Extremism

ExtremismViolent extremism may or may not be lethal.   Lethal extremism may or may not be violent.

In hindsight I might more descriptively have titled this article “Extremism and Terror”.

We encounter the word “extremism” a lot these days.  In the U.S., President Donald Trump uses the word a lot.  In his recent speech in Saudi Arabia he spoke strongly about the need to rid places of worship, communities, the Holy Land, and even the Earth itself, of terrorists and extremists.  (Perhaps there is more than a little extremism and terrorism in this speech itself?)  Terrorism and extremism most definitely are blights upon the Earth today.  In the world today, as in President Trump’s speech, they are frequently found going hand in hand.

Terrorism, as it is most widely recognized today, is an intentional action designed to inflict terror upon a “target population”.  That is pretty much how I have found it in dictionary definitions.  Unless one has totally ignored world news the past couple decades or longer, we all know what violent terrorism is.  And, whether we watch the news or not, most, if not all, of us know what terror is.  Just so we’re on “the same page”, here are some excerpts from the  definition of “terror”  given by Merriam-Webster online:

1   : a state of intense fear

 2   b:  a frightening aspect

      c :  a cause of anxiety :  worry”

Most of us have experienced terror for one reason or another during our lives.  Maybe we’ve even gone to watch certain movies or taken part in other activities to feel it.  However, as an ongoing aspect of our day to day lives, terror is not something to be desired or sought.  While in a single dose it may provide an exhilarating thrill, as a steady diet it is stressful and, unless one can free oneself from it’s hold (as one can in a movie situation simply by getting up and walking out), the anxiety and stress accompanying terror can wear us down, become debilitating.  Ultimately the physiological effects resulting from the anxiety and stress which accompany terror, if experienced long term, can diminish the quality and the quantity of our lives.  In fact, terror itself, not just the violence perpetrated in an act of terrorism, carries it’s own lethality.  (See the link at the end of this article.)

Extremism, in and of itself, while today’s media usually has it associated with terror and violence, isn’t always the purveyor of harm or even unpleasantness.  For example, someone may be extreme in their view that all school textbooks should contain information which is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge.  While extreme, that pursuit isn’t going to cause harm for it’s target population.  Quite the contrary.  So maybe “extremism”, in and of itself, is getting something of a bad rap in the world today?

Merriam-Webster online defines extremism as:

“1 :  the quality or state of being extreme 

 2  :  advocacy of extreme measures or views :  radicalism”

However, in recent world news the word “extremist” is most often used referring to people who hold extreme ideas about religion.  Further, in the news the past few years, the words extremist or extremism are often (always?) linked with the words “violent” and/or “religious”.  Violent religious extremism is frequently put forward as a cause of many, if not most, of the world’s ills right now.  It is a fact that people; men, women and children, are being harmed and are being killed in places where “violent religious extremism” is taking place.

Looking at the phenomenon a little closer, what exactly is it that the religious extremists (violent or otherwise) are extreme about?  It is, in every case, their ideas; concepts, values.  In the case of religious extremism those ideas relate to religion.  In cases of religious extremism, I think it’s fair to say those concepts and values are being accorded primacy above all else.  Upholding, following, those concepts and values is being seen and acted upon as being more important than the well-being, even the lives, of others.  That is where lethality enters into situations where extremism is present:  when an idea takes on such value that it becomes more important than life itself, that of others or possibly even one’s own.    

It seems humankind, in general, does not like nor respect the act of putting one’s ideas, no matter how deeply held, before the well-being and lives of others.  Sometimes we may find honor in being willing to put one’s own life on the line for an idea, a value.  However, being willing to put someone else’s life or well-being on the line for that idea or value just doesn’t carry the same merit.

At least throughout the past couple millenia, history and now current events, are showing us that religious extremism can result in lethality.  However, extremism isn’t limited to religion.  Extremism can be found in other aspects of human thinking, human cultures around the world.  As so much suffering in the world right now is being ascribed to religious extremism, I think it is fair to ask:  are there any other forms of extremism which either historically or currently are showing themselves to be as capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon the people of the world?  As it happens, there is at least one.  If there is any other form of extremism which has shown itself to be as capable of violence and/or lethality as religious extremism through the ages, it is extremism in the pursuit of wealth.  Economic extremism.

Economic extremism can take three forms, they are:

  • Extremism around a particular economic system.  Extreme exponents of both capitalism and communism have left some significant body counts in their wake.
  • The extreme pursuit of less.  Asceticism most definitely has the potential to be lethal, but only to the person pursuing it.  I have nothing to fear if my neighbor decides to pursue a life of asceticism.  Realistically, if I live in an area characterized by even a moderate level of life’s comforts, they probably won’t be my neighbor for long if they are extreme in their pursuit.
  • The extreme pursuit of more.  This expression of extremism, as much as any other form of extremism known to human kind, including religious extremism, can result in and has resulted in violence, terror, and/or lethality.

Just as the pursuit of religiosity, carried to extremes, has led individuals and entire cultures to engage in cruel, brutal and murderous behavior toward other human beings, the pursuit of material wealth, carried to extremes, has done likewise.  It is pretty clear that an extreme desire for wealth can lead a person to give that desire the same primacy that religious extremists give the religiosity they cherish.  Off hand, without having all the data on how many people have been wounded, maimed, and/or killed by religious or economic extremists in all of recorded history, I think it would be very hard to make a reasonable estimate on whether religious extremism or economic extremism has resulted in more casualties.

It is also true that sometimes religious and economic extremism go hand in hand.

In understanding the relationship between extremism, terror and lethality, it is important to keep in mind that debilitation, terror and death are not always the results of violence.  Violence is the act of giving someone else more of something:  force, brutality, injuries, lethal trauma.  Debilitation, terror and death can and are just as easily, though not necessarily as quickly, caused by giving someone else less of something:  food, water, shelter, medical care, even education.  Revisiting the topic of terror and terrorism briefly, sometimes terror is the result of the prospect of unfulfilled needs:  unfulfilled needs for food, water, shelter, medical care.  In this way, again, we find extremism and terror going hand in hand.  It is the latter method, the method of giving or allowing less which is the primary method of lethality accompanying economic extremism.  No matter how many people have been killed by violence occurring through the extreme efforts of tyrants to acquire more wealth, more people have perished as a result of being on the wrong side of an extreme economic imbalance.

If a man or woman can be happy with the wealth produced by their own hands, we have no problems.  The problems enter in when men and women desire the wealth produced by the hands of others. The greater the desire for wealth, the more people it requires to produce it.  When inordinate amounts of that wealth are being directed to a ridiculously small number of people there is no question that the people actually producing the wealth are being deprived of an equitable share of the wealth they contributed to producing.  That is a signature of economic extremism, and there is lethality occurring as a result.

The methods, the ploys used in the expression of economic extremism, as with religious extremism, are many and I’m not going to try to go into those at this time.  Suffice to say that whenever, in this world of plenty, we see people languishing in poverty we can be certain that there is economic extremism at the root of it.

If humankind is ever going to realize it’s full potential, if healthy, viable, sustainable, communities are ever going to exist, we are going to have to transcend religious and economic extremism.  

“Why Stress is Deadly”

The Corporate Promise

12437112 - evolution hand-draw

Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_bigfatnapoleon’>bigfatnapoleon / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The twentieth century may go down in history as the century of the corporation.  Corporations dominated the economic and political scene in the U.S. and many other countries.  Somehow the American people bought the idea that the U.S. is like a corporation and that corporate CEO’s know how to run it best.  A corporation is in business to make money and a corporate CEO is generally judged by their ability to make the corporation successful at that goal.  However, the U.S. general population has not been seen as shareholders.  Rather, the U.S. treasury has become just another source of wealth to be looted.  As Eisenhower warned us, the military-industrial complex has garnered power and has taken the lion’s share of our treasury.  Private interests have effectively cleaned out our collective wealth and delivered us into decades of debt: to them.  That has been the fulfillment of the corporate promise.  More a devolution to primitive tribalism than progress.

In truth, a stable, healthy country is more like a family than a corporation.  It is when we recognize our kinship and work together that we realize our fullest potential.  The stress of relentless competition affects human neurology in a way which prevents whole and healthy development.  If we want to continue evolving as a species we are going to need to recognize general well-being as a worthy goal, more worthy than extravagant individual wealth.  “As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.” Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man.

We Need a Culture That Can Care For Body and Soul

img_0502-2What are our natural resources?  Essentially they are the inherent qualities of the planet we live upon.  None of us created them or contributed to their existence.  However, as we know, many if not all of them are necessary for our lives.  Without the air, water, food, shelter, medicinal substances, that our provided by our natural resources we would die.  Without the beauty and recreational opportunities inherent in our natural resources our lives would be much less enjoyable, if even tolerable.

Natural resources include the plants that grow and the animals that inhabit the Earth.  Natural resources are the source of all the raw materials that all products are made from.  Even what scientists require in order to create “synthetics”.  Without the naturally occurring  base materials there would be no synthetics.  We come to the Earth with nothing and everything we have while we’re here has essentially been provided to us by forces beyond our control.  Everything.  That makes the naturally occurring resources of our planet (and others) pretty valuable, doesn’t it?

It is true that humans very often take a natural resource, add some ingenuity and work, and thereby create something more useful to human life than the raw material alone.  Clothing, houses, automobiles, medicines, works of art, musical instruments, books, computers, jewelry, beer, wine!  Humans have bred some plants to produce more or better food products than they did previously.

However, it’s worked the other way with plants also, nutritional value has been reduced in some strains.  And similar claims can also be made for about every natural resource.  At some time one or more human beings have tried to create something with one or the other natural resources which has ended up being of less value than the raw material.  Trial and error, we humans seem to do a lot of that.

Somewhere along the line some people decided that because of some arbitrary situation in their life they actually own one or more natural resources.  Maybe they were born into a “royal” family with a longstanding (but never the less arbitrary) claim.  Or maybe they had friends within one or more governments that were ready and willing to pass laws that proclaimed they now have ownership of certain natural resources.  In any and all of these cases, assertions of ownership have only worked because there were sufficient other people ready to support that assertion.  All such assertions are arbitrary in that they are devised and implemented solely out of the volition of the human beings involved.  In other words, if I say I now own New York, and if I can get enough people in positions of power and a sufficient army to support the claim, then I own New York.  That’s how it works.  We all came with nothing, everything that is, every single solitary natural resource on Earth, has been provided to us freely by forces beyond our control.  Every product that exists is produced from these resources.

Whether by design or default, currently we are allowing individuals or small groups of individuals to claim ownership of massive amounts of the Earth’s natural resources.  Is this really how we want to conduct ourselves?  This type of practice, among other things, leads to competition among the individuals and groups vying for ownership.  It has led to wars and will undoubtedly lead to more if the practice is continued.  It leads to inflationary, greed based pricing of the resources and works toward the impoverishment of the general population.  The psycho/emotional effects of a competition/greed based culture in general are to be seen within populations around the world:  fear, anxiety, disenfranchisement, depression, or vanity, narcissism.

When enough people wake up to the reality that private ownership of natural resources, and all similar cultural structures, can only exist with the cooperation of the general population, then we will see significant change within systems take place.  In the past this has often just meant that the group controlling the resources changes and the same greed/competition model stays in place.  We need something better.  We need to realize that as a species that our fates are inextricably intertwined.  We need to realize the mutuality of our plight and then to act upon that realization.  We need to utilize, to apply the magnificent body of knowledge that already exists within the disciplines of psychology, physiology, sociology, medicine, anthropology, ethics, and spiritual studies in the design and maintenance of our social and industrial systems.  Economically we don’t need socialism, communism or capitalism.  We need a hybrid born in knowledge and reason with the well-being of all of humanity as a goal!

A key foundational piece of wisdom comes when we realize that, in general, looking at the basics of our biology and spirituality, what is good for one person’s body and spirit provides us with a model of what is good for the body and spirit of humanity as a whole.  

The Divided States of America

I just watched a video of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and others voicing their outrage at President Trump’s ban of immigrants, refugees and travelers from selected Middle Eastern countries.  Other speakers included Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of SeaTac Airport and Port of Seattle Commissioner, Courtney Gregoire.  Their speeches focused upon the people, the families affected who are at SeaTac and the pain they see this Executive Order creating in the lives of many innocent people.  They made many valid points, none disputing the need for high security and vetting of immigrants from the involved countries.

Initially I personally agreed overall with what these individuals had to say.  After watching a later press conference with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, I realized that there are details not being shared in the press: such as the numbers of those detained, why they were detained and for how long.  Without details it is possible to take away a very inflated view of what is going on.  After getting a little more from both sides of the story, I have to say there is much more to be considered than I think much of the polarized press is bringing forward.

I still am not entirely sure what to think about the temporary bans.  I do understand after how loosely immigration has been handled in the U.S. the past couple decades or more, it may take some time to be sure an adequate system of vetting immigrants from high risk countries is in place.  I am sure that the U.S. has been involved with rendering these countries unlivable for a lot of people and has an inherent responsibility to be involved with assistance and reparations.

What I also realized while watching the video of the press conference regarding SeaTac airport, is that there were references to “our country” and “this country” as if whoever was speaking was vocalizing the sentiment of the general population of the United States.  Right now our nation is so fragmented in our perceptions of what the problems are and how to remedy them that I venture rarely, if ever, can anyone actually take a position and claim to be speaking for “our country”.  Doing so is actually risking being quite presumptuous and misleading.  As a nation, it seems the issues of what our national values are and how they apply to our practical reality are very much up in the air.

As a generalization, it certainly appears the various geographically, economically disparate segments of the population are very much out of touch with each other.  We’re fragmented so badly it is difficult to recognize that this is supposed to be a “united” group of states.  Donald Trump didn’t create this fragmentation.  In the long run will his policies and actions work to remedy it or exacerbate it?  This remains to be seen, but he didn’t create it.

This fragmentation has come about from a variety of contributing factors.  One of these factors which has played a large role in creating the divisions and dissatisfaction within the U.S. population is decades of “business as usual” politics.  Decades of individuals and relatively small groups within the U.S. seeking and acquiring inordinate wealth and power while only valuing and serving their own special agendas.  In light of this reality I have to say I have serious reservations about Donald Trump’s actions serving to correct this underlying condition.  Is there a Donald Trump the public servant who can adequately differentiate himself from Donald Trump the financial profiteer?  Will Donald Trump be able to recognize the need for and wisdom of supporting and strengthening the established social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, which greatly contribute to a stable, healthy citizenry?  Will he be able to envision ways to ensure needed services such as quality healthcare and education are kept affordable and available to the general population?

Combined with the growing acquisition of power on the part of a relatively small group of extravagantly wealthy individuals, the individuals who hold the high elected offices within our government who we empower to be serving “us” as a whole, have been incrementally opting out of the role of representing the whole of the population.  This has been taking place over the same decades that power has been incrementally acquired by the extravagantly wealthy.  There is much information, evidence, truth behind all the statements going on that our elected officials/representatives have been bought.  We have allowed becoming a President, Senator or Representative to become a career much more akin to private enterprise than public service.  One that not only allows but encourages individuals to capitalize upon their influence and rake in exorbitant wealth for doing so.  We have allowed an unhealthy peer culture to establish itself in the halls of national power.  One that has turned predaceous; feeding upon, pulling apart, the nation it is supposed to be working to preserve.

We, the average citizens, are not going to profit from name calling and engaging in more divisive thinking and rhetoric.  We need to be sitting down together, speaking truthfully, with respect, to one another and listening carefully to what the “other” has to say.  I think by and large we will find there is not a great difference in our motivations, hopes and dreams.  We need to understand how we arrived at this place of perceived and real rifts and disagreements.  Then we can begin to construct remedies that work for most, if not all, of us.

We need to become a citizenry and a regulatory government that think in terms of a national “we”, not just an individual “me”.  And we need to realize that “profit” should not be measured simply in personal material wealth.  The overall well-being of our neighbors, our communities and our nation, including how our nation is seen within the world community, are essential to our personal well-being.   The national well-being is an extremely valuable, essential component of the profit we should all be seeking from our combined efforts.

A primer on illegal immigration.

 

 

The whole of planet Earth is like a sailing ship.  We are on board this ship traveling incredibly fast through the vastness of space.  Without the life support this ship affords us we would all die.

Countries are also like ships.  We travel through our lives on board the ships that are our respective countries. The conditions on board our respective ships affect us a lot.  If the Captain or the officers want to hoard rations or act like tyrants, or make bad decisions about supplies and living conditions, we all suffer for it.  Anxiety between crew members goes up, anger and hatred can start to brew.  It’s even possible, if not probable that mutiny will start to enter some crew members’ minds.

If other ships start experiencing shortages with rations or deck space, or if there are some other conditions which undermine the quality of life:  the crew aboard those ships suffers for it.  If we affect their quality of life by:  firing upon their ship, poisoning their food/water or otherwise shorting their necessary supplies, or by encouraging and/or supporting their Captain and officers to hoard or behave like tyrants:  then sooner or later members of that crew are going to start either engaging in mutiny or jumping ship…or both.

Something I think we very much need to keep in mind is the inescapable law of reciprocal action that exists in our world.

The ones who jump ship are going to look for another ship to climb aboard.  They have no choice.  If our ship is in relatively good shape, and is close enough, they are going to try to climb aboard our ship.  We can count on it.  Once aboard they will use our rations, our food and water and gear.  Some (most?) will also try to work and help keep things going.  If there are enough rations and accommodations, we’re all fine.  If not, eventually there will be shortages.  When there are shortages, tension, anxiety, fear, and anger will escalate.  Or if we start getting all uptight with one another just because of our differences, then we’re also in trouble.  This brings up one aspect of this subject which is more difficult, maybe the most difficult to resolve:  do the “refugees” have the right to expect the host culture to change to accommodate aspects of their culture?  Does cultural change, on anybody’s part, need to happen at all?   Regardless, there are certain rules aboard  every ship that everyone needs to follow in order to prevent chaos and disaster.

Finally, there is no question that if too many climb aboard our ship it will destabilize.  We may even be threatened with capsizing.

It should be clear that it is in our best interests to do what we can to support genuinely good, healthful living conditions for the crew aboard all ships.  

 

Do we care more about the truth relating to objects than we do about the truth relating to events?

Mag picA definition of “coherence” to be found at Merriam-Webster online is:  “1:  the quality or state of cohering: as  a :  systematic or logical connection or consistency…”  In every day terms that might be expressed as “making sense”.  If something is coherent it makes sense, if it isn’t it doesn’t.

One additional term I need to include here is “integrity”.  Merriam-Webster gives us:  “1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility  2:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness  3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided :  completeness”  That pretty much says it.

When we combine coherence with integrity within a concept, agency, person, we have something we can know and trust to be what it is and/or claims to be.  How nice is that?

When it comes to the objects in our world, in order to understand them and use them successfully, in a way that will benefit our lives, we need to have coherent and integral information about those objects.  If we do not have such information we are either uninformed or misinformed.  Either condition is a set-up for something to go wrong.  The truth of this is self-evident.  We need good information to make use of the objects:  machines, computers and even the basic tools in our lives.

If there were a movement going on to give Americans (or anybody) false, misleading information about the machines/technology/tools in our lives, in a way that would directly affect our ability to successfully use these devices we would recognize the wrong in doing so very quickly if not immediately.  When people start losing body parts to lawn mowers, chain saws, other power equipment, when people can’t get their coffee makers to work or their computers to function properly: we would recognize something is amiss, it would be apparent.  And we wouldn’t be happy about it.

But what about the events, the actions, that take place in our world?  Do they matter less in terms of affecting our lives than the things, the objects?  No they don’t.  In fact the events, the actions that take place in our world can do affect our lives greatly.  Not just actions but the reports of actions have started wars during my lifetime:  Vietnam and Iraq for example.  So actions and the reports of actions can and do affect our lives every bit as much, if not more, than the objects around us.

Yet while we would not tolerate being given false information about the objects in our lives.  The VW exhaust scandal being a recent example of how we react to such inaccurate information; we repeatedly tolerate inaccurate reports about the important events, the actions taking place.  And we don’t just tolerate them, we act upon them sacrificing lives and treasure.

Now President-elect Donald Trump has offended the U.S. intelligence community with his disparaging treatment of them.  I have to say, while I am not at all generally happy with Donald Trump’s practices, this particular action caught my attention as a potentially positive statement.  Again, during my lifetime, I have seen the “official sources”, citing intelligence data, with the mainstream media in the U.S. blindly following along, handing the American public blatant lie after blatant lie.  And far too many Americans have been duped into believing the lies and either acting upon them or supporting the ill-founded actions based on them.

Examples of such events include:  the Kennedy assassinations, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). While we may not know the full truth of what took place within these events, we can know by looking at the evidence that exists that the official stories are not the truth, not even close.  Sometimes it is just a matter of looking at the authentic mainstream news reports that went out before there was an official story that needed supporting.  And sometimes it takes a little more work accessing the authoritative independent research that has taken place.  There are a lot of theories that exist around the independent research that has taken place around these events.  However, for purposes of this article my goal is not to argue for any of these theories.  My goal is to make the point that the official stories are not accurate and that we, as a people, do not seem to care.  We don’t seem to place the value on coherence and integrity (the truth) regarding events that we do around the objects in our lives.  Why is that?

Is it that the objects are, in their totality, right in front of us where we can see them and directly experience the truth of whether they work properly or not?  On the other hand the events often occur far away and we are dependent upon the reports of others to know what happened?  Is it that, as a population, we haven’t learned how to critically think and analyze the news reports that come to us?  Or is it possibly that we have fallen too completely for the cults of personality that have become so prominent?  Do we accept information because of who (a person, an agency) says something rather than an open, honest, critical examination of what it is they are saying?

No matter what the reason, the result is the same when we accept untruthful information about events as it is when we accept untruthful information about objects:  a profound lack of things working as they should.  When we accept bad information we can’t understand why things are going the way they’re going.  It doesn’t make sense.  When we take information lacking in coherency and integrity into ourselves, make it a part of our internal system, we have subjected ourselves to those deficiencies.  Our thoughts and actions now lack coherence and integrity.  This works on us, eroding our ability to function in a manner which most benefits ourselves and our families.  We become dissonant rather than harmonious with the world around us.  And we experience greater friction, frustration, anxiety, anger wearing us down, robbing us of the life in our years and years of our lives.

 

Energy, Frequency, Amplitude and Us

1 hzFor a few years I employed neurofeedback therapy (also called EEG biofeedback) in my private practice.  The only reason I stopped is that I closed my practice, for a while anyway.  Neurofeedback is an amazing therapeutic tool.  I can attest that it can be very effective in treating PTSD, ADD/ADHD, and many other maladies.  Essentially, it assists the person undergoing treatment to be able to change the pattern of vibrational frequencies their brain is employing, or may be stuck at.  Neurofeedback doesn’t change a person’s brainwave pattern itself, it just provides a tool for a person to be able to do it themselves.  It employs our innate knowledge of what we need for our own health!

Two basic terms needed in understanding our energy/vibrational functioning are frequency and amplitude.  

Frequency, according to Merriam-Webster, is:  “3:  the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time: as   a :  the number of complete alternations per second of an alternating current   b :  the number of complete oscillations per second of energy (as sound or electromagnetic radiation) in the form of waves”, in short, the number of complete (up and down) waves per second as shown in the graphic.  Frequency is measured in cycles per second or hertz (hz).

Amplitude, again according to Merriam-Webster, amplitude is:  3:  the extent or range of a quality, property, process, or phenomenon: as   a :  the extent of a vibratory movement (as of a pendulum) measured from the mean position to an extreme   b :  the maximum departure of the value of an alternating current or wave from the average value”  In neurofeedback practice one can think of the amplitude as representing the amount of energy the brain/being is putting into that particular frequency.  It shows up as the height of the wave on the graph.  Looking at the graphic above, if there were a red wave line with two complete up and down movements within the 1 second time frame but this wave were twice as high as the blue wave line;  the red (2 hz) wave line would be the dominant frequency.  The frequency of higher voltage.  (Conversely if the blue (1 hz) wave line were higher on the graph it would be dominant.)   The dominant frequency is the one with the most amplitude.

For me learning about and seeing the powerful reality of neurofeedback was my introduction to our reality of vibration/frequency/amplitude and how important these three aspects of our reality are to us.  Our health, our mental acuity, our mental/emotional stability, our ability to exist at all as human beings, are all part of and affected by the electromagnetic reality, the various frequencies and amplitudes which underlie our existence and that of everything else.  The electromagnetic waves in our environment matter because the frequencies in our environment affect/influence the frequency of vibration of our bodies, our organs including our brain, and can enhance or disrupt our ability to function as healthy, whole human beings.  

When I go to websites that purport to provide information on the frequencies of our bodies, of human beings what I routinely find are listings of frequencies in the hundreds of hertz.  But not all, this website contains frequencies all below 100 hz.  Both of these listings are very strange to me and what practitioners of neurofeedback deal with.  When we have a person connected to an EEG machine we see ongoing frequencies of vibration occurring between .5 and 45 hz.  The frequency of the highest amplitude is the dominant frequency and primarily defines the state of our conscious functioning.  For the most part, when awake, our brain puts most of it’s energy into activity between 9 and 18 hz.  Relative to the frequencies of commercial radio these are very low frequencies.  Relative to musical tones these are very low frequencies.  In fact, these frequencies are called Extremely Low Frequency (ELF).  If a practitioner were to try to train a person to raise their brainwave activity to, say, 25 hz., that person would become a nervous wreck with real problems sleeping.  That is, if their brain would even allow itself to be trained to such relatively high frequency.  A person may just “tune out” the training because it would probably be uncomfortable.  Our frequency reality is one in which higher is not always better. 

Where do the authors who give human vibrational frequencies in the high double digit or triple digit ranges get their data?  I have no idea.  I would be interested in knowing.  Does the human spirit body, ethereal body, subtly vibrate at higher frequencies but at too low an amplitude to be detected by EEG equipment?  If so, how do we know what those frequencies are?  And, because we are essentially energy beings, is the physical reality of our cellular make up vibrating at a much higher frequency than our brain wave activity occurs at and at too low an amplitude to affect EEG equipment?  Again, if so, how do we know what those frequencies are?

The frequencies we encounter in our environment do affect us.  Vibrations around us which are at a higher amplitude (not frequency, amplitude) will affect us more than those at a lower amplitude.  Some people report being affected by fluorescent tube lighting.  The music we listen to can definitely affect us.  The colors around us can affect us.  In essence:  vibration affects us!  Tone of voice, even the color of the text has an affect.  After all, we are energy beings.  This is I think one of the most important areas of study there is at this time:  learning more about our energy/vibrational make-up and how to care for ourselves on this foundational level of our existence.  I can tell you there are people within governments that are interested in it!  The power and control oriented among us have already designed and employed manipulative tools/weapons that operate by affecting human vibrational frequencies.  Some devices with weapon potential, such as HAARP, have the potential to affect weather as well as the mental state of human beings, even at a long distance.  Conspiracy theory?  No, just plain fact.  HAARP can affect the weather because, if for no other reason, by affecting vibrational frequency of the air, the air temperature can be affected.  Even a 1 or 2 degree shift can make a difference.  With people it’s essentially just as simple a process.  

In neurofeedback practice sometimes we encounter a client who is stuck within certain frequencies, unable to shift their functioning to work primarily on a different frequency.  In these cases a practitioner can employ a vibrating cushion or pillow.  Inside the cushion or pillow there is a device which will produce a vibration at the frequency which is the “target” frequency of the training.  Say, if you’re trying to help a client produce brainwaves at a frequency of 12 hz, the cushion/pillow will vibrate at 12 hz.  The vibration of the cushion/pillow will, in effect, “drive” the client’s brainwaves to the desired frequency.  Then, once they have experienced 12 hz and become familiar with what 12 hz feels like, the cushion is no longer needed and the client’s brain can go there on it’s own.  The client has added another frequency of mental activity to their thought/focus repertoire!  

Now think for a minute, what if you’re not an honest, ethical neurofeedback practitioner?  What if you’re a person with an agenda who doesn’t care about the health and well-being of others?  What is there to prevent such a person from directing electromagnetic waves at specific frequencies at high enough amplitude to make a difference at another person?  (This would work in the same way as the cushion/pillow to “drive” another’s brainwaves.)  If such a person or group possesses the relatively simple equipment it would take and has an ample power source, at this time there’s little to nothing to stop them from affecting other people or even communities.  What can be accomplished by doing such a thing?  At very low frequencies (approx. 9 hz and lower):  drowsiness, lethargy would affect most.  Paradoxically some might show symptoms of anxiety and paranoia.  At higher frequencies (19 hz and above):  anxiety, fearfulness, anger, paranoia could be induced.  I don’t think I need to go into a lot of explanation at why someone might want to induce these symptoms.  Use your imagination.  

Because the waves can be broadcast over as large an area as the person doing so has the equipment and power source to accomplish, there are implications for population manipulation involving whole cities.  This reality conjures up thoughts of the “disrupters” the crew of the Enterprise used in Star Trek episodes.  The commonly cited range for human hearing is between 20 hz to 20 khz.  So we may or may not be able to hear such electromagnetic wave activity.  Even if the “target” frequency wasn’t outside the realm of day to day functioning, having our mind induced via high amplitude wave bombardment to constant activity within the beta range, at 17 or 18 hz, would over time (a matter of hours or days depending upon personal stamina) become quite tiring and would wear us down. I suspect it would eventually drive us quite mad.  As with many things a slight difference in our brainwave frequencies over time can be just as devastating (or beneficial) as a large difference happening suddenly.

So for better or for worse humankind has woken up to the reality of the energetic foundation of our reality.  It is really no different than all the other discoveries humankind has made;  fire, tools, gunpowder, dynamite, electricity, jet and rocket engines, atomic/nuclear power, solar power, lasers.  They are all just things.  Things that can be used to our benefit or our detriment.  And that is how it is with our burgeoning knowledge of our energetic foundation.  What will make the difference is what is inside us:  our motives, dreams, desires, intentions.  Will we move into our work in this area with mutuality and harmony in our hearts and flourish?  Or…

In closing I want to reinforce that neurofeedback is about training a voluntary shift in brainwave activity, not compelling a person to conform.  Also that meditative practices can and do affect the frequencies of our brainwave production.  Having a meditative practice which either calms and relaxes us or one that teaches us improved concentration and focus can be very valuable.  Here are a couple links to related articles:

How Meditation Changes Your Brain Frequency

Brainwaves and Meditation

We are composed of energy, we are energy beings.  The frequency and amplitude of our being and the electromagnetic wave reality of our environment are inherently important aspects of our lives!  Facts and logic inform us that having a healthful environment in terms of the electromagnetic wave reality around us is as important as clean air and clean water!

Big money for a few or health and progress for all? Right now we have a reliable indicator of what our leaders’ priorities truly are.

oil-derricks-with-dollar-sign
Photo:  csp_Neonskies               copyright Fotosearch.com

There are a lot of important issues at stake in the world today.  There are none that are more important than the questions around our use of fossil fuel.  Do we continue traveling down the same self-destructive road we’re on? Or do we move aggressively to alternative, cleaner energy sources?  And, although I probably should be, I am not including global warming in this argument.  Why?  Because the issue of global warming has become a distraction.  One side trots out “experts” to say it’s happening, the other side trots out “experts” to say it isn’t.  Or that, if it is, it is the result of a natural sun cycle or some reason other than humankind’s use of fossil fuels.  The arguments around global warming in the U.S. political arena have become something like a dog chasing it’s tail.  But that doesn’t matter.  For now, forget global warming!  it is distracting us from at least two very critical, absolutely undeniable, aspects of the reality around oil that are falling by the wayside while we spin and dance about global warming.  Quite possibly the distraction the controversy around global warming has become is one of the biggest friends those who want to keep using, or even expand our use of oil have going for them. It’s time to refocus and do so with clarity.

First, the methods that are being used today in the mad rush of big oil companies to locate and access oil deposits, and all the spills that happen daily for various reasons, are polluting, poisoning our waters and our planet at an unprecedented rate.  Offshore drilling, fracking in the U.S. (and elsewhere?), and countless oil spills are absolutely unsafe for human kind and other living things!  Our waters:  oceans, lakes, aquifers, rivers, streams, wells are being polluted, rendered unable to support life, on a vast scale.  A couple years ago I had the opportunity to take an overnight ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm.  It was summer so it there was daylight for most of the trip.  I was sitting by a window making a phone call when I noticed the water we were going through was covered by an oil slick.  As I continued to watch, over the course of some time, I couldn’t believe it.  Most of the time the sea we were sailing through was covered with an oil slick!  I felt ill seeing such widespread pollution.  And the problem with pollution from oil spills in the Baltic is relatively minor (though not inconsequential) compared to what is happening within the Gulf of Mexico Ongoing problems in Gulf of Mexico. and the groundwater pollution from fracking and spills in the U.S.  Four states confirm water pollution from drilling.

And when it comes to oil it isn’t just the pollution from spills and the chemicals used in fracking that are destroying our ecosystem, there is also the problem with plastic waste in our oceans.  Plastic Oceans  There is no good reason for us to continue to use petroleum to produce packaging for food and drink containers.  There are many other, bio-degradable, sources available and more becoming a reality on an ongoing basis.

I highly encourage everyone to watch the documentary “Mission Blue”.  This film provides a perspective on what we’ve lost over time along with some optimism about our chances for recovery if we take action now!  The film can be watched on Netflix and here is a link to some clips:  Mission Blue clips

I have included a few links on the subject of how both the extraction of and the use of oil are polluting are essential water systems.  I hope you’ll take the time to search and learn more!  Along with the pollution of our Earth’s waters there is the pollution of the air and and soil that also accompany the use of fossil fuels.

Finally, our continued use of oil in all the ways we use it are totally unnecessary.  We have the technology developed and waiting to be brought to use and provide cleaner sources of energy.  Solar, wind, wave energy sources, fuel cell technology, the many potential uses of hemp, bio-diesel and more are ready and waiting.  All we need to do is exercise our will, our voices and demand an end to sheer insanity of the use of fossil fuels when cleaner alternatives are readily available.  Again I encourage you to learn more.

 Which brings us to the second critical reason we need to move forward to cleaner alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels.  I’ll introduce it with a question:  

Why, if the pollution related to such widespread use of oil and other fossil fuels is so great, and there are readily available, cleaner alternatives, then why haven’t we already begun widespread implementation of cleaner alternatives wherever possible?  The answer can be summed up in one word:  greed.

The second critical issue around oil is that our dependence upon oil has allowed a relative few to leverage inordinate amounts of money.  The oil industry has played a major role in creating and maintaining the economic imbalance, the disparity and inequity within the economic reality of the U.S. and other countries.  And they seem to have no intention of letting it go.  Even if it is in their best interests as human beings.

Decreasing our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels would be taking a major step toward encouraging inventiveness, initiative, creativity in new industries.  It would be an economic breath of fresh air.  Discontinuing tax breaks and incentives to oil companies could provide revenue to train workers for the new alternative energy industries.

Here in the U.S. we are seeing a major sociological, ecological battle being played out in North Dakota.  One one side we have Native Americans and many others.  People who are tired of seeing water polluted, quality of life eroded.  On the other side we have big oil and all the resources their big money can buy.  Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump say they back the pipeline. Both personalities, each who have been asking the American people to believe that they have our best interests at heart, each who have claimed to represent such vastly different positions, are in agreement on this issue.  And the stand they both have expressed prioritizes big oil and big money.

The dichotomy could not be clearer.  Do our leaders want to continue the oligarchical practices that are slowly poisoning our communities, our lives?  Both economically and in terms of the pollution that is taking place.

Or do they want to see a new lease on life for the human race?  Greater economic balance, renewed hope in the future?

The time is now, what is the answer?

 

 

 

 

 

The Imperative of a Wisely Prioritized Budget

in-the-pinkWe, in the United States and elsewhere, are very much in need of a new economic model.  One that supports and maintains healthy individuals and healthy communities.  If the United States is/was a great experiment, in terms of establishing an economy which is both sustainable and supports  a healthy, thriving nation, it is failing.  I’m sure some statisticians and/or economists can produce numbers on GNP and/or corporate profits and say that calling the U.S. a failed experiment economically is false.  However, lets face it, statistics and corporate profit figures, numbers on paper, don’t give the millions of real people who make up our nation the financial well-being, the stability we need.

We should not be living to work, but working to live.  Our lives can and should be truly satisfying lives, ones that afford sufficient time with family, reasonable recreational possibilities, the time and ability to engage in personal development.  For this to be a reality we very much need freedom from the fear that bankruptcy is just one hospitalization, or a layoff away.

What has gone wrong?  That’s really not so hard to figure out, too many people have allowed narrowly defined personal interest to all but eradicate societal considerations. Social responsibility has become a concept as likely as not to evoke derision.  This is true not only in the financial realm but others as well.  For a society to stay healthy, freedom requires responsibility.  And not infrequently responsibility may require restraint. With far too many individuals both responsibility and restraint, especially when it comes to societal consideration around material acquisition, have been discarded.  These attributes, essential to healthy communities, have been replaced by a rabid pursuit of wealth regardless of the costs to our communities and the world at large.  This acceptance of a culturally suicidal value, greed, has gotten so pervasive within our culture and with our collective psyche that often those most successful at expressing it, at accumulating inordinate wealth, are seen as role models.

We throw millions upon millions of dollars, billions, at pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, tech. giants, even athletes whose only contribution to our culture is being able to throw, catch, hit or run with a ball on a small court or field.  Think about it.  And then there are the billions that go to arms merchants, drug dealers (other than big pharma), big pharma, the porn industry, big-name entertainers, and the gambling industry.  Judging from our cultural spending habits we more closely resemble drunken adolescents, impulsively craving toys and sensation, than anything remotely resembling responsible adults trying to genuinely manage a household.  And while most (all?) of these aforementioned industries have, to a greater or lesser degree, some genuine benefit for us;  we are spending vastly inordinate amounts of money on these industries to the detriment of far too many other essential life-sustaining industries and endeavors!

What we’re lacking are financial practices that reflect a culture, a people, who genuinely, soberly, recognize both our individual and collective needs and give due diligence to how we’re going to meet them.   If the parents in a family spend inordinately on entertainment, computers, sports, drugs, and guns, and the family loses their house because they didn’t pay their mortgage, no surprise, very understandable.  Yet, as a nation we seem to think that something similar can’t happen to a nation that spends inordinately on similar items.  A household is a household whether it is a household of 1 or of 1 billion.  Without viable prioritization on spending, a person or group which depend upon the resources involved are going to suffer for their lack of wisdom and/or due diligence.

So who gets to decide what we need and don’t need, how much we’re going to funnel to the various industries and endeavors that exist?  One thing is certain, for the “household” to remain whole and stable, decisions need to be made with the well-being of the entire household in mind.  Otherwise the household is going to be divided against itself and, ultimately, a house divided against itself cannot stand.  We need people with sobriety, with the knowledge and wisdom to take the long view and a broad, inclusive perspective on our needs and wants.  People who act impulsively or with too narrow interests are not going to budget wisely.  And the latter is what we’re suffering under in the U.S. at this time.

Just as an actual house, an economic system, in order to serve and protect those dependent upon it, needs both a floor and a ceiling.  The dangers of having no “floor” are pretty self-evident:  poverty and the problems that go with it.  However, the dangers of having no ceiling are often either ignored or distorted.  Without a “ceiling” it is too easy for people and/or organizations to begin accruing inordinate amounts of capital.  Then, and what we’re seeing around the world, is that they use that capital to create systems of laws and policies; financial mechanisms, with which to suck even greater amounts of the currency and material wealth into their control.  Along with this aspect of their endeavors, they also work and spend to see that laws are produced to protect their acquisitions from taxation.  So, too much capital enables individuals and groups to take more of the fruits from our collective efforts and simultaneously give back less.

We live in a finite world with finite resources.  If we pay attention, utilize birth control, and structure our societal systems in a way to create and maintain a much more equitable economic reality for everyone;  we can create an environment in which people not only survive but thrive:  intellectually, physically, and spiritually.  But if we continue to not only tolerate but extol greed and narrow self interest, we, as a species, are going to be continually plagued with the physical, psychological, cultural and spiritual maladies that accompany a fiercely competitive culture.  These include excessive fear, anxiety, wars, poverty, diseases, and a general stunting of human potential.

The hard part is that a genuinely functional, harmonious culture cannot be achieved by primarily utilizing force and compulsion.  We’ve seen that fail time and time again.  (It is also true that “free enterprise” cannot ultimately be sustained by those methods.)  It is going to take people waking up to our holistic reality.  We need more widespread understanding of what we truly are and what we need to live as whole, healthy human beings.  Then we need to work to achieve it.  Working together is the only way it’s going to happen.

 

 

Whether the current world political stage is organic or orchestrated, our response should be the same!

P1080179I have seen more than one post on Facebook lately presenting the thought that what is happening with the current U.S. Presidential election, at least with the two major party candidates, is all stage play. It is pre-arranged as is the outcome. There can be no doubt that with the amounts of money that are involved this is a real possibility. So many events within our culture and within cultures around the world, over the past few decades have contained inexplicable aspects if we try to view them as the thing our government/media syndicate try to present them as. The Oklahoma City bombing, the London subway bombing, 911, the Boston Marathon bombing, Charlie Hebdo, and more, all leave us with questions we don’t get answers for, questions which aren’t satisfactorily answered by the official stories.

The amounts of money at stake in world events can certainly afford the very best when it comes to those skilled at the art of illusion.

No matter if what is taking place is organic or orchestrated, and I tend to think it’s often the latter, a very clear fact is that tearing us apart as a people and a culture seems to be a goal. To hate each other because of our differences, fear each other because of our differences. These are messages we keep getting over and over and over. And the more afraid and angry we become, the more vulnerable and ready we are to believe that some socio/political potion being offered us by one of the candidates, which includes more hate and fear, is needed. 

The fact is any cure involves us changing what is inside us. If we like this life on Earth, we need to wake up to the reality of what and where we are. We are the inhabitants of a celestial “spaceship” hurtling through a cold, dark void.  Our planet/spaceship/home, the resources it offers us, and each other, are all we’ve got. We need to start working together; respecting, caring for and nurturing all of this and each other a lot better than we have been. And we need to do it really soon. Despite what the media is telling us, a lot of people around the world want to do just that and are already working at it in their own lives!

We need to turn off the negative, fear mongering media and see the positive around us and the mutuality of our plight. Focus on it, breathe it in. Enter into reciprocal interaction with it, using our best wisdom, nurturing and being nurtured.