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Feb 16, 2014

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”


Spencer Johnson


Many years ago, when I was in high school chemistry lab, I was assigned to do a litmus test to determine where various chemicals fell on the continuum from acidic to alkaline or other base composition. I now view that litmus test as a metaphor for learning to discern how to live in harmonious alignment with my individual and relational core integrity from moment to moment. I have found that relying exclusively on analytical reasoning and apparent factual information of the mind, along with sensory data, cannot always provide me with the best possible insight into the experiential truth and energy flow of the moment, and how to appropriately function or flow in flexible, dynamic, rightful attunement with it. Instead, I have found that sometimes I feel intuitively guided to go beyond basing decisions entirely on available factual information by discerning what  options of perception and action seem relatively consistent or inconsistent with an invisible subtle energy pulse of rightful integrity, involving nonselective integrated openness to my whole experiential truth and my naturally self-consistent indivisible whole real being, recognized as a distinctive energy tone of inner peace, warmhearted caring, empathic compassion, regenerative life energy, and lightness of spirit, in contrast to an antithetical energy tone of queasiness, biased presumptions, selective viewing, lack of self-consistency with the intrinsic wholeness and rightful goodness of my being and everyone’s being, inner agitation, coldhearted callousness, degenerative discord, as well as heaviness and darkness of spirit. When my perception and action is rightfully aligned with my heartfelt intuitive core integrity, then I feel that I am truly honoring the intrinsic goodness and preciousness of life or reality in myself, other individuals who I encounter, and the all-inclusive whole of being, rather than distorting, degrading, or cheapening  my own truth and the truth of others by divorcing or distancing my perception and action from the real energy and experience flowing within and around me. Our core integrity is naturally inclined to be empathically understanding of and compassionately responsive to the legitimate needs and concerns of others because it is a relational self, a relational center, in contrast to the ego as an illusory, dualistically separated, divisive, narcissistically self-preoccupied sense of self or inner voice.

Attunement with my intuitively discerned core integrity heightens my receptive openness to limitless expansive possibilities and flexible creative insights, whereas my energies, options, and resources feel more blocked, fixated, contracted, constricted, and restricted when I permit myself to be distracted by narcissistic ego mind chatter, biased preconceived presumptions, demanding expectations, as well as rigid, fear-oriented modes of perception and action.  Core integrity makes me feel more alert and grounded in real life energy experience, like following an inner GPS, compass, or beacon, whereas preconceived presumptions make me feel cut off from the actual flow of energy experience. We intuitively know that we are living in core integrity when we are willing to relate to, and cherish, what is actually experientially real in self and others rather than pursuing some kind of presumptive “ought to be” or desired “should be,” distorting our view of self and others by projecting various kinds of extraneous definitions, interpretations, idealized or disparaging images, and judgmental demanding expectations, and exploiting others to aggrandize our own narcissistic egos, as in Martin Buber’s distinction between I-Thou and I-It relationships.

When I am expansively connected to the relational flow of energy experience within and around myself, then I experience greater caring warmth of heart and vitality, whereas when I step out of that connective relational flow into narcissistic mind chatter, then I experience more inner coldness, inner numbing or deadening, and more blockage, constriction, or contraction of my own energies. This reminds me of melting/defrosting ice in my refrigerator, many years ago, (when the refrigerator needed to be cleaned out in preparation for the next tenant of a rented apartment that I was vacating), by repeatedly pouring hot water on the ice until large chunks of it suddenly came loose, all at once. Metaphorically speaking, I find that the warmth of expansive, empathically caring connection to other individuals and undistracted attentiveness to situations happening around me melts away much of the fearful , contracted, coldness and heavy denseness of my energies.

When I am abiding in the flow of my own core integrity, then I sometimes become more attuned to the joyful  “song” and “dance” or vibratory rhythmic pulse of my own essential being, my own heart and soul, my true "perfect pitch.” However, resistively trying to escape from the natural imperfections or “rough edges” of life experience only produces an unhealthy process of inner and outer conflict, whereas I find that inner and outer healing naturally takes place when I show flexible loving compassion for the stuck and sticky places within and between us. I find that the best way to bring healing to my own inner pain and negativity is embrace it with love so that it can be consciously restored to the natural wholeness of my being and thereby healed, whereas when I negatively judge, blame, reject, and oppose my own fear, pain, and negativity, it fights me back, exacerbating disruptive inner and outer discord.

I believe that the best way to compassionately transform for the better our individual lives, personal relationships, local communities, particular social networks, and the whole world, is to select options that reflect alignment with our own distinctive, dynamically flexible, energy pulse of core integrity and ethical responsibility. For example, this involves selecting or developing lifestyles, careers, shared relational activities, consumer spending patterns, and voting behaviors that promote compassion, equity, sustainability, and expanded opportunities for everyone, rather than depleting individual and shared resources, opportunities, and freedoms in an unsustainable, contracting, manner.  Like exercising a muscle to strengthen it, the only way to develop our intuitive core integrity, so that it will be available for us when we really need it, is to gradually practice tuning into the distinctive energy feeling tone of the “heart” core, center, depth, or essential level of our own being when the analytical calculations and apparent factual information of the mind and the sensory data of the body do not seem able to provide us with sufficiently clear, penetrating, and reliable insight into a particular situation, encounter, or decision that we are considering.


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Posted: Feb 16, 2014 6:03pm
Jan 29, 2014

I have recently posted some BlogSpot radio interviews and YouTube videos, publicizing my two new books,

1) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication.

2) Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation.

These books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my author webpage, http;//

The books will be very valuable for anyone who seeks to improve their personal relationships, heal psychological pain and inner conflict, achieve greater levels of inner peace, happiness, spiritual awakening, and creative functioning. The links to my recent radio interviews and YouTube videos follow below:

Barry Hammer, Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation

Barry Hammer, Deepening Your Personal Relationships

Jan 13, 2014

Dear Friends:

My two current books have been published and are available for sale through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the publisher’s website, Reading these books can be very helpful for anyone seeking transformational insights about enhancing their psychological well-being, self-understanding, creative functioning, spiritual development, and personal relationships. The primary author of the two books is my beloved late father, Dr. Max Hammer; I (Dr. Barry Hammer) am a secondary author and contributor of the two books. The titles of my two books are:

  1. Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation (published by Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency, 2014)

  2. Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication. (Published by Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency, 2014).


    Information about these two books from the publishers’ website follows below:

Books by Dr. Max Hammer, with

Dr. Barry J. Hammer and Dr. Alan C. Butler



Dr. Max Hammer and Dr. Alan C. Butler are psychologists from Maine. Dr. Barry J. Hammer, also from Maine, has a specialization in the history of world religions, and for many years has studied the process of psychological and spiritual transformation, and its applicability to enhancing human relationships.

The primary author, the late Dr. Max Hammer, was an editor and a major contributor of two previously published books, The theory and Practice of Psychotherapy with Specific Disorders (Springfield, Illinois:  Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1972); and The Practice of Psychotherapy with Children (Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press, 1967). He also published about 30 articles in the fields of psychotherapy and clinical psychology.


About the Books


Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation

ISBN: 978-1-62857-075-5

ISBN / SKU: 1-62857-075-X

This book is also available at or

Wholesalers please e-mail


Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation


Are you ready for psychological healing? This book is your liberating guide to psychological growth, including self-understanding, self-transformation, healing psychological pain, as well as achieving psychological and spiritual fulfillment. Some aspects of psychological health and fulfillment discussed in this book include, authenticity, sincerity, integrity, creativity, intuition, empathy, courage, strength of character, unselfish love, emotional security, and inner wholeness.

Readers will discover a new understanding of effective psychotherapy, groundbreaking diagnostic psychological testing research, as well as the distinction between the ego self-concept, the experiential self, and the transpersonal self (the real self, the relational self, or the holistic self).

Principles of psychological self-understanding and healing self-transformation can enhance the development of interpersonal relationships, as well as facilitate effective and fulfilling ways of living in society. Self-transformation at your fingertips!


Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication


ISBN: 978-1-61897-590-4

ISBN / SKU: 1-61897-590-0

This book is also available at or

Wholesalers please e-mail


Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication


Looking for Better Relationships? Let the Experts Tell You How!

Deepening Your Personal Relationships was written by three experts in the field. Their combined expertise will help you in Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication, which will be beneficial in all types of relationships.

The book explains how to achieve healthy and fulfilling interpersonal relationships by using effective communication, empathy, shared transformational development, and constructive conflict resolution. Deepening Your Personal Relationships provides original, meaningful, and transformational insights that are especially helpful in understanding how to overcome our subconscious resistance against emotional intimacy and good communication.

Readers wanting to enhance their personal relationships, gain insight into transformational self-help, and achieve social transformation will find this book especially helpful. It will also be of keen interest to professional relationship counselors, such as marriage counselors, family counselors, and conflict mediators. The goal is to understand how good relationships can produce enhanced levels of spiritual development, psychological healing, self-understanding, creative functioning, inner peace and happiness, and ultimately, fulfillment in life.

Aug 30, 2012

         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.


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Posted: Aug 30, 2012 5:56pm
Jul 21, 2012

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]

(Rakesh Sethi's website: and Amazon purchasing page:


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.

Jul 4, 2012

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)."

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Posted: Jul 4, 2012 6:21pm
Jun 11, 2012

Source of this article:   "Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence News" (email newsletter), June 11, 2012

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You are here: HomeNewsStudy predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse

Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse

June 11, 2012


Drivers of a potential planetary-scale critical transition (credit: Anthony D. Barnosky et al./Nature)

Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 21 scientists predict we’re on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought.

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

Topics: Environment/Climate | Singularity/Futures | Survival/Defense


Jun 3, 2012

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:

Dec 24, 2011

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."

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Posted: Dec 24, 2011 6:29pm
Nov 16, 2009
Article on Green chemistry,
Reposted from website

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.

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Posted: Nov 16, 2009 4:07pm


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