Tag Archives: future

The ELEVENTH HOUR

11th hour sized

In drafting “Do You Have the Time?” I brainstormed all the possible ways this seemingly simple question can be taken (and mistaken). Different interpretations yield significantly different answers.

I also browsed for clip art clock faces to illustrate my point. Coincidentally, the one I chose adds yet another perspective, giving the question a deeper, philosophical meaning: “Do you know what time it is in your life?”

What stage of personal evolution / growth are you going through now? From a larger, historical perspective, what point in its life cycle is your business, nation or even the world experiencing today?

The pictured clock face shows the stage many say the world is now in: its eleventh hour.

Even then, there are different views as to the best way to respond to being at the eleventh hour in human history. The cliché is currently used to mean “running out of time, at the very last minute, or almost too late.”

But biblical origins of the cliché offer an alternative viewpoint. In Matthew 20: 2-16, laborers hired at the last, eleventh hour worked for only an hour. But at the end of the day, they received the same reward as those hired early in the morning, who had worked all day.

Christ’s parable of the eleventh hour epitomizes the hope humans have in God’s compassionate mercy. It’s never to late to change. It’s not over til it’s over.

(Of course, there is no such thing as coincidence.)

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Do You Have the Time?

Early this morning, I was startled awake by a cell phone alert. The power was out – for a second time. The first outage occurred over night. I was still asleep, so didn’t know the difference.

Roommates who commute long-distance to work got started just before the electric garage door came to a standstill. (They don’t know how to open it manually.)

Emergency protocols immediately kicked into place. I reached out in the dark for my wind-up flashlight. It was where it should be, on top of the disabled alarm clock. It supplied enough light to find a second, larger LED flashlight. It too was where I expected, on my work desk next to the powerless computer. I made my way carefully down the pitch black stairwell.

Next: get the battery-run lanterns out of storage. In one, the D-cells had gone dead. Look for back-ups.

Fortunately, there’s a battery-run wall clock by the main office door that keeps accurate time. Which is the subject of this post. “Do you have the time?”

Have you ever thought about how many different ways there are to answer this seemingly simple question, “Do you have the time?” My smart-mouthed high school friends, for example, would have answered, “If you have the nerve.”

The most straight-forward response is to look at a time-piece and give a literal answer. It’s 6:30 in the morning.

Alternative answers go along the lines of, I don’t have enough time . . . . to get the many tasks that need doing done well . . . to take care of my health . . . to check in on elderly relatives. Etc. etc.

Philosophical answers might include regret for the shortness and uncertainty of life. “Here today. Gone tomorrow.” Or, as the carved and painted wood plaque over my Grandfather’s fireplace mantle put it, “We get too soon old, and too late smart.”

Which brings me back to the point where I left off in the last post, “Rethinking Our Common Humanity:”

While we all have the option to remember who we truly are, most of us are like Lambert, the sheepish lion. It takes a smack with a two-by-four upside the head before we’re finally ready to WAKE UP.

Often it takes the form of life-threatening danger to those we care for. A personal health crisis will also do the trick. So will job loss or a run-in with natural disaster. But, like Dorothy stranded in the Land of Oz, when you want dearly enough to return “home,” you can click your heels whenever you chose — and come to find out, you’re already there.

Most of us live as if today will last forever. We prefer to live in the moment. In part, this is a good thing. The mindful focus of a “Be here and now” attitude allows us to savor our immediate blessings.

However . . . on the other hand, heedless lack of foresight can have extremely dangerous consequences.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow add up, inevitably sneaking up from behind like a thief in the night when least expected. (And not just a temporary power outage like this morning. Think Pompeii.)

Impending disasters, even those right before our eyes like handwriting on the wall, can catch the unprepared off guard, robbing them of the precious time which could have been used to wake up from their deep soul sleep and re-member who they truly are.

I understand. Given today’s economy, many have little choice but to live hand-to-mouth. Check-to-pay-(or welfare)-check. Even the well-off who could afford to prepare are besieged with putting out day-to-day fires — or by other glittery distractions.

There’s no time or energy reserved for assessing possible risks. It’s not a priority to think through “If / Then” preparedness scenarios.

I find it most peculiar that even Millennials, who have grown up fluent in computer-driven technology, usually don’t apply if / then computer logic to their personal decision-making and daily behavior. This makes them even more ill-equipped than their elders to cope realistically with sudden change.

For example, in a personal email sent in response to “Give Millennials an App for Their Inner Compass,” Tom Richards detailed his frustration with Millennials:

I live in NJ where Hurricane Sandy hit dead center. Devastation like you would not believe. No power in most of the state for over 8 days. Here are actual examples which I came across immediately following the storm . . .

1. An hour after the storm ended, early in the morning, a car load of kids in their mid-twenties got stuck in a washed out piece of road in front of my house. No power, of course, and trees down everywhere. When the kiddies came to my door to ask to call for a tow truck, I had to laugh. When I asked them why the hell they were out on the roads, in their PJ’s none the less, immediately after the storm of the century, I got this. “We don’t have power and want coffee and breakfast. We are going to WaWa to get some.” Didn’t even dawn on them that if they have no power, and the state has no power, the WaWa doesn’t have power. Nor did it dawn on them that with the storm and devastation, that the people who work at WaWa would not be able to go there and open it for them.

2. Three days later the local farmers market opened, even though they only had power to keep the refrigerated items going. No power within 3 counties at this point. A young couple who lives two doors down needed food. Went to the market and came home empty handed. They had no cash, and the store was obviously only able to take cash. They pay for everything with their debit cards. Never dawned on them to have some cash around for emergencies and things like this. They were mad that the store wouldn’t sell them anything nor that they couldn’t take the debit card. It also is interesting that they never even thought to prepare even though warnings were given over and over.

3. My daughter and her friends were hungry. Her friends hadn’t had a hot meal in days. Plus, it had gotten cold and most had no heat. They came over to our house. Saw we were using my wood stove in the music studio to cook on and stay warm. It never dawned on them (or their parents, which frightened me) to use their BBQ propane grill or make a fire to cook with nor to build a fire in their yards to at least get a bit warm.

4. Just about every traffic light was out, and roads were blocked by either police or downed trees. I cannot tell you how many younger people stopped in front of my house when they saw me there to ask me how to get to a certain place, and also how many could not understand when I gave them road names where those roads were. . . .

What most amazes me is that repeatedly, after each disaster, whether natural or man-made, in media interviews, the “victims” chant the same mantra. “It was a WAKE UP CALL.” But life goes on. After the initial shock wears off, people get mired once again in the routines of daily living. And they forget. They go back to sleep.

We aren’t changing! And time is running out. As the late computer leader-innovator Steve Jobs poignantly observed:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Time is a blessing and a luxury. None of us knows how much time we have left to WAKE UP, think, prepare, and perhaps survive whatever is to come.

Commenting on “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game,” Peter Fellingham gave his opinion:

Another reason why people avoid critical thinking is because it usually results in significant introspection. Introspection tends to make clear the responsibility the individual has for the resolution of their own troubles.

I answered back:

Peter, you’ve pinpointed the blind spot in curriculum — the information deficit of which I speak. Clear & critical thinking isn’t often taught in schools, nor are problem-solving tools provided as essential basics. They should be.

Then there’s the question of motivation. Requires a carrot & stick approach. The stick is awareness that laziness comes with horrific consequences. The carrot is assurance of the benefits which accrue to living a self-responsible life.

In part, people often avoid issues they find too fearful to face. If there truly are no better options, and only dangerous consequences, keeping still is an understandable choice. However, if better options ARE available, then making them known and available is an important first step in positive change. That’s what I’m working to accomplish.. . .

So, if you and/or those you lead and care for have been avoiding introspection, if you’ve been ignoring the warning signs and denying fears for the future, waiting for dangers to miraculously disappear and problems to be solved without effort, it’s time to take the striking two-by-four hint from escalating wake-up calls worldwide.

It may be a matter of survival to rethink priorities while there’s still precious time left to do so. Ask, If not now, when?

And consider the likelihood that the life / family / organization you save may be not only yours, but those of generations to come.

How Can I Be More Clear?

Whenever I tweet Einstein’s warning — “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive” — Twitter followers favorite and retweet it. But it seems as if anything longer is too much for the majority with little time (and/or short attention spans).

So here — in pictures and bullet points of 140 characters (or less) — is a summary of my work:

  • Paradigms (ideas, beliefs) rouse emotions, which in turn fuel the actions which generate results.
  • Complete and correct paradigms result in positive emotions and lead to well-being in every area of life.
  • Incomplete, dysfunctional paradigms fragment the mind/body. They result in misery and failure across the board.
  •  Tampering with the consequences of dysfunctional paradigms doesn’t help.
  • Restoring a positive paradigm is the basic first necessary step in generating positive change.

HERE IS THE COMPLETE AND CORRECT POSITIVE PARADIGM OF CHANGE:

PPoC Wheel

  •  This mandala picture repeats in artworks throughout the ages, worldwide. It is the basic archetype of the human psyche.
  •  It embodies the timeless basics, consistent with what Aldus Huxley called the “perennial philosophy.”
  • It is also compatible with the philosophy of the Book of Change, the Chinese I Ching.
  • The PPoC places the three variables of Einstein’s formula of energy conversion into the concentric circles of a wheels-within-wheels model.
  •  The PPoC embodies the Unified Theory which Einstein sought, and ironically already had, but for lack of yoga wisdom, didn’t know it.
  •  The PPoC is a worldview which answers Joseph Campbell’s call for a way to recognize the humanity of a man on the other side of the globe.
  •  This model of change is equally compatible with ancient yoga, the world’s enduring religions, and modern physics.
  • It mirrors the basic structure of natural creation, from the atom’s rings around a nucleus to planets revolving around the sun.
  •  The center of the wheel is the unchanging source of life. We emanate from and return to this eternal source.
  • The PPoC is the picture of human completion. Each individual contains all the potentials of the entire universe.
  • To the extent we have forgotten this, we bring misery and destruction upon ourselves and others.
  • We are bent out of shape in countless ways. Levels are dissociated, unbalanced, unprioritized or even cut out entirely.

HERE IS A PICTURE of WAYS in WHICH the PPoC WHEEL of LIFE IS DISTORTED:

 

0 Bent out of shape

  • To reverse this process, re-member and restore our True Selves, self-actualizing potential, is each person’s primary personal responsibility.
  • Lasting, enduring change begins only from the inside out, and one person at a time.
  • The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives the step-by-step method for initiating this positive change.
  • At this critical point in history, human survival can no longer be taken for granted.
  • As Einstein warned, “We will require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”
  • The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives the method for cultivating this new manner of “thinking like a genius,” making theory REAL.
  • Millennials, who have little vested interest in prevailing dysfunctional paradigms, are our best hope of the future.

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Sometimes I get discouraged. (Today especially.) Current events seem to parallel the story of Noah, who prepared to face immanent danger alone in his calling.

I begin to doubt whether it’s worth the time and personal anguish to keep writing. It seems as if, no matter what I say or do, people will persist in ignoring every wake-up call, heedlessly scurrying about their daily errands as if blocking out anything/everything they’re afraid to face will prevent the unthinkable from happening to them.

But then I remember the words from the end of Schindler’s List that have become my mantra, “To Save One Life Is To Save the World Entire.” In PPoC context, each of us IS a universe complete. This Talmudic saying is literally true. So I continue to write, passionately hoping that the life which could be saved is yours.

Do humanity a favor. Reblog and share this message of hope with those you love and wish well, as I do.

When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?

Whenever I hear how addicted Millennials are to their iPods, social media friends and electronic war games, I cringe. It reminds me of the biblical story about handwriting on the wall. As I recall, in ancient times, a mysterious message magically appeared on a decadent palace wall, writ large by an invisible hand in a script unknown to King Belshazzar or his corrupt cronies. To those able to decipher such warnings, however, it predicted the ruler’s extinction.

Millennials are touted as the golden children of progress. “They’re the last best hope for our future,” I hear you say. That’s the rumor, anyway.

But there’s another rumor. Ever hear the maxim, “Whatever has a front has a back?” It continues, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” It’s another way of saying, “Every coin has two sides.”

In this case, let’s ask, “On the day when the lights go out, what would happen to wiz kids dependent on their electronic toys? What use would their extreme investment in computer skills be then?” The logical answer: None. Zip. They’d be helpless and useless.

Nor is this scenario as unlikely as most would hope. Look at the decrepit condition of overworked national grid systems. Consider the frequently threatened possibility of hostile cyber attacks.

I have a powerful memory of the night the lights went out in New York City. It lasted only a span of a few days. I don’t recall the exact date or duration. Only the horror of that early warning remains clear.

Thousands were trapped in high rise apartment buildings. Their windows didn’t open to fresh air. Phones were down. Radios and TV didn’t work. They couldn’t communicate with loved ones or connect with the outside world for help.

Kitchen and bathroom gadgets were useless. Food and water supplies ran dangerously short. What little food remained in freezers started to spoil. Without central air, slow suffocation was a real possibility. Without lighting, folks could barely fumble their way down long flights of stairs. Those who managed to get outside faced a nightmare war scene of muggings, looting, widespread panic and riots.

After that, if I’d lived in any large city, I’d have relocated as quickly as possible. Some said it was a wake-up call. But, surprisingly, people still continue to go quickly back to sleep, even after a long string of similar wake-up calls. Life appears to get back to “normal” (whatever that may be). Most just shrug and revert back to their old dependencies.

In my last blog, “Early Adapters Are Most Likely To Survive,” I hinted at my best hope for Millennials. [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-c8.] I held that once Millennials start connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture of how the Book of Change resonates with their own computer and game addictions — as well as the enormous implications — there’s a genuine, valid basis for future hope.

This hope is the up-side to the same maxim, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” Name, the same computer technologies turned outward to connect with peers and dazzle (or alienate) their elders have biological and metaphysical equivalents. When turned inward, they have the potential to empower Millennials in a way that changes the dark side of dependency on technology to an opposite and equal survival advantage — even and especially in the face of a (God forbid) technology-poor future.

Here’s the key. There are powerful correspondences between technology and human anatomy. Inventors have always depended on self-awareness to create extensions. For example, the violin’s resonant music depends on the same science of sound vibrations that powers the alternating pulsations of the breath and the lub-dub rhythm of the human heart. It’s no accident that the musical instrument’s parts have human anatomy names — neck, belly and spine. Other examples are legion. Think of the horse-drawn chariot, steam engine, train and automobile, to name a few.

Those who practice the I Ching-related discipline of yoga intentionally tune their bodies as instruments. By regulating the breath and slowing their heart rates, they heighten awareness and increase lifespan.

IF (dare I say when) Millennials connect the dots and recognize the powerful correlations between computer technologies and the human brain — how it’s wired, stores information, etc., —  they can, with appropriate disciplines, change themselves into instruments of higher consciousness. Because, just as violins don’t have souls — it takes musicians to fashion them and then activate their potentials — so also, computers don’t have souls. Their inventors and those who choose to use them wisely do.**

Lumosity computerized games are tapping into the vast potential for good. But so far, based on the limited and limiting research methods of empirical science, they’ve just scratched the surface (quite literally so). To go deeper and actualize the unrecognized potential for expanding human consciousness latent in computer technologies, it’s necessary to look to the tried and tested science developed over eight-thousand years and counting that’s hiding in plain sight. Yes, I’m referring to the Chinese I Ching.

Here’s a picture of how it fits into the larger scheme of things as an essential puzzle piece of the larger, atom-like structure of Einstein’s intuited Unified Theory.

Fits in the Picture

There’s powerful magic latent in the timeless Book of Change, albeit written in a language not all understand. Like the ancients who were able to read, heed and survive the handwriting on the wall, those of every generation who attune themselves to the wisdom of this interactive book will have the edge on future survival. By this I mean not just clinging to the bare minimum of animal existence, but a hopeful new beginning.

And no, this isn’t new age hocus pocus. Although it resonates in musical ways that seem magical to the uninitiated, the modern sciences of atomic physics, computer binary digital code, and DNA structure/function now give intriguing explanations as to how/why it works on a cellular or even atomic level. To repeat, once Millennials start connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture of how the Book of Change resonates with their own computer and game addictions — as well as the enormous implications — there’s a valid basis for genuine future hope.

How can this be? How does this all work? Here’s another pair of maxims, rarely understood, even less often applied: “As within, so without” and “As without, so within.”

In any case, on the day when the physical lights go out, those who depend on inner light for guidance will be the ultimate survivors. In the interim, intelligent use of the interactive Book of Change can serve to reconnect sincere preppers (early adapters) with their deepest core. It gives those with an open mind the wisdom needed to navigate successfully through dangerous times.

Electricity and the many kinds of vehicles it powers are ephemeral mirrors of the inner source upon which they depend, the eternal light which sustains those open to receive it. To repeat what was earlier written for a Millennial who challenged me with a leadership question, “Dangerous Times Call for True Radicals.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-aA.]

When preparing for danger — the eventuality, for any host of reasons, that the physical lights go out — the best answer to the movie question “Who you gonna call?” isn’t “Ghost Busters.” But close. Call on the myth busters who dispel dysfunctional paradigms like the limiting exclusively empirical science paradigm which has gotten us into our current mess. Call on the radical truth-and-light-bearers of all times.

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** [Atheists may argue the point. There’s no time left for such nonsense. Besides of which, this has already been addressed at length elsewhere.  See Atheism Answered.]

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