Friday, April 28, 2017

The Identity Imperative

As we listen to and look at national and world news reports we see evidence of enormous conflicts between people who have identified themselves with very different ways of thinking and feeling and behaving. People who identify with different religions are at war with each other; people of the same religion who identify with different interpretations of it are at war with each other; people who identify with different political systems are at war with each other; people who identify with different interpretations of the same political system are at war with each other.

On a more local level, people who identify with different athletic teams in the same sport seem to be getting into sometimes serious fights with each other more frequently; people who identify with specific groups called gangs often have serious fights with each other, as well as with non-gang members of the society around them; and identity conflicts of a serious nature often arise between families or even individual strangers.

Two important questions that come out of this observation are: "Is there a fundamental urge to identify with something - an 'identity imperative,' so to speak - that is more powerful than other urges?" and "why does such identification so often lead to conflict?"

To answer the first question, the urge to identify with something--an idea, a belief, a philosopy, a religion, a way of life, a political system, a group of some kind, a territory, or even another person--is no more nor no less than a combination of the two fundamental urges of all human beings to connect and to be effective.

We have an initial urge to connect because feeling connected, feeling ourselves to be part of something else, is a source of pleasure. By itself this leads to pleasurable relationships with people, animals, plants, and other aspects of the world around us. When the thing we connect to also helps us to feel more effective or powerful, another source of pleasure, then we have a strong tendency to identify ourselves with that thing, to consider it and us to be virtually identical. That's why so many people proudly declare that they are "members" of something or other (the word "member" means a "limb" or an integral part of something). It's also why people like to wear clothing, costumes, badges, pins, and tatoos that help them feel more connected and powerful.

The answer to the second question above is that the more insecure we feel about our connection and our effectiveness, the more fearful we become about their loss, which leads to painful feelings of isolation and helplessness. When this insecurity and its related fear become intense enough there may be a very strong suppression reaction. A common effect of this reaction is to perceive contrasting or opposing forms of identity as a threat to one's very existence. 

So a losing sports team, or its fans, may feel compelled to fight the winners, or their fans, and even destroy anything associated with them. Do something that an insecure identifier interprets as an insult to his or her source of identity and you may receive a death threat, or worse. In some cases people become willing to sacrifice their lives to maintain their own identity as well as the "life" of what they identify with. That will not happen, however, unless such people have decided that their own lives have no worth in any other context. Self sacrifice with the intention to harm members of another identity is therefore a desperate attempt on the part of extremely insecure people to maintain a sense of belonging and personal power.

The more secure you feel about your identifications, the more tolerant you naturally are of other identifications. If you have no doubts about the goodness or rightness of your ideas, beliefs, or behaviors, then you tend not to care about the ideas, beliefs, and behaviors of others (as long as they don't physically threaten you, of course). 

On the other hand, the more insecure you feel about your identifications, the more you will react with fear and anger and the desire to destroy anything and and anyone that doesn't agree with your way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Unfortunately, although this is essentially a position of weakness, it can cause great damage among those who are basically more tolerant, but not yet secure enough or wise enough to realize that tolerance is not the same as unbounded permissiveness.

Ma'alahi ka ha'ina, pu'ika'ika hana
"Simple the explanation, difficult the execution

Friday, April 14, 2017


While teaching workshops, especially when I'm teaching about relationships, I am often asked, "How can I trust people," or "What do you do when someone betrays your trust?" And some will make the comment, "I've learned not to trust anyone."

It's a difficult topic to explain, mainly because so many people are confused about what it really means to trust someone.

In its most simple form, to trust someone is to have the confidence, faith, or expectation that a person will do what he or she has said they will do. That trust is considered misplaced or broken or betrayed (depending on how emotional one becomes about it) when the person does something else instead, regardless of any extenuating circumstances. So a child may wail endlessly to a parent that "You broke your promise!" even when a parent was not able to carry out a promise for a very good reason. However, it has to be said, a lot of people, sometimes including politicians, make promises with no intention of ever carrying them out.

A more complicated form of trust is when you expect people to behave in a certain way because they have always behaved in that way, or because they should behave in that way (according to your rules), or just because you want them to behave in that way, whether they have ever promised to do so or not. I know a number of people who have been disappointed or felt betrayed because I didn't do what they wanted me to do, or what they thought I should have done (without telling me beforehand, of course). And, I have to admit, there have been occasions when I have felt disappointed or betrayed when people didn't do what I expected or wanted them to do.

Both of these kinds of trust can be lost very easily if we blame others for how we feel about their behavior. It can also make it much more difficult for us to trust anyone else in the future, because most of us don't like to feel bad, and a lot of us are even afraid of feeling bad.
Since I believe strongly that we are all responsible for our own feelings, I decided to find a way to trust more and feel disappointed less. My solution may not be satisfactory for everyone, but I present it here in case some will find it useful.

First, I looked for a form of human behavior that was common to all people everywhere. What I found was that, invariably, all people everywhere will always do what they do. Therefore, that allows me to trust 100% that everyone will always do what they do, no matter what I may think or feel about it.

Second, I found that all people everywhere will always do what they believe is best for them. This gets a little more involved, because some people believe that following their own self interest is more important than anything else, some believe that doing what others want is also best for them, some believe that keeping promises is best for them, and on and on. Nevertheless, it means that I can trust 100% that people will always do what they believe is best for them, whatever that may be.
Third, as a consequence, it means that I cannot trust 100% that anyone will always do what I want or expect them to do. Or, to put it more positively, I can trust 100% that someone at some time will do something other than what I want or expect them to do.

When that happens I limit any feelings of disappointment by taking responsibility for those feelings and reminding myself of the first and second forms of behavior above (and I never use the emotionally-loaded word "betrayal" anymore). Then my next step is to make other plans that do not require specific people to do specific things.

As a result, I am able to maintain good friendships with people who didn't do what I wanted or expected because it didn't coincide with what they believed were their best interests, and even work with them in other areas where our interests do coincide. So, trusting people to keep their promises, to behave as expected, to do what they "should" do or what you want them to do is always a risk.

Trust is very important, to be sure. Our society and economy could not function unless a majority of the people involved did what was expected of them. As individuals, I believe that we can all function better if we understand how trust works and why, sometimes, it doesn't.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Enabling Power

There is a power in the universe that has a very peculiar characteristic. It enables things to happen.

Some people call it "grace," some call it "infinite intelligence," some call it "the Holy Spirit." In Arabic it's called baraka, in Chinese it's called li, and in Hawaiian it's either wai ola (water of life) or kumu uli po (invisible steering foundation - from David Malo). There are many other terms in different languages, of course.

Some people think it comes from "God" by many various names, and some people think it's just there. Some people think you have to be a special person to experience it, or to do or say something special like a ritual, or to be initiated by someone else who has it, or attain a special state of purity or whatever, or to fulfill some other qualification.

To begin with, let's acknowledge that its very existence is theoretical. In other words, it's an interpretation of phenomena. In this world of ours we all experience phenomena - sunshine, rain, gravity, electromagnetism, pain, pleasure, happiness, unhappiness, etc. and etc. Experiences and circumstances are phenomena, too. After we experience phenomena, depending on our level of curiosity, we usually try to interpret the phenomena. That is, we create theories about why something is the way it is, how it works, and so on. Sometimes these theories can be tested and sometimes they can't.

A good example of the latter would be the main conflicting theories about how the universe came to be. In the United States these are generally divided into the Judeao-Christian theory that God created the universe and its ensuing order by an act of will, and the so-called Scientific theory that it all started with a Big Bang and the ensuing order was either by happenstance or a "natural" effect of the bang itself. The thing is, neither of these theories can be tested. As long as they are thought of as theories, they are merely interpretations of phenomena, but when they are assumed to be true they become articles of faith. This kind of faith can be very useful to individuals for whom it gives a sense of emotional security, but neither one of these theories can be tested, and when the believers of either one begin to fight each other it looks absurd.

The theories of electromagnetism, on the other hand, can be tested, and for the most part they have proven extremely useful for most people around the world. This doesn't mean that the theories are necessarily true, it only means that they are useful. In fact (no pun intended), one thing that makes them so useful is that they are usually treated as theories by the people who use them and remain open to modification of the theories or the appearance of new ones. Theories of healing can be tested, too, and like the theories of electromagnetism, they are most useful when they are allowed to be modified or replaced by others as the occasion requires.

So, what about the theory of an "Enabling Power?" Well, this theory can also be tested.
The way to test a theory is to begin with an observation of phenomena, then to come up with assumptions about how the the phenomena are produced, and finally to devise a way to test the assumptions in such a way that anyone who understands the theory will be able to reproduce the experiment and get the same results.

The theory of the enabling power has been around for a very long time, and very clear instructions have been provided in numerous times and places of how to access it or to put it into action in specific ways. Nevertheless, in spite of more availability than ever in these modern times, the theory is very rarely tested in the way that it was meant to be. In the past this was sometimes due in part to the obscure way in which the theory was explained.

Here is a related quote by Kumarajiva, an Indian Buddhist: "When one is free from both evil and good, one's inner potentiality identifies with the higher reality."

And here is a related quote from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tse: "Oftentimes without intention I see the wonder of Tao; oftentimes with intention I see its manifestations. The wonder and the manifestations are one and the same."

In Book One of the Yogic Aphorisms of Patanjali it assumes that the reader already knows about the Enabling Power and says, "It is perfectly all right to form mental patterns, so as to direct the flow of this ever-moving Life Force into form for the purpose of taking dominion, or for the purpose of setting up a situation."

All of these are rather abstract, and not easily understood without a lot of explanation.

In 1910 a man named Wallace Wattles published The Science of Getting Rich, in which he lays out his version of the theory and its practical application. In his book he says that the theory is of Hindu origin, and that it is the foundation of the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Schopenauer, Hegel, and Emerson. Here is a quote from his summary:
There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made... A thought in this substances produces the thing that is imaged by this thought... Man must form a clear and definite mental image of the things he wishes to have, to do, or to become... Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of frequent contemplation of the mental image, coupled with unwavering faith and devout gratitude."
A British writer, James Allen, published a work in 1902 called As A Man Thinketh. That he had grasped the basic concept is evident in the poem he wrote as a preface to his book:
"Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass
However, while his book speaks of thought, desire, and action, it does not mention faith, belief, or expectation. Not surprisingly, Allen started out poor and ended up poor, while Wattles started out poor and ended up very well off in every way.

Another writer from the same period was William Atkinson, also known as Yogi Ramacharaka, who published Mind-Power in 1912. Although nearly the entire book is devoted to the development of desire, will, and imagination as a way of accessing the Enabling Power, in the last chapter, as part of a list of twelve faculties which need to be developed "by the man who wishes to gain the dynamic qualities," he calls "Earnest Expectation" one of the three "features of success," and says further:
Be not a mere dreamer or visionary, but cultivate desire; then develop earnest expectation; then will to act. Each of these is necessary.
I could quote from hundreds of books that contain the same idea, but here is an exceptionally clear quote that's about two thousand years old: "I say to you whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says shall come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:23-24 RSV)"

It's hard to be more clear than that, but for some reason even good Christians either just won't try it, or still don't really understand it. Please note that nothing is said here about having to do or be anything special before this can happen, nor is there any such thing in the preceding or following verses.

If we accept the above instructions as a way of accessing this Enabling Power (by whatever name we choose to give it), then it's clear that prayer (or whatever else you want to call deciding what you want) by itself is not enough. The critical factor is belief. Now, if everyone agreed on what "belief" means, there would be less of a problem, but some people think of it as a wishy-washy kind of "hopeful wishing," others as an abstract concept of "faith," and still others just can't accept that there isn't any more to it.

And yet, it really is that simple. Decide what you want, and expect to get it. What you need most of all is confident expectation, or no doubt in your heart. If words and images help you to clarify what you want, then use them, and if words and images plus strong desire help you achieve confident expectation or remove doubt, then use them for that. The tricky thing is that you can't cheat. You can't just say the right words, and you can't just hold the right images, and you can't just build up a strong desire. The full power doesn't manifest until you have no doubt in your heart. It won't work just by using confidence like a bandaid. The real key is confident expectation, which is the same as no doubt.

To understand this better, think about an electrical or electronic device that you might have around the house. There are a lot of superficial reasons why it might stop working, but the essential reason would have to be that electricity isn't reaching the motor or the motivating component. Right now I have a computer sitting on one of my desks that isn't working. Actually, the computer worked fine at the repair shop, and it worked fine when I got it home, but it stopped working when I plugged in a firewire cord. The superficial problem is a defective firewire input. According to electromagnetic theory, however, the real problem is that when that input is connected, electricity can't get to the computer.

My wife and I travel a lot and we always have great good luck when we do, even if we experience lost luggage, flight delays, or missing itineraries. It isn't because we are lucky. We are lucky because we expect good fortune. As my wife puts it, "It's like riding an escalator. You do all the planning and you buy the tickets and you get on the plane and the rest just happens."

On the other hand, we are presently [at the time of the original writing] in the process of selling our house, but it isn't happening. The superficial problems are that the timing isn't right, the market has changed, interest rates have gone up, and so on. But according to the Enabling Power theory, each of us still has too much doubt in our hearts. Superficial doubts, like "Will we find the right house?" or "Where should we live?" are not important. What's really in the way is the heartfelt doubt that says, "Do we really want to do this?" Until that's resolved, confident expectation can't reach the Enabling Power to turn it on.

In your own life, for big things or little things (the Enabling Power doesn't care if you want a million dollars or a good pair of shoes), practice developing the feeling of confident expectation or the feeling of no doubt. You do this by first remembering or noticing things in your life that happen easily, without effort, once you've put your emotional attention on them. Then you do your best to remember how you felt after that. Sometimes it's a feeling of just "knowing" that something will happen, and sometimes it a feeling of not caring whether it does or doesn't. "No doubt" is the key factor in both cases. Finally, you practice thinking about what you want and feeling the "no doubt" feeling at the same time. When those two things click into place, stuff happens.

ADDENDUM: Our house sold almost six months after this article was written. Three months after the article my wife and I assumed a state of confident expectation and bought another house and moved in even before the old house was sold. Then we took a walk through our old house, complimenting each room, thanking it for the good memories, and saying a formal goodbye. We left it with no doubt about finding a buyer and one showed up immediately with a cash offer at a time when no other homes had any offers. We had to adjust our asking price, which was our "action" component, and the sale went off without a hitch.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Who Owns Your Happiness?

Recently I found myself getting very unhappy with someone about something. As the unhappiness grew I was reminded by myself that happiness is a choice, so of course I began to use Huna-related techniques in order to get happy again (mainly Dynamind, Blanket Forgiveness, and Permission).
The problem was, they didn't work very well in this instance. Oh, they provided relief from the major tension and eliminated the anger, but I was still unhappy.

So then I started thinking about the unhappiness itself. It was a form of resistance, of course, but resistance to what? The initial experience of unhappiness had to do with resisting what someone else had done, and that produced anger. The later unhappiness felt more like a mild form of depression. I know that depression is associated with feeling out of control, but I had given up trying to control the person I first got angry with, so what was the issue I was still having a problem with?

Finally, I realized that it was related to a whole lot of things that had happened in the world that I was unhappy about, meaning a whole lot of things that I didn't like and that I didn't feel I could do anything about. And I wondered why I had to be unhappy about things I couldn't do anything about. And then I realized that I had fallen into one of the oldest unhappiness traps in the world. I had made my happiness dependent on the behavior of other people. I had, in effect, made them the owners of my happiness, able to dole it out to me by choice, by whim, or even unintentionally. My happiness no longer belonged to me.

Well, of course, being me, I couldn't let that state of affairs continue. Nevertheless, I found it surprisingly difficult to recover the ownership of my own happiness.

The awareness of what I had done helped a lot, but the hard part was training myself to feel happy regardless of people, places, circumstances, and events. I was amazed to find out how much my happiness depended on so many little things like temperature, sunshine, food preparation, news, voice tones, whether machines worked the way I wanted them to or not, bills, bank account levels, the availability of things, whether other people were happy or not, and on and on and on. My happiness was owned, not just by one other person, but by a whole multitude of things. To use a business metaphor, the ownership of my happiness was divided among thousands of shareholders.

To continue the metaphor, I am in the process of "buying up" all those shares. My aim to to create a sole (soul?) corporation where I own all the stock in my happiness, where I am the only one to decide whether I feel happy or not. It's a process, because every day I discover shareholders I didn't know existed (it's easy to recognize them: they "make" me feel unhappy). Nevertheless, it's a buy-out that I have every intention of achieving. I will own my own happiness. Will you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Human Cycles

In the world around us we can see the operation of all kinds of cycles, events that follow a repeating sequence of connected activity. The changing of the seasons is one example, the movement of water from liquid to vapor to liquid again is another, and so are the cycles of day and night and the changing phases of the moon. Some people believe in a cycle of life, death, and rebirth, but since that is not so easily demonstrated, it has to remain a theory for most other people.

There are two significant characteristics of a cycle that are of interest here. One is the repetition of experiences, and the other is the uniqueness of those repetitions.

Year after year, in temperate climates, we can experience the sequence of spring, summer, fall and winter. But every season is different every year whether in different locations or the same ones, and in spite of the arbitrary dates of the solstices and equinoxes, every season starts and ends according to the whims of Nature. In the animal world we can observe cycles of migration, of hibernation, and physical changes of skin and fur and color. Yet, even though the same animals are involved, each experience in the sequence is always different, both for individual animals and for different animals of the same group.

There are cycles in the lives of human beings, too, some dramatic and some more subtle.
Probably the most dramatic and influential of these cycles for women is the menstrual cycle, because it involves not only physical changes, but emotional and mental changes as well. And those personal changes may have dramatic effects on other people, as well.

In my experience and study of many cultures around the world I've found that this powerful cycle does not affect all women in the same way. While the same basic physical changes occur, emotional and mental reactions to those changes can vary tremendously. These reactions, of course, then affect the physical reactions to the basic changes. While the experience of individual women in the same culture can vary greatly, the modern, Western assumption that the period of menses is always a time of great stress is simply not a reality in some other cultures. Cultural attitudes about it can have a very strong effect on the personal experience. In some cultures the period is treated with shame and fear, in others as a mere inconvenience, and in others as a time of culminating female power.

Physical changes, even the most natural ones, always create a certain amount of stress, because it is a natural response of the body to resist change. The degree of stress that an individual woman experiences during menses, however, depends partly on her attitudes about it, and partly on the amount of stress she is currently experiencing from other sources. The more stress she is under for whatever reason when menses occurs, the more strongly her body will react to it.

The more or less monthly cycle of menses happens within a larger cycle that doesn't have a specific name. This one starts with the onset of menses at puberty and repeats itself with the onset of menopause. Although very different in detail, both are part of a human cycle of physical change.
The start of menstruation, called menarche, normally occurs between the ages of 8 to 16 (12 is just an average). Menopause is said to occur between the ages of 45 to 55, with individual differences, of course. Some women experience what is called "perimenopause" for several years before the major changes of menopause appear, and this is when "hot flashes" may start. Although "hot flashes" are associated with menopause also, not all women have them. Since many men may not know what these are, I'll explain that they are "episodes of flushing with a sensation of heat that may or may not include sweating, and are often accompanied by palpitations and sometimes followed by chills...Hot flashes are most common during the first 3 years after menopause...and...50% to 90% of postmenopausal women experience hot flashes (source:" These figures were based on studies of Australian women over a period of seven years, so the figures might be different for other countries and cultures.

What is of interest for us at this point of the article is that the hot flash symptoms of menopause are identical to symptoms brought about by other forms of stress. At various times in my life, even as a young man, I have had the same types of symptoms, the most alike being when I was suffering from bouts of malaria. And I only suffered from those bouts of malaria when I was also under a great deal of stress from other sources. The inevitable conclusion, based on my ideas about stress, naturally, is that the symptoms of menopause, and all other symptoms of cyclic change, are due to a natural resistance to those changes compounded by an excessively high level of stress tension from other causes.

Since this is an article on human cycles, we can assume that men have cycles that are similar to those of women. Male puberty is an obvious place to start, since it begins at roughly the same age period as does that of women. Although the cyclic changes that follow are not nearly as obvious as those that women have, from personal experience and conversations with many other males I can vouch for the fact that men definitely do have cyclic periods of sexual arousal that differ in period and intensity for different men. And there is a growing body of scientific evidence that men experience a close equivalent of menopause, called "andropause" or "viropause," between the ages of 40 to 55 (with exceptions). Here are some of the typical symptoms that have come out of studies (source:
Hot flashes and sleep disturbances
Fatigue, loss of a sense of well being
Joint aches and stiffness of hands
Irritability and anger
Reduced libido
Reduced potency
Changes in hair growth and skin quality
If it sounds similar to what women go through, it's because the relationship between the testes, testosterone, the brain and the pituitary gland is the same as the relationship between the ovaries, estrogen, the brain, and the pituitary gland. And, exactly as with women, the intensity of the symptoms corresponds to the ongoing level of stress tension that each individual is experiencing.

The conclusions are three:
1. Men and women have very similar cycles of life changes.
2. The more you do to relieve stress tension of any kind, throughout your life, the less troublesome these natural life changes will be.
3. If you are already in your menopause/andropause phase, the more you do to relieve stress tension of any kind NOW, the less troublesome these natural life changes will be.

Here is a related Hawaiian proverb: 

Pi'i ka nalu, he'e ka nalu, ke nalu nei ka moana
Waves rise, waves recede, the ocean is full of waves
(this contains a play on the word nalu, which means "wave" and "to ponder something." Therefore, another translation could be "Thoughts come, thoughts go, there are many things to think about")

Friday, January 6, 2017

Thirteen Questions

Some time ago I was asked to fill out an interview questionnaire based on thirteen questions, but I don't remember whether it was ever published. The website of the organization sponsoring the interview is now devoted to something else, so I thought it might be interesting to the visitors of this site if they could read my answers to those questions.

1. What is the greatest dream in your life?
The greatest dream in my life is for everyone on Earth to be able to access their own power, to understand how to love each other, and to know the benefits of using both of these together.

2. What does true happiness in life mean?
True happiness comes from being able to experience happiness as a conscious choice.

3. What is the most valuable thing that one cannot buy and why?
One cannot buy health, because it has to come from within. Not all the best medicines or treatments or doctors or shamans or psychics can make one healthy if one's body and mind do not respond to them.

4. What are your 3 most important tips for enduring health?
Bless the present, trust yourself, and expect the best.

5. What do you believe is the meaning of life?
Human life, like any life, simply exists. It is we ourselves who apply meaning to it ... or not.

6. If you knew that the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do today?
I believe that a hypothetical question deserves a hypothetical answer, so no matter how I respond to a question like this my answer would be pure fantasy. Therefore, I might as well say I would try my best to finish my current computer game.

7. What are in your opinion the 3 biggest mistakes that one can make in life?
In every moment we are always doing the best we can in that moment, given our current beliefs, desires, fears, expectations and state of mind and body. A "mistake" simply means that we didn't get the results we wanted from whatever we did. In other words, our plan didn't work. Rather than dwell on "mistakes" it would be better to make a new plan.

8. Where do you find comfort during difficult times?
In Nature. In times of high crisis or stress, when I'm not directly involved in healing it, my mind, body and spirit get relaxed and recharged by walking alone in natural surroundings, whether along a beach, across fields, or through woods. It is not just the distraction from the troubles that helps. I actually get insights and inspirations from stones, trees, and flowers that help me solve my problems.

9. If you had three wishes to fundamentally change things on earth, what would you wish?
I would wish that human beings could fly, that they could teleport, and that they would never experience fear.

10. What can an individual person do to promote a peaceful society?
Be peaceful. Outer peace has to begin with inner peace. Violence is committed, and/or directed, by insecure and fearful people who believe that the only way to bring about peace is to force others to do what they want them to do. This kind of behavior never has and never will result in any kind of peace. Achieving peace requires peaceful means carried out by peaceful people.

11. Assuming you meet somebody who knew the absolute truth to every question, what 3 questions would you ask?
I would not ask any questions because there is no such thing as absolute truth in an infinite universe.

12. Which book (or books) have impressed you personally and why?
The Bible, because it is such a rich source of inspiration and ideas; the Seth books, because they are a treasure trove of excellent techniques for self development; the works of Odgen Nash, because I love his quirky humor; and practically any book of science fiction or fantasy because they stimulate my own imagination.

13. What would be your most important piece of advice for people who are searching for a fulfilling life?
Be a healer. It doesn't matter what kind of healer, as long as you remember that in helping others to heal themselves you are healing yourself, and in healing yourself you are preparing to be a better healer for others. The art of healing can help you develop all the other qualities you may wish for, and it helps to expand your spirit to a far greater extent than anything you might accomplish by only going within.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I huli i ke ola, e huli i ke ola
In order to change your life, change your life

(Hawaiian proverb created by me)

Creation, however, whenever, or if ever it began, was and is a process of change. Mythologically, we can speak of the First Wave created by the mating or merger of W√§kea, Chaos, and Papa, Order. That first wave gave birth to all other waves, and all of Creation is composed of waves (at least according to this story).

Regardless of whether you believe that, what we do know is that everything we are aware of is in a constant process of change, whether we call it waves, vibrations, frequencies, or whatever. If it exists, it moves. Water, stone, fire, wind, plants, animals, humans... they all exist in a state of change. Everything that we call stable, or solid, or even dead, is still moving, and therefore changing.
In order for change to produce any kind of experience, it must partake of the qualities of both chaos and order. This results in movement within a pattern, what we usually call waves, vibrations, or frequencies. Another way to say it is that there must be both movement and resistance to movement to produce a pattern.

It's easy enough to see this operating in the physical world, especially at the level of electrons, atoms, and molecules. It's also evident in Nature with the changes in earth structures, the passing of seasons and days, and cycle of birth, growth, and death in plants, animals. and people. It's evident as well in the physical changes in our human bodies. When there is too much movement, as when water gets too hot to remain a liquid or when human hearts beat too rapidly to sustain life, there has to be a change of state--water becomes vapor or human beings die. When there is too little movement, as when water or humans become too cold, there also has to be a change of state--water becomes ice and human beings die. In between, everything has a range of movement or change in which it can maintain it's viability as an entity or organism.

The concept is just as valid, although not as evident at first, in the thinking and behavior of human beings. In order to exist as human beings we must keep changing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to some degree. In order to thrive as human beings (which is not the same at all as merely existing) we must grow to the utmost of our potential. When we have outgrown the possibilities afforded by one current pattern of living, and if thriving is our intention, then we must change our pattern of living. The time will come for all of us when we have outgrown our individual possibilities for life on earth, and then each one of us will transform into something else. Until that happens, though, we still have the choice between existing or thriving.

When you outgrow the possibilities of any lifestyle, in order to thrive you have to make a major change and a whole new phase of growth takes place. When that becomes stale, you have to change again. I will never forget, after living an incredibly exciting life in West Africa for seven years, the last time I spent an evening with the Berbers of Mauritania in the Sahara, sitting on a carpet on the sand at sunset outside a tent while the men in front of me prayed to Mecca and the women prepared a meal behind me and the camels made their gutteral sounds while they chewed their cud and the stars began to fill the sky. It was wonderfully exotic, and I felt bored out of my skull, because I'd done that too many times. That's when I decided to return to the States, not having any idea of what I would do or how I would take care of my family. Was it easy? No. Was it exciting? Not always. Sometimes it was pretty scary. Did I thrive? Oh, yes.  

Since then I have made many more changes, in where I lived and what I did and how I did it, each time driven by the desire to thrive instead of exist. And I expect to make more changes and thrive some more.

Change will happen, because life is a wave. We can either ride the wave or be pushed by it, but change will happen no matter how much we wish it wouldn't. What will happen? Where will will it take you? How will we cope? We have no idea. When we don't know the answers to those questions and we're determined to thrive anyway, that's called adventure.