Monday, October 15, 2007


It's entertaining to watch my thoughts. They tend to flow over the same mental stones, rolling them over and over, shifting them aimlessly. I can consider anything, I tell myself. Why limit my thinking. But of course I do. Some thoughts I hear as spoken words in my inner ear. Others merely sit and do not verbalize. If I look at them closely, then they assemble - coalesce from wispy ether. Look away and they are gone.

At some point these ideas cross a magical threshold where they manifest in action. Some conscious, most not. A kind of simmering potential energy. What triggers this metamorphosis from dormant mental juice to the firing of muscles and the building of will? The most interesting catalysts are the subtle ones. The ones that build from long consideration, ebb and recede with disinterest, and resurface with unexpected vigor. The flashpoint, the ignition of mental fume into explosive movement, the transition of this potential into the actual is beyond my understanding. But it's amazing to watch.

The tipping point can be knowledge long suspected and the confirmed. This story behind the Iraq war may confirm what many have suspected. But for some reason, it has not incited much action. Listen to a politician who has floated in the sea of political half-truths for 30 years and still maintains some sense of self. It's somewhat unbelievable. His demeanor is of one used to seeing his listener's eyes glaze over - and his point evaporate on impact. He believes, but I think he's somewhat surprised to see that others do as well. He seems a lonely politician. He knows that being genuine is rare for his breed. I wish him well. I hope his words find purchase with others, even if he does not succeed.

I'm still watching the stones roll around in my own mental stream, wondering which will eventually surface - considering the options. When will I act? Or will I at all? I don't know. It's so easy to be apathetic. Just floating wordlessly, eyes closed, sensing the passage of time. One finger in the cold water feeling it rush by.

I'm beginning to learn. That's usually the moment just before I act...

Friday, October 12, 2007

monkey mind

Sleepless nights from stress are pushing me to seek relief. Alcohol or sleeping aids don't leave me feeling rested. And often don't even work anymore. I know that meditation or reading before bed puts my mind in a restful state - but I feel lazy to do either since I just want to flop on my bed and close my eyes. But these days it takes a lot of flopping until this fish is quiet.

I've been searching for inspiration to help motivate me to meditate. Siri Singh Sahib has some interesting thoughts on how to discover your soul. It's enjoyable just to hear him speak. But it also motivated me to find energy for this important practice. His call for mental clarity resonates with me.

B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D. has an interesting talk on focusing study of the mind. This too, motivated me to find time for self inspection. His point inspires and speaks to me. Our study of the mind should be separated from the physical inspection of the chemical processes of the brain. I've always been a scientist - but a close minded one - on this subject. He suggests to peel back the layer of our literal scientific dogma - and employ the tools of inspection long honed in a culture across the sea.

Let's do it together. Perhaps we can discover why we beat ourselves up. Why our thoughts continue to leap around and shake our mental the cage when we just want some damn rest. Maybe we can stumble around looking for the key definition of consciousness. Wake me up if you find it. I will just get some sleep...

Friday, October 5, 2007

self preservation

Who can deny the powerful urge to preserve things important to us? For many, especially parents, this powerful sense of protectionism extends beyond our immediate needs to the well-fare of people, property, and relationships that support and surround us. The needs of those around me routinely supersede my own. I am connected to these things through a sense of responsibility and this compels me to make forward looking, speculative assessment of risks and rewards. This is the life of a connected individual.

Gathering thoughtful, factual information is an important part of estimating tomorrow. It is the antennae of man to seek information. Our long feelers probe out ahead gathering information and testing minute changes we do not even begin to understand on anything other than a primal level. The prevalence of news and opinions on the Internet unfiltered through by biased media engines presents a unique opportunity to extend our antennae on a global scale, and experience novel information if we are willing to probe. Extend our view of the possibilities. And if we allow ourselves, consider ideas without foothold in popular, well funded tv and media streams.

For me, a nightly, insomniac driven scouring of the net last night revealed a video Freedom to Facism. Inspiration is most meaningful when it first recognizes then relieves the buildup of thoughtful angst which pre-existed and explains mysteries all ready pondered. Rarely does a simple fact, overturned on it's own, find purchase. It takes the involvement of the seeker. We must observe the missing hole in the puzzle to appreciate it's filling. In this case, I have been slowly watching with dread the erosion of CNN and other news sources. More and more, their presentation of facts in a pre-chewed, pre-digested manner insults my need for real understanding. ( Amanpour's reporting aside - as they have managed to sidetrack her for a year on the wonderful effort for real understanding of issues on "God's Warriors" - but leave the flock unattended). This video suggests something much more sinister may be chewing on my nightly news reports. Something which seeks to protect itself, and in remaining hidden, will continue to do so.

Further investigation revealed some very thought provoking words. Ron Paul's speech on patriotism from the congressional pulpit was another blast of air on the furnace of fear that there are forces at work that seek their own self preservation, perhaps at the exclusion - or at best indifference - of my own. So at this point I feel the need to gather much more information about what is going on. If you are at the point where you feel lead by the nose by media, then perhaps you are ready to listen to these. If not, wait. And no, I'm not republican. He is the first politician I've ever seen who has a chance to change that. My heart is with Clinton. But I fear her new health care plan leaks a darker connection. Insurance companies deny reasonable claims and laugh all the way to bank. I would not make filling their pockets mandatory. She knows she can't fight them anymore. That's what scares me.

I have no reasonable conclusion, yet, that sits well with me. I have no explanation for the alarm. But, like gazelle on the African veldt, my ears are perked. Some words of alarmists jump from reasonable doubt to extreme conclusion. But my sense it that there is some truth to the danger. People with real money, not you or I, but those who live in the corporate veins of the real arteries of financial power, will protect what is "theirs". We would do well to watch and consider the tremblings on the ground.