The Friday Dose #133: Biocentrism

1038-fd-relax-and-succeed-i-have-the-same-religion-as-this-treeI haven’t changed my view of how the universe works since I was five. It all makes sense, but it makes sense as dreams within dreams. You can discuss parts of logically, but the whole is too expansive and complex to ever be captured by anything smaller than the universe itself. So while you can grow to the point where you can quite clearly see facets of creation, that perspective also exposes how infinite the universe is, and in accepting that fact there is a beautiful calm that comes over one when you no longer need answers.

Science has grown increasingly close to my understanding over the years, with there being major steps; as when science began to contemplate and then finally accept the idea of neuroplasticity. As time goes on these ideas seem less crazy and more possible and I continue to be on the hunt for bold scientists who are going in the same direction I am.

1038-fd-relax-and-succeed-biocentrismI don’t agree with every single statement that was made when I heard this interview in October, but I did immediately note this discussion as–by far–the closest description I’ve ever heard a scientist give to the reality I know.

I’m not sure what percentage of my readers are prepared to entertain ideas this big and complex, but if you are that type, I really do feel you have a good chance of illuminating some dark areas of your understanding if you do listen to this description of the dance that is done between what you see as you and what you see as the universe.

Ideas: Dr. Robert Lanza on Biocentrism

Have a great weekend everyone.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #94

830 FD Relax and Succeed - Be happyThis week you’ve got some cool life lessons from filmmaker David Lynch, an audio documentary on shame that explains a lot of why you feel what you feel, and we’ll finish with a look at an example of the ever-changing answer to the question, where are you from? We’ll start off with some film lessons that frankly apply to everyday life:

10 Lessons on Being an Artist by David Lynch

It’s a full hour but it’s worth it. You can stream it or download it. It’s an excellent program on shame and it’ll probably teach you a few things about yourself you’ll recognize but didn’t consciously know:

Shame on You – Living in a World of Social Media

And we’ll end on this video which really shows why people arguing over culture or geography really makes no sense. It does not matter what any of us is called it only matters what we do:

Next week we start our countdown of the top blogs of this year, so have yourself a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back with some really good material you may have missed. Take care everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Point of View

Your ego thinks it’s an individual. Your true self knows you are a point of view. Your ego sees itself as separate from everything. Raised in the shadow of Aristotle, you see everything as subject and object. So much so that even though you can intellectually understand that other people have the same emotions you do, you still persist in thinking that your experiences are unique failings of yours or the world around an individual you, and that it is impossible for anyone else to understand you or your situation.

797 Relax and Succeed - You don't have a soulYour spirit however takes everything far less personally. Why would a point of view care one way or the other? You are fundamentally simply a way of seeing things. Descartes’ I think therefore I am axiom in action. But way before Descartes, Aristotle had already accidentally screwed up your chances of being peaceful when he unwittingly helped create your ego when he separated you from the rest of the world with that whole subject and object concept. (The “water” we swim in.) Once you have separation then value judgments inevitably ensue. This of course leads to most of the bad things that humans do to each other and the rest of the planet.

But it’s not like the place that exists before those definitions and value judgments vanished. It’s still there. The Kingdom of Heaven is nigh, so to speak. Eckhart Tolle wrote a book about living there called The Power of Now. It’s entirely attainable. You’ve already been there. Every infant lives there. And anyone can go back at any moment, and most people go back and forth with whatever regularity matches their awareness. Conscious people are mostly now-ish and egos are focused on futures or on histories.

Yes, you have this physical body. But not much of it is even yours. Cell wise you’re outnumbered by the creatures that live on and in you by an incredible 10 to 1. That’s 10 of them to 1 of you. 60% of your bodyweight is the creatures that allow you do everything from digest your food to clean your eyes when you sleep.

797 Relax and Succeed - Looking for consciousness in the brainSo “you” (unbeknownst to you) was never as much you as you thought. You’re more like the driver of a planet of cooperating creatures. Let too many of them die and your whole spaceship goes. Just ask someone with Crohn’s Disease if the creatures that comprise your gut are important to your healthy survival.They know what it’s like to suffer that imbalance. This is why you’re supposed to be careful with antibiotics. They don’t just kill the bug, they kill part of you too. It’s like micro-chemo.

Okay, so you’re mostly a bag filled with cooperating cells and you can think. You can take I think therefore I am more than one way. For instance, it can mean: Because I am able to pose this question I know that I am some sort of entity which can do this. Or it can mean: I am the way I think I am. In the latter case, that is another way of saying God created man his own image. God makes man free. So man (and obviously women) are free to create any image of themselves to portray. Even insecure or angry or unhappy ones.

Your thinking emerges from the living of your life. Your experiences, culture, society, fellow citizens, friends, relatives and family will all shape your beliefs. Grow up in a family of photographers and you’ll all cherish your brand new state-of-the-art cameras. And yet you might die of thirst in the tropics. Meanwhile a native who lives in the tropics might easily and happily destroy the cameras by smashing them repeatedly into coconut shell to get the liquid out. So was it a camera or was it a rock? It was both because after-now ego realities are always separate.

797 Relax and Succeed - You are the books you readThe value of anything is context dependent and value dependent and you construct both with your thinking. An example would be if I walked you to the Canada US border and then I blindfolded you, walked you in circles and then took the blindfold off–without any of the markings you had been taught, you would have no idea which country you would be in because a border and a country are ideas, not things. You can’t feel Canada or the US. You can only feel your thoughts about them.

So you can easily see how two people can have a war over seeing one place under two different names. When people were Yugoslavians they got along. Then a few people suggested that now they had different names (like you can’t have more than one) and suddenly average citizens were killing people they had been friends with. What changed from seeing someone as a friend to someone worthy of immediate death at your hand? Perspective. Point of view. Who you thought you were. But the separateness is always in the thoughts and not in the people.

Respect all the creatures that make up you. And respect all the other creatures that make up the rest of the world and your society. No one can be wrong when all there is in the end is perspective, because perspective can always change. People very often end up believing very different things at death than they did when they were young.

Spend the rest of the day trying to catch yourself enacting your point of view. It’s a very healthy exercise and it will keep you away from ego. But don’t get upset if you do find yourself in ego. Just recognizing that your separation is your creation is all you have to do. The rest is your nature.

Have an absolutely wonderful day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Thought Suit

You do it almost every day of your life. You don’t have to but you act like you do. It’s just this routine that is so embedded in your being that you don’t even recognize it as a choice. It is the suit of thoughts that you wear through life all day. It’s an idea you have about yourself and you behave as though other people can see your thoughts rather than theirs.

678 Relax and Succeed - It's not an egotistical actMaybe you think you’re fat. Or too old to find true love. Maybe you think you’ll never financially recover. You put those ideas on each morning. You repeat them to yourself. You pull on your pants and remind yourself of your weight. You put on your shirt and think about your broken heart. You check your empty pockets and remind yourself that you are poor. And you pile these ideas onto yourself to the point where the real you is completely obscured by your self-critical thinking.

No one else sees that suit. Did you get that? They don’t see your thoughts. They would see the suit they have for you, which will be totally different than yours because it will feature moments you didn’t know were included, or lies from other parties, or misunderstandings etc. etc. No one really knows anyone. It’s too complex a question because you have to ask, under what circumstances and in precisely what context? So we must either decide people’s spirits are pointed in generally the same direction as ours and then let the rest of the details wash out, or we need to find people who are more aligned with us. But even then, you’ll still need forgiveness just as much as everyone else.

Even if people could see the suit you see for yourself, they wouldn’t notice because virtually all of them are fully invested in worrying about the comparison between the suit they have for themselves and the suit they have for you and everyone else. In short, they’re doing exactly the same thing you are. They are wishing for the life they imagined rather than the one they have, and like you do, they think we see the disparity between their two stories when we’re not even aware they exist. So if you don’t think you’re beautiful, that presumes you know what people think of as beautiful, plus you’re forgetting the enormous impact your 678 Relax and Succeed - Every moment is newpersonality can have on someone’s assessment of your beauty. Everyone’s dated at least one person where, no matter how good looking they were, they were overshadowed by ugly behaviour. You don’t live with beauty, you live with behaviour.

Each day really reconsider the silly futile quality of having that thought suit. Why on Earth would you repeat those ideas to yourself? Why would you put that outfit on every day? Because you know the feeling when you don’t put it on. Those days where you feel smart and sexy and capable. Your good hair days. Well those are created within your own consciousness. You don’t become that person you have to actually be that person. There cannot be wishing. You must act as though it is already true and it will be. It is a leap across nowhere. There is nowhere to fall. Just take it. Take the leap. Believe that you are already great and you will begin to act from a place of greatness. That’s always how it’s worked. I know it’s weird to do but it really does work.

Take your life back. Walk naked through it. Allow people to see the real you. Yes, some won’t like it. But what difference does that make? That’s true now. The point is, the people that really matter to you will never have found you if you hadn’t revealed yourself so honestly. Forget the thought suit. Be a spiritual nudist. Go right past clothing and skin and strip right down to your soul. It’s a wonderfully freeing feeling and it creates stronger bonds than you may have thought possible.

Trust yourself.

Much love. s

The World of Feeling

Where do you live? And I don’t mean your body. That’s not you. Otherwise everyone whose body died would be dead and we know that’s not true. In cases similar to mine lots of people have had their body die and then they’ve resurrected. So you isn’t your body, it’s whatever’s in your consciousness. The contents of your consciousness—your beliefs, self-identity and 673 Relax and Succeed - How good you feelhabitual narratives all define what you act like and therefore who you believe you are. So if you are the sum all of your thinking then where you live is your consciousness.

That is where you spend your time. You’ve almost completely abandoned the world by 25 years old and you would only make a real connection with it when you played sports or maybe camped. Outdoor adventurers tend to stay a bit more in touch, but for the most part people spend most of their lives swimming to and fro in their own thinking. So you have this choice, which is to take the world in, or you can output an opinion about the little bit of it you pay a little bit of attention to. Just think about some of the opinions you have of other people and how insanely second and third hand and unreliable they are. We’re crazy.

So now there’s two primary places you can situate yourself in human consciousness. You can live in the world of ideas. These are things like your culture or your laws or your rules or manners or ways of doing things. So in WWII a guy could say that he was a junior officer and had been ordered to kill people and in the world of ideas that can make a kind of sense. But in the human world, the world of feelings, everyone knows that killing feels wrong. A technical thought-based version of reality does not excuse the fact that a human being murdered other human beings. So it’s possible to be technically correct 673 Relax and Succeed - Without the Taoaccording to the rules and yet your behaviour could still be entirely immoral. It is important to remember that we live within that bizarre duality every single day.

Because I have long-lived with an awareness that people actually live in their consciousness, I was often at odds with those around me. Without realizing they had done it, they would all work toward a judgment of and then alignment with one of a few dominant perspectives. Like for instance, the idea of good and bad. So if you live there, music must be ranked very seriously and where I live you just listen. There’s no right or wrong things to enjoy. You can like this kind of music instead of that, wear this instead of that, vote for them instead of them, you can like these people or companies or objects. But most people live where there are fashions and trends and things are new or desired. I’ve generally surrounded myself with extremely impressive people, so I rarely had conflicts with their humanitarian views but I still was living in a different place when it came to the reality I was living in.

How this difference would translate is that their priority would be to reconcile the discussion in the room to those dominant perspectives, whereas I would see the room as an emotional soup, where maybe one area was too hot and tipped toward temper, or another might be too heavy and sinking to the bottom. This is so hyper-subtle that no one is even aware they are doing it. My reaction is to ignore the cultural frameworks and live in the part of the world where we feel our lives happen.

673 Relax and Succeed - And those who were seen dancingSo say a discussion about music came up. In the discussion are four people. Amy, Bill, Clark and me. I’ve heard Amy mention that she’s having a really rough week and she’s been feeling really down on herself and so my perspective on the room is that there is a low spot among my friends and it is my nature to want to raise it. Let’s say that I also know that Bill is a super nice guy who loves Amy but he also has very strong opinions, so he is like a sharp spot on this landscape. She’s tender, he’s sharp. No one’s wrong, but that’s the landscape I see. Meanwhile the others will be talking about music.

So for instance, let’s say they’re talking about who the most influential band would be. And let’s say Amy picks someone I really don’t like or respect much. And let’s say Bill picks my favourite band and he defends them brilliantly and then attacks Amy’s choice just as brilliantly. Clark, who has the same favourite band agrees that Bill is “right” simply because Bill agrees with his view. Rather than get on board and actually tell a truth in that world, a tell a truth in my world and I lie and say I like Amy’s band because I know she needs to feel supported right now, and I know Bill’s going to go at her hard so I give him a lot of reasons why I think she’s right so he can focus his bluster on me instead of on her because I feel great and she doesn’t. It’s no different than making soup for someone sick.

People will later say I lied about what bands I like to try impress Amy for my ego. Or they’ll criticize me for liking a band I don’t like. But none of that matters to 673 Relax and Succeed - Compassion is a Verbsomeone like me. Because I live in that other world. Reputation lives in that world of rules and ideas and conformity. I live where Amy feels. And in that world, I made a difference and it was good. So I live with that feeling every day.

I encourage you to join me in living in the world of feeling. It’s a much easier world to negotiate, it’s infinitely more peaceful without all of the judgment and you can do a lot of good there. You will irritate more people from that other world but I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Either you’re judging people or you’re not. If you don’t judge their moods and decisions and just help them when they’re struggling and support their successes when they are succeeding, then you will find you will have lived an extremely good life.

Have yourself an awesome day.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #59

Hey everyone, I’ve got a fast one for you this week. One video’s really fascinating, one is super funny and the last one is as interesting as it is important in today’s modern world.

First we have an experiment that was bound to result in something cool. You know how you watch car wheels on TV and they can look like they’re going backwards sometimes? That’s because of the phasing difference between when the camera takes a shot and when the spokes of the wheel turn. Electricians have to be careful in manufacturing facilities that they don’t have lights on the same phase as moving parts or a flywheel can look like it’s sitting still when really it’s spinning dangerously. Likewise, a guitar’s strings will vibrate when played. We all know that’s a wave. We learn that in school. But thanks to the phasing of a camera, you can actually see that wave, and you can appreciate that what your boring physics teacher was showing you was actually true. 🙂

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 Okay, now for the funny. The longer you watch this video the funnier it gets. The less positive around me refer to Edmonton’s weather as being nine months of winter and three months of bad tobogganing, but in truth it was 15° Celsius (59° Fahrenheit) today and it’s mid March. Our average winter temperature is only -11°C (12°F) and we’ll range from 24-35°C degrees (75-95°F) through the summer. And because of our latitude, the sun will rise a little after 4am in the summer but it won’t set until nearly 10pm! Those make for super long beautiful days and I love them. What I don’t love is when winter gives me snow on top of ice. This poor dude is just trying to shovel the walks and I think anyone who’s lived where it’s cold can relate. We’ve all had this happen. Just not this many times in a row. This is truly unbelievable and I think this guy deserves a role in Cirque du Soleil. I’d watch it more than once. It really does get funnier.

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This video will make you angry. This is an excellent presentation of how thoughts can affect reality in a broad and powerful way. So without further ado, I will ask that you please get infected, share this blog, and ask your friends to watch—at the very least—this third video. Because this is how the modern world affects you and no one is immune. So for the sake of your own resiliency, take control of your emotions and use the awareness to better your own life and ensure that others do not take control over it. Enjoy.

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So you’ve had a laugh, you’ve been mesmerized by science and art, and you finished off with a big increase in your awareness. That seems like enough to launch you into a beautiful weekend! Just watch out for any ice under the snow. That stuff’s slippery. 😉

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy.