Although the ego is often the loudest voice speaking within oneself, vociferously arguing for its own viewpoint, and vehemently demanding limitless, immediate, sometimes inappropriate, recklessly impulsive, potentially addictive, gratification of its insatiable desires and cravings, it is not one’s most essential, inherent, intrinsic, trustworthy, true inner voice, not one’s true self, not the source of one’s true happiness, security, maturity, self-understanding, and overall well-being. The individual selfish ego is strongly influenced by a collective negativity nature, which can sometimes function in a rather delusional, abusive, predatory, addictive, self-defeating, self-conflicted, self-contradictory, problematic, self-disturbing, narcissistically self-absorbed, even autistic, manner. The ego continuously urges one to become addicted to various kinds of false cravings, often for unhealthy, unwholesome, toxic, substances, attitudes, and habits, as a way of escaping from a deeper, but unreal, sense of basic deficiency, inner emptiness,and fearful insecurity, which the ego tries to cover over by superimposing a distracting false façade of artificial pleasurable sensations and self-definitions, which can become rather grandiose and unrealistic, sometimes accompanied by destructively demonic energies and rather insane urges in the most extreme forms of selfish egoism. These various forms of ego-gratification are basically designed to provide quasi substitutes for the euphoria, excitement, vitality, security, well-being, and divine grandeur, that are intrinsic to our real being, and only imitated by the various intense, often addictive, compulsive, unhealthy, and unwholesome, sensations, substances, habits, and attitudes that the ego or separate sense of self-awareness urges us to pursue.
It is important to distinguish between “healthy appetites”, that are truly natural, life-given, urges, and that can actually enhance one’s overall enjoyment of life, in contradistinction to unhealthy, addictive, unnatural appetites, or false cravings, that can be detrimental to one’s overall well-being and functioning, including potentially having serious negative, degenerative, toxic, effects upon one’s physical health, psychological stability, moral character, personal social relationships, professional career, etc. With addictive false cravings, one becomes "possessed by one’s possessions”, so to speak, so that one’s heart, mind, and body, becomes burdened with heavy "psychological baggage”, and related blocked energy clogging, which can greatly diminish one’s ability to satisfy one’s real, natural, life-given, needs, as well as impairing one’s overall level of well-being, security, happiness, genuine freedom of choice, constructiveness, as well as one’s overall health, vitality, and productive functioning of heart, mind, and body. In addition, extreme forms of narcissistic, selfish, self-absorption can produce psychological disturbances, contrary to optimal sanity, in terms of diminished investment in contact with objective reality situations in the world, as the mind, heart, and body become increasingly narcissistically self-absorbed and self-deluded by unrealistic egocentric presumptions and false assumptions, as a continuous inner monologue, or fantasy pseudo-life, which can diminish one’s ability to tune into the actual experiential truth of oneself, other people, and situations around oneself, in the objective world.
The only reliable way to distinguish between healthy real appetites, or constructive natural urges, and addictive, toxic, false cravings is to, at least at times, tune out the loudly demanding, argumentative, voice of the selfish ego, so that one can intuitively “hear” the “still small voice” of the soul, one’s true self, one’s inherent, intrinsic, original, nature, as a life energy presence, communicating to one’s conscious awareness from the heart core, source integrity, level of one’s being, like a soft “inner beacon”, gently guiding one away from dangerous pitfalls and hidden traps, and leading one toward what is truly most beneficial to oneself, and, truly, compassionately, unselfishly, helpful to other people in one’s life. Goals and aspirations that come from the soul, the real self, are consistent with one’s natural, life-given, spiritually empowered, higher purposive destiny in life, involving the actualization, and ever growing fruition, of one’s fullest range of seed-like individual potentials, and personal relationship potentials, whereas goals and desires that come from the selfish ego often tend to lead one astray from the true reality nature of one’s own being, and away from one’s true potentials, abilities, natural inclinations, and genuine needs, overlaid, covered over, and obscured by the superimposition of false presumptive ideas and beliefs about oneself, such as, the ego’s idealized, unrealistic, unattainable, positively value judged self-images, which the psychologist Sigmund Freud referred to as the superego. Many of the superego’s goals, desires, and value, are basically attempting to validate a competitive sense of superiority in comparison with other people, in order to enhance the ego’s tenuous, conditional, sense of worth and self-esteem, and deny deeper feelings of presumed worthlessness, inferiority, and other negative feelings, whereas the soul, our real self, is an unconditional self-acceptance and intrinsic well-being, beyond all divisive positive and negative value judgments, or conditionally “good” and “bad” self-evaluations. Therefore, the soul has nothing to prove about oneself, so it has no need to put itself on trial, belittle other people, as a way of feeling better about itself, as well as defensively try to control and influence what other individuals say and do, in order to protect a fearful, fragile, sense of self, like a tenuous, collapsible, house of cards, or engaging in various other kinds of insincere, manipulative, exploitative, ego mind games, as a way of denying and compensating for the ego’s basic sense of deficiency and insecurity.
One’s intrinsic real self is primarily a relational self, a relational center, which can experience its inherent true nature as love and happiness only by unselfishly sharing that pure nature with other individuals, and by expressing unconditional love, or sincere caring, to other people, unselfishly serving them to the best of one’s ability. Paradoxically, our greatest real hunger is to give deeply of our caring and energies to other individuals, rather than seeking to gratify basically selfish, hedonistic, egocentric, cravings, because the spiritual presence of real life energy, love, happiness, beauty, and goodness, grows more consciously awakened and substantially developed in oneself only when one unselfishly shares it with others, because it is a relational nature, not a narcissistically self-absorbed nature. In fact, excessive narcissistic self-absorption blocks and clogs one’s real life energies, trapping them within the selfish ego, when our energies do not naturally flow outward to other people, as we express unselfish caring to them. That unnatural blockage of love and life energy, trapped within the selfish, self-contained, narcissistic ego, rather than naturally flowing outward to other people, perverts, distorts, or twists, our naturally pure, wholesome, regenerative, life energy into its opposite nature, so that our energy becomes increasingly toxic, foul, unclean, degenerative, and ultimately self-destructive. In addition, that blocked life energy, trapped within the selfish ego, produces feelings of tension, fear, anger, self-confinement, self-imprisonment, as well as various other forms of inner and outer negativity. It is only by unselfishly, deeply, caring about others that our energies can be released from narcissistic self-confinement, which makes us feel, and be, much more alive, joyful, secure, regenerative, creative, and productive, than what we could otherwise experience, as a higher overall level of well-being, or greater inner and outer positivity.
In its most extreme forms, the selfish ego functions like an “energy vampire”, so to speak, sucking ever more of our conscious attention, energy, and passion, into itself, like quicksand, or like the strong inward pulling suction of a Black Hole in outer space, as an escalating, addictive, self-perpetuating, momentum of inner and outer negativity that can be very difficult to undo, whereas the maturely developed and consciously awakened unselfishly giving, loving, nature of the soul is like an ever shining sun or star, which can never be depleted by endlessly giving of its inexhaustible warmth, light, and energy through the process of perpetual shining. That is why we naturally feel much better, in a genuine rather than artificially contrived way, as we unselfishly express our caring-energy to others, and, thereby, experience its limitless abundance, inner substantiality, joyfulness, and overflowing fullness of being. However, the more that the selfish ego tries to fill itself by functioning like an energy vampire, feeding of the energy of others, or feeding off of the energy of addictive substances and sensations, the more inwardly empty, deficient, and insubstantial, it feels, because trying to incorporate energy, vitality, or any other desired experiential state from outside of our own being reflects a presumptive conviction of limited scarcity, inner deficiency, lack of wholeness, lack of well-being, inertia, or lack of energy, etc. The unselfish spiritual nature of the soul, our real being, is a principle of “united we stand”, sharing a cohesive, coherent, relational energy that cannot be easily divided and thereby disintegrated, whereas the selfish ego is a principle of “divide and conquer”, or “divided we fall” ever deeper and deeper into self-disintegrating negativity.
Whichever nature and motivational intention we express to others becomes increasingly more strongly reinforced in our inner and outer experience, because we can express to others, and, thereby, objectify, only whatever nature we hold ourselves to be, most essentially. Ego-related thoughts, desires, feelings, and sensations, are fleeting and vacuous, like temporary shadows, or passing clouds in the sky, whereas the spiritual nature of the soul is everlasting, like the sun, or stars. Whatever psychological or physical possessions that the selfish ego seeks to acquire in time can be lost in time, whereas whatever true love, caring, and goodness, we unselfishly share with others remains with us forever, because it is an objectified expression of our intrinsic permanent being, and we can never lose what we inherently be, and we can truly give or express only energy that we hold ourselves to be, or that flows from our actual being. Perhaps this is what is meant by passages in the bible such as, “For how does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?”, and, “those who drink from my well will never thirst again”, because the fountain of true love, goodness, and pure life energy is fully satisfying and inexhaustible.
We are each particular individualized forms of God’s pure, immortal, Spirit, unfolding as our individual fruitage of actualized potentials of real intelligence, which includes our real relationship potentials, as well as our real individual talents and natural abilities. Spiritual intelligence is the one, all, only, ever present reality nature. Spirit has no opposite nature, in reality, but it needs an illusory opposite shadowy ego nature to challenge, exercise, and, thereby, strengthen, our real nature. When we fully maturely develop and awaken our individual spirit of love-life energy by unselfishly sharing it with others, or expressing it to others, it becomes like an inexhaustible flame or fountain that is never depleted through its endless giving, as a veritable “immortal flame”, symbolically represented by the “Eternal Flame”, or Torch of the Olympic Games, the Statue of Liberty, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the lights on a Christmas tree or Hanukah Menorah, etc, whereas the selfish ego is only illusory, dark, shadowy, cloudlike, empty, vacuous, self-talk, like daydreams, hallucinations, or unconscious hypnotic suggestions. The individual and collective unreal ego nature tries to influence us by fusing with our real energy-being nature and our natural real experiential states, and by pretending to speak as our own inner voice, our own heart, mind, and body. But the unreal will naturally fall away from the real if we do not react to it, identify with, or express, the unreal, and, instead, keep expressing only our own real nature, as a natural goodness, unselfish caring, and flawless purity of being nature.
Our intensely passionate emotions and desires can be like riding a wild horse, or being inundated by a turbulent river, overflowing its banks, producing havoc for us, and for others around us. We become driven by demanding, insatiable, energies, that have a counterproductive, disruptive, impact on our lives. As suggested by Rakesh Sethi1,
“The mind is like a river flowing, full of emotions, good and bad, thrusting every which way wildly, like raging water. The riverbanks are like your intellect; they must be strong to hold and channel the water (emotions) properly. Otherwise, the water will overflow the banks, causing a disastrous flood, like a mind out-of-control that creates havoc in your life and in others’ lives. What was supposed to be your blessing then has become your curse.”1
1[Rakesh Sethi, Cruising Through Turbulence: An Inspirational Guide for Your Wealth and Well being in Difficult Economic Times and Beyond (San Ramon, California: True Wellness Group, 2012), page 28]
However, when we unselfishly share with others the energy of love, or caring experiential connection, it functions like a relaxing, easeful, cohesive, unifying, force that calms our passionate energies and focuses them in constructive, productive, harmonious, directions. Our passionate energies are meant to be united with the calming, compassionate, energies of love, as part of the indivisible wholeness of our being, rather than functioning apart from our inner center of love, relaxed peace, harmonious equilibrium, and holistic cohesive integrity, in resistive opposition to it. The only way for the passionate energy of desire and sensuality to not become overly turbulent, frantically desperate, and chaotic is for it to be grounded in and balanced by the energy of relaxed peace, harmony, and cohesive integrity. The greatest, or perhaps the only true, source of that cohesive, harmonizing, force, is love, or warmly caring energy flowing from oneself to others, whereas lack of loving connection to others keeps one’s energy bottled up within oneself, producing tension that makes one’s passions chaotic rather than calm, dissipated and disintegrating rather than cohesively integrated, degenerative rather than regenerative. The absence of the shared relational energy of life, as love, inevitably produces the experience of inner emptiness, deficiency, dissatisfaction, and self-rejection rather than contentment, self-acceptance, and the experience of inner wholeness and proficiency of being.
That sense of inner emptiness and deficiency arising from the absence of the essential energy of life as love produces an insatiable hunger to fill oneself with intense, dramatic, sensations, feelings, desires, and fantasies, in order to experience a substitute, quasi, sense of passionate inner aliveness. We feel frantically driven to constantly fill ourselves with some kind of false substitute for the natural passionate intensity and vibrant life energy that love truly, intrinsically, is. The frenetic pursuit of a substitute sense of inner fullness and passionate euphoria produces chronic tension arising from the attempt to grasp and hold onto a continuously fading, vacuous, shallow, sense of energy arousal, in contrast to the calm, enduring, deeply satisfying, energy passion of love. That, often subliminal, tension, anxiety, and desperately “hungry” continuous craving, prevents us from feeling comfortable with ourselves, and prevents others from feeling comfortable with us, or around us. Many people naturally seek to feel intensely alive by generating passionate desires, arousing sensations, dramatic emotions, vivid fantasies, and frenetic or kinetic activities, but that intense energy needs to be grounded in the presence of unselfish love and relaxed peace so that it becomes more productive rather than counterproductive; more harmonious and cooperative, and less demanding, disruptive, and debilitating. The expression of unselfish caring or true love to others produces a deeper and more enduring sense of inner satisfaction than what seeking other forms of intense excitement can provide, because the warmth of unselfish caring arises from, and arouses the experience of, our ever-present permanent being, in contrast to the conditionally acquired, continuously fading, often addictive, quality of other states of excitation that are pursued as substitutes for the more genuine and deeper experience of satisfaction, inner aliveness, and wholeness that only true love can provide.
We intuitively recognize that we are not meant to reject any aspect of our indivisible whole energy flow, including being open to experiencing, and, thereby, embracing, but not inappropriately expressing, our temporarily arising feelings, sensations, desires, thoughts, and fantasies, which are all part of our energetic natural unitary wholeness of being. However, we may need to find a way to calm down some of our turbulent wild passions so that they become more constructive, responsible, creative, and empowering, rather than chaotic, addictive, disabling, and self-defeating, in their mode of expression. If we reject our natural passions, arising as expressions of the indivisible wholeness of our individual and relational energy flow, we may experience an unnatural, uncomfortable, sense of self-division or lack of wholeness of our energy-being, but we also do not wish to let our passions drive us, run away with us, or lead us in wrong directions, which, if not tamed by the soothing force of gentle love, contentment, and relaxed peace, could eventually produce a disaster, like riding an unruly wild horse without first having a firm hold on the reins and saddle. We need to tame the “wild horse” of our intensely passionate energies through the power of love, rather than through aggressively repressive oppositional force, so that all of our energies are harnessed in the service of love, life, and goodness, rather than working against what is truly good for us, and for others around us. The cohesive integrated wholeness of our being as love naturally seeks to incorporate even our unruly, wayward, passions so that they become transmuted or transformed in a manner that is truly consistent with, rather than violates, our intrinsic unitary wholeness and indivisible integrity of being, as well as our natural sense of ethical responsibility toward others, as a reflection of the natural compassionate goodness and empathic relatedness of our being as love.
The spiritual process of loving service, ethical virtue, and living in integrity, does not necessarily involve sharing only total "positivity", and never sharing anything else. Sometimes, when appropriate, as an expression of the heartfelt experiential truth and the adaptive requirements of the moment, being truthful with oneself and others can also involve constructively, compassionately, sincerely, sharing experiences, struggles, difficulties, and challenges, coming from the "darker", "wilder"/more turbulent, uncomfortable, undesired, "negative", polar side of one's being, energy, and experience. It seems to me that a more restrictive, narrow, idealized, rigidly predetermined definition of loving service, spiritual living, and ethical virtue, especially defined as the exclusive sharing of idealized "positivity", and never sharing anything else, especially, never constructively sharing the more turbulent, uncomfortable, aspects of our experiential truth, would really violate and distort the variegated, "many-splendored", indivisible wholeness and glory of what our own individual energy field and the whole relational energy field intrinsically is, and what it naturally needs to evolve, mature, or develop into, by wrestling with, constructively embracing, transforming, and integrating, its own darker side or seemingly antithetical shadow. I believe that the intrinsic wholeness of our being, energy, and functioning, needs to be freed from all unnecessarily and overly restrictive, exclusively partial, rigid, static, predetermined, self-definitions, so that we can be fully at peace, or flowing in harmonious attunement, with the indivisible wholeness of our own individual being and of our relational connection to other experiential energy fields, as the basis of relaxed self-acceptance, unified cohesiveness, coherence, and true integrity, rather than perpetrating self-division, self-conflict, and self-constriction, by defining ourselves, others, and spiritual reality in exclusively, unrealistically, "positive" terms, and rejecting, devaluing, evading, and exiling, the more difficult, challenging, unpleasant, or seemingly "unworthy", aspects of our own experience, other individuals, and of the universal/collective field of energy as a whole. Until and unless we are truly compassionate with ourselves, by first constructively, appropriately, embracing the indivisible wholeness of our own individual and relational experiential energy field, it will be difficult for us to compassionately embrace the indivisible wholeness of other individuals as well, as the basis of being truly kind and helpful to oneself and others, and constructively resolving various kinds of inner and outer conflicts caused by rejecting and thereby entering into conflict with part of the wholeness of the energy experience of oneself and others. The spontaneous flow of our undivided whole energy-experience is much grander and more productively functional than is any kind of idealized, exclusive, restrictive, predetermined, self-definition, which divides us from any experiential truths in ourselves and in others that are beyond the parameters of those idealized self-definitions. When we reactively value judge or selectively evaluate some aspects of our own energy experience as being only conditionally "good" and "acceptable" to spontaneously arise to our conscious awareness , and others as being conditionally "bad" and "unacceptable" to be embraced or lovingly unified with by our conscious awareness, as knower, then that process of selective self-approval and self-disapproval unnaturally divides and distorts the intrinsic natural wholeness of our energy experience, whereas when we take an attitude of nonjudgmental unconditional self-acceptance, then we are able to embrace, or consciously unify with, the whole field of our energy experience, without acting upon, or inappropriately expressing, nonconstructive urges, which would violate the greater integrity of our whole being.
My advice for achieving true success in life is, do not worry about achieving apparent success and avoiding apparent failure. Worry is an expression of fear, which anticipates and attracts bad results. Worry is an attempt to control situations, which only backfires and makes matters worse, because life is a flow of energy that cannot really be controlled, and it flows best when we flow with it, and do not move against it. We are staying in harmony with the flow of life, or being, when we just try to do the best that we can with the task at hand, and then leaving the apparent outcome, or results, up to life, God, Spirit, or a Higher Power. Worry often produces loss of sleep, tiredness, and tension. That tension, or lack of relaxation, will lessen one’s ability to be open to new insights and intuitions that can help one to be more successful in any kind of endeavor. Worry reflects an expectation of failure, which makes it more likely to occur, whereas when there is no worry, then there is no fear, no tension, and, therefore, no blockage of spiritual energy and intuitive insights flowing into oneself, enabling one to be more successful in any task that one is doing. Performing one’s efforts with strain and struggle is an oppositional process that wastes productive energy and blocks the flow of productive new opportunities, insights, and harmonious energies that could otherwise lead to success. As has been suggested by other bloggers and inspirational/transformational public speakers, we should view ourselves as having already accomplished whatever goals we are trying to achieve, like viewing a golf ball as having already arrived in the golf hole (already reached the target, already at the goal) even before we launch the golf ball with the golf stick. The expectation of success makes it more likely to happen, whereas the expectation of failure also makes it more likely to happen. However, we should not try to control the outcome of our work, because sometimes what seems like failure is actually a productive success, and sometimes what seems like a big success is actually a failure, by moving us further in the wrong direction, away from our true destiny and best interests. What that means is, sometimes God/life does not let us achieve our intended goals because it may need to move us in a different direction, to accomplish something else that is much better and really necessary for our continued development and well being, but which might be impeded if we were able to achieve our own current goals. God, or Life, has a Greater Wisdom that is sometimes far beyond our own presumptive views of what success and failure involve. That is what is meant by the wise old adage, "Man makes plans, but God (or Life) has His own (plans)."
In Approaching a state-shift in Earth’s biosphere, a paper just published in Nature, the authors, whose expertise spans a multitude of disciplines, suggest our planet’s ecosystems are careenng towards an imminent, irreversible collapse.
Earth’s accelerating loss of biodiversity, its climate’s increasingly extreme fluctuations, its ecosystems’ growing connectedness, and its radically changing total energy budget are precursors to reaching a planetary state threshold or tipping point.
Once that happens, which the authors predict could be reached this century, the planet’s ecosystems, as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye.
“The last tipping point in Earth’s history occurred about 12,000 years ago when the planet went from being in the age of glaciers, which previously lasted 100,000 years, to being in its current interglacial state. Once that tipping point was reached, the most extreme biological changes leading to our current state occurred within only 1,000 years. That’s like going from a baby to an adult state in less than a year,” explains Simon Fraser University Professor Arne Mooers, one of this paper’s authors. “Importantly, the planet is changing even faster now.”
He stresses, “The odds are very high that the next global state change will be extremely disruptive to our civilizations. Remember, we went from being hunter-gatherers to being moon-walkers during one of the most stable and benign periods in all of Earth’s history.
“Once a threshold-induced planetary state shift occurs, there’s no going back. So, if a system switches to a new state because you’ve added lots of energy, even if you take out the new energy, it won’t revert back to the old system. The planet doesn’t have any memory of the old state.”
These projections contradict the popularly held belief that the extent to which human-induced pressures, such as climate change, are destroying our planet is still debatable, and any collapse would be both gradual and centuries away.
This study concludes we better not exceed the 50 per cent mark of wholesale transformation of Earth’s surface or we won’t be able to delay, never mind avert, a planetary collapse.
We’ve already reached the 43 per cent mark through our conversion of landscapes into agricultural and urban areas, making Earth increasingly susceptible to an environmental epidemic.
“In a nutshell, humans have not done anything really important to stave off the worst because the social structures for doing something just aren’t there,” says Mooers. “My colleagues who study climate-induced changes through the earth’s history are more than pretty worried. In fact, some are terrified.”
Backgrounder: Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse
Coming from Chile, Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States, the authors of this paper initially met at the University of California Berkeley in 2010 to hold a trans-disciplinary brainstorming session.
They reviewed scores of theoretical and conceptual bodies of work in various biological disciplines in search of new ways to cope with the historically unprecedented changes now occurring on Earth.
In the process they discovered that:
Human-generated pressures, known as global-scale forcing mechanisms, are modifying Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and climate so rapidly that they are likely forcing ecosystems and biodiversity to reach a critical threshold of existence in our lifetime.
“Global-scale forcing mechanisms today “include unprecedented rates and magnitudes of human population growth with attendant resource consumption, habitat transformation and fragmentation, energy production and consumption, and climate change,” says the study.
Human activity drives today’s global-scale forcing mechanisms more than ever before. As a result, the rate of climate change we are seeing now exceeds the rate that occurred during the extreme planetary state change that tipped Earth from being in a glacial to an interglacial state 12,000 years ago. You have to go back to the end of the cataclysmic falling star, which ended the age of dinosaurs, to find a previous precedent.
The exponentially increasing extinction of Earth’s current species, dominance of previously rare life forms and occurrence of extreme climate fluctuations parallel critical transitions that coincided with the last major planetary transition.
When these sorts of perturbations are mirrored in toy ecosystem models, they tip these systems quickly and irreversibly.
The authors recommend governments undertake five actions immediately if we are to have any hope of delaying or minimizing a planetary-state-shift. Arne Mooers, an SFU biodiversity professor and a co-author of this study, summarizes them as follows.
“Society globally has to collectively decide that we need to drastically lower our population very quickly. More of us need to move to optimal areas at higher density and let parts of the planet recover. Folks like us have to be forced to be materially poorer, at least in the short term. We also need to invest a lot more in creating technologies to produce and distribute food without eating up more land and wild species. It’s a very tall order.”
Ref.: Anthony D. Barnosky et al., Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere, Nature, 2012, DOI: 10.1038/nature11018
I have come up with ideas, which I believe are really coming to me as an inspired revelatory vision from God (or from a compassionate Force that seeks to preserve, care for, and honor the whole sacred web of life), to develop, or to encourage other people to develop, a special global initiative called "The Oasis Project." One of the major tasks of the Oasis Project would be to develop clean, renewable, sources of water for humans and animals to drink, as well as to utilize for agriculture, sanitation, and industry. Without clean, renewable, water sources, deserts increase, and farmland decreases; hunger, thirst, uncleanness, and human suffering increases, and human survival and happiness decreases. Institutions of higher academic education should set up study and research programs to understand how to protect and expand existing farmland by protecting existing water sources, and develop new ones, in various ways, such as, by digging wells to access underground aquifers, doing geological surveys to find sources of water hidden deep underground that were not previously known, digging irrigation canals to move water from aquifers, rivers, lakes, to farmland, laying long pipelines to transmit water from lush to arid regions of the world (e.g., transmitting water from lush Northeastern States to arid Southwestern States of the USA), making containers to collect rain water for use in farming or drinking, as well as desalization. Another related idea is developing refrigeration technology to cool the temperature of sources of water in regions of the world that have hot climates so that the water is not lost because of the process of evaporation. Around ten years ago, I had a neighbor from Saudi Arabia who was studying refrigeration technology so that fresh water imported from other nations to Saudi Arabia would not evaporate because of the hot climate. Perhaps frozen water in the form of ice could be melted from mountaintops, as well as from the Arctic and Anarctic Polar regions of the earth, and then transmitted to arid areas or to deserts via/through large canals, railroads, trucks, or ships. I am thinking that these kinds of technologies, as well as other kinds of technologies, could not only preserve existing farmland, but, also, provide water to geographical areas that are currently arid, or even deserts, so that they have more water for drinking, agriculture, and supporting beautiful vegetation to nourish people's souls, as well as nourishing their bodies with food and water. Other related priorities include, for example, preventing global warming from evaporating water sources, preventing discharge of polluting substances into bodies of fresh water and cleaning up currently polluted bodies of water, as well as planting trees or other vegetation to prevent soil erosion and desertification.Academic research should devise new, more effective, ways, to dissolve all kinds of manmade toxic waste so that it is not discharged into and pollutes bodies of water, as well as cultivating benign microbes that can consume or break down toxic substances that are currently contaminating bodies of water. I understand that many of these ideas are already being studied and put into practice, but I would like to see more intensified, coordinated, and urgent, attempts to preserve and expand clean fresh water resources on a worldwide basis.
In addition to developing physical oases or sustainable life-supporting habitat by providing land areas with greater water resources, I think that God also wants us to develop projects/initiatives to use the term "Oasis" in a more metaphorical way, in addition to the literal way described above. This would involve presenting ideas for people whose hearts and souls have become inwardly dry or arid because of lack of love to have opportunities to water or “irrigate” their inner being with the refreshing, pure, clean, waters of life and love by receiving love, caring, and help, from others, when needed, as well as giving love, caring, and help, to others, when needed. For this reason, I recommend that Christian Churches, Islamic Mosques, Jewish Synagogues, as well as houses of worship of other religions, develop circles of loving friends who become like a tribe or extended family to one another, helping, encouraging, and comforting one another in times of difficulty, unburdening their hearts by sharing their pain, suffering, and joy with one another, listening with true caring to one another's stories and feelings, as well as joyfully celebrating life together through rhythmic, self-expressive, creative, dynamic, kinetic, activities such as, singing, music, dancing, holding hands in a sacred circle of loving connection, as well as artwork, crafts work, volunteer work, community improvement projects, and so on. I have viewed some YouTube videos that discuss the traditional African concept of Ubuntu, or "community spirit", compassionately caring for one's neighbors because one recognizes an inner spiritual connection or sense of existential relatedness to other human beings, as well as to animals, plants, and the land that we all live upon and share together. Many indigenous tribal peoples of the world are very talented in expressing themselves in rhythmic ways, through singing, music (especially drumming), dancing, as well as in various other ways. I believe that rhythmic energy expressions can help groups of people become united together in the same spiritual heartbeat of life and love, so that God's spirit of love can flow between them and do great miracles for them, as well as do great miracles for others through them, thereby transforming this world for the better, from the inside, when people join together in spiritual love-blessing circles, connected through a shared vibratory rhythmic heartbeat or pulse of life and love. I believe that music, as well as other forms of rhythmic energy vibration, can help people become healed of various forms of physical illness, as well as healed of various kinds of interrelated psychological, dyadic, and societal disorders. For example, this could involve being healed of addiction to toxic, unnatural, unclean, substances such as, alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, loud vulgar music, etc, which provide an artificial sense of enhanced life energy arousal, like a false heartbeat pulsation. Writing and reading inspirational poetry, stories, or essays, that come from a rhythmic energy vibration or heartbeat pulsation of spiritual love, goodness, and pure life energy, can also function as a kind of inner "Oasis Project", to bring the fresh waters of real love and real life energy to oneself and to other people, and to eliminate the dry deserts and false oases of unhealthy/unclean addictions and attachments to various other toxic habits and lifestyles. I intuitively believe that various kinds of rhythmic vibratory energy can contribution to many different kinds of holistic healing and transformation of the individual human being, dyadic relationships, and society, by attuning individuals to a regenerative vibratory "pulse” or flow of energy, and undoing various kinds of degenerative, toxic, energy patterns. I believe that God (or the Source of natural sustainability) wants people to experiment with new ways of developing an inner and outer oasis by cooperatively working together for the greater common good of everyone, by developing new sources of water and new material resources to improve people's outer physical lives, as well as develop new forms of creative expression to refresh or bring fresh “waters of life” into people's inner life, at the level of their inner being, their heart and soul. I invite anyone who wishes to dialogue with me about this “Oasis Project” idea to contact me at email: email@example.com
Festivals of light such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (African American), Diwali (India), etc, symbolize the rebirth and awakening of the sacred flame of love in the hearts of individual persons, as well as in the collective heart of humanity. This living flame of love and goodness can serve to transform this world for the better, in many ways, from the inside as well as from the outside, as a kind of limitless spiritual blessing power. The gifts that people give to one another as part of the celebration of festivals of light such as Christmas or Hanukkah also symbolize how opening ourselves to the spirit of love and goodness gifts us with significantly greater levels of co-creative insight and transformational development. Viewed in metaphorical terms, the holiday (Holy Day) commemoration of events such as the birth of Jesus, the liberation of the Jewish people from oppression, or other events of redemption, can be seen as representing the birth of the loving light of "Christ-consciousness" or holistic/unifying peace consciousness in the hearts of individual persons, as well as in the whole human family (The Hebrew word for "peace", shalom, is linguistically related to the word for whole [shalem] or wholeness [shlemut]).
When we permit the spiritual energy presence of love and goodness to flow from us to others, then it has a kind of alchemical effect upon us, them, and the world as a whole, gradually transmuting various kinds of negativity into a more constructive, wholesomely functioning, regenerative rather than degenerative, energy. For example, various interpersonal, social, and international geopolitical conflicts can be compassionately resolved by a reconciliation process in which contending parties explore, with open hearts and minds, how they can realign their particular perceptions and goals with what would be truly constructive rather than destructive, or productive and liberating rather than counterproductive and depriving, for everyone concerned, as the basis of finding mutually advantageous win-win solutions, that would also contribute to the continued advancement of the indivisible reality network of life as a whole. When we follow the call of love, or connection, rather than the voice of antagonistic separation and judgment, then the inclusive energy of love helps us to increasingly find common ground with one another, and gradually soften the "rough edges" that cause unnecessary conflict between us. United in love, individuals, social groups, and nations can help one another to build themselves up, as a co-creative, synergistic, expansive, growth-oriented, cohesive, principle of limitless, inexhaustible, abundance for everyone, whereas divided by antagonistic "blame games" and the predatory principle of fighting over presumably scarce, limited, resources, we all fall into an opposite momentum of greater contraction, dis-integration, scarcity, or lack of resources, opportunities, and vision.
Just as the power of electricity can flow only when electrical plug and socket, or other electrical wires, are properly connected to one another, similarly, the energy of love can flow more abundantly into the world only when individuals permit their hearts and minds to be deeply connected or attuned to one another, in loving communion, or genuine friendship. When we are willing to open our hearts to let the spirit of love-goodness flow between ourselves and others, then we bring out the best in one another, and, thereby, co-create the "sweet life" together, as symbolized by the beautiful glow of Christmas tree ornaments and Hanukkah Menorah candles. The process of bringing out the best in one another involves being willing to let go of presumptive definitions, demanding expectations, and judgmental blaming of other people, so that the spirit of love can illuminate our vision and hearing with insight into how each particular individual who we encounter is, truly, beautiful, lovely, or intrinsically precious, in their own special way. The more that we permit the energy of love, or warmhearted empathic connection, to guide our perception of and response-able behavior toward other individuals, the more does that energy bring out the best in us, as well as in those others whom we encounter. Just as two or more magnets can energize one another, but cannot energize themselves, separately, similarly, when we tune into, and, thereby, arouse and magnify, the "life-juices" of other individuals, then the most sublime, or grandest, energy of our own being becomes amplified, like a process of vibratory resonance or magnetic energetic attunement between oneself, other individuals, and the relational energy of love-goodness that connects us to one another. To propose another metaphorical analogy, just as flowers cannot pollinate themselves, but must wait to be pollinated by bumble bees or other insects, which also cannot pollinate themselves, similarly, the core level of our being cannot manifest and experience its own essential beauty, sweetness, and fragrance unless we unselfishly share that sweet "sap", "elixir", or "nectar" and "ambrosia" of life with others, as well as permitting others to share theirs with us. When we deeply connect our hearts and minds in loving empathic communion or nondualistic attunement with one another, then we energize the "living waters" of "magical" enchantment to flow like a fountain, or from its hidden source, wellspring, or reservoir, in the inner core level of our being, and, thereby, become more accessible to us in our experiencing and functioning in the outer world.
This limitless, inexhaustible, transformational power of love (functioning like a veriiable Horn of Cornucopia, Fountain of Everlasting Youth, and source of limitless co-creative/synergistic transformational possibilities) brings to mind the following wonderful quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harnass for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time, in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Green chemistry is cleaning up pollution—and preventing it in the first place.
by Kim Ridley with Terry Collins
Industrial chemistry is a dirty business. More than 100,000 synthetic chemicals have been released into our air, water, soil and food, and few have been tested for health effects on human beings or other creatures. The consequences can be debilitating and even deadly as science continues to link exposure to industrial chemicals with diseases and disorders including cancer, reproductive problems, learning and immune system disorders and birth defects. Terry Collins, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Green Oxidation Chemistry, is creating chemicals that don’t pollute in the first place. He’s among the leaders of green chemistry, an emerging technology that makes new molecules that are safe by design. Green chemists avoid toxicity in new chemical products and processes by following “nature’s recipe book,” which uses elements that are commonly found in the living world. Collins and his colleagues have invented nontoxic chemical catalysts that dramatically boost the power of one of nature’s miracle cleaners: hydrogen peroxide. Our bodies make hydrogen peroxide every day to destroy toxicants. Mimicking this process, Collins and his colleagues have created molecules called TAML activators, which work with hydrogen peroxide to clean up industrial pollution—and prevent it from happening in the first place.
While proving that it’s possible to create safe chemicals, Collins also talks his walk. He has effectively and courageously challenged industry spin-doctors for years about the perils of chlorinated byproducts. He talks with Kim Ridley about chemistry’s next revolution.
What inspired you to become a green chemist?
When I was a post-doc at Stanford University, I’d sit in the library on Saturday morning daydreaming about what the heck I was going to do in my own career. I’d always had an interest in toxicity and I was working with a group studying how various enzymes activate oxygen and hydrogen peroxide and trying to produce technologies mimicking this. At that time, chlorinated byproducts in drinking water, particularly chloroform, were being linked with cancer. I thought, wouldn’t it be incredible if we could disinfect water using a reagent that nature employs to break down chemicals, hydrogen peroxide or oxygen, rather than our manufactured chlorine. I came up with a design protocol that evolved from my initial thoughts in the Stanford Chemistry library, and fifteen years later, we had a catalyst.
How does green chemistry differ in approach from conventional chemistry?
In my worldview, green chemistry should always ask: is it good for babies? Or more significantly, is it bad for babies? If it’s bad for babies don’t do it. That’s what we’ve got to get ingrained into our field. That, of course, opens a whole new set of questions like, how do you understand whether some chemistry is or is not bad for babies? That then brings up the remarkable fact that chemists are not trained in toxicity and ecotoxicity. With conventional chemistry, we’re giving people the keys to cars without any driver training.
This is yet another one of the major changes that needs to occur in the collective academy. The toxicologists and chemists need to start talking a lot more, and the educational edifice of chemistry has to begin as quickly as possible to incorporate a fundamental understanding of toxicity. We should all be doing this because ultimately, the central issue is this: It is an inescapable responsibility of chemists that they should build the technological dimensions of a sustainable civilization.
Is it really possible to avoid unforeseen consequences when inventing new substances?
Whenever anybody is designing a new technology, there is always the potential that there will be a problem in the future. For example, people who initially developed phthalates, bisphenol-A, and other major chemicals had absolutely no idea that they would disrupt the endocrine function of all sorts of creatures. At first, they looked like the most extraordinarily innocent and nice little molecules, and phthalates even smell nice. But what’s unfolding now is an understanding of the ability of various synthetic compounds to interfere with hormonally controlled development.
Anybody developing a technology has to live with that uncertainty, but one thing we can do is to avoid the known mistakes. We pay a lot of attention to this in the design of TAML activators. When you look at where most of the ecotoxicity is coming from, the answers are relatively simple. Many of our big toxicity problems are simply elemental in origin. They occur because we are putting into a distributive technology an element that is not commonly encountered in the biosphere. Lead and mercury are classic examples. When you’re designing green chemistry that’s relatively easy to avoid. You can make the intellectual decision to only to use elements that are commonly employed in biochemistry.
At the same time, green chemists need to study the toxicity of the technologies they’re creating, and if something bad comes up that they didn’t expect, they need to be prepared to abandon the technology. One of the very profound lessons from the last century is that persistent, bioaccumulative compounds, particularly those that are mobile in the ecosphere, are going to wander around looking for trouble to cause and they’re often going to find it. So another thing not to do is to make these substances and put them into distributive technologies. Ultimately, if we can move the elemental composition of our technologies closer to the elemental composition of life and avoid using persistent, environmentally mobile compounds, we can stay away from a lot of trouble.
What are some of the most promising applications of TAML activators?
Sometimes the only way to get rid of a pollutant in water is to burn it. The TAML activator plus hydrogen peroxide breaks down pollution by the same sort of chemistry. It’s mechanistically different from burning, but with the same result. And so you can get rid of a large number of pollutants in water without combustion and this has real potential to be a lot cheaper and simpler to do.
There are several promising applications to clean up and reduce pollution from paper mills. For example, effluent streams from some paper mills around the world are turning rivers dark colors and paper mill pollution has a foul smell. We can really help there. A tiny quantity of our TAML catalyst and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide can rapidly get rid of most of the color. TAML technology can also easily ameliorate the smells associated with pulp mills. And you can use the catalyst and hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine to bleach wood pulp for high quality paper.
This technology can also break down invisible pollutants like organochlorines. For example, we have shown that chlorinated phenols, including the legacy wood preservative pentachlorophenol (PCP), an EPA priority pollutant and a very tough molecule to destroy, can be completely degraded to harmless products in minutes at room temperature and pressure without measurable production of dioxins. This dioxin point is important because fungi actually degrade PCP by related chemistry, but produce trace dioxins in the process.
In addition, this technology also can disinfect water. We have demonstrated this clearly with spores, which are the most difficult pathogens to kill, and we are now turning our attention to the other types of pathogens including protozoa, fungi, viruses, and vegetative bacteria. TAML technology has a phenomenal ability to kill spores and so it could become a mainline defense against anthrax attacks in the future. You also can use it to break down chemical warfare agents such as sulfur mustard. We have tested four common thiophosphate pesticides and these are all easily destroyed, as are their often-toxic residuals that are produced from existing breakdown procedures. And we can easily decompose many other pathogens and pollutants. We will be writing about these and other novel applications in the coming years.
Is this technology being widely used?
It’s a question now of production, volume and cost. There’s a lot of activity right now about next steps and strategies for large-scale commercialization. The catalyst is licensed for several applications, and I receive requests every week from companies interested in exploring TAML uses.
Many companies have issues with effluents that are very expensive to handle. For example EDTA, a chelating agent that has many uses, often becomes a big time pollutant at the end of its use in the economy. Our prototype catalyst that’s heading into commercialization decomposes it with peroxide quite effectively.
It’s hard to say when we’ll see big scale uses, but obviously the sooner the better. That’s where the focus is right now and there’s a distinct possibility that Pittsburgh, which is an icon of a city putting itself back together in first class style from a highly polluted past, might become a major center for green technology. This idea is very attractive to people in the region, and the ideal situation would be to employ people here to make and market the catalyst.
What are the chances of shifting the chemical industry in a more sustainable direction?
Sustainability doesn’t just mean feeling positive about the direction of our civilization. It’s also about fundamental strategic stability in the stock market, which is why change is going to happen.
Look, for example, at the lead industry and the damage it has done and the consequences that are now accruing. Americans lost IQ across the whole population because of lead in gasoline and paint. A court in Rhode Island recently said that the lead-based paint industry—Sherwin-Williams; NL Industries, Inc.; and Lyondell Chemical Co., the parent company of defendant Millennium Holdings LLC—are to blame for the lead poisoning of Rhode Island children and Rhode Island is holding them fiscally responsible. What this means for the future of the evolution of the economy is that polluters can be held accountable decades after the people who originally made the decisions are long gone. So people will realize that it’s much smarter to invest in the stock market in companies that are producing safe products rather than in companies that are not dealing with their pollution and especially pollution that harms children.
I’m very optimistic. The three big technology areas for sustainability are safe energy, which has nothing to do with fossilized carbon or nuclear power, but will be solar based; renewable feed stocks; and a nonpolluting technology base. These things are not only doable; they’re inspiring to contemplate, wonderful to watch in progress, and fun to work on.
Peace must actually be lived, along with indivisibly related qualities of goodness such as love, happiness, and beauty, because it is not truly real if it is only a static, abstract, presumptive, thought in the mind, without being lived, or expressed, as a dynamic, responsive, energy, through everything that we say and do, in every here and now present moment. I find that inner peace naturally leads to outer peace, meaning that when the heart is deeply relaxed, with an attitude of non-judgmental unconditional acceptance of oneself and others, so that we are fully at peace with ourselves, then that inner peace will naturally be reflected outwardly by bringing peace and harmony to our experience in the world. The key to inner peace, which brings peace, harmony, and love into the outer world, is to experience the deep sense of fearlessness, security, and well being, that comes from unselfishly expressing caring, or love, to others, and, thereby, being forgetful of the fearful, selfish, ego, a false or unreal sense of self that is the basic source of lack of peace, harmony, and goodness in our inner experience and in the outer world.
We cannot find inner and outer peace by turning inward, in any kind of selfish self-awareness, because introspective self-awareness blocks our conscious life energy from naturally flowing outward to others, and that blocked energy contracts or clenches the emotional heart center level of one’s being, producing fear, tension, hostility, and other related forms of negativity. The role of narcissistic self awareness in producing inner and outer conflict, or lack of peace and harmony, can be understood in metaphorical terms represented by a Black Hole in space, recoiled upon itself, in a powerful inward suction, producing a destructive momentum of self-confinement and disintegration, that traps light, warmth, and energy, unnaturally blocking energy from flowing outward, contrary to the naturally radiant energy of love, epitomized by sunshine, light, and water naturally flowing outward, rather than pulling inward toward their source of origin.
Some people seek a false sense of peace and security by introspectively turning inward, often through introversive practices such as solitary meditation, abstract contemplation, or living the isolated life of a hermit, as a means of avoiding the risk of possibly experiencing rejection, loss, disappointment, anger, conflict, and other forms of emotional pain, hurt, or negativity that may come from being deeply invested in heartfelt caring or loving relationships with other people. The sense of calm that comes from isolating oneself in that way is not true inner peace, because it involves escaping from fearful feelings, and a fragile sense of insecurity, which one anticipates might arise if one comes out of one’s egocentric self-protective, isolated, detached, psychological “walls”, “shell”, or “bubble.” The false inner peace, or solitary calm, of emotional detachment reflects a numbed, death-like, static, timid, stony, cold-hearted, dispassionate, rather uncaring, contracted, sense of indifference, whereas real inner peace and outer harmony reflects the living energy of unselfish, expansive, warmhearted, love, that arises from an openness to letting be, flowing with, learning from, being strengthened by, and, thereby, finding true goodness in, uncomfortable, or unpleasant, feelings and situations that might arise from being deeply invested in caring relationships with other individuals.
Although peace and harmony cannot be found by turning inward, in any kind of introspective self awareness, inner and outer peace finds us when we are self forgetful as ego, by being deeply invested in unselfishly caring about others around us, and then, in being forgetful of the ego, as a false sense of separate self-awareness, we find our real self as love and goodness, which is a relational self, an unselfishly, generously, giving nature, not a separate, selfish, self awareness. Only when people connect to one another in loving harmony can spiritual love blessing power flow through them into the world, and transform this world for the better, eliminating conflicts, and manifesting the unconditional peace, harmony, and goodness that is inherent to the permanent being of love.
One cannot reach enduring peace from a position of holding inner and outer conflict, disturbance, and deficiency, or lack of well being, to be reality, and then trying to find some way to overcome, resolve, or eliminate that negativity. Struggling against negativity, and viewing it as the true reality nature of oneself, others, and life as a whole, perpetuates and magnifies that negativity, pulling one’s conscious energy ever deeper and deeper into that negativity, which energizes, feeds, and amplifies that negativity, like trying to fight fire with fire only makes the fire hotter and more destructive. Trying to overcome conflict, brutality, and oppression by struggling against perceived injustices and oppressors, expressing a blaming, judgmental, antagonistic, attitude toward such perceived wrongdoers, can fan the flames of negativity by arousing even greater hostility in those being blamed, and reinforcing their view of themselves as actually having the malevolent qualities attributed to them by those activists who denounce them. Much more powerful and enduring change for the better can come from expressing the intrinsic permanent being of relaxed peace, harmony, love, and goodness as already being the true reality nature of oneself, and viewing that as also being the inherent true nature of other individuals, and of life as a whole, now already.
Conditions of conflict, suffering, oppression, and injustice, are most likely to enduringly subside if one views that negativity as being only a temporary, dreamlike, illusory, experience, like a nightmare, not the intrinsic true reality nature of anyone’s permanent being. Recognizing and expressing that permanent being of peace, harmony, and well being, is what most profoundly, and enduringly, dispels temporary illusory experiences of individual and societal disorders, like waking up automatically dispels dreams, and like bright sunshine effortlessly dissolves dark clouds, whereas antagonistically struggling against negativity often makes it worse, by immersing one’s conscious energy ever deeper into the negativity that one struggles against, like being obsessed with darkness keeps it always in mind, instead of turning on the light, which automatically dispels darkness, or like making muddy waters muddier by stirring them up, instead of permitting the mud to naturally fall back down to the bottom of the pond by not agitating the water, which restores the natural purity of the water. Sometimes one can work to change the status quo if some other alternative would be more compassionate and beneficial, but still remain grounded in relaxed inner peace, so that that inner peace can produce, and be reflected by, greater harmony, justice, and abundance in the outer world.
Agreement or disagreement in a personal human relationship is much less important than good communication as a way of enabling people to deeply understand each other, and, thereby, gradually develop the ability to feel inwardly close to each other, as caring good friends. Good communication, as the basis of true friendship, means that one does not keep one’s inner experience to oneself alone, but, instead, actively reaches out to share one’s experience, feelings, thoughts, and needs with another person, as openly, honestly, directly, fully, constructively, and non-judgmentally, as possible. Good communication, as the basis of true and enduring friendship, genuine caring, and emotional closeness, in any kind of human relationship, also involves being open to considering another person’s viewpoint and needs, and constructively exploring disagreements that may arise between oneself and the other person, without trying to win an argument, but, rather, only exploring together into the truth of those issues, without blaming, abusing, or trying to intimidate and control each other, and without insisting that one is always totally “right” and the other person is always totally “wrong”. Without that kind of good communication, actively reaching out to share one’s heart and mind with another person, one’s inner being remains hidden, disconnected, self-enclosed, so real understanding and close, caring, feelings cannot grow, as a deepening friendship.
So many friendships and romantic relationships fail because people permit themselves to “grow apart”, or gradually drift apart, without ever taking responsibility to deeply reveal themselves to the other person, and deeply tune into the other person, empathically, and intuitively, in order to directly experience what the other person means by the particular words that they say, or write, “reading between the lines”, so to speak, or tuning into an even deeper level of another person’s being, beyond all definable words and images. That deepest level of empathic/intuitive communion is the Source from which all true love and friendship arises, and that is what enables true love and friendship to keep growing deeper, closer, and grander, instead of gradually drifting apart because of lack of good communication, producing lack of mutual understanding, and lack of inner closeness. What makes people true friends of each other, rather than strangers, most essentially, is not outer physical contact, shared activities, and superficial social interaction, by themselves alone, but much more importantly, arises from development of substantial inner connection, by giving deeply, generously, unselfishly, of their energies to each other, and openly, honestly, directly, revealing their actual experience and true essential core being to one another. Many relationships fail when individuals seek to be heard and nurtured, but have not developed a sufficient ability to be unselfishly, empathically, tuned into, aware of, and caringly responsive to, the other person's need to also be heard and nurtured, in terms of their particular needs, feelings, and experiences, in a given moment. It takes a rather high level of unselfish caring, empathic sensitivity, and emotional maturity to be able to put aside one's own needs and train of thought (or inner mental monologue) for a while, in order to empathically tune into what another person is feeling and needing, in a given moment, and respond in a way that enables the other person to feel truly heard and deeply nourished/nurtured. Like a couples dance, both partners (or individuals in some other kind of relationship) need to learn how to flow together in empathic harmonious communion with one another ("in step" with each other's dance movements, metaphorically speaking), and, relatedly, also flow in harmonious attunement with the "dance music" of love, or caring friendship, that seeks to lead both of them into greater attunement with each other, as a related "we", rather than a separate "you versus me."
My own experience has shown me that if one is overly invested in preserving the ego's sense of separate self-awareness, willful selfish demands, and inner monologue fantasy (being overly absorbed in one's own train of thought), then it can become difficult to self-forgetfully tune into what another person is experiencing, feeling, and needing, regardless of whether or not the other person verbally communicates that, or which can also be empathically intuited, as a kind of nonverbal communication. I find that when I hold certain presumptions or preconceptions about another individual, and about my relationship with/to them, then those presumptions can function like a kind of overlay, opaque filter, or smokescreen, that I, consciously or subconsciously, project upon them, preventing me from directly contacting their actual experiential states, because I am, instead, projecting my own preconceptions upon them.
I find that even negative feelings, such as, frustration, or even anger, can be expressed in a constructive, nonjudgmental, nonblaming, open, sincerely caring, non-evasive, manner, which usually leads to greater understanding of each other, and of whatever issue has been blocking us from being in harmonious caring attunement with each other (preventing us from being "on the same page", so to speak), and once those issues are constructively explored into and deeply understood, then they can be truly resolved and transcended (rather than merely being covered over, buried, or suppressed), enabling emotional closeness and caring feelings in the relationship to grow. I find that being honest with myself, in terms of being willing to openly admit to myself when I am permitting previously unrecognized, non-constructive, insincere, ego "games" to undermine the relationship, such as, evasiveness (talking or chattering without really saying anything), letting myself become emotionally shut down (engaging in emotional abandonment, which can function as a way of subtly trying to punish the other person, by withholding caring, affection, or attentive listening), giving in to wounded pride, as a resentful attitude, or adopting an overly selfishly demanding attitude. I find that when I am willing to acknowledge and let go of such egocentric habitual patterns, then those obstructing factors that tend to block caring feelings and mutual understanding tend to fall away, naturally, effortlessly.
For a relationship to endure and grow, it is important for both individuals to be good friends in each other, willing to confide in each other, be there for each other emotionally as well as physically in times of need, and be willing to share difficult times, and patiently work through persistent problems in the relationship, rather than being quick to abandon the other person, and the relationship with them, when discomfort arises. That is what it means to be an unselfishly devoted "friend for all seasons" rather than a selfishly fickle "fair-weather friend." When I do not understand how to constructively understand and resolve, disagreements and other problems, in a relationship, then I find it helpful to invite the spirit of unselfish pure love to interpret the situation, which can enable me to see beyond, and not be myopically, exclusively, locked into, the ego's interpretations of those situations, which are often based on incorrect presumptions and nonconstructive, unrealistic, selfish wants.
I find that when I let go of the ego's overly controlling, willful, prideful, selfish, narcissistically self absorbed tendencies (as in the ancient Greek Myth story of Narcissus), that I find that the flow of love, or sincerely caring friendship, is no longer blocked, and then harmony and mutual empathic understanding arises automatically, effortlessly, spontaneously. When those ego "coverings", "filters", "overlays", or "smokescreens", are removed, then there is no longer any blockage to good communication and deep empathic communion with each other. That reminds me of one of my favorite songs, "On a clear day, you can see forever...." Along these lines, I find the philosopher Martin Buber's distinction between I-Thou relationships (genuinely caring) and I-It relationships (egocentric, selfishly exploitative) relationships helpful, as described in some of his writings, such as, "I and Thou", and "The Way of Response."
This article discusses how China can be a model to America, and other nations, in terms of enhancing automobile fuel efficiency standards, and developing clean, sustainable, cost-effective, energy sources, such as, wind turbine manufacturing and solar photovoltaics manufacturing.
The sun in the North is a
temporary guestWho brings
with him much warmth and
light when he comesFor a
few precious months every
year he keepsUs company
through night and day He
makes the trees green, he
makes flowers bloomHe
makes the birds sing, and
KDC Solar and North
Jersey Media Group Cut
Ribbon on Large Solar
(SPX) May 10, 2013The
solar operation will
cover more than 60
percent of the power
needs at North Jersey
Media Group's printing
Guru Nanak's Chart of the
Heavens -- The Five
Khands -- New Blog Entry
The largest genocide in
human history happened
where? Most people would
answer Germany, and the
Actually though, the
largest genocide happened
in the USA, with the
native American Indians,
with estimates of 19
million to 100 millio...
Ever since I saw that
horrific pic of the
beautiful white horse, I
can't get it out of my
mind. To think a group of
people--or maybe it was
actually do something
like that totally blows
Radiation Study; Tokyo
Hayno, R.S., et al
of Adults and Children 7
to 20 Months After the
Fukushima NPP Accident as
Measured by Extensive
Surveys, Proc. Jpn....
In these times of
uncertainty, chaos and
you can choose to only
- face the music and do
as best as you can,
with whatever ''concrete
means'' you have at your
you can ch...
accumulates in water
supplies after nuclear
bioconcentrates in fish
that live in fresh water
and salt water. Runoff of
fresh water from land
which has been
contaminated ends up
contaminating oceans, and
66 Atomic Bombs were
exploded on the Bikini
Island Atolls. Hundreds
of islanders were removed
from the islands, but not
from harms way. One
hydrogen bomb exploded
near the islands, and the
children played with the
dust from the bomb, as it