, competitiveness, violence, survival, security theatre, selfishness,

First published: Tuesday 16th November, 2010

Last edited: Friday 19th November, 2010

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Post No. 167 - Protecting one's home

I have a tendency to do some things so often that they become automatic and routine. Occasionally, the thought occurs to me (courtesy, I am sure, of a fair bit of push from Guides) to post about it. One such thought is something I have done recently, which is to increase the protection around the place I live by drawing (or printing out, if you cannot draw it - within the bounds of legal limits on use) a map showing it, and then drawing protective symbols (mostly runes and few Egyptians names, in my case) around it.

This is best done as part of a protective ritual, and is effectively creating an amulet.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: protection, homelessness, energy work, magical devices,

First published: Saturday 6th November, 2010

Last edited: Saturday 6th November, 2010

Post No. 166 - Side benefits of trees

I've posted before about trees (for instance, here, and here, where I touch upon forest bathing). I love trees, and have often described them as light-pumps -they bring spiritual energies into this physical level of reality.

In fact, contact with either trees in wild places or untamed water (e.g. bays or oceans or rivers, but not artificial reservoirs) is one of the ways I cope with having four million mostly leaky auras around me, which is a consequence of living in an inner, northern suburb of Melbourne. [1]

But it appears there may well be other benefits from living with trees. An article on a news site in the US state of Oregon (a state sharing its named with a type of tree that is very useful for boat building [2]), "KTVZ", reports that "Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations" have found that, "[a]long with energy conservation and storm-water reduction", large trees also have the benefit of deterring crime. They atribute this to a pereception of the homes being better cared for. Personally, i think it was because of the trees positive energies ...

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

Notes:
  1. One of the topics that tends to be discussed in some spiritual circles (particularly, in my experience, in Buddhist circles) is whether to "engage" with the world (i.e. live amongst people and live a full life and still be spiritual), or whether to "withdraw" from the world (i.e. live to hermit, to some degree). My views on this tend towards favouring engaging with the world, on the grounds that one should be capable of being spiritual in all circumstances, but I acknowledge there are times when people may need a period of time (perhaps a couple of lifetimes, which is - in the evolution of the soul - just "a period of time") to either focus on developing their spiritual strengths or particular skills, or simply to have a rest.

    The biggest problem I have with this debate, however, is the presumption that living what most people consider to be a "hermit" lifestyle means one has withdrawn from the world. I would love to be able to live a quiet life in the countryside (or on a boat, as I have done in the past) so I could actually BETTER engage with the world - do more, from a psychic and other spiritual points of view, for the world at large, rather than have to put so much energy into simply living and coping.

    Ah well, obviously have some purpose or reason for not being able to do so yet - maybe negative karma I am paying off, eh? :)

    Oh, and to get contact with such wild places from where I leave, I have to leave the city ...
  2. Although the yanks seem to call this tree "Douglas fir".

This post's photo is yet to be posted.

Tags: trees, forest, hermit, lifestyles, protection, regeneration, coping,

First published: Saturday 6th November, 2010

Last edited: Saturday 6th November, 2010