On Technology

I went to school back when technology was something people knew a lot about or a little, depending on what they did for a living. For example, the scientist, mathematician, artist, doctor or chef knew next to nothing about technology first-hand. Instead, they deferred to the philosopher, psychologist or economist to explain to them what tech was and where it was relevant. This may explain why doctors still know less about using technology than, say, a graphic artist. For the latter, like the architect, knowing how to use the latest technology is critical to what they do. For the physician, what is critical is what they know — what’s in their brains and how good they are at utilizing what they’ve learned/remembered from ‘practice’.

So tech has changed a great deal in 30 years. Even those of us who use all kinds of electronic tools or toys each day, and that’s everybody here, know very little about the back story to technology as we now live with it. Here is where a little animation might fit in nicely, if you’ve not seen some of the RSA animate talks on YouTube, check out the links at the bottom. Not to digress much, technology has provided a means for people to calm themselves, to feel a part of the bigger thing that’s going on and to have that sense of being in the know. But when you just check yourself out in the morning or evening or afternoon quiet, do you really believe you know what’s going on and what you are a part of? The reason why many of us don’t (if we’re honest), is that tech was never meant to provide these things to you. The objects of technology are meant to be treated objectively as a proxy for real experience–a surrogate. In that sense, a music and video player provides me with a substitute for the experience of sitting in front of a person playing a tune with people running around doing things while the music is playing. It’s stimulating to sit by a creek and simply hear the movement of the water rumbling along its path. All of my senses are stimulated by it. Not just my eyes and ears. What about my sense of touch, or smell and taste.

You know, space has a lot to do with technology. If you don’t have any space to stretch out in, you can make believe you do by just playing with a pocket device, like a portable game or music player. These provide a false feeling of  ‘ok-ness;’ but then there’s the let down after using up all of the songs, the levels, the minutes, the something that is measured and usually priced. Unlimited minutes and data are great, though, aren’t they? That should do it. Why doesn’t it? Remember, I started by writing that technology is not well understood by those whom you would think use it the most. The artist, which I am not, understands the limits of technology quite well.  She knows that tools extend her reach onto the canvas or with the raw material which she is about to fashion into an image that expresses … something. The computer and a program enables her to render more from her imagination than mere sticks and oils ever could. But she knows there is a creative cost for her excursion into the realm of  surfeit tools and processed manipulations.  Technology says what you can do. But who or what says you should do it? Did you get the memo; were your parents or mine asked whether we wanted easy access to friends and neighbors with the click of a button or the flip of a switch? There’s nothing necessarily wrong with it. It’s just that I did not order it or know it was on the menu.

Until now — or let’s say 20 years ago, we could see most things coming and decide if and when we wanted them to arrive at our doorstep. As it is today, we don’t know what is coming next; and if it arrives tomorrow in our inbox or as a tweet or a scroll on our wall, we will only be able to say OMG, right. Maybe because I’m old, I don’t see the value in having my sensibilities attacked constantly in this way. When you turn on the TV, you must have the remote handy or you are likely to be experience emotions that you aren’t prepared for. You must protect yourself, because we’ve lost control over the things that have been made. And our privacy is compromised, big time. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. People are not as comfortable with themselves as we used to be.  So many may feel like they don’t particularly want to be alone, have waking time to themselves. The phone rings, there’s a text, a twit, a message all of the time. Makes you feel kind of special, until you look at it objectively. Look, I think it matters that you feel good about yourself. Go ahead and utilize all the tools and gadgets tech has provided us with to maintain that comfort. Just don’t forget that the thing is not the thing. Friends on face book are not friends in my living room or at my kitchen table or next to me on the beach. The latter folks never ask to be my electronic friend. They visit, call, and  touch me in the old-fashioned ways.

Be like the artist. Use these fun things to get serious work done–for your school, your town and your planet. Check out websites like Open Culture, Kevin Kelly and TED to find out about real stuff. I mean, tech is great for looking out of your window (your eyes) and seeing what is happening everywhere. Then we have to decide how we are going to make a real difference in the real world, because the surrogates won’t.

http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/videos/    http://www.openculture.org    http://ted.org

Nonlinear

The nonlinear is what makes life as interesting as it is, or should be. Our training has molded and shaped us in a way that makes it wholly possible for us to never recognize the spontaneous emergence of color, sound, beauty, resonance or opportunity. It is no wonder that we miss so much of the substance of virtue and celebrate its symbolism instead. Our personal aspiration is a passing dream in relation to the planned and deliberate actions of those on the nonlinear road.

Where is that road? Some have called it the road less traveled; others the path not yet trod. Through a field or forest, there is no discernible pattern. The obscure openings between weeds, stalks or trees extend their invitations, but we are not sure. Where will these steps lead me? Is it where I want to go. In fact, have I ever decided whither I should go.

Are there always suggestions in front of us? Advertisements of every kind reach out to bring us along the path that ostensibly leads to mutual satisfaction, with the finely printed disclaimers, if any. Moment by moment, we wile away hours, days, weeks and years. We no longer have months, actually. Seven days are seven times seven days–nearly two months, before we realize that  we are somewhere else now. Did you choose to be where you are right now; or did you just arrive here by other forces? How much of it did you control? What does your mind’s journal say? Computers have a ‘back in time’ feature that, if working, will put the device in the state it was in on some date in the past two or four months. So can you do the same thing? Why not.

The nonlinear is the what you decide it to be for you. But you will find out that cooperation with a wide range of human and natural forces are necessary to get you down that road. There must be an openness that gives others unfettered access to your mind and heart; and they will offer access to theirs. You will agree  on what to look for and how to determine if the chosen path is the right one for all parties–two being the best number. The best thing about this journey is that it will belong to you and you alone; like that of legends Lewis and Clark. You will know where, when, why, how and who. But what’s funny is that if the time comes to explain or share about this adventure, it will only be understood by others in linear terms.

Secret Notebook

Something in our dna carries the recollection of what our families have learned over many generations. These secrets are still important today; but they are masked by flourishes of technology treated and  chemically engineered veils. Sure, there is a use for all of this stuff. We have access to greater amounts of and, occasionally good quality information at a moments notice. Breaking news is always at your fingertips; but how helpful is it to have it instantly, every minute of the day? It does not have to be from the handful of trusted news sources that manage what we see and hear daily. Tweets are flowing in from friends and relatives who focus on self-distraction and personal entertainment constantly. Food is faster, of course. Where is it coming from and how is it made? I really don’t want to know how that poor potato was treated before it was cooked, salted and pressed into that little red box for me. As for the meat. Oh well, as we used to say when I was younger–you better pray over it.

However, the purpose of our finite lives evades many of us today perhaps more than it did our parents or their parents. I can’t say I know for sure, but what appears to be happening is that we do not interact as much with nature as they did. First you have to address the premise of existence before your date of birth and that after the date of death. Bummer, who wants to think about that, right. Like someone on your team asks, what if we do lose this game? Kick him off the team…now. Life and death are different though. I was born and will die. No, not right now (sorry). Still some writing left to do. If you slow down long enough to think about it, at least the question of what happens after death should be considered, or even if you believe that death is the end. Where did that notion ever come from? There is and has always been an abundance of evidence that we will never cease to exist. It is usually expressed indirectly or in symbolic ways, allowing some of us to pretend we don’t notice. Take my word for it, this life is only the beginning. At the same time, it is a critical step in laying the groundwork for our spirit selves that go on to live forever.

What if I don’t believe I have a spirit self. Um, well, it kind of does not matter. No pun intended. There is enough time to sort things like this out. Just stay tuned; keep an open mind. Perhaps we’ll get there together. The main thing to know for now is that the secret notebook and secret recorder is within you–likely functioning at thousands of frames per second. Your thoughts and actions affect every system in your body, including your reproductive, which will influence future generations. So how you treat yourself is very important. Your relationships are important; and then the fruit of those relationships is important. And yes, corny as it sounds, it’s all about love, both kinds–vertical and horizontal.

Vertical love involves where you came from (parents and their parents, all the way back to the first parent–Who is That?) Horizontal love has to do with how you treat those beside you. And since we are all miniature universes in constant motion, we have a profound impact on each other everyday. This complex dynamic has an influence on the bloodstream and other physical attributes. Moreover, our interactions impact our spiritual attributes. Why does this matter? Simple, because we are creating a body of work that will be measured at life’s completion. We are unaware that there will be a playback of our lives–my life and love will be compared to the standard of the origin of life and love. Sounds ominous. It is. But truth, guidance and education are offered out of sincere empathy for our plight and love from our original true parent. The bottom line is that there is a standard of love; and once we know better, it helps to do better. Let’s talk about this more soon.

HSH

It has taken so long to come up with the biggest, baddest, topic to write about. All along, I was looking around–like 360 degrees around–to ascertain what would interest me enough to write constantly. Home. I have not been home in some time. Did you know that you have to know where you are before you can enjoy where you are.

For the past two weeks, I have been here at the apartment, wanting to get out, enjoy the sky, the air, seeing people, interacting a little, and then returning. Everything I do is predicated on the assumption that, at the end, I can go home. But I am just starting to appreciate that. Maybe until now, I was getting back to the apartment and closing the door behind me. Ahh, the feeling is great; but I did not realize how great. Taking somewhere like this for granted is a missed opportunity every time it happens. How would you describe home to you. There are things, and people of course. Not here, there’s just me. I would love to share my living space, or rather, have more space and share that, with someone. But it first needs to be home to me. I should have a connection with this space, if only because it’s mine–not as a possession, but as a blessing. I could just as easily be blessed somewhere else. So it does not have to have this address. I need only to be able to address it as mine.

Oh, what a sacred sphere that surrounds its dweller with tranquility and repose at the beginning and ending of each day! Some say that a pet is precious, or perhaps a mate, or partner, or child. I agree. Any or all of these are to be enjoyed in our shared rooms with no need of locked doors, just windows and blinds or curtains. We keep in our loved ones and keep out the strange; let it wait until tomorrow. And  when I return to my precious place and precious ones, I’ll recount the strange places and people encountered out there, from in here.

Favorite Poem One

If there is a stone to throw and a pond to skip, we should both go.

My mind wants to dwell on a thing to hold and watch, while talking to you.

When we reach the edge of the fog on bikes made for hiking, let’s stop.

To pick up stones and throw them across the pond, through the invisible mist.

I’ll remember it as a moment we shared together, even for just a minute.

Because it started as a thought, then an idea being put to words, briefly.

You heard me and allowed the video to play in your mind, then agreed.

To get on these bikes, ride down this hill, pick up some rocks and throw them.

What Now

Although there is much to gained by attending to the demands of the day, the question of what is most important (now) is a persistent one. Should the attraction of current events, be they of a political, economic or entertaining nature, dominate my mind and heart; or shall the will of God prevail over all. There was a time when I was pressed into service and executed my duties with little stress, anxiety or concern for personal gain. By contrast, the relatively minor activities of each of these days pale by comparison in their challenge or import. Yet they tug at my patience and are even unnerving at times. Why? Because I have capitulated to the lesser material concerns of life without foreknowledge or prudence.

First therefore, is the task of identifying those areas of weakness and division, which have served to compromise faith and diligence toward the Divine Will. Compare the acts of the restorative pioneer with those that muddle through days and nights searching for a sign, as we have always. Of course, the greatest of “signs” appeared to us, lived and prayed among us, taught us the standard of life in heaven (in both body and spirit); then he departed.

So our life–my life–takes the form of a meter. We are measured against the standard set before our eyes. It touched our hearts and sparked both inspiration and imagination, unlike what other generations knew. Look from within, if the tools obtain. Let the phenomena of my senses, even my sensibilities come to my remembrance. At what point on the spectrum of his divine life is my existence. Is there any room? And does it matter?

I submit it does. Simply because the thought is there. The ‘Ergo Cogito Sum’ is undeniable in the sentient and the spiritual being. But numb have I become in the pressing matters of the day. In the choices and selections–where to get lunch or coffee. All the futility of the mundane was cast on the spiritual, while the spiritualists watched. Then the thoughtless cast its short-sighted view of things on the thoughtful, the temperate. How grand is the irony that old foes, faith and reason, were both cast aside, while we embrace everything else. I said I had limits, but I don’t get to set the standard where no platform for standards exists. This is how you know when the end has really come. When not only does nothing matter; but there is really no way to ascertain value in time and space. I don’t think the devil himself thought this possible. This can only come from the extraordinary reach of a people lost.

How many are praying for our demise? The grief and sorrow we cause seems to have no end. We mean well; we apologize sincerely, then find new ways to corrupt and plunder. Most egregious, though, is the motivation. Combine the horror of horrors, the gory of gore and coldness of a recent killer. You will still have no comparison to the motives of one who rides the back of innocents to break them apart and remake them into living slaves. This is why hell comes. Spirits are enslaved by their passions, with no respite, save the Savior, who breaks the yoke of sin that has them bound. On earth, we are plagued with the life of the zombie, who is similarly yoked and controlled by an unspecified force. As long as selfishness is worshiped, the abyss we create will have no bottom.

Make no mistake, reason is gone. Faith is gone–each to its own hiding place. Who will search for them, wading through the sewage of insincerity and the milestone of membership? To what does the pilgrim belong? Where is his allegiance? He is cast adrift on the sea of despair, all ties severed, daily uncertainty, and total reliance on reason; or is it faith? No solace, save his Savior. He sharpens his skills and advances technology remarkably, because necessity has dictated he do so. What about faith? Faith is simply the venturing toward that which is yet unknown, yet unseen, not yet experienced, but fervently desired. Faith is the hand of reason’s discovery. His curiosity is not  quashed by his reason or faith. There is far more volume in the pilgrim’s life than any who have settled for the the world below.

So, what now? I have got to return to the pilgrim’s path, should grace allow. That high road beckons because the Savior walked it, talked it and even paved it for me.

The Quiet

Continuing on the path of restoration, I am still on the path of least resistance. It is easy for someone who wants to write to desire a quiet place to do it. You don’t miss it unless you don’t have it; and at the moment, I don’t have quiet. When you miss something and long for it, the imagination takes hold of the virtual object to extol its virtues. The quiet lets you look at the evening sky and imagine the strokes of an artist gifted with the grace of God to  render a view of glory for millions to see. But when I look to the horizon, its beauty seems just for me. The sky is available for all, but appreciated only by those who look up at it. The quiet can be found there. Peace can be found there, along with plans, a purpose and your preparation. There is also the circle of color moving from boundary to boundary–ok, from edge to edge across the arc. You have only to search for the welcome, such as is found in song, from instruments, keynotes and smiles. Behind these are food for thought, clothes for style and furnishings for presentation. The world gets bigger, then it gets smaller, as life goes on.

So how not to miss what really matters to me, amid the noise. Feel it is an outer boundary under your own dominion, coming from your position as microcosm of the universe, even a proxy. In this position, you have only to project your desire, searching for your contacts–like casting a net with many nodes that identify you. But do they identify you? First, I must be fully me. Then when this personality projects, it is viral, a strain that will make its imprint on any object it contacts. There must be substance in you today to access the quiet, to get to peace. Then make something of a relationship, make the substance of it great. Then peace will prevail in the midst of two or more. You are here; the noise is there. Something you need? First believe. Then start your search, reach for resources; just remember that you transcend the boundaries. Most all of them are conventional. When the unconventional comes, it changes what was/is common and accepted. That is why you being you, completely qualifies you to access your destiny and what comes with it.

What? I just said, If you are looking for something, you will find it. There is noise all around; but having a real objective opens the way to quiet for you. Next is how to establish your personality.

Like the Wind

Whenever I come to WordPress, I relish the challenge of not knowing what I’m going to write; even the title is a mystery. But since I have clothes in the dryer, there is a limited amount of time to do this. The machine does not turn itself off; so I must pay attention to it. Once it was on–in the basement–for two days.

Many things we experience can be likened to a blast of wind: that sudden burst of invisible energy that can invigorate on the one hand, or knock us for a loop on the other. That call from the collectors whom I had not heard from in months it seems. Oh sure, I know they are never going away. It helps me know where I stand actually, to have them reach out to me once in a while. Between you and me, I’d very much like to oblige them as soon as I can. That’s just it; I can’t. Not without an improved cash flow. Now for a burst of fresh air…I heard from a friend of mine about his son’s marriage and his sweet daughter-in-law. To live to see that day, hunh? There are two angles to this joy–my old friend is happy, and things are going well for his family. That makes me feel great, and allows for letting go of present stresses.

There are more and more blasts of this kind in our uber-connected first-world. Some tweet their good news blast, some book it; then there are those who make a whole video presentation to report their news and wait for their ratings to pour in. In case you forgot, there is still the telephone–that best of the old inventions, which has kept loved ones in touch for generations. It is still in my opinion the best relationship building and sustaining mechanism ever, next to being in person. All of these instruments make their own type of music. A tweet is short enough to beg for melodic accompaniment. A book post is like a personal billboard; hope you “like” it. And video is, well, video–a perfect storm of visual, aural and verbal rain showering the viewer with whatever stuff you want to pour over them. Is it soft, or brutal? True or fictional? Full of insight and substance, or not? Either way, it is still coming at you.

We are constantly meeting this invisible force, a spiritual force, nearly every waking moment of our lives. Have you thought about how to handle all of this. Advertisers, friends, family and many other entities seem to want to blow their message your way, without end. And unless we consciously consider our options, it does not seem like a fair exchange. We will either succumb to all of the pushing to join a club, play a game, donate to save grass and trees or just go to a flash party for no reason of my own.

The wind is relentless and there’s an agenda associated with it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But shouldn’t you know? Then, if I’m ever asked, why did I accept, like, respond to, watch or otherwise participate in a thing, I actually have an answer. Also, I’m going to push my own wind; and I’ll look forward to your blow back.

At Work

At Work

Chance

It is necessary that one shares his thoughts in some manner or “format” so that he gets it off his chest or out of his system. The most poignant of ideas come at inopportune times. At least that’s most of my experience. So, seated here at this moment gives the chance to speak–to say what has crossed my mind right now. Each day makes demands throughout the hours, even minutes; and pauses allow for some reflection. But contemplation yields to interruptions taking myriad forms. 

Any moment is sacred. Moreover, each one who experiences a moment exists in sacred space. You see, time and space are always related. Scientists can explain it in their terms. I would say it this way: “Here and now is spirit.” The passage of a second, or a millisecond, or a nano requires a presence; and the existence of a point, a line, a plane or sphere assumes a time element. But the vortex is one beyond time or space. Not only is there no certainty of where or when transcendence can be perceived. There is no way to measure, verify or trace it.

Our cognition knows no bounds. Yet darkness prevails within. The limits are set by a broken heart, ceasing to turn, look up and wonder. How to do this in the midst of pain? The Origin and source of spirit is always connected to creation. So, this link is ultimate. 

Chance is a way of stating that we have lost our way and lack the confidence we should possess, come what may. Opportunity is created by the spirit using the time-space resource to realize that which is available to us, for us. Whatever the substance of the sacred gift, we need to prepare the spiritual receptacle for it. A thing needs a port to land.

My October

Oh, it’s October now. I have been at work, on vacation and back at work again. At least the seasons are free to change–to display their power and beauty to a distracted audience. Can you imagine going for days without noticing changes in the sky, the trees on your street or your child. I want to see them everyday; let me marvel at their graceful motion, melodic tones, and unique sensations.

October is the month for harvesting a summer of fun and a year of learning. It is the tenth month already. Time to wrap up another year. Better put your things in order and get ready to see this year end and, if we are lucky, a new one begin. Leaves dangle and fall from the trees; they undress like beautiful and mature wives of loyal husbands. Nothing compares to the purity of natures display! Is a naked tress shameful. No. But to ignore what it reveals to my naked eyes shames me. It is the teacher I have requested, the counselor I have been missing; the friend who is always waiting. My ignorance of a resource would be scorned; yet let me ignore the grass, leaves, trees and people all around me–looking at my glass covered thing while walking on stone.

So when they say that someone pays for my excess in using light, heat, water, food and air for no particular purpose, I can at least take comfort in being oblivious to the fact. If it is so important, let the people in the glass tell me so; they are the ones whom I believe. Let them steer me back to religion or humane behavior or God-consciousness. If they do not, then I will not go. Or I’ll forget due to some distraction or other. Always something new coming out. But it’s not so new after all.

My October will be great as always. Looking up at the sky, wondering what the trees are thinking and doing, and letting the wind drive the leaves in a dance of the season. I feel a chill, but it is meant to wake me from the summer siesta and prepare me for the winter adventure, which is a metaphor for my old age.

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