Saturday, 11 August 2012

Post No. 398 - Non-Violent Communication

The principle of nonviolence [1] (which I will abbreviate to NV for the rest of this post) is good. Why? Because
(a) the importance of free will (violence is imposition of one person's will on another, which can be done by words as well as deeds), and
(b) most people grow better with NV - not necessarily peace, though, as they may need a challenge (and some people CHOOSE to learn the hard way: if they do, that is their right, and you have no right to be upset on their behalf).

A form of communication has been developed which is aimed at honesty, avoiding judgements and looking after oneself and, as a result of doing so, being able to look after others more effectively. The communication style is called "Non-violent Communication" (which I am going to abbreviate to NVC for the rest of this post). Before you go further, please go to the website at http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/index.htm, and have a browse.

* plays elevator "musak" for a few minutes while you browse *

Back? Good-oh!

Overall, I think NVC is quite good (well, brilliant, in many ways) - and it has been around for something like half a century, so I think it has stood the test of time, although it clearly hasn't taken off in a mainstream way (hasn't taken off in a mainstream way "yet", perhaps?)

Despite my ranking of it overall as being "good", I have a few concerns about it that I wish to touch on in this blog post.
  1. Firstly, and this is a trigger reaction of mine, this is similar in style to past experience of mine with a manipulative drama queen who believed in something that was, in effect, akin to radical honesty (and on that, I always note the character on the TV series "Lie to Me" who began as someone being radically honest but eventually learned that white lies have a purpose in some cases). Whilst it may be my past reaction coming out, I am concerned NVC could be - or could too easily used to be - selfish. Having made that point, however, I must acknowledge that NVC has an element of seeking intimacy that wasn't present in my previous ... "encounters". This concern leads me to also ask (and I am not far enough through their material to answer this):
     - Will adherents to NVC respect people's possible desire not to be intimate (e.g., for workplace applications of these techniques)?
     - Do the needs listed include solitude, and the need for physical exhilaration - which is also a valid need for some? (On that, I recall a young boy who apparently thrived when playing footy despite his mother being paranoid about "competition" and thus keeping him out of that for some years - and it was the mother who told me about that, by the way)
     
    - Do the NVC people make the fundamental and fatal mistake of trying to claim some things are universal? (I think yes on this count, sadly - and I write "sadly" because NVC has an enormous amount of potential.

    Now, as a digression and a sweeping generalisation all in one, it seems to me that the first people to introduce something have to be fairly fanatical in order to jolt most others out of their lethargy, and but then, after the first generation of practitioners/adherents, a more realistic version of whatever the philosophy is evolves. As an example, consider the struggle for equal rights of women in the mid-20th Century, where some women (yes, they called themselves by the "F" word - Feminists) campaigned for equal power sharing - half for men, half for women, and were met by the response of some men "well, we think around 1/3 of power could go to women, but we'll keep 2/3". In response, they campaigned for "all power to women", and then the retards (my pejorative and judgemental label) said "whoa! well, half and half is better than that so OK." (Of course, that struggle still has to happen in too many places of the world ... and currently Australia seems, to me, to be in a backlash phase to the gains of the late-20th Century for women's rights, so we haven't reached the final stage of that particular issue yet ... maybe in another 50 years ... ).
  2. Secondly, emotions are a great tool for the soul to learn and evolve, but they are not the purpose of existence (I've added a new saying on this to the "provoke a reaction" section of my signature block to express this). I consider that NVC inherently acknowledges this, in that it pursues a goal of NV - which is a mental concept, not an emotion.

    On that, in my world view love is more than "just" (note the emotive qualifier? :) ) an emotion: it is a way of living, a way of expressing the self, and includes honouring one's duty to those one loves. That may mean at times doing things one doesn't like - such as working to pay the bills, rather than pursuing one's heart's desires. (On that point, I am thinking of situation where one has young children - and they are NOT such a joy that it "makes it all worthwhile" ... anyone who claims that is naive and lacking in life experience! If the situation involves only adults, well, that's a different kettle of fish, and NVC type principles deserve to be applied by all.)
     
  3. Thirdly, NVC seems to assume expressing emotions (including identifying what part of the body an emotion is affecting) is the "only" (perhaps "best" is a better word) way to resolve things. Now, when I was bullied as a child, the bullies made it very clear they knew what they were doing, so I have long considered the current fashion of getting victims to talk to bullies about how the victims are feeling a complete and utter waste of time - and, in fact, it is something that FEEDS the bullies and therefore is extremely irresponsible. Working on solely verbally expressing emotions is, in my experience (I first started doing work like this over two decades ago, by the way), at times, unsatisfying and downright useless - it is good for people who are verbal, but useless for those who are physical or mental. Physical people may need, for instance, to run out their emotions, and mental people to meditate on their emotions. The concept of dealing with emotions through talking doesn't cater for all people - which is a criticism of other counselling techniques as well. Still, I think that, over time - particularly if more people speak up as I have just done, better versions of these tools may be developed.
  4. Next we come to the issue of unevenness of skills. Someone with good verbal skills using techniques like this on someone who isn't equally as skilled is AS VIOLENT as someone who punches another person - I've buried people who were driven to commit suicide because of words, and have long considered the statement that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will only hurt me to be an absolute nonsense - in fact, criminally stupid. Sadly, I have seen a lot of this, and strongly consider that there needs to be a "level playing field". It goes just as much for those who are fighting against discrimination, who tend to be more gifted with words (such as myself - and I feel comfortable enough with words to have a blog), as for those who are discriminatory.

    On that, one story I read in some NVC material concerns me. The author is laying in a room when a friend comes in and says she wants to speak to him; he comments on her tone of voice and says he feels fear and wants to lay looking at the ceiling as a result. I actually consider the person concerned could have expressed their feelings better, much better. And, looking at it from the point of view of the friend, if someone came to me after speaking that way, I would quite possibly have had my trust in them damaged to the extent that I wouldn't talk to them until they had - over some time - re-established their position of trust.

    The story reminds me of a situation where someone wanted to get a "be heard" group going about problems in a group, to facilitate healing. I haven't replied as I have no need to express myself to most of the people in that group (I have to one already): I've already talked about it to the people I trust and want. Furthermore, I felt there was a bit of a bias towards expecting that attendees of that little group would choose to continue to be involved in that community afterwards. I had already decided to leave that community, so that bias - and I may have been wrong - was off-putting.
  5. An issue I will have to grapple with as I work through the materials (and I am just beginning) is how selfish/spiritually immature some of this approach may be. That's largely my personal button, but I may post more if I think it is relevant ...
  6. Finally, we have the issue of reality. People need to pay the bills, rent and buy food, etc. This is not as imperative as when we were gatherer-hunters, but there are still some basic survival things, and those needs can overwhelm this. If one looks at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow [1], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs [1], http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/changes.html and http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/maturity.html), I consider the tools of NVC range from Social up to Self-Actualising, but there are still the basic physical needs for food, water and shelter that need to be met, and for millions (probably billions?) of people in the world, aren't being met. If I had a starving child, I really wouldn't give a hoot about how I talked to people, I would do whatever was needed to give my child a chance of survival.
So, overall, I consider NVC is good - in fact, brilliant. However, despite 50 years of development, this may not be the final version we see of this: I think there may be better (more matured, and more mature) versions of it yet. In fact, when I was discussing this topic with my partner, she summed up my concerns and a possible response with a comment to the effect that NVC needs to be adapted by each person in order to be authentic - otherwise, it risked being a script, a very verbose script.

So, what is my suggestion? Go for it - use it, study it, seek to improve it on the basis of your experience. It's possibly one of our next major steps forward.

Now ... more reading
  • Questions and answers on vampies and werewolves from a "ghost hunter" website (http://www.zerotime.com/): http://www.zerotime.com/night/odd.htm#01 (originally found at http://spiritrescue.ning.com/forum/topics/1972845:Topic:356187);
From "The Age":




  • This is a case of the tail wagging the dog. The Olympics are expensive, and the adverse impact they have on people's lives, in terms of the people living near the damn event, has become unacceptable, in my view. If ever my home city of Melbourne were to consider going for the Olympics, I would actively oppose making such a bid. The worst prt of it is, the whole thing is a failure. They started as a way to get nations together to promote harmony, believe it or not, and all i see is "which nation has the highest medal count" ... Any cultural interchanges? Any promotion of harmony and peace anywhere? And then there's the constant controversy over drugs ... Time to maybe drop them and start again?
    "Draconian ‘Wi-Fi police' stalk Olympic Games", 3rd August, 2012: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/draconian-wifi-police-stalk-olympic-games-20120803-23jdc.html
On the other hand:
Continuing ...







  • I'm not in either category of human that this article says is prone to this problem, but I also experience something similar (phantom hearing phone calls - which is subjective clairaudience, verging on objective), and there is another possibility: psychism, related to people sensing others considering contacting them. Oh for a less materialistic world - grumble, grumble, grumphh.
    "Touch and go for phantom phone vibrations", 12th July, 2012: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/touch-and-go-for-phantom-phone-vibrations-20120712-21xwf.html;







[1] Please see my post "The Death of Wikipedia" for the reasons I now recommend caution when using Wikipedia.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")
My "blogiography" is here.
May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people.
A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others.
The International Labour Organisation's definition of "full employment" is wrong, useless and misleading.
Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." on one side, and perspicacity on the other.
Like fire to the physical, emotions to the soul make a good servant, and a bad master.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. EDMUND BURKE

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow KAHLIL GIBRAN

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

 Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand P.K.SHAW

Tags:about me, attitudes, communication, judging others, nonviolence, peace, revenge, society, violence,

First published: Laugardgar, 11th August, 2012

Last edited: Saturday, 11th August, 2012

Post No. 397 - The Death of Wikipedia

Well, over the years I've come to respect and use Wikipedia as a reasonable and more up-to-date information source. I particularly liked the fact that, in the "old days", it was possible to find out when there were disputes in views on a topic - for instance, on horse steeplechase/jumps/racing. At that time, a check (sorry, cannot lay my hands on the reference now) found that a typical page on the Wikipedia website would have around five errors - but typical encyclopaedia pages had around six.

So the situation was pretty reasonable. Since then, however, people have started trying to make Wikipedia more "authoritative" - defined from academic point of view. End result? Decent articles on paganism are getting squeezed out because of a lack of "authoritative" writings ...

Wikipedia can no longer claim in any way, shape or form, in my opinion, to be a people's encyclopaedia (actually, I don't know that it ever did ... ).

However, what has been the death knell of Wikipedia for me personally was some absolute rubbish I found recently on the entry for Laser sailing dinghies (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_%28dinghy%29). The passage concerned claims that a few Laser sailors recently revolutionised downwind sailing by introducing ... * ta-da * techniques that I have been using for four decades!

The passage concerned is this:

"Since 1998 Laser sailing has increased to not only be physical upwind and reaching but also to also include far more demanding sailing and potential speed increases when sailing downwind. Traditionally sailing downwind has been considered processional in dinghy racing, simply being pushed downwind. But Laser sailors, including Ben Ainslie and Robert Scheidt significantly changed the techniques used to race a Laser downwind. The techniques these sailors introduced uses a much more dynamic sailing method, concentrating on surfing the waves going downwind. The sailors will weave their way downwind, constantly look either side for the next large wave they can "hop" onto and surf downwind. In order to maximise their speed boats will often be sailed by the lee, where the boom and sail will be allowed to travel significantly forward of the mast.

This change in technique for downwind racing has changed most dinghy racing to be much more competitive on the downwind legs and resulted in a change of the international course shape from a traditional triangle to a trapezoid giving greater opportunity for increased upwind and straight downwind legs."


In refutation of this ill-considered, unresearched tripe, I state that:
  1. I used surfing as a standard in my Heron in the 70s;
  2. sailing by the lee was standard technique in the OK dinghies when I was learning back in the early 70s!!!!!
  3. the American John Bertrand, who won the 1976 and 1977 Laser World titles (as opposed to the Australian John Bertrand, who skippered the first winning challenger in the America's Cup), was an early source of the idea of keeping your dinghy's bow pointing downwards to maximise the surfing which everyone was using;
  4. luffing and blanketing were standard parts of racing that I was taught back in the early 70s - and used regularly.
I could go and dig up some books I have in storage from that time to provide quotes, but it isn't worth that.

Still, as I once pointed out to a friend, Wikipedia does at least give information sources and references and external links, so it is useful starting point, but I now have to say, treat everything there with considerable caution, and I will caution all Wikipedia links I post with the following:
"Please see my post "The Death of Wikipedia" for the reasons I now recommend caution when using Wikipedia."

Oh, the reason I haven't got on line and fixed the wrong article?

I have too many blasted accounts and passwords to manage as it is, and no desire to get into any online arguments - I had enough of those a long, long, long time ago ...

PS - there is a newspaper article here about the possible deletion of an article on Jill Meagher's murder which also illustrates this problem - both the complexity of coming up with rules that enable a useful creation that reflects reality, and the unacknowledged "if it ain't in the US, it ain't important" bias that taints too many things. The use of social media, and the public response to Jill Meagher's murder is what makes it notable. If the editing committee is too stupid to understand or grasp that, then maybe they should get out of the way, and let Wikipedia stay a people's encyclopaedia, 'cos it is rapidly losing any claim to being that, and when that change has finished, I'll stop using it.

PPS - more on the problems on Wikipedia here, from the “Skeptical about Skeptics” website (which has quite a few posts worth reading and thinking about – don’t just automatically agree or disagree, think objectively, and critically – not “pseudo-sceptically”; also see here), which has links to here, a very informed and credibly presented defence of homeopathy, and here, the latest post at a website on concerns about Wikipedia’s current approach,


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")
My "blogiography" is here.
May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people.
A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others.
The International Labour Organisation's definition of "full employment" is wrong, useless and misleading.
Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." on one side, and perspicacity on the other.
Like fire to the physical, emotions to the soul make a good servant, and a bad master.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. EDMUND BURKE

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow KAHLIL GIBRAN

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

 Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand P.K.SHAW

Tags: about me, academia, discrimination, references, society,

 First published: Laugardagr, 11th August, 2012

 Last edited: Tuesday, 12th July, 2016 = added the PPS

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Post No. 396 - Negative learning and Mediocrity

Negative learning

There is a tendency to assume that, simply because we try to have a positive, effective learning environment in schools and elsewhere, that the only learning we can do is as a result of positive experiences.

That is not so. If, as a child, I am burned, I learn that fire can be dangerous, and that is actually a useful lesson. Mind you, yes, it would be better if I had simply listened, but some people NEED to learn "the hard way". (sigh ... :) )

The other thing to keep in mind is that we do experience a form of learning or training from negative experiences in life that may be less useful - in most cases, it seems that being disappointed or hurt by others (especially in love - e.g., having a partner die on them which, despite our best attempts to be rational if the death was accidental or from illness or other causes out of direct control, can still be perceived as abandonment) can contribute to being wary or reticent about being involved with others in future. That is a form of learning. Counselling will help overcome that to an extent, but then determination and effort is required to unlearn the habits that have been set in place by the negative learning.

This also applies to negative experiences from past lives. As an example, if you had been burned to death as a witch, you may be reluctant to get involved in anything connected with Wicca/witchcraft/paganism - you may, in fact, seem to be irrationally and vehemently opposed to such matters. The perception irrationality is simply because so few of us can perceive from one lifetime to another. In this case, a past life regression will help, and is the equivalent (if properly done!) of counselling now. Having done that, however, some persistent effort is required to break the habit that was taught and ingrained by our past, negative learning experience (look up Trauma Encoded Emotional Memory, or TEEM, which I think was developed by the author of the Neanderthal Predation theory).

Personally, I look further back (see here and here), to see if I had that experience because of a wrong I had committed previously - i.e., was this a negative karmic return? If it WAS, I celebrate - because undoing karma is actually a lot easier than having to do the learning that is required if the experience was to force you to look at some part of yourself that you've been avoiding.

Of course, it could simply have been due to, in modern lingo, "randomness" ... I suppose :)

Mediocrity

I recently read a comment somewhere about the extent of training that Vikings underwent, and how, as a result, they could do things that seemed terrifyingly impossible or miraculous to militarily untrained farmers and monks they raided.

The issue of training to the extent that one seems to be almost miraculously skilled or gifted is what I want to cover here.

I've seen videos of experts with the long (two handed) sword, and they are every bit as spectacular as Samurai with katanas (especially the disarming of an opponent move ... ). In fact, the Mongols needed to use their numerical superiority to defeat highly trained knights when they started invading Europe. More recently, some people may well be looking at the coverage of the Olympics in the media and marvelling at what elite, trained athletes can do ... which depends largely on training, including an objective ("scientific") assessment of what works and what doesn't, which has been developed over several decades.

The same applies to psychic matters.

When I was learning my psychic work seriously, back in the 80s, we practised our clearing and energy work intensely, and could do what others would think miraculous - including getting by on little sleep.

Consider this: is there a skill you have, or wish to have? How well developed would that skill be, if you worked genuinely and intensely at developing and refining it:
  • 10 minutes per week, for say, one month;
  • 1 hour every day, for a year;
  • 12 hours a day, for ten years (now you're getting close to what elite athletes and mediaeval knights worked);
  • 8 - 12 hours a day, for most of three incarnations (do you work full-time? If so, think on what you spend doing for 8 - 12 hours most days ... is it just work? What are you training your mind to be or do? Complain and be unhappy much during this time?);
  • 24 hours a day for 200 years.
Huh? How can one work at something for 200 years?

Answer: in between lives - and think how skilled you would be when you arrived in your next life, and now think of some prodigies, like Mozart.

If you really want to excel at something, you will have to work at it - no if's, but's or maybe's. If you're already good at it, you have already put in the hours - no if's, but's or maybe's.

Now, here's the big question: what "should" you be seeking to excel at?

Basic/Underlying Concepts for this Post:
  •  (will be posted in the next few days)

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")
My "blogiography" is here.
May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people.
A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others.
The International Labour Organisation's definition of "full employment" is wrong, useless and misleading.
Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." on one side, and perspicacity on the other.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. EDMUND BURKE

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow KAHLIL GIBRAN

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

 Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand P.K.SHAW

Tags: attitudes, clearing, cross-training, education, excellence, karma, learning from mistakes, learning styles, negatives, negativity, past life regression, past lives, practice,

 First published: Laugardgar, 4th August, 2012

 Last edited: Saturday, 4th August, 2012

Friday, 3 August 2012

Post No. 395 - Thoughts from a film ...

Last night (well, a few nights ago, now :) ) my partner watched a psychological drama about people who weren't dealing with problems, and a group counselling situation that sometimes didn't work as well as it should, while I read a book. That led to a few thoughts - oddly enough, not clearly related to the film, as far as I could see, but they popped up while I was thinking about the film, so here goes ...

Now, I've written before about "growth orientation", which looks at the different ways people can evolve, which is one or more of the following:
  1. the path of devotion, where one develops love for oneself and a small group and then, as one evolves, one has love for a broader group of people until one has "universal love" - which we, on this planet, know as Bhakti Yoga;
  2. the path of hard work, where one seeks perfection in what one does, until one appreciates the perfection that is the Universe, the path known on this planet as Karma Yoga;
  3. the path of developing the mind, where one trains one's mind to greater levels of ability, which is known on this planet as Raja Yoga (a path many mystics may find themselves upon);
  4. the path of knowledge, where one studies and learns more and more until one achieves enlightenment that (a path scientists and some mystics may well find themselves upon), known on this planet as Jnana Yoga.
In another post of mine, I gave an example of how these different growth orientations could work:

"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."

I'm predominantly on the Karma path, whereas my partner is partly on the Karma path but also doing quite brilliantly on the Bhakti path (as many good parents are). As a counsellor, she viewed the film last night from a psychological perspective (what was going on - on varying levels - that should or shouldn't, what was not going on that should be, and what was/ wasn't working in the group counselling sessions that people were attending). I was focused on the book pretty well, but when I wasn't, I was thinking thinks like:
  • "Don't these people realise there is no death and you can't really lose anyone anyway?" (I've been spoiled for death, I once wrote ... maybe I've been spoiled for "non-Priestess" counselling, also ... :) );
  • "Why are they being so possessive? You don't own your children!" (The story was based around the conflict that happens when different characters react differently to the deaths of a couple of children, one an adult); 
  • "Why aren't they accepting that everyone's different and everyone reacts in different ways and handles things in different ways?" (I'm not a good audience member for a drama ... );and then, finally ...
  • "Are they CHILDREN?"  
It all reminded me of a couple of passages from books (hmm ... I wonder if there is such a thing as "book yoga"?).

One was a passage I gave as a reading in a Spiritualist Lyceum recently, which was from the Richard Bach book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull". Jonathon was thinking of returning to the physical from the astral so he could help others, and one of his friends said he would miss Jonathan. Jonathan replied to the effect that, if they conquered time, all they had left was Now, and if they conquered space, all they had left was Here, and wouldn't they see each other now and again in the middle of Here and Now?

The other is a story attributed to Gautama Buddha (a story which, incidentally, wouldn't work in Australia). A woman's child has died, and she begs Gautama to help her (by bringing the child back to physical life). He says, if you can find a mustard seed from a house that has not had anyone die in it, I can do as you ask. She visits every house in the town, finds that every house has had many people die in it and changes her perspective as a result (which is not, I suspect, an accepted counselling technique - and it wouldn't, in at least some cases, be of any use - many people would lack the perspective, and most would still have the sense of loss).

So there clearly is an issue of perspective here, both for the woman over two millennia ago in India, and the characters as portrayed in the film. I'm lucky that I've had personal experience to prove - to MY satisfaction, which is all that matters to me - that we survive death. Others haven't had that, and there isn't likely to be any widespread "proof" in Western societies for some time to come. That doesn't change the situation, as I've summarised it in the basic points section.

In any case, however, there are issues around possessiveness, living through others, fear, insecurity, etc that need to be addressed. The Buddhist perspective (which, for this post, I would simplify and summarise as "non-attachment") is on of how to handle such loss; conventional Western psychological theory provides another, and there are also various religious and spiritual views. Which one is right? Probably ... the one that works best for you :)

I'm often very pragmatic ... nothing if I'm not pragmatic, to pinch a phrase :)

However, I'm going to say that there are other pragmatic issues to consider here as well. For instance, are you able to continue to function as you grieve? If not, then you may need to seek some care - talking counselling, drugs, and possibly live with someone PROVIDED you don't drag them down in your pain as well: that would come perilously close to forcing your will (i.e., your view that not functioning is a valid expression of grief) on to those people, and interfere with their capacity to live their life - neither of which you have the right to do. Ultimately, if you have no dependents, you could, as far as I am concerned, starve yourself to death through being unable to work and thus unable to pay rent or buy food, and that is your choice.I'm not being harsh there: I care that you're upset, but I respect your free will more than my compassion.

I have to say though that, in general, I am very wary of assuming that extreme expressions of loss (whether violence [thumping tables etc], wailing, obliterating a day off a calendar [I know people who have done that - cover the day on their calendar that is the monthly anniversary of their son's death] or rending clothes) are truly signifiers of loss, or are just "doing what one things one should" (i.e. social or culturally expected to show grief) or are, and this is EQUALLY bad from my point of view, an attempt to blackmail the Universe. More importantly, I consider no-one has the right to force others to act in certain ways, and there is a lot of emotional blackmail that I have observed in four decades or so of experience with loss (of people close to me, I mean).

I cope - now - by talking to those who passed over, and remembering the cycles of lives that I have lived. I admit most other people haven't, for a whole range of reasons (some valid, some not), developed the same level of psychic ability as I, but at times, I want to scream out something like "People, you are going to live many, many, MANY times, you are going to passionately, desperately love AND LOSE many, many, MANY people, and it will keep going (I just recently listened to the REM song "Everybody Hurts", which has the phrase "everybody hurts ... sometime"), on and on and on, until you start to realise that, and that there is a greater love to tune into ... so, if you're going to follow the Bhakti path, follow it - don't just sit and be a lump in the way! Realise that life on the physical world, which I consider came about so we could meet and learn to deal constructively with those we weren't in harmony with (and thus were unlikely to meet or have much interaction with on higher astral and even higher frequency levels of reality), will involve ups and downs - you will not be blissed out all the time!"

In terms of the cycles of life, birth-death-rebirth, I'd like to write a novel illustrating this, but, in the meantime, Katherine Kerr's Deverry series (or, at least, the first two series, which I've read) illustrate this quite well. read 'em, and think ...

And now ... more reading :)
Now, a couple of articles I wasn't going to post because I disagree with them, but then I thought, why not post them, and explain what I consider wrong about them? So ...
  • This article talks about the importance of not building negative energy. That is true, but it is important to be balanced about this: if you have some negativity in you, don't suppress it, or it will build up and burst out stronger than ever - acknowledge it, and work with it, including getting counselling where that is needed! It's not just a case of "not thinking negatively" - you may well have to do some very serious, exhaustive, and extensive personal development work, as I have had to for most of my life! The other VERY key factor here is that, sometimes, there are changes that need to be made to society in order for people to be less negative - yes, ideally those people would be saints or more powerful beings who could cope with everything that is thrown their way, but that lets our collective responsibility for the school we have co-created off the hook: for the overall majority to have benefit, for the greatest net benefit overall, it is necessary for some challenges and tests, but it is ALSO NECESSARY for the school NOT TO BE ABUSIVE! How could people evolve spiritually if they are starving to death, malnourished, lacking in basic security, enslaved, or so discriminated against that they cannot do anything? Think on all that as you read this article, which I will describe as simplistic and limited in its perspective:
    "Thoughts Are Energy: "The Dark Knight Rises" "
    , by Stewart Bitkoff, http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uspa&c=earth&id=15136;

  • Now, I consider the influence of negative entities to be a real problem, one that is far more widespread than people realise - but a problem that is still a tiny, tiny, minuscule minority of the reasons that people have problems. Yes, one can often do much about this (including the suggestions in this article), but sometimes it is a more efficient use of resources overall to get help - and that may result in more benefits for everyone overall. And the terminology! "Black witch"? Why - is the author trying to say people of colour are evil or negative???!!!! If someone is doing evil, call them that - an evil person. Some possibly unaware reinforcement of inappropriate stereotypes, and a failure to acknowledge other possible causes in this one:
    "New Hope for the Demon-Possessed", by Bob Makransky, http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=gtxx&c=words&id=15125;
And now, a useful foil to the above articles, in my view:
And continuing ...

And now, that mainstay of public service for me, "The Age":







  • On a personal note, this has been so disheartening for me, as someone who has been a lifelong Melbourne supporter, that I have considered stopping barracking (or changing allegiances). More broadly, what has happened to honour? Yesterday, I commented at an interview that I had declined a counter-offer from a former company because I had shaken hands on a new job. Why are so many people so selfish, immature, short-sighted and irresponsible that they don't behave with honour? It's not new, though - has been so for millennia ... "Demons tanked: McLean", 31st July, 2012: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/demons-tanked-mclean-20120730-23akv.html;




OK, dismounting from soap box now ... 

Basic/Underlying Concepts for this Post:
  • we all have a non-physical component; 
  • that nonphysical survives the death of the physical; 
  • furthermore, the nonphysical essence comes back in other bodies - reincarnation; 
  • the purpose of  this is to learn and grow; 
  • emotions can help or hinder that process; 
  • experiencing powerful emotions is not necessarily a hindrance, even if they're upsetting, distressing or incapacitating: you need to take a long term perspective on it; 
  • when you develop a long term perspective, you may seem unnaturally calm to other people, but the issue is that you have a different perspective, not that you are less caring; 
  • some emotions are an attempt to blackmail the Universe (or people), and should be treated the same way as a toddler's tantrum;
  • one of, if not the, ultimate goals of evolution is unconditional Love, which is an emotion (and a few other things, actually, such as a way of thinking, a guiding principle, a concept, etc); 
  • "mundane" or "conventional" ways of dealing with emotions, such as counselling, can be perfectly valid tools for spiritual growth, but the outcomes may not, if they are spiritual, be the mundane, conventional outcomes (e.g., finding "the right person", falling in love and living happily ever after - which is a nonsense).

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear") 
My "blogiography" is here
May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people. 
A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others. 
The International Labour Organisation's definition of "full employment" is wrong, useless and misleading. 
Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." on one side, and perspicacity on the other.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. EDMUND BURKE

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow KAHLIL GIBRAN

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand P.K.SHAW

Tags: about me, attitudes, death, fear, insecurity, proof-of-survival, reincarnation, society,

First published: Frysdagr, 3rd August, 2012

Last edited: Saturday, 4th August, 2012 (added the basic points)