Polarization: How to Return to Center – Part 4 – The Past   Leave a comment

Looking into the past.

The past seems amazing. The smells of nostalgia, the pleasant warmth of fond memories, each of these things recall to our minds a better time. The reality is your memory is one of the biggest liars ever created. This is not done out of malicious intent, but out of self-preservation. If you truly recalled with unerring accuracy the moments of your life, the trauma would be unbearable. Do you remember your first shots? The first pains of hunger? The first time you awoke in a dark room not knowing anything about where you are or what is going on? Your first time being denied something you wanted or needed? These and other memories are purposefully “repressed” so that you as a person/ self may continue to exist without post-traumatic stress inhibiting your life. Yet, what if there was another way? What if instead of repressing the memories, we learn to embrace them and truly put them to rest? What if forgetting is actually the equivalent of learning to ride a bike backwards, in that it is a way to do something, but it is not the most efficient or safest way.

To sum up the past we must acknowledge what it is comprised of, namely experiences. Each and every moment of your existence in this world forms an experience. Video games actually have it correct by tying a person’s game play with “experience points”. The more time spent, the more experience earned, and thus a better future experience, but why? If you play a game and get beaten by the same character time and time again, frustration builds along with stress and discomfort. You don’t get the experience points without beating the character, so you remain in the “weakened” state. Wait… You actually do get experience points when you fail. That is where the lie of the mind begins to manifest. You experienced something discomforting, so the mind is causing you to ignore the discomfort by downplaying its significance. “She can’t keep breaking my heart, if she is just another girl”. So back to the game. You start to “believe” you are weak because you cannot beat the challenge. You start to question if should you even try, is it valuable to you to accomplish this? Is there any point for this increased discomfort? The short answer is yes and I will endeavor to explain why.

When you start the game, as in life, you are in 100% learning mode. The experience that you have is dedicated to increasing your intelligence, which in turn increases your other attributes in life. If you are smart enough, you will not damage your body at the gym. If you are smart enough to be aware, you will have better social interactions with the opposite or same sex. Over time, again like in life, challenges come and it is only through the “experience points” that you have converted into learning, are you able to overcome said challenge. The key is not in the new weapon, tool, trinket, or security item, it’s in the learning. That is the reason you make the same mistakes that you have made in the past. You did not learn, overcome the true purpose of the challenge, and acknowledge the experience necessary to continue. Each time you face the challenge you should learn something new and expand upon the “known” to increase your experience points. So, as you can see, “forgetting the past” actually hinders the learning process and stunts your experience growth. By forgetting, you force the moment to have to replay in one form or another, creating a traumatic cycle.

There is a scene in the recent Star Wars movies where the character Luke Skywalker is seen as an old man staring at the horizon. There is a longing in his soul for things of the past, it is evident in another scene where he decides to destroy ancient texts but cannot force himself to destroy the relics of the past. Now if you are reading this you might be thinking “What does Star Wars have to do with my past?” or you may be thinking “I know where this is going”.

Many fans of the first trilogy dislike Episodes 1,2,3 ,7 and 8. They claim the story is not accurate, that there is too much CGI, or make some other excuse for why they cannot relinquish their hold onto the past “experience victory” of seeing an epic story in the 30 year old originals. Yet, let’s take a moment and embrace what was said earlier. The past only brings trauma when the experience is forgotten and not embraced and learned from. In respect the first trilogy was the archetype “Hero’s Journey” where a young person grows to find he has a great legacy and must overcome great hardship to become a true hero. The prequels were the “Fall of the Savior” or what I would like to call “reality meets mythology”. The great chosen one of the Force falls and not only destroys the ones he loves, but the order he was born to save, his body, and ultimately his freedom. This story is also repeated throughout history, yet very few people like to “experience it” because it brings introspection and pain. What if what I believe is false? What if my most cherished faiths are lies or misinterpretations? What if I am the cause of my loved ones suffering?  What if the “goodness” I believe in is truly inadequate to deal with the harsh realities of this world? Society has made concessions for this. “Thou shalt not kill” unless the person is a threat to society and then it is ok. “Thou shalt not steal” unless you are a business and have a responsibility to your shareholders.

Again, these types of ideas and experiences are painful, yet they are integral to learning and experience. The most recent movies started with elements of the “Hero’s Journey” (Rey) and the “Hero’s downfall” (Kylo Ren/Ben Solo heir to the Skywalker legacy), it replayed the same concepts seen before (hint: history repeating) but then Episode 8 did something. It learned. It took what was experienced namely the “Hero’s Journey” and “Fall”, learned a new way, and changed the entire concept. Instead of a Hero who has a legacy of righteousness, we have hero with a plain past with innate untrained natural ability and no journey. Instead of the “Hero’s Fall” (a noble character forced to become corrupted) we have a character that was propelled into the fall by their righteous mentor, and ultimately accepted and embraced the fall, using it as a means for power. The righteous mentor was not wise and benevolent but cold, flawed, and broken. Oddly many fans have despised the most recent film for these steps. Ideologically these are the same people that would like to continue “riding the bike backwards”. Instead of asking, “what did I learn from this?” most just went with their immediate emotional response of discomfort and formulated their ideas around that.

This is why the past hurts you. Not because the moment is present, for it has already come and gone. The past hurts because we as human beings forget it and are forced it to repeat. A good example is how America handles mass shootings vs the rest of the world. In America the idea is “thoughts and prayers” and “talking heads formulating ideas” until the event is forgotten, which in turn forces the event to occur again because no lesson was learned, or no steps were taken to change the way you approached the challenge. The rest of the world deals with mass shootings as horrific aberrations that must be dealt with and then memorialized so they could not happen again. It’s about learning.

So, bringing this back to you the reader, how does this apply? Well, think of your most recent “painful experience”. A road rage incident, an argument with a significant other, a bad meal at a restaurant, anything that made you uncomfortable or presented a challenge to you. Then ask yourself, “what reason could there be for this event to have happened to me?” As you go through each answer, fishing in the lake of forgotten memories, don’t just ignore the uncomfortable answers. Examine the “truths” of each situation and then “responsibly” look at each perspective including your own. From that step learning is inevitable, because the adjustment of perspective and acceptance of responsibility allows the moment to become exactly what it was intended to be, a “teaching tool” to overcome future challenges. The Past is not something that happened. It is an experience to be learned from. Those who suffer from PTSD relive the trauma every day, yet very few caregivers ask, “what did you learn from the event?” Some would see that as insensitive, yet the idea isn’t to make someone relive their moment perpetually, but to review it to gain the experience that they may not have had before. We as humans never question a doctor who asks “what happened/where does it hurt?” even though the question recalls the experience of the injury to mind. Yet we often hesitate when someone is experiencing emotional pain, to ask those questions, which delve into the history of the pain. It is often stated to “let it go”, “pick yourself up and try again”, or “get back on the horse”, never truly resolving the issues that created the injury in the first place and ignoring the memory or “mind scar” that forms from the damage.

We must endeavor to re-write our personal histories by learning how to “ride the bike properly”. By training to remember the event in its fullness, instead of repression, we can then take the lessons from the moments and achieve the coveted “level up”. Instead of ignoring the pain, explore it, embrace it, then use it to make yourself or someone else better. The past does not mean looking backwards, it means learning from experiences so that you do not repeat them. Then you must do like Star Wars and change, not repeating the same stories and actions as before but creating a new story moving  toward the last direction in our series, the future.

Advertisements

Posted September 26, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Polarization – How to Return to Center Part 3: Rise   Leave a comment

Rise

To ascend upward. The idea of being on the ground is connected to enslavement; we are “bound” by gravity. The idea of flight is one of the most desired super abilities, one that man has been trying to make a reality for 1000s of years until recently with the advent of the airplane. If you are just joining this series, welcome. Hopefully you will find the information within enlightening and engaging. The series is focused on the cardinal directions, but not North, South, East, and West. It is focused on the 3rd dimensional aspects of our mental reality, geometrically speaking; Downward, Upward, Past, and Future. The last topic focused on the downward side (depression, depravity, despair, and destruction)  and how those aspects, while disagreeable to most, are essential for the development of the persona of a person. It is a healthy dose of realism, that things are not always great and that it will not always be alright.

Now we will look upward towards encouragement. Well, not encouragement in the socio defined term of positive affirmations but in the psychological. People often mistake positivity for goodness and ascension. We attribute our heroes and deities as characters that can, by their good nature, rise above our state. The Gods and Heroes of Mount of Olympus, Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Superman, etc. These are cultural reference points to the idea that good things go higher while bad things descend. Unfortunately this type of thinking is false. People often look to leaders as people risen to power while knowingly ignoring the failings of moral character said leaders possess to achieve those positions. A good example is the President of the United States, a man who currently has had 3 wives and multiple affairs, yet is embraced by the evangelical aspect of American culture whose core teachings state “thou shalt not commit adultery”. So, what does it really mean to rise or ascend? What is the goal and how does one achieve the goal if it is achievable?

Enlightenment is defined as the state of having knowledge and understanding. Oddly this has nothing to do with being a “better or worse” person. Yet billions of people in the world attribute this quality to being a better human being and to ascension. Humanity, as a whole, is still primitive. We as a species still relate meta-physical experiences and ideas to physical interpretations. Light is good because it helps us see the animals hunting us in the dark. The light in the day comes from the Sun which is high in the sky above us and goes over our head. So light equals being above ( fun fact: humans have amazingly low light perception and can effectively see no matter where a light source is placed in our vicinity, yet as a cultural norm lights are always placed above in the idea that it maximizes vision). Light is attributed as good and above and thus correlates to being higher and greater than ourselves. Yet again, this is a false belief, one that most religions and sociocultural documents have proven so. Light can come from within and so can the attributes we aspire externally. So now that we have removed the positive illusion of light is high and right, lets focus on actual ascension.

To ascend one must simply start from their current plane of existence and move to one level higher. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, one of the secrets of the universe!! How do you become a better mom, husband, employee, boss, parent, driver, lover, fighter?  Start where you are and do what you are doing but at a higher level. I can hear what you are thinking, how can it be that easy? Well it is. In math to go from 1st dimension to 2nd requires the ever so impossible task of placing a second point on a piece of paper and drawing a line between the two dots. The idea that ascension is difficult is only a mental boundary of our own design. The Wright brothers wanted to fly as did DaVinci and others, so they removed the boundaries that prevented them from achieving ascension. The same can be done for you. Now, a trick that they used was the realization that they could not change themselves, rather, they could change their possibilities and parameters. No human can fly without aid and that fact limits most people from looking at other possibilities of achieving the goal.

Ascension is about goals. We use the term “rise up to meet the challenge”, yet the direction is irrelevant. Sometimes the challenge is a 30 min drive every morning through bad traffic. Sometimes it is attempting to read a book while focusing on the children in the other room. None of these activities require the removal of gravity. They require fortitude and the will to achieve the goal. In essence the way to ascend is to have the will and fortitude to do so. To make a change in whom you are at the moment to a better version of yourself. If you smoke, beginning the process of quitting. If you don’t read books, go to the library and get audible books. In the end, it is about looking at yourself and thinking “what level am I at now? How can I increase that level?” The techniques for success are as varied as the 7.5 billion people that exist on the planet. Right now there are over 2 billion Christians wanting to be “like Jesus” yet ironically Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12. Even Jesus understood that ascension was not about where you are, it’s about where you could potentially go. So even when you become “like Jesus” or “like Buddha” realize that you can even go higher, ascend and make yourself one step better. Remember there is no limit to true ascension and thus no limit to self-improvement, only your will to change and the fortitude to maintain those changes.

Posted August 27, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Polarization: How to Return to Center Part 2 – Downward Spiral   Leave a comment

“Wait, I thought these were supposed to be positive and beneficial?”

 

You dear reader presumed wrong. Each direction may be beneficial if applied correctly to the present moment circumstance for which you find yourself in, yet they will not always be positive. This particular discussion will definitely not be positive.

 

Embrace the pain

 

Pain, nature’s catalyst for change. If one hurts, one either ignores the hurt (which usually leads to an increase in pain) or one must remove the stimulus. Picture the sting of a bee, the stinger pierces the skin and releases toxins letting the damaged area know that all things are not as they should be. Yet, in the pain and confusion it must be recognized that the bee has most likely just sacrificed its life in its final act of protection. So how does this apply to depression, darkness, immorality, and the most depraved aspects of human nature? Quiet simply actually. The stinger represents our violence and survival instinct. The piercing of skin represents destruction of the calm and normal. The releasing of toxins are the poisons we consume, that trigger a reaction that the body is in peril. Finally death, which really needs no explanation.

So let’s move downward into the dark. The shadows of our psyches. Why do we commit “evil” acts? If “evil” is not pleasurable in some way why do we repeat those actions?  An example is being burned. While getting burned is not “evil”, the action creates a response that indicates that it is not pleasurable and unwelcome. Yet, these responses do not apply when someone does something perceived as evil. They do not find the experience difficult in the least, actually in most cases it is the opposite. The spouse that cheats breaks a “moral or societal code”, but does not usually have impotence in the act of sexual relations with someone else. The thief does not find that their hands do not work when they are about to steal something. Yet, if you take your own or someone else’s hand and place it closer to a fire, instinctively there is a retraction of movement. The mind can determine what is positive and negative for the body due to instinct and experience, thus actions perceived as negative or dark by others, may or may not be truly so.

 

Embrace the impulse

 

This inherently means that the “dark impulses” are only “dark” because society deems them so. A person who kills another is not immediately struck dead upon completion of the act. So these impulses that we experience are not dark or light. They are basic and natural, desire produces theft, love and lust manifest into adultery, our instinctive creative and destructive protocols manifest murder.

With all of this being said, should one embrace every impulse they perceive? Analytical study (http://time.com/110864/how-poor-planning-and-being-impulsive-can-lead-to-big-wins-in-life/ ) has shown us that actions are neither “good nor evil” but instead are successful or unsuccessful. Once again “History favors the victors” regardless of “right or wrong”. So it is not our actions that are evil only the perception of our actions by others.

“So, how does that apply to me being depressed?” In sum it means that your actions are not good or evil. It means that you, as a person can further explore without the stigmatized guilt of external bias. So let’s explore the darkness….

 

Embrace the emotions

 

Anger, frustration, desperation, confusion, anguish, lust, ambivalence, some would perceive those emotions as indicators of shadow or darkness. Unfortunately this is not so. The Shadow or Darkness is not present, it is not visible. All of those emotions listed have some external cue by which they can be identified. When someone is in darkness, that is not so. Someone in darkness has embraced the shadowed and repressed aspects of their nature. They understand that they possess aspects of themselves that are counter to the perceived image and they are comfortable with that. The husband and wife who engage in BDSM or “open marriage” are an example. The “white hat” hacker who hacks to catch other hackers is another example.

It is the person who can strengthen their resolve, look in the mirror, acknowledge the face that is there, and look deeper to the face that is not. Nietzsche stated “beware looking into the abyss, for it may look back at you”. I would like to posit another idea, “use caution when looking into the abyss, but know what you are looking  for.” Use the drug, but be completely aware of the side effects and have a plan in case those effects occur. Indulge the urge to kill, but do so constructively, by eliminating a pestilent species, game hunting, or through video games. Steal, but take things without substance and use them to create ideas that others may take and expound upon.

Embrace your sadness, for it gives you time to appreciate your joy and it allows you the necessary process of grieving an experience. Embrace Death, but do so by speaking to those terminally ill and at “Death’s door”. Understand the lessons that dying can teach the living and use those experiences to view your own life. Embrace lust and rage, but use them to create a better version of yourself. Learn self-defense or a better love making technique with your partner. Dwell in and embrace your shadow, let its unconscious solitude and insight guide your conscious actions. Sit in a dark room and let the absence of light enhance your other senses.

The darkness is not cold or warm. It is who you are. The things you hide. The ideas you enjoy, but are taboo. Note: I am not advocating doing anything illegal. What is being suggested is to experience your full self, blessings and curses. Only then can you move in the next direction of experience.

Posted July 23, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Polarization: How to Return to Center Part 1   1 comment

Lately there’s been a vast chaos within our society. It has come to the point where normal people cannot and will not maintain a level of civility when faced with or discussing the most critical of subjects. This change, a variation of chaos, has mutated society so much that even the most basic ideas become partisan, divisive, and perceived as antagonistic.

Due to these chaotic changes the next few blog topics will be focused on direction. If you are a continuous reader of this blog, then you are in for a treat. What I will do for the next few posts is define direction in such a way that the ideas expressed by yourself and others can be; placed in a particular direction, understood through the others’ perspective, and quantified in such a way that the reality of other perspectives are not dismissed, but instead understood and embraced to a certain extent.

Now let’s look at chaos. What most people may not know is the symbol for chaos is a point with arrows going in all directions. The idea is that all paths are open, are always available, and any and all things are acceptable. In some ways that is the ultimate freedom, yet in other ways it can breed a sense of destruction and insecurity. Chaos breeds change as it forces ideas to come forth from the stagnant waters of apathy, but there is a price for that change and the price is fear, uncomfortability, and loss of the known.

Understanding direction (with respect to chaos) is to recognize that all directions are available and all directions are open. Contrarily however, we as beings seek and crave order. Yet, too much order and we have a tyranny, too much chaos and we have anarchy. Thus, we as a people are charged with finding a harmonious balance. This extends from the macrocosm of life, politics, and social settings down to our individual psychological, physical, and spiritual nature. Everything from craving food to the discipline of reading a book is a balance of chaos and order. Society at this point is pushing for chaos. Our lives are pushing towards chaos and that isn’t always a bad thing. It is change being thrust upon us so that something better can come about. The chaos of a wildfire that burns and destroys acres and acres of land prepares the land for the coming growth of new trees, new life, and new species to inhabit that area forming a new order.

So let’s look at directions. When most people think of directions they focus on north, south, east, and west. These are the cardinal directions which most, if not all of us are taught as children. It is only when we get to higher learning when we understand that direction actually extends far beyond four directions and moves into a myriad of others. For the purpose of these excerpts we will be focusing on upward, downward, past, and future with a special emphasis on centering oneself in the present. Each post will highlight and discuss some of the aspects of these different directions and how we can achieve fluid movement in all directions. Not exactly chaos, but a balance and order within the chaos.

Looking forward one must be able to center themselves in the present moments. If someone in today’s society were to look around focusing on where they are now they would see information overload, stimulation overload, and life overload. We as human beings have neglected the very balance of nature within ourselves in the pursuit of chaotic and unsure things. We eat and consume not for nourishment but for desire. We sleep less than our ancestors did which in turn has decreased certain mental capacities. We have information that bleeds into our very awareness all of the time and science has shown us that our brains do not stop when we are asleep. In actuality some areas of the brain are more active during sleep producing more neuronal firings of bio-electrical signals.

So what does the center look like? There are hundreds if not thousands of books, shows, self-help seminars, and speakers more than willing to guide people to the center of themselves. Which by the way is the equivalent of someone guiding food into your mouth. You, the reader, are the only person that can determine your center. Due to the nature of perception, it is only from the reality of the individual that a center can be established. If a person is to the left or to the right they are not to the left or to the right, they are in their “Center”. This brings a new understanding when dealing or discussing various political or social issues with someone who is not of the same perception as yourself. The political and social ramification of ignoring someone’s center places everyone into categories and labels to which they may or may not belong.

So how does one achieve a center or being centered? The truth is no one knows. Religion and by extension politics and social ideologies are all founded upon bringing someone to a center of balance in their life. Yet, none of these systems are factual in their representation. ***Note I did not say they were false, I stated they were not factual in that, if their messages were tested multiple times under multiple conditions, would the results remain the same? The answer to that historically has been a no. There is no religion, social or political system that has solved all of the world’s problems even though all three preach or teach the ability to resolve conflict and ease suffering.

Now, if you can’t look to religion, societal systems, or political systems, how do find your own personal center in life? While there is no definitive solution there are individual solutions which require self-introspection, self-awareness, humility, and the ability to view oneself as something that is part of a greater mechanism. These tools have been used by countless leaders, gurus, and prophets.

Self-introspection, or the ability to look at oneself and see your flaws, your strengths, your weaknesses, and inevitably your purpose, is not easy. It requires that one must be truthful to oneself. For most people they have been lied to all of their lives so much that the lies become their individual truths. They ignore the obvious and blatant signs from themselves of their own capabilities and look to others for validation and appreciation. When that validation and appreciation is absent various negative consequences appear. Depression, alcohol and drug use, erratic behavior, and to a certain extent social psychological disorders can be linked in some parts to these ideas of the self. Shakespeare’s stated ” to thine own self be true”, a fact eerily absent 400 years later with the advent of social media. Now society is the individual and the individual has become an entertainment for the society. There is a lack of self-reflection because when one is reflecting there are various followers and friends that may expound upon that reflection. Returning again to the original point, one cannot find their center from another perspective.

Self-awareness, or the ability to be fully conscious of who you are and what your purpose is. For many people, the question of “who am I?” and “what is my purpose in life?” is the driving force for most of their lives. The constant strive for an ideal person, usually molded by external perceptions of other heroes, is the motivating factor for why people exist in the way and lifestyle that they do. The idea of a “hero”, or someone that is perceived to have a better life, is critical to development, yet the fundamental stage of “hero death” is not embraced. “Hero death” is the point in one’s life when one surpasses the need for a hero and ultimately removes that stimulus as a driving force. This is critical for one to achieve self-awareness because it forces someone to come out of the shadow and become their own hero.

Finding the center is hard, yet it is inherently achievable as long as we never lose the idea that “our center is an individual goal”. It can only be achieved by focusing on oneself and maintaining the individual ideas without outside perceptions.

Disillusion   Leave a comment

“Disillusion”

Recently a rock group known as “A Perfect Circle” released a song on their latest album, Eat the Elephant. The song is called “Disillusioned” and a link will be provided at the end of this post for viewing. In the song and video, society had largely been reduced to blank consumers. Entities with numbers, whose only purpose was to absorb information or products, foolishly believing that they were in control of their lives and destinies.

Now I know what you are thinking. “I’m not like that, I work, I take my kids to school, I socialize with friends, I control my life to a moderate extent”. However, I would pose to you, where is your cellphone? Your laptop? How far away is a TV from you? How connected are you? The irony is one of those  “connection devices” is likely how you are reading  this , so, after reading this go outside day or night and count to 200. It is a small, yet reasonable way to be in the moment and disconnect from technology.

Now let’s look at the issues. What are we connected to? Where is this connection taking us? How are we connected? Finally, what can be done to minimize or eliminate the “connections”? Notice I did not pose “why”. Personally I feel “why” does not have a direct answer to any questions posed therein, thus “why” is not used. We are here to find questions and solutions, not go in metaphorical circles.

What are we connected to? Media, each other, the internet, the planet, a myriad of things in this cosmos, yet our direct attention is attuned to the machinations of recent technological developments. We use MYSPACE, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Pinterest and others to communicate ideas, express personal feelings, receive validation, challenge society, find jobs, cook food and ultimately organize our lives. There are apps for everything from music to schedules, babies to homework, stocks and games. The reality is the majority of the western world has skipped past personal and physical development in favor of technological gain. Instead of going to a restaurant and trying the food, we read Yelp to find out how many stars the restaurant gets, in turn the restaurant has to spend money on social media marketing or risk losing customers and revenue. Experience is traded for information, which in turn creates a “lack” of pure individual experience.

Real life experiences are eschewed for virtual reality in ways our ancestors could never dream and that has permeated into every aspect of our lives. There are very few teenagers without phones and social media accounts, and the ones without them are often ostracized among their peers. Society has changed significantly in roughly 30 years with the major catalyst being technology. So what are we connected to? Everything like never before. The intimate  thoughts of a Syrian refuge hiding from a death squad is now a daily blog to be read over a cup of coffee in a free Wi-Fi café while you also get a notification from your social media feed that someone you know is getting married and you are invited. This is the new reality, a Pavlovian society where every time a bell rings everyone checks their phone to see if it is them, while consciously ignoring the tragedies viewed daily. Where the worst thing that could happen is a dead battery or an un-responded message. Where you are not judged by the content of your character, but by the likes of the content of your media persona. Anyone can become famous and the dopamine high from multiple people providing validation is exactly what the system is designed to do.

Thus we have a system that that plays upon human behavior like an orchestra, combining highs and lows to further entrance anyone connected.  Yet where is this connection taking us? Some have speculated to a point called the “Technological Singularity”. Technological Singularity is the point where Artificial Intelligence (AI) surpasses human intelligence and machines become “aware”. In the movies Terminator and the Matrix, it was this “singularity” that alters human civilization forever. It was at this point AI was greater than human intelligence and could make better, more logical decisions without human direction or input. It seems like a movie, yet with current advancements science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact. Companies have created humanoid robots that can completely mimic facial structure and speech patterns. Other companies have compiled data into household robots that can do anything from ordering food to sending emails, sometimes without your permission. In the movies this lead to subjugation by AI systems, either by eliminating vast sums of human population or slavery and farming systems whereby humanity survived yet was neutered. There are a few possibilities of peaceful coexistence, yet given humanities propensity for destruction, would it really be so hard to believe a higher thinking system, for its own survival, would not see humanity as a potential threat and attempt to resolve the issue?

All of this would not be possible without the vast amounts of pictures, stories, locations, and other bits of information constantly being “shared”. Oddly the very benevolent act of sharing may potentially hold the seeds of human civilization’s downfall. Yet, this is not all doom and gloom. The artificial intelligence may scour the billions of terabytes of data and see the beauty in humanity, its ability to come together in tragedies, its ability to create art and stories. Maybe, with hope, humanity can improve itself so that the better parts are clearly visible instead of the hate, mistreatment, and injustice that exists currently.

How are we, how are you connected to all of this? Well that one is obvious. Yet what is not obvious is usage. Technology is a tool; the question is how do you use the tool?  Is it the Swiss Army knife of your life, fixing every perceived flaw? Is it the hammer and nails building the bridge to your future, or connecting you to members of your past? The question is personal, so the answer is as well, thus it requires brutal honesty and an understanding of the potential consequences. There is nothing wrong with connecting, it is neither good nor evil, however it is what you do with that connection that makes the difference. Do you sow the seeds of confusion that a later intelligence will perceive as a threat or do you share love and compassion which highlights the greatness of humanity?

Improvements:

  1. Have your phone or technological devices plugged and charged outside the bedroom, if possible. Studies have shown that sleeping with the devices near you sets your brain in a receive mode instead of a rest mode. You are listening for a buzz or notification bell instead of enjoying silence. Have one place where technology cannot reach you.

  2. Go outside. Actually do something outside which requires you to move, think, and be in the moment. Every moment must be experienced, but not necessarily shared. This will help build personal memory when you have to actively recall an experience rather than refer to a picture in your phone. Most people only have experiences so they can show off (not share) to other people how exciting their life is, but in the capturing of the moment are they even really living in that experience?

  3. Know your neighbors. Learn the neighborhood you live in. Walk a few blocks on your day off and see what restaurants, stores, houses, and people are near you. Sometimes things are actually closer than you think and walking gives your mind time to unclutter and enjoy the journey. There is something to be gained from the joy of reaching your destination and enjoying the experience of being in your destination. Shopping becomes more essential because you can only carry so much and you may or may not have the energy to spend hours coveting things you do not need. The walking routine will help with physical issues and alleviate stress. It can also help you meet new neighbors and get acquainted with old ones, remember not everything is shared online and sometimes just talking to someone can reveal a need you may be uniquely able to solve. (This works because this is how humans communicated and solved problems for thousands of years)

All is not lost, disillusion is only temporary. Connecting isn’t negative as long as you remember that it is a tool. So when you log in learn quality information. Check the news, but pick a country and read theirs as well. When you check your pictures, find an art website and look at what new artists are doing. After you are finished reading this, go outside and count to 200. That’s 3.2 minutes of your life, but who knows what experience you will see, hear, smell, and feel when you unplug.

 

Tempest: How to Manage Habituation   Leave a comment

“Turning in circles, been caught in a stasis
The ancient arrival, cut to the end
I’d like to be taken apart from the inside
Then spit through the cycle right to the end.” Tempest Deftones

 

Habituation: the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus.

 

Wake up. Get Dressed. Eat. Go to work. Come home from work. Get Food. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. This is the basic repetitive cycle for 70-80 % of human beings on the planet. Humans are creatures of habit. We adapt to changes in stimuli and assimilate those changes to the point they are no longer abnormal. Habituation. So the question is how do we escape? Should we escape, considering that every human shares the same characteristics for a reason? Is there a balance between frequently repetitive stimuli and dramatic stimuli that prescribes change and evolution?

“Stuck in a Rut”

The idea that your life is on autopilot and that you have no real stimuli in your life to motivate you, is the most common feeling of people who work defined hours over a years or decades. The idea of being a slave to the system of order day in and day out, is repugnant to most, but why? Some would say there is a lack of stimulation. Stimulation is the catalyst for change and without it potential energy builds. So let us address the aspect of energy, potential and kinetic.

Most people who have complain of complacency feel tired, exhausted, or worn down. They feel they do not have the energy, the will to manifest a change, even though they know it is required. This feeling of lethargy is a manifestation of “potential” energy. Law of Conservation of Energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant — it is said to be conserved over time, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed from one form to another. So the potential energy that exists in your life is actually the same kinetic energy that changed you to become who you are. So the “rut” isn’t really a “rut”. It is a recharging point, building and conserving the energy needed to go further. So embrace the potential, observe the common, and enjoy mediocrity, for what comes next is change.

“Brace for the glory”

People fear what they do not understand and no one understands change. The alternative to the lethargic, boring pace of day to day life is kinetic. It is the movement of life beyond what a person believes they can handle. You lose the job, get into an accident, your spouse leaves or cheats, the children are causing problems, or the ultimate change “Death” visits your home. Your life becomes a tempest. It is “moving day”. Everything and everyone must go and there seems to be no control in what goes where. It is terrifying and disjointing, yet beautiful and cathartic. While in the moments the changes invoke fear and confusion, yet looking at them in hindsight, the changes were “not so bad” and possibly beneficial to you. Returning to the concept of energy, the changes are not as chaotic as they appear in the moments.

“An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted upon by unbalanced force” Sir Isaac Newton. So an unbalanced force changes your state from potential “stuck in a rut” to kinetic “my life is chaos”. Yet, if we look, the “unbalancing force” isn’t that strange or foreign. It is usually currently connected to us in some way. It is the dramatic example to shake us from our apathy, created by the very same potential force that sustains said apathy. So in essence the Tempest is our own creation, manifested by our dormant will to invoke change.

Hamster Wheel of Life

So we need both? Yes.

One propels and propagates the other. As the song says “turning in circles, been caught in a stasis”, which is an apt metaphor, it’s a beautiful cycle that is lost upon the most. The wheel is turning only because you are moving it, when you stop it’s your energy that is propelling it onward. You desire direct control and, if you consider all of the factors involved, you have it. Yet, people still feel lost on the wheel. This self-contained system confuses and bewilders some, but how or why?

Lost in self. People have the ability to become so consumed with the actions they propagate that they become lost in their own mind. The hunter that is so obsessed with the hunt for food he forgets to eat. The woman, who takes care of her entire family, yet falls to exhaustion because she did not take care of herself. The wheel is turning only because you are running on it. Do not forget that in your daily steps. “I turn the wheel with my will. I am the determiner of my path and destiny. If I choose I determine where my energy should go or lay dormant and growing. I did not create the wheel, but I am the master of it.”

Posted March 15, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

The Equation   Leave a comment

Intention + Attention + Action = Manifestation

We all know the equation from “The Secret”, Tony Robbins, or any other self help book. It’s understood that focusing one’s will toward a goal, will inevitably yield the results of said goal. It is understood that dedication, effort, and some faith will result in the impossible becoming quite clearly probable. So why should you read this article? Because this is an article about the manifestation.

What to do when you score the goal. What do you do when you achieved the partner, job, dream you spent years working and searching for. You reached the mountain top, now what? For many people this induces a slight level of depression. “My goal is achieved, what is my purpose? Can I find new purpose?”.

Manifestation leads to exaltation, yet with that comes depression, for one cannot have a high without a low. Sometimes it is brief period (moments at best, days to weeks at worst). You’ve won, now what? From pregnancy to lottery winners, it’s all the same.

Consciously the mind searches and pleads for answers. It surveys the landscape. Is there a new task? Unknown. Can the old task be repeated?  If yes, then the mind readies itself by replaying the previous task mentally and searches for ways to improve. If no, well that opens a new level, a new door to be “painted black”.

The old quest is completed. How do I refresh, revitalize, and recover? In the US military, after each mission, the unit does an After Action Review (AAR). The AAR highlights the success and failures in the mission, yet it also offers a secret gift very few notice consciously. It offers “closure”.

Closure is the next step after manifestation. “It is finished.” Accepting that the labor, task, or dream is completed, that it cannot ever be done again. You cannot reverse time, you cannot restitch fate, “what is done is done”. That is the key to avoiding the dreaded lows of success, accept the victory with the defeats of the process. Accept that the person who started the journey is gone and a new person has grown in their place. Once that acceptance comes, the next step is as natural as it is inevitable. “I’m a new being, so I’m going to do something new”.

That “ new thing” is unknown and that’s great!! It’s an unexplored level of yourself, heretofore unconceived. You didn’t experience, months before, the understanding of being at the top of the mountain, now you have. It is in the past and the present self has new abilities the previous didn’t. So the process begins again, but before it begins, celebrate your victory and losses. Come together and have an AAR with your current and previous self. Attain closure and then ask yourself, who am i now that i I was not before? Then do what the new you has to do.

Intention + Attention + Action = Manifestation

                                                                                        Closure

Posted February 12, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized