Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No one really dies from disease...

living I remember when I was kid in school back in the 1950s in health class they were warning about the dangers of smoking. They rolled out the famous picture of the man with no teeth sporting a rather gruesome looking laryngectomy hole in his throat. On top of that, a local man was invited to speak to us who also had had this procedure done because of the smoking. I did vow then and there never to smoke, but what I really focused in on was the age of the man in the picture. He seemed really old.

In class they emphasized that smoking causes premature aging and early death from such maladies as cancer, emphysema, or heart disease. But that old man in the picture was happy, smoking his cigarette through the laryngectomy hole. Besides being the poster child for addiction, my young mind saw a contradiction in the argument that smoking causes early death.

Some years later, as a teenager, I read an article in the newspaper about Mrs. Green who had lived to be 100 years old and had smoked every day of her life since age 10. That reminded me of all the education I had claiming that smoking shortened your life. One of the statistics touted as a "scientific study" was that for every cigarette you smoke it shortens your lifespan by 10 minutes. I brought this up to one of my teachers. How could Mrs. Green have lived to be 100 years old and gotten there smoking every day since age 10? My science teacher, Mr. Reichert, retorted, "Well, think how long she would have lived had she not smoked the whole time?" I thought, 150? 200? I'd heard that there were people that live that long in places like Bulgaria and China, but no one actually believed it to be true.

Statistical improbabilities aside, I came to a startling conclusion back then, that I spent the rest of my life confirming: Mrs. Green died because it was her time to die. Stated more clearly: Death is independent of any physical cause.

I got into many debates with people on this subject, but as I headed into my 50's, I began to find others who had come to the same conclusion. I'm a touring blues musician, and you'll find many of the hardest-lived lives in this profession. Blues guys who've done drugs, smoked two packs a day, ate copious amounts of unhealthy food on the road, and led terribly dramatic emotional lives. Then you hear they finally died at 87 or 92. In fact, Pinetop Perkins, the famous blues piano player died in March at age 97. He was no angel, lived life to the fullest, including smoking and drinking and eating plenty of ribs.

Are these people some sort of genetic supermen? Genetic anomolies? If you graph their lives and behaviors against longevity norms of an entire population, you might find they lived longer than would be expected, but they certainly are not exceptional--as any casual look at health statistics will show.

On the other hand, what about those people who took care of themselves their whole lives--eating right, exercising, managing their stress, with strong family support--dying at age 52? Jim Fixx comes to mind--the running guru, who helped make jogging a national pasttime in the late 70s. He died at age 52 of a heart attack. Because he seemed like the picture of health, autopsies were performed, and it was found that he had severe atherosclerosis, leading many people to the faulty conclusion that jogging was harmful. Two years after his death, another researcher put together a string of additional conditions and maladies that pre-disposed Fixx to his early death, such as being a former overweight smoker with congenitally enlarged heart. Thus, his early death was explained away.

And there's Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, where an infant simply dies for no apparent reason--this is unexplained by science. In fact, there are thousands of unexplained deaths every year around the world, where there are no medical reasons for the deaths. They just died.

A former girlfriend of mine from the 70s died recently at age 52. It was a complete shock to the family (as well as to me), because she had been just fine physically, went to bed one night and didn't wake up.

An Alternative Explanation

yin-yang As my blues touring buddy says every time somebody he knew dies, "Well, it was time to go." To me, this contains a profoundly spiritual truth. It is that only the soul determines when a person dies. This is a decision made at the time of incarnation, and everything that happens in that life leads to the inevitable moment of death at the prescribed time.

This is not a "new idea." Buddhists and Hinduists have maintained that incarnation of the soul into a physical body is ONLY determined by the soul and its karma. This is a big statement. It is the soul that is outside of space and time. There is no "beginning" or "end" from the viewpoint of a soul--only CHANGE. Any "decision" a soul makes to incarnate into the linear bounds of physical existence inherently contains a beginning and an end, because that is the nature of physical existence.

We get focused on the end of life, because of our fear of it. We fear it because it is "unknown," and there are so many conflicting dogmas, memes and beliefs surrounding the subject. How do we really subjectively know what happens at death? We don't until it happens. Yet, there is much known about the subject, and even some pretty sophisticated neuro-scientific experiments attempting to capture the moment of death.

Tibetan Buddhism is famous for its re-incarnational beliefs--they choose the next spiritual leader to replace the old one by finding that exact some person again in a new body. Hopi Indian beliefs include strong statements of pre-destination and "fate," as do many Western religious beliefs. Reincarnation and pre-destination are ideas possible only with a conscious agent existing outside the bounds of linear time and finite space. That agent is the soul.

Metaphysician, Alice Bailey, in the book, Esoteric Healing, makes the supreme point that healing only occurs with the soul's permission. In this view, Bailey says that factors such as karma and the pre-destined date of death affect whether or not a healing takes place.

We have all heard about or experienced first-hand a miraculous healing--a spontaneous remission of cancer, or an impossibly fast mending of a broken bone--these are examples of evidence of a higher power determining physical outcomes. Bailey instructs that at the end of a life, when attempts at healing fail, it is because they are supposed to fail, or that the person is using the disease or condition in order to leave the body.

In observing this heart-wrenching process first hand, every time I have, it has been obvious to me that the person was trying to die. It was time to go, and this is how they were choosing to do it. In fact, culturally, it is the accepted, normal way of dying--by disease or accident (or suicide). This is not necessarily the belief or process used by every culture to die.

Chief In the 1970 movie, Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman, his character's adoptive father--Chief Dan--tells him, "I must go now to die." He then hikes up a nearby hill chosen specifically for this purpose, and lays down, ready to die. In the movie it took a few attempts, but finally he was successful.

Many Indian yogis and gurus die consciously often times in meditation, as did, famously, Paramahansa Yogananda. He was only 60 years old, but left his body in meditation. His body did not decompose, leaving the scent of roses lingering until his internment.

In all of these examples, the common denominator is CHOICE. We chose to come into this world--we also choose to leave it. The illusion of pre-destination is simply a failure to go earlier in the sequence of events to when the soul CHOSE how long a life to have and even how to leave it. If this remained unexamined, it very well would seem like "fate".

As we are all infinite beings, we ultimately have infinite power over our experiences, whether incarnated or not. As my guide, Anttarr, once said, "Dying is simply a tradition with you humans. It is not necessary, but you seem to like it." He went on to expound upon the psychology of social "entrainment", where we all learn what is "right" and "appropriate" behavior in the particular culture we choose to enter. Such concepts as "karma" are another way of saying that incarnation into the physical world has certain rules and laws, and you musn't violate these. Why, as infinite beings, we accept all that may be simply how the game is played, or perhaps a way to create intensities of experience. Whatever it is, we all can CHOOSE to change it, should we want to.

In its current level of choice and decision, Western views and traditions around death make it a "sloppy procedure," as said by one of my gurus. "The moment of our own death is known ahead of time by all those coming upon it. We err in the fear of it--in the denial of it. It is liberation. Why so scared?"


immortality I say, first, let us remove the automatic connection of death to the diseases and conditions that people normally die from. Yes, people seem to die from cancer, heart disease, infections, etc., etc.--but then, they also don't, and they also die from measles, falling off a ladder, and flu--things that most people recover from... because it was their time to die, and that's how they chose to accomplish it. We should respect these choices, instead of insisting the dying person stay and using technology to artificially prolong a life not ours.

Within the dying tradition is a sort of "death psychology" in the culture that has us embracing "longevity" as if we had anything to do with it. Again, health is independent of longevity. What we do have control over is our quality of life during the time we are alive. Thus, I can justify getting behind such concepts as a "healthy lifestyle." We may choose to be here "X" number of years, why not be healthy and feel good while we are alive; and not try to "live healthy" in order to postpone death. It not only takes the fun out of life, but is a falsehood as well. Not only that, it completely ignores the moment of choice by an Infinite Being. Want to live longer, then choose to do that. Want to live to a "ripe old age"? Then choose to do that. Want to live forever? Well, an infinite being is already immortal, so, that's not really a stretch, either...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Everything you need to get what you want...

keys Last week I endured two ordeals that confirmed a theory I've had that everything we need is available right now to get what we want. Now, I have come across this theory many times in my life, and have had it confirmed often enough to keep it on my back burner of Useful Ideas.

Usually, when "stuff" happens to me is when I'm in a hurry. And this was one of those times. I had a drumming gig at the local blues festival, and due to a customer phone call that went longer than I thought it would, I was starting to run late. I quickly gathered up my backpack, grabbed my wallet, and cell phone, coaxed the dog out of the house, locked the door and started to bolt for my truck. Then it hit me. I didn't have my keys.

My mind raced through all the different ways I might have to get into the house, when I remembered I had just given the nextdoor neighbors copies of the house keys in case of an emergency. Whew! So I hiked over there, rang the doorbell. Rang it again. Not home.

My mind went back to racing about how to break in to the house, when I remembered I'd left one of the side windows open on the family room bay window. I just might be able to squeeze through there to get in. I removed the screen, and spied my keys waiting expectedly on the kitchen counter. I hoisted myself up into the window and tried to squeeze in, quickly realizing I was about 50% too big. A small child could probably do it, but not a full-grown 200 lb. man. Oh. Okay.

So now it became a matter of extending my reach through the window to snag the keys on the counter. I found a bamboo pole in the garage and tried it... too short. I then remembered there was a longer one staking the raspberry bushes in the front yard, so I ran over there, snatched the pole out of the ground out of the clutches of the raspberry bush, and wa-lah! Reaching the key chain, I manuevered the keys onto the pole and easily retrieved them. I then replaced the screen went back in the house, locked the window, locked the door on my way out, and made it to the festival without further incident.

As I reflected on what happened, my old theory popped up. I HAD to get to my destination, and everything I needed to get there was available to me even if I locked my keys in the house. The window was open, the bamboo poles were there (even if the nextdoor neighbor wasn't), and I was struck by how many immediate opportunities there were to achieve that objective of getting to the festival on time.

drum parts The next "ordeal" was a few days later, and once again involved a music gig. I loaded my drumset into the venue and began setting up when I noticed that the pedal for the bass drum had come apart. But on further inspection, it turned out that the post anchoring the spring for the pedal had been broken off completely, rendering the pedal useless, and I needed to be ready to play in 10 minutes.

Since my "Need Theory" was still fresh in my mind, I relaxed and just nodded to myself, "I've got the part I need to fix this." I looked through my tool bag where I keep various equipment odds and ends collected over the years, tried a few things, but to no avail.

I then flashed on my RV that I'd driven to the gig, and one of the kitchen cabinet drawers. I looked in the drawer, and in the back was a single likely-looking black screw about an inch and a half long. I tried it on the pedal, and it fit perfectly. It fit so perfectly, I was flabbergasted, since drum equipment screw threads can be very non-standard. In fact, using the screw in this way was actually better than the stock part, since it was longer and because it was a simple screw it had a head on the end that kept the spring from falling off, where the stock part had another part for that function.

I spent several minutes in profound gratitude for this resolution, and thought back on the incredible series of circumstances that allowed this outcome. It goes way beyond statistical probability, and enters the realm of quantum synchronicity. These thoughts were accompanied by the Rolling Stones anthem, "You Can't Always Get What You Want," but you just might get what you need...

As I mulled that over it occurred to me that there's a disconnect in the physical world between one's preferences and what we see in front of us. Rather than noticing what is not matching our preferences, why don't we notice what is. The strength of this option is based on quantum physics where something changes when it is viewed. The more attention given to something, the more it changes. And in practical life, the more attention is paid to something, the more life reflects back what it is being paid attention to. It's some sort of principle of focussed attention.

om Therefore, if attention is focussed on how the external world is accurately reflecting internal preferences, desires, needs and wants, the more and more examples show up of how the external world is the same as the internal world. Usually, the habitual process of noticing differences supercedes the noticing of similarities. By noticing the differences, they amplify. So instead, by noticing similarities to an intention (desire, need or want) after placing that intention, the similarities begin to amplify in the external world.

My guru has repeatedly told me that there is actually no difference between what is "in here" and what is "out there." That it is one continuum with an arbitrary border that we place there in order to define ourselves.

Hand-in-hand with this self-definition strategy is the ingrained habit of noticing what is different between the outer and inner worlds. As this process continues it becomes clear why. If you did NOT notice any difference between outer and inner, then you would have no need for ego-gratification to prove you existed, you would have no need for anything other than what you had, and that would eliminate most economic games, and other processes of desire fulfillment. You would simply BE everything to yourself. This defines the Eastern spiritual state of Self-Realization--one realizes that Self is Everything; or, Self is God.

Author Dr. David Hawkins, M.D. in his book, Healing and Recovery tells ths story of his near-death experiences and his spontaneous states of self-realization. In them, he says that there was really nothing to do, but just be. He found himself seeing clients and performing miraculous healings and a filled appointment book, yet he could remember little of what occurred because he was operating from profound states of divine joy and ecstasy. He reports that eventually he came to be able to control the "episodes" so that he could live his life in a more or less linear fashion, but that these states are always available to him.

Hawkins' whole life has been about studying the effects of the inner world on the outer world, and as he became healed himself (from a myriad of traumas, conditions and diseases), clients, friends and family became healed as well. And as he experienced the profound states of ecstasy, his life rearranged to allow for more and more of that.

It is truly as if life itself simply wants to give you what you want. It's just a matter of opening up to the truth that everything you need for what you want is already at hand.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The more things change...

peace A Progressive's Lament

I'm not by nature a political person. The closest I've come to being classified pretty accurately by someone it was by a channeled entity, Anttarr, through the late Levi Longfellow. Anttarr delivered a long diatribe about how I was a "Psycho-Social Naturalist."

I've mulled that over for years, and have finally come to a definition that relaxes me. Although I consider myself pretty much a social hermit, when I am out "in the world," I enjoy just letting people be who and what they are. I've never felt it was my place to judge or want to change someone. I may have a response to a person's behavior, but I would much rather have them continue to be themselves, despite my responses.

It's because of this view, I think some political analyst somewhere would say I was a "progressive"; perhaps interpreting my "liberal social tolerance" as such. Of course, metaphysically speaking, everyone is really a projection of my own mind, so to judge or criticize somebody else, is just me talking to myself. And that is what becomes what I call the Progressive's Lament. Isn't it just human nature to have a helpful, caring, loving society?

I'm a fan of John Perkins, a lecturer and activist shaman, who now and then presents workshops and seminars. His banner is "Shapeshifting Strategies for Positive Change." Anyone familiar with shamanistic practicies is familiar with shapeshifting. It's where you simply change your shape to change the world. This can mean anything from changing a thought form, to literally changing the body's appearance.

One of Perkin's associates is a fellow named David Korten, who has a very interesting take on global politics. His book list reveals some of his ideology: Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and When Corporations Rule the World.

Korten's whole approach is presenting a worldview where shamanic wisdom of ancient cultures is applied to economics. What he comes to is a world where wealth is shared, and where values of increased awareness, shared consciousness, and earth rituals have trumped corporate acquisition and individual power mongering. In a cooperative village setting, no one owns more than anyone else, and everyone's needs are met.

Obviously, this is an old utopian idea shared by such ignominious visionaries as Marx or Mao, and by the way, by most children. It isn't until direct attempts to manifest these high ideals that modern societal programming ultimately leads to utopian failure.

empire This isn't to say it can't be done, it's just that, as Korten would say, because corporations own most of the humanity's resources (including mass media, the educational system and health care), there can be no such thing as "sharing everything with everybody." And it's why I believe corporations were invented in the first place.

No one human being could betray their own natures as completely as a corporation can. A corporation can only expand, otherwise it ceases to exist since the stockholders would no longer be getting returns on their "investments." Corporations are a way of dodging social responsibility under the "moral" banner of "shared profits" for the stockholders.

And this is where it all goes off track. Sure corporations share, but only amongst their stockholders, which is why governments have to intervene on behalf of the rest of us. Of course, the people in government are stockholders, too, so that neutralizes much of the "push back" from the government.

What Perkins, Korten, and crowds of others are saying, basically, is that because earth is made up of finite resources, there can be no such thing as an "ever-expanding" corporation. And, by allowing human nature to re-express itself without corporations will ultimately lead to a cooperative, sharing society.

In her book, The Bond, Lynne McTaggart proves that "hard-wired" into the DNA of all humans is the impulse to share, the impulse to help (without reward), and the impulse to take turns. These are not learned behaviors. These are behaviors we are born with. Exhaustive studies over many decades have proven this, and disproven the long-held belief that the best life strategy is a self-serving one--that competition is good for society in general, and that progress would never happen otherwise. This sounds like a corporation talking, doesn't it? The truth is, the corporate premise is diametrically opposed to basic human nature.

This is not only true of humans. Many species from chimpanzees to elephants to birds exhibit similar cooperative social behaviors. I see it in my cat, Ralph, and dog, Wookie. Ralph never eats all his food, because he wants to share it with Wookie. After Wookie eats, Ralph is back at it, schmoozing me for more food for him.

When political Progressives talk about change, what they are basically wanting to change is the fundamental economic basis of society--corporate power. This is a futile exercise, because it doesn't get to the true root of social problems. I would venture to guess that society exists at all only because of caring, helpful people, and despite the greed and inherent corruption of inhuman corporations, or as Korten calls it, The Empire. Because The Empire is not a person, it doesn't care about people, only itself. Sure, people own parts of it, and run most of it, but they are operating on only one premise: monetary profit--a narrow and dangerous premise indeed.

basic nature What is it within ourselves that disconnects us from our family, our community, our nation, our world--the earth itself? That disconnected thing within us is what allows all manner of behaviors and outcomes betraying our basic natures. This betrayal is where we lose our faith, where we begin to fear life, harbor suspicions of our fellow humans, and maintain that tried and truly cynical "dog-eat-dog" world view.

When in fact, we are hard-wired to be selfless, to share, even to experience others as ourselves. We all fundamentally embrace the Golden Rule, and automatically want to help others. What if The Empire did that? What a different world that would be!

The next time you hear that old cynic's saw, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," just remember to re-connect to your true nature, and through that re-connection, the world can become one again.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Earth Wants to Connect

barefoot Today it was a warm, luscious morning, so I decided to eat my breakfast outside. I had moved one of the patio chairs yesterday onto the grass to make way for the sprinkler, so I decided breakfast would be nice sitting in that chair.

I walked onto the lawn with bare feet. I hadn't been barefoot yet this year because the weather here had been so cool and wet, so the sensation of bare feet on grass was, well, odd. I suddenly felt like I had stepped onto the back of a vast animal--a gigantic living, breathing creature.

I felt my heartbeat slow, my back relax, and I took a big, deep breath. It was the Earth greeting me in all her bio-electric power. As I sat eating with my feet planted in the grass, it felt like I was feeding the world. After all, I had completed the circuit and plugged in my humble feast to everything hungry in the world.

So, I decided to write this article with my feet on grass-laden earth, in hopes that enough of what Mother Earth has to say to me I can hear and put into words.

She immediately reminded me that it was She who healed me from an extremely stressful and soul-numbing encounter with what I have called the "Metaphysical Marines," otherwise known as Scientology. Yes, I was in a cult, but at the time I joined up, I was a tenderfoot 20 year-old, with world-changing visions and a rebel's heart. But after 10 years of power playing in a group where talk of God was literally considered a dramatized implant, I slowly became aware that I was missing something.

Soon my rebel ways were turned back on the group, and I found myself not only out of a job, but out of a place to live, with hundreds of enemies who thought nothing of wishing me dead. At least, that's the way it felt as I pitched my tent in a state park, hiding from larger-than-real adversaries who could at any moment lunge out from behind a tree, eyes red with anger and felonious intent.

I remember how re-assuring it felt to lie down on the earth. There was something telling me everything was going to be okay. I now know it was Mother Earth.

My wife and I moved from park to park, since the time limit was one week; but during that time, and I think mostly unbeknownst to me, I was being repaired--healed of obvious emotional traumas, and those I didn't know I had.

Nature reaches us even through concrete. We met up with itinerant cable company workers installing the first cable TV wires along Highway 101 north of L.A. There were big bonfires on the beach at night, rough language, but lots of laughter and open hearts. We all lived with Nature--it was just part of the scene.

The time came to follow an opportunity. I heard from one of the campers that there was a great music scene up in Portland, and she even was offering her house up there till we could get on our feet. So, we packed up the rickety old Toyota with a blown head gasket, and made our way slowly to the promised land.

After we arrived, things started to look a whole lot different. The generous "friend" turned out to be a coke head, who was prone to outbursts of rage, and as things proceeded downward in our relationship, it wasn't too long before my wife attempted suicide, and as I returned from the hospital, all our stuff had been strewn about on the front lawn.

As night fell, I stuffed everything back into a bag, set up a tent several hundred yards from the house, near a potato plot, dug up some spuds, cooked them over a small fire, and laid down to sleep in very black darkness. I laid there on Mother Earth, remembering recently read words from James Clavell's Shogun. Something like, "When the Samarai reaches his lowest point, he rejoices--for the only way is up." I knew I was at my lowest point.

The next day, I was strangely energized. I hoisted the stuff over my back and grabbed a bus back to the hospital. I spilled my guts to the social worker there, who performed what I consider magic. Within eight hours, we were in an apartment, had food for a week, and after a call to Kelly Services, I had a job starting the next day.

We eventually got our own cottage up near Mt. Hood in the forest. I got a car and commuted two hours each way to Kelly jobs. Each day, as I drove home and reached the forest line, my body relaxed, I took a deep breath, and gave thanks for Mother Nature--for I was sure if it weren't for Her, my life could have very easily ended badly.

Ever since then, I've made it a point to make Mother a part of my experience. I believe there is a true intelligence and love emanating from Earth, and we all can literally plug in to that love and intelligence by simply taking off our foot coverings, and making contact.

For the book, Earthing by Dr. Stephen Sinatra, there was considerable research done about using physical earth contact as a healing modality. What Sinatra has consistently found is that the simple act of going barefoot on the ground, or lying on the ground: Human circle

  • Defuses the cause of inflammation and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders.
  • Reduces or eliminates chronic pain.
  • Improves sleep in most cases.
  • Increases energy.
  • Lowers stress and promotes calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones.
  • Normalizes the body's biological rhythms.
  • Thins blood and improves blood pressure and flow.
  • Relieves muscle tension and headaches.
  • Lessens hormonal and menstrual symptoms.
  • Dramatically speeds healing and helps prevent bedsores.
  • Reduces or eliminates jet lag.
  • Protects the body against protentially health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMF)
  • Accelerates recovery from intense athletic activity.
Because we are so intimately connected with this cosmic individual, rotating leisurely around a star, the mere act of noticing what we notice when in direct physical contact with Her, can lead to profound insights into ourselves, our society and the state of the planet.

It's time--more than ever--for everyone to go BAREFOOTIN'!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Values or Memes?

flag salute The word meme (meem), has only been around since 1976, first discussed in a book by Richard Dawkins entitled, "The Selfish Gene." He took the Greek root of “mimeme" and shortened it to meme, to be more suggestive of gene and how genes seem to transmit information. It hasn't been until the last few years that meme has broken out of more esoteric scientific circles and into the mainstream. The word, in effect, is doing what it means by becoming viral...

A meme is an idea that is also a replicator. Think of it as a word or symbol that causes people to think a certain way, believe a certain thing, or take a specific action. A catchy jingle or slogan is a meme. You hear it, you play it in your head, and then you "infect" other minds by sharing it. Viral advertising slogans are memes, because they get passed around within a culture, and in many ways define culture.

Awareness of memes is a valuable self-development tool, because so much of a society's culture is transmitted by memes. How a person is "supposed" to act is a meme. Family traditions are memes; political and religious beliefs are usually expressed as memes, or meme complexes, so they can be more easily passed from person to person, group to group, generation to generation.

I like to think of memes as attractive packages of information that hook your attention, and then cause you to adopt that entire package of information as your own without any critical analysis. This is why memes are so important in politics, religions, or social movements--a motto or slogan is attached over a packet of complex information, making it extremely easy to be absorbed and repeated, even if the person transmitting the meme doesn't really believe or accept all of it.

This is how rumors or superstitions get started and build into "facts" or "truths," even though the initial packet of information behind the meme contains faulty information or outright lies. How many of us have actually avoided cracks in the sidewalk because of the meme, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." I can remember as a young boy suddenly realizing how ridiculous this was, but not after avoiding sidewalk cracks for many weeks.

KKK Because memes are basically packages of un-examined information that we adopt as truth, they lend themselves splendidly to be stored unconsciously, and can quickly become the modus operandi behind thinking about our behaviors, opinions and beliefs about ourselves and others.

Here is where values come in. To me, a true personal value is an ideal we cherish that explains who we are, what we do, and where we're going. True values are never unexamined. They are borne out of life lessons--things we have come to believe are true; not things that society, our parents, or our friends say is true (these are most often memes).

So I'm making a distinction between values and memes in that values are critically analyzed conclusions about how we should best lead our lives based on life experience. The meme is an unexamined, unconsciously adopted belief. Where we get into trouble is mistaking memes for values. And, in fact, the discovery of lies within memes often leads to the critical analysis needed to form values.

For example, the meme, "Father knows best." Taken at face value, this meme contains all those feelings and beliefs about parental respect and childhood adoration. To question this meme has emotional consequences, but as any teenager can attest, it falls apart in the face of life experiences. The child who has adopted this meme now must face the truth of it, and in so doing, must develop a way of being with the information that Father doesn't necessarily know best.

Apostasies are all about memes breaking apart--when whole religious belief systems tumble down as the result of life experience. Religion is famous for memes because so much of religious training is based on absolutes--a prime territory for memes. As life experience disproves the lies within memes, critical thinking can return and a more nuanced view of the world emerges.

Such biggies as, "All sinners go to hell," can break down into hundreds of parts, revealing deeper levels of truth through questioning the basic assumption of the meme. What is a sinner? What is hell? What is sin exactly, and why does that necessarily lead to hell? As the meme breaks down, it no longer has the power to alter behaviors or be transmitted. With critical thinking restored, true values can be determined and immunity to similiar memes established.

Another area rife with memes is in politics where memes are used to replace words. Remember the meme, "Weapons of Mass Destruction," eventually became, "The reason we're going to fight a war on terrorism." Now all "weapons of mass destruction" involves terrorist activities. This is different from 30 years ago, when the same phrase referred to national defense weaponry.

Whole political belief systems can be hijacked using memes. Nowadays if you are conservative in your beliefs about social issues and economics, you are a Republican. If you are liberal in your views you are a Democrat. This is a far cry from 50 years ago when there were "conservatives" and "liberals" in both political parties. This hijacking of definitions is used to create polarization, stacking "good" and "evil" memes on top of other buzz words and phrases, such as, "intolerant Republicans," and "irresponsible Democrats," leading to such conclusions as, "only Republicans are good for business," and "only Democrats are humanitarian." Such absolute statements--as in religion--make memes attractive and viral in the culture.

Using an awareness of memes can help lead to personal transformation by spotting where in your self-definitions are there identifications with memes. Such phrases as "it was good for my dad, it's good for me," if taken literally (and memes usually are), really makes no sense. Your dad was a separate person from you, had a completely different experience from you, and has a completely different set of values and decisions about his life than you. By de-constructing memes in your own thinking, you can find out what programming is preventing you from getting to where you want to go with yourself.

Most importantly, if you spot a meme, the meme no longer has power. They only have power when they are unexamined. Once deleted, they can be replaced by thoughtfully considered values from which smart and heartfelt decisions can be made.

How to spot a meme

Interestingly, spotting a meme can be as easy as asking yourself what your values are:

  • What do I value about myself?
  • What do I value about my job?
  • What do I value about my life?
  • What should be the most important things in life?
  • What inspires me?
  • What is important to me?
  • What motivates me to get better?

All these questions will not only reveal memes, but will help reveal existing values and help form new ones.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Your Thoughts, Your Body

Click for disturbing full-size image... The one key idea now mainstreaming into Western culture, mainly from Chinese medicine, is the concept of "the whole person." The holistic approach to health is to include all the factors making up an individual: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, environmental, cultural, etc., etc. This "alternative" approach to health seems to be closer to the mark as the testimonials roll in of miraculous healings and longstanding chronic conditions actually resolving (much to the chagrin of "organized medicine").

But the truth of the matter is that what we unconsciously intend, think and feel affects our bodies. As a child, I wondered if being afraid was bad for my health. I mean, after all, fear caused my heart to beat frantically, made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, sent cold adrenal flushes to my legs and arms, and made the blood run away from my brain. Could that be good for you? Likewise with depression, and all its affiliated physical symptoms. How could anyone think that feelings, intentions and thoughts DIDN'T affect your body?

Also, as a child growing up in the 50's and 60's, all I found out about nutrition was the "four food groups" (later amended to the "food pyramid" with the introduction of SUGAR & FATS, fergawdsakes!). It seemed like eating wasn't really connected to personal health very closely. You could eat just about anything, and if you got sick it was because of germs. This pretty much sums up the extent of health knowledge when I was in school. Sad to say, that pretty much sums up general health knowledge even today among grownups.

Later, as a tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippie, teen angst gave way to young-adult cynicism and the discovery of "commercial interests," and how (oh, my gawd!) they actually manipulated what people ate. They sold fast food that would surely lead to disease, and then sold the medicines to give "instant relief" by masking symptoms, which then came back later so the medicine would have to be purchased again. Shame, shame, I cried, and became a nutrition activist, discovering and campaigning for Ann Wigmore, Viktorus Kulvinskas, and Arnold Ehret's Rational Fasting.

1,000 Fast Food Restaurants23,000 Fast Food Restaurants
$6 billion spent on fast food$100 billion spent on fast food
1/3 of mothers work outside home2/3 of mothers work outside home
75% of meals eaten at homeOver 50% of meals eaten away from home
All children eat 4-5 servings of fruits and/or veggies20% of children 4-5 servings of fruits and/veggies
It took me well into my mid-life to get over the sheer outrageousness of the food and medical industry's closely guarded alliance, because I realized that everyone has a choice. Not only that, now into the 21st Century, there are worlds upon worlds of resources available to anyone striving for better physical health, improved wellness and quality of life. Check out the Quantum Health Newsletter archive for a small sampling of modalities available to those who are actively changing their health level.

Extensive scientific research has been done over recent decades on the mind-body connection, as well as the food-wellness complex, so even the most skeptical cereal-box-HMO hugger may be enlightened. Of course, the free market being what it is, a lot of this scientific research has been harnessed to the service of profit-making often to the point where anyone attempting to figure out what route to wellness to take is going to have their head spinning. Throw in the Internet, and it's usually information overload.

The key, as always, is to find those things that work for YOU. With all the thousands of effective approaches to healing and vibrant health, any individual can find at least one or two things that are real to them, and that will make a difference for them in particular. For example, yoga works for me, along with a fairly light omnivorous diet, supplemented with enzymes, a few vitamins, and lots of water. I'm also a big fan of the Pure Energy Rx products and homeopathic cell salts, since both are an easy system to remember, and they just really work for me. Of course, I've TRIED just about everything, but a few of those things stuck, and are serving me well.

Once the heart-and-soul decision has been made and an intention has been set about a health condition or fitness level, there are general guidelines that seem to show up for most people, based on lots of scientific research and common sense (see chart below). Observe any thoughts and conclusions provided you from commercial interests. Experiment, and make your OWN decisions about what works for you. Assume full responsibility for your body, and it will respond happily.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Extreme Self-Esteem

dog training I watched a Bill Maher Real Time HBO episode recently. His interview guest was Amy Chua, author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." The point Maher zoomed in on from her book is that parents these days are so concerned about a child's self-esteem that they "over-reward" them for doing the least little thing right. Chua maintains that children should earn their self-esteem by doing difficult things well that require skill to do them.

The reward-for-least-little-thing-right thinking I believe comes from pet training. All a dog has to do to get a treat is sit down, come when called, or rollover. You train cats in the same way, although much more strategically. Our big tabby cat, Ralph, believes he is training me to do what he wants, and I'm happy to do it because when I do what he wants when I want it, it trains him when to ask (such as for food and going outside).

But, children are not pets. They are a part of yourself, and like yourself, they do not need constant reinforcement to do what they probably would do anyway. I don't believe humans are wired to fail--it's an evolutionary imperative, for one thing. A person may appear to fail at something, but they'll keep trying until they succeed; and if they continually fail at the same thing, they are getting some sort of success out of it on the back end, guaranteed. If they give up, it's because they've changed their definition of success.

More accurately, humans are wired to see success in every action they take. Some actions may seem futile to some, but they keep on doing the action, looking for some way to make it a success, or to re-evaluate the situation so that it becomes a success.

Self-esteem has become linked to success or failure--the more successful one is, the higher the self-esteem. If one fails a lot, their self-esteem takes a beating. There's a lie in that, however, because the definition of success or failure is an arbitrary judgment.

Taoist parable It's like the ancient Taoist parable about the old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "May be," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "May be," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "May be," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "May be," said the farmer.

We have no way of knowing what the consequences are of a particular success or failure, so basing one's self-esteem on such illusory concepts is pointless. Thus, by accepting the truth of the illusion of the success-and-failure model, the entire question of good or bad self-esteem is rendered moot.

The other major factor entering in to what we call self-esteem is the judging of self against the expectations of others. Children are particularly susceptible to this form of failure, as the expectations of their parents sets up the link between self-esteem and success/failure. You're bad when you "fail," good when you "succeed," where failing or succeeding depends on the accuracy with which the child can judge or estimate the expectations of the parents. I believe this is all wired to survival strategies of the young. They must not fall out of favor with the source of their nourishment, and they learn quickly the difference between a smile (which is rewarded), and a frown (for which there is no reward).

Thus, the habit is formed to look outside one's self to ascertain other's expectations in order the judge one's own success or failure determining the level of one's self-esteem.

I caught myself the other day with a picture of my mother in my head telling me how to vacuum correctly, and I was actually changing my behavior to please her. She's been dead for 15 years, and yet here I was still trying to be a success in her eyes, so I could have good self-esteem.

on TV These are habits of thinking. They are not the truth. These habits are tricky, though, and you have to be on the lookout for them. In my article on Values and Memes, I point out how concepts of expectations can be easily wrapped up into a couple of "code words" that can be used to manipulate behavior. This is especially rampant in politics and marketing. You are a "success" if you buy this after shave; you are a "winner" if you buy this brand of car; you are "smart" if you buy this baby food; etc., etc., ad nauseum. The implication is--because of the success/failure dichotomy--if you don't buy these products, you are a failure. I went through one phase a few years back where I specifically refused to buy any products I saw ads for in retaliation for all the years of manipulation before. Of course, I snapped out of it when I realized I'd been manipulated into the retaliation.

By being aware of these types of memes and their manipulative power, you can simply step outside of the whole game of "want success/don't want failure." My guru kept making a point to me for a few years about preferences. "You don't WANT something--you prefer it," he'd say. I couldn't get the difference for a long time. Of course I prefer what I want. But this was his point. By preferring, you can be happy with something not of your preference--it's not such a binding concept as wanting.

"The world suffers because it wants," he'd say. "Change the world by changing your preferences." Hence, by preferring something like world peace, you are allowing what is not world peace to be there so that it doesn't form a polarity. By strongly wanting world peace, you add energy to its opposite. The basic truth of the matter is that there IS world peace, otherwise how would we know the difference?

So winding back down to self-esteem, the basic truth is that anything we do is a success, because just being is a success as far as the universe is concerned. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, so by just showing up, you're perfect. You cannot do anything wrong other than what you or society have judged to be wrong.

The only preference the universe has is that you BE. Ultimately, any expression of self is an expression of god, because at the very center of our Being is a direct connection to the Divine. Just like Jake and Elwood Blues--we are all on a mission for God. What more self-esteem can there be than that?

Monday, September 29, 2014

You Are The Healer

healer I usually get really fired up when the subject of corporate medicine violating personal power comes up. But, I admirably held my tongue the other day, when a musician friend of mine came into a gig all stooped over, in obvious pain, looking pale and weak. From years of abusing his own health, he has ended up at age 52 with degenerated lumbar discs, which cause him so much pain, his doctor has him on a daily regimen of morphine. It had been valium, but after a while that wasn't doing anything for him except making him sicker, so in all medical wisdom his doctor simply prescribed something way stronger.

Well, my friend, being the party-hardy fellow he has always been, ended up abusing this prescription of morphine, so by the end of the prescription period he had already taken all the doses, and now he was without medication, and nearly writhing in pain.

I remember several years ago, my musician friend told me that if he ended up getting lung cancer from smoking too much, liver damage from drinking while on prescription drugs, or incapacitated for any other reason, modern medical science will just fix it, and he'd be fine... presumably to continue smoking, drinking and abusing drugs.

I asked him if his doctors ever recommended he stop smoking and drinking so much. He said his doctor smoked, and no, which was fine by him, because they would just prescribe more drugs.

I personally think my friend should probably sue his doctor for malpractice, but then I realize that he has kept that doctor for a good reason: to get high and have a enabler for all his bad health habits. This really had very little to do with the doctor and everything to do with how my friend was being a doctor to himself.

In another case, I regularly speak with a customer of Pure Energy Rx, who has had many health challenges, but has always either self-treated or gone to a Chinese medicine practitioner. One day, because of a requirement by her insurance company, she went to the insurance company's M.D. for a physical. She called me, all shakey, and said that this doctor was very concerned about her health, and that he practically coerced her into getting immediate testing for heart and liver damage. She was devastated, because she had been feeling great, her life was going well, and she was making vacation plans with the family. Now all that was in jeopardy, she thought.

I suggested that she simply go see her naturopath, get blood tests, and calm down, because the fear installed in her by this M.D. was having more effect on her health than anything else going on in her life.

healer A few weeks later, we spoke again, and I asked what had happened with the scary M.D. She said she'd gone to her naturopath, got some acupuncture for stress, because that's all the naturopath could diagnose from her symptoms. She got the blood tests, which all turned out to be within normal ranges, and she was greatly relieved. And then she got annoyed, and soon angry at the insurance company for using this scary M.D. who was obviously running some kind of fear tactic to get new patients.

That re-reminded me of the glut of scary medical information that gets thrown at the general public through pharmaceutical ads plastered across TVs, magazines, newspapers and the Internet. Much of this "information" is so generalized, that anyone has had this or that symptom at sometime in their life, which is the point. Corporate medicine must make a profit like everyone else, and it doesn't really matter if scaring people works to sell their products.

Yet, there is a much deeper point to these observations, and I keep coming back to this: we are all creating what happens to us. The trap in this, however, is that we have been convinced by Life that we have limited or no effect on what we experience. We are afraid of what we might not know. And this is exactly what "experts" rely on to create fear in potential clients, so these new clients will run to them to resolve their "unknown" crises.

"You may have a more serious condition," "Your financial assets may be in danger," "Your credit card or computer could be hacked," "You may not know the Truth about yourself!" After a while, you come to believe that every moment carries some risk of fatality, or incapacitating injury. The metaphysical point here is that none of it is true until you agree. And that is the real Truth about yourself right there.

In the book, The Bond, by Lynne McTaggert, she makes a great case about the psychological value of belonging to a group trumping the effect of personal lifestyles. One of several examples she cites, was a recent extensive study of Japanese immigrants. The study compared immigrants who maintained the traditional Japanese cultural behaviors within groups or communities doing the same; against those immigrants who eschewed their traditional culture and embraced a new American set of values and behaviors.

After analyzing 35 years of data, the researchers found that the immigrants who maintained their Japanese culture with a group (such as a large family or community) lived significantly longer (Japan has the highest number of centenarians per capita in the world), than those immigrants who abandoned their cultural roots. This was independent of diet and other health behaviors. In fact, many of the centenarians in the traditional group had remained committed smokers from a young age.

Therefore, it was concluded that it was the traditional cultural bond amongst the members of the group that trumped anything else for longevity. The sense of belonging was more important to health than any other factor.

alienation What I took away from this information is that the mind-body connection alone ultimately determines health; and if you feel alienated, out of touch with humanity and Nature, fearful of every moment, without love in your life in some form, that is a blueprint for disease.

In shamanistic healing practices, every uneasiness, discomfort, pain, ailment, disease, or fear is a signal. It is your body telling you something about how you are disconnected from the True Self. The True Self is radiant, vibrant, unconditionally loving, infinitely creative, and unlimited in its power. Therefore, what is not that is The Work. By finding the patterns of belief, justification, and decision that have taken you away from True Self, you are released to be Who You Truly Are.

What a different world this would be if we taught our children this very thing. They are radiant, creative, loving and meaningful--their thoughts and feelings determine their body's responses. Instead, our children are barraged with images of violence, demeaning behaviors, alienation and disempowerment. We all grew up with that, and that is our legacy.

Therefore, bottom, bottom line is that honest, penetrating self-inquiry out of the infinitely deep well of love in our hearts will trump any perceived outward condition, circumstance, or disease. Yes, it is work, but what other kind of work is there? Really.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

You Are Your Life

mirror There is an ancient Mayan greeting, that roughly translated is, "I am another yourself."

When I first heard that, I kept thinking about it, and what it actually means. And as I continued down that rabbit hole I realized that within that simple statement sits the core of all the forbidden, secret spiritual knowledge. Because, if I am really you, then I know everything about you. If I know all about you, then I know all about your life. If I know all about your life, then that means my experience of life is what I'm creating.

People fight this idea, and god (literally) knows I certainly have. We fight it because we fear ourselves--we fear what we create, and usually with damn good reason. Add up all the pain, suffering, injustice, catastrophe, drama, and tears, and who would want to cop to creating all that?

Well, the good news is that when you finally DO start to cop to it all, it starts to look more and more like a game you can win. But the game is really multi-handed solitaire, with all the players being different versions of yourself. Life really is a game you play with yourself.

Not surprisingly, at the heart of shamanic knowledge is this core Reality that everything you sense (that means everything) is something you have created. During my shaman training, I had to be broken of the habit of rationalization on this point. I'd say, "Well, OK, I can see how I helped to create what I perceive--I can see that as being reasonable." Then the teacher would snap back, "No. The 'others' creating your experience are you, too." So then I'd say, "Well, we share a mutual experience." Then the retort, "No. There is no sharing. This is you." At that point, I'd usually get my mind blown and shut up. But within a few days, I'd re-embrace the societal norm of individualistic separatism, where everyone you come in contact with has their life (that you know little about), and you have your life that they know little about. It's all about feeling safe in the not-knowing of it all.

This thinking is, of course, dis-empowering and completely unacceptable for any kind of shaman certificate you may be studying for. Shamans call it the Art of Impeccability. And this is, for me, the hardest part of accepting my own creation.

Impeccability means being impeccable with your awareness, so that you at every moment are aware of what you are aware of. It's easy to lapse into an illusion of spectator, or victim, and that is the societal norm--or even requirement in some circles. "This was done to me by forces beyond my control." Boy, say that to a shaman and you're likely to get slapped upside the back of the head. There is no such thing as "beyond your control." There metaphysically cannot be, because the basic assumption (when you incarnated) is that you're creating your experience of time, dimension, body, life. The first lie we buy into is that it is a "participatory reality," or a "consensual creation." Nope. It's all you, baby!

ourselves But, but, but... I couldn't possibly know what my friend ate for breakfast--I wasn't there. Well, I've got news for you: because you asked the question, you were there, and can answer it accurately, as long as you maintain impeccability long enough to receive those perceptions.

What we as humans are really good at is separating ourselves into "conscious" and "subconscious." The conscious part is what we are aware of, and the subconscious part is what we are not aware of. Therefore, for spiritual progress to happen, the task is to find out what it is that we are unaware of. How do you do that? Well, every technique taught in any spiritual modality will do--they are all just ways of discovering what you are not aware of.

Patterns are an excellent place to start. Who hasn't had an "a-ha" moment when spotting a pattern in their own behavior? In fact, the human mind is all about patterns. Without the ability to render the senses into patterns, nothing would materialize. The mind IS the pattern-making device we use. The reason the "a-ha" happens from noticing a pattern is because a part of yourself was creating that pattern, and now that you recognize it, you reclaim that unconscious part of yourself, so it feels like a revelation. What's great is that revelations feel good, which, as far as I'm concerned, is the saving grace of the human race.

Once you make this pattern search a regular discipline, all sorts of other patterns will emerge that you had no idea had been related. For instance, I noticed a pattern happening around the change in seasons last week where my body started looking for a cold or allergies or something that I usually would experience from summer to fall. I traced this back to my mom telling me to watch out for the autumn cold. It's reinforced by signs in grocery stores hawking "Flu Shots", and every other myself running around looking for the first signs of a cold or flu. It's an unconscious pattern that gets accepted without awareness. That is what is called NOT being impeccable.

Adopting a Sherlock Holmes-ian attitude of exuberant investigation into anomalous patterns helps to flush some of these buggers out. What is the energy going on around that ache in my leg? Why am I slightly on edge today? Why am I grumpy? Why am I broke? These are valid investigatory lines and will bear fruit as long as you impeccably proceed without any attachment to what you may or may not discover.

Asking life in general for answers is always a sure-fire method. There are so many participatory layers of awareness available to you, you can literally ask any question and get a meaningful answer--sometimes it takes some time, but I've never seen that fail. I have, however, failed to continue to ask until it is answered, but that is all a part of impeccability.

noticing Another good tool is "Noticing What You Notice." It's a part of the game of being aware of being aware. When you are investigating for patterns, notice where your attention goes and what your mind does while on the investigation. You'll be amazed sometimes at just how much you really can be aware of, and how your mind works to create a recognizable experience for yourself.

One of my spiritual guides, Anttarr, got me going on this particular article after reading his book, "The Forbidden Gift." Anttarr talks about projections, and how humans project out into their creations parts of themselves that have no outlet within their standard inner experience. We might project out our friend being sick, because we already know we are healthy, but something sick inside of us can't express itself, so it projects out into the form of a sick friend. This is at the core of the Hawaiian technique of Ho’oponopono, where the Kahuna searches within herself to find where she is creating this disease or discomfort sitting in front of her in the form of a client.

Anttarr further sums up, "In all circumstances, the self meets self. So one will find exaggerated features of their own psychology represented by all others in their lives."

Focus on all circumstances and all others. We are all mirrors of our total psychology. Anttarr continues, "Again, self meets self at every turn, and there is no escape. Because it is within, wherever you go and whatever you do you will always recreate the experience in one fashion or another..."

So, as I tend to do, the take-away bumper sticker is, "Wherever you go, there you are."

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Message from the President

Finding Now

now We humans struggle so with such earnest and angst about problems, issues, decisions, and judgments, when 99% of it is an illusion. And even that awareness can be equally upsetting.

I've found in my research that this 99% illusion is primarily composed of our inability to or lack of focus on the present moment. NOW is who you are. NOW is where heaven is. NOW is simultaneously the way and the destination. NOW is home.

Take a look at what you have been worrying about. Is any of it actually happening NOW, or is it really happening in the past or the future? One double-edged capability we all have is to put our thoughts and our feelings into the past or the future. If I was to ask you if you are in the present moment when you are crying, you'd say "yes" because that sorrow seems to be heppening right now. If you are in physical pain, you would most certainly claim to be in the present moment, if for no other reason than the pain itself seems to force you there. But this is, once again, an illusion.

Pain, suffering, grief, jealousy, anger, and the rest of what we refer to as "negative" emotions are really all connected together in a sort of past-experience matrix. The fear of pain, suffering, etc. is a future projection connected to that matrix. Pain, especially if it is excruciating, convinces us that the NOW is painful and forces us into a "future" where that pain is gone. And with chronic pain, depression sets in from living in a desperately desired future that never comes.

The big "SECRET" is that we are all hard-wired for joy, and that joy is only found in the present moment. I say "hard-wired" because joy is the basic and primal driving justification for existence. ALL of our attention, intention and our striving is for one purpose, and one purpose only: JOY. As famed mystic and intellectual, Alan Watts said, "Ecstasy, by one road or another, is inevitable." I would venture to say that the reason this is hard-wired is because THAT is WHO WE ARE, and this is reflected in our brain-body-mind.

road to now The "road" Watts refers to is made of decision and intention. We decide to leave the past and the future, and intend to experience joy. The space between leaving the non-present, and entering into the now, is what we call "time". Have you noticed that when you are fully in joy, or even just really happy, time fades away. And yet, when we are in pain, time seems to go on forever.

One conundrum of human existence is that joy is the only thing that brings us into the present moment. It is always an option, and as such is just a decision away. It may be a chirping bird, the sweet scent of a rose wafting through the air, fluffy clouds in a deeply blue sky, infinite stars in a cloudless sky... or, the sense of breathing in the sweet, living air, the faint pulse of your heart in your knees, the wonderful healing heat of rubbing your hands together. Whatever it is, it can immediately bring you to now.

This is a skill. But there is an over-arching principle here that is important: What you pay attention to expands. The more joy you decide to perceive, the more joy becomes apparent, and will crowd out any pain and suffering. Continue to be with joy, and soon your life will reflect back to you more and more reasons for joy. And because joy is who and what you are, this can happen very quickly. Appreciation and gratitude are more skills to apply in getting to now.

The other "secret" that we all really know is what some call "faith", others call "contextualizing". We have "faith" that what we think is happening to us is positive and leading us to more joy, more healing, more happiness. Referring back to Watts' statement that "ecstacy is inevitable," we all get there, either in life or by death.

For example, one person is coping with an aching knee and "has faith" or contextualizes that he is "getting old" and the knee is breaking down. Alarmed, he visits his doctor who runs a couple of tests and although there was nothing conclusive, the knee may be arthritic, and subscribes various drugs for the pain and inflammation. Further alarmed, this person has now decided he has arthritis in his knee, and if he doesn't take the drugs the pain is worse. Soon, x-rays show that the cartlidge in the knee is shrinking, and soon the doctor recommends surgery.

cloud of joy On the other hand... a person with a pain in his knee has faith that it is a new energy pattern to improve or heal a weak knee. The person is excited about having a healed knee, and in a few days, the pain is gone, and the knee feels stronger.

In the first case, the person has stepped away from the present moment into futures of pain and suffering. In the second example, the person has chosen to step into the joy of the now and the healing of the knee.

In both cases, where the attention went is what expanded.

Allow the option of joy at every opportunity. Exercise that skill and it will grow stronger and more effective. Let the pain and worry of life be a cue to find the joy, and soon the Real Ecstatic You is revealed in all its wondrous healing glory.

In vibrant health,

Boyd Martin, President

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quantum Health Newsletter

Giving Thanks is Literally Good For You

GratitudeAdvanced research at the Institute of Heart Math and elsewhere has provided evidence that gratitude is not simply a nice sentiment or feeling. Sustained feelings of gratitude have real benefits, including the following four benefits:

Biochemical changes – Favorable changes in the body’s biochemistry include improved hormonal balance and an increase in production of DHEA, the "anti-aging hormone."
Increased positivity – Favorable changes in the body’s Daily gratitude exercises can bring about a greater level of positive feelings, according to researchers from the University of Miami and the University of California, Davis who studied this process in 157 individuals over 13 days.
Boost to the immune system – The IgA antibody, which serves as the first line of defense against pathogens, increases in the body.
Emotional “compound interest” – The accumulated effect of sustained appreciation and gratitude is that these feelings, and coherence, are easier to recreate with continued practice. This is because experiencing an emotion reinforces the neural pathways of that particular emotion as it excites the brain, heart and nervous system.

Thankfully, gratitude and appreciation can create their own positive psychophysiological holiday in your body – without the necessity of a feast. Sincere self-evoked feelings of gratitude and appreciation are explained in-depth by IHM founder Doc Childre and Director of Research Dr. Rollin McCraty in their e-book, The Appreciative Heart: the Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal Functioning.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use the Success & Achievement Vital Force Crystal to create a field around you of increased confidence, charisma, and appreciation.

Putting Your Appreciation on a Graph

appreciationMeasuring someone’s gratitude is quite literally possible with today’s cutting-edge science and technology. So how exactly do you measure gratitude--scientifically?

According to research at Institute of Heart Math, true feelings of gratitude, appreciation and other positive emotions can synchronize brain and heart rhythms, creating a bodywide shift to a scientifically measurable state called coherence. In this optimal state, the body’s systems function more efficiently, generating a greater balance of emotions and increased mental clarity and brain function.

The level of coherence you experience during feelings of appreciation can be measured by sensitive instruments. Coherence also can be measured using heart-rate variability (HRV) –the naturally occurring beat-to-beat changes in heart rate, which can be see in an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Measuring coherence can accurately show heart, brain and nervous-system interactions that are sensitive to changes in emotions. While an individual is experiencing coherence, the heart rhythm appears as a smooth wavelike pattern on an HRV graph. Contrast coherence with incoherence, created by negative emotions such as frustration and anger, which can often disrupt the synchronization of the body’s systems and create jagged or chaotic patterns on a graph.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: We've had some reports about Clean Sweep where after spraying it around a person, that person relaxes and becomes more grateful--in some cases, a complete personality shift. Try it, and let us know what happens with you

Shake Your Body...

shaking Let go of the stresses of the day by shaking them out. Release tensions and revive yourself. Shaking seems simple (and is) but is actually a powerful, effective Qigong technique.

Shaking relaxes and warms all of the muscles, organs, joints and fascia of the body and even the multitudes of cells of your body. Whole-body shaking is an excellent way to exercise and detoxify every cell of the body. Besides being an effective warm-up, shaking the body can make bone marrow strong, strengthen the spine, and support the kidneys and adrenal glands. In fact, every organ and tube in the body is enhanced by shaking the body.

Lymph flow is enhanced so that more gunk is cleared out and your immune function improved. Blood flow increases and hormonal secretions will benefit your skin. Bouncing up and down like this also adjusts the magnetic field, organizing and balancing it. Shaking can strengthen cells through the quick, extra force each shake places on the cells. It adds a sudden dollop of extra-gravitational force, creating a need for all of the cells to buck up. It can help sagging tissues regain or hold their tonicity. So shake it out!
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use E-4 Formula prior to your shaking exercise to assist the body in coming to homeostasis, or balance of upper and lower energy centers. Plus, E-4 will assist in removing toxins shaken loose from the exercise and further strengthen the immune system.

Company & Product News

3 NEW Meditation Elixirs from Energy Tools!
Meditation Elixirs We are very excited to announce three additions to our Meditation Elixir Trio! These are extremely helpful elixirs for the spiritual seeker and meditator. The new formulas are: Alchemy of Transformation, Higher Guidance, and Zen. Each formula has a very specific energy that allows for a quantum leap in understanding, sensitivity and well-being. These Subtle Energies works like the body's "software" to govern all functions of the mind and body. These subtle energy formulas are encoded with information your mind and body can use for higher development, for healing and for functioning at optimum levels. These meditation formulas help you to use the "intent" of your mind to direct subtle energy where it is most needed. You can receive the Meditation Elixir 6-Pack for a discount and free shipping, or order formulas individually. Explore new realms of awareness and spiritual attainment, and experiment with what these formulas can do for you!
The Gift of Subtle Energy
Vital Force Crystals The Vital Force Intelligent Crystals are interactive tools created to help you access inner dimensions for focusing and clarifying your intentions, for protection, for self-healing and exploration and now for EMF protection! Vital Force Intelligent Crystal Pendants are designed to work you.

These elegant Swarovski crystal pendants have been powerfully infused by Vital Force Technology with a combination of energetic imprints from rare gemstones and crystals and healing energies produced by master healers. The Vital Force Intelligent Crystals use the "intent" of the focused mind to open the gateway between mind, body and higher levels of consciousness.

Some of the energies include: Success & Achievement, Chakra Protection, Longevity, EMF Protection, and many more. These make wonderful gifts for your loved ones! Check them out!

Gem Elixir of the Month

"Stone of True Love and Success in all Endeavors"

Spiritually: Helps speed up spiritual development and cleansing of the aura. Encourages rejuvenation and rebirth of the self within the spiritual context.

Emotionally: Stabilizes the emotions. Brings joy, generosity, and abundance.

Mentally: Promotes problem solving, honesty, self-realization, and self-control.

Physically: May soothe, stimulate, recharge, and align the meridians. May stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and promote general tissue regeneration; may be helpful with diseases associated with the aging process.

Topaz Intelligent Elxir is on sale this month for 30% off with discount code TOP30 (enter the code in the indicated box as you checkout through the website shopping cart).

Personally, from the president...

The Power of Re-Framing

re-frame There's a fun game I learned in my comedy improv class that goes something like this: One person in the group is chosen to be, say, the Mayor of a town. Another is chosen to be the Mayor's PR person, or "spin doctor". The Mayor takes questions from the rest of the group acting as investigative reporters asking tough questions. The Mayor must fully admit to the charges and, in fact, go overboard with too much information about his failings. The spin doctor must re-frame the Mayor's words into a reasonable, rationalized explanation of the Mayor's actions.

"Mayor, it's been all over the news that you have done crack cocaine. Is that true?"

"Why, certainly, son! I did the crack cocaine while I was in one of my drunken stupors!"

Spin Doctor: "What the Mayor is saying, is that in order to govern most effectively, he must gain an understanding of the criminal drug element in our city, thus, by doing this sort of research, he has learned valuable information with which to make our communities safer."

I oftentimes find myself being my own spin doctor--attempting to rationalize and make reasonable decisions I've made. It is a type of "re-framing"--making the negative look like a positive. There is power in this, because we are much more willing to take responsibility for our actions if we know they are making a positive contribution to society. Of course, there's a fine line between rationalizing away a crime and reframing your worldview, but it's a similar mechanism.

Well known corporate trainer, Karen Sladick, says, "Reframing is used to alter the meaning of something. When you use reframing, you look for something positive in everything that happens, regardless of how bad it might seem initially. In every situation, you can learn something to help you grow. Reframing can work wonders and keep you in a positive state more often. To reframe, you need to:

  • Change the meaning from negative to positive.
  • Identify what you can learn.
  • Focus on the benefits to be gained."
re-frame In this way, all information coming to you about you, is framed in a positive context, with both praise and criticisms becoming valuable treasures you can use to create a more and more positive worldview.

A personal example, chronic pain has said to me, "You are doing something wrong in your life and it is diminishing your health and hurling you down to death." Or, by reframing, pain becomes: "My body is re-adjusting to my positive affirmations and my intention to live a vibrant, ecstatic life. I'm de-toxing old energies, and replacing them with exciting and wonderful feelings."

By re-framing, you are telling your body that you acknowledge its pain, and believe in its intelligence. Of course, by listening you will also receive information about anything you can physically do to help the body along in its journey to happiness and comfort.

Many of my friends know I've been going through some physical issues, and I've been answering inquiries as to how I'm doing with, "I'm under construction" or "onward and upward". This way, it's much better than saying, "fine," which is actually a lie, and makes me feel isolated. By assuring your friends and loved ones that you are steadily improving, without having to tell a story, they can lend their positivity to yours and the energies can build into a wonderful driving force for good.

As this re-framing process continues, you will start to hear positive things about yourself from others which re-enforces your frame of mind, and actually adds energy to the body in repair.

The body wants to follow your intention. Give it something positive to follow!

To your quantum health,

Boyd Martin, President