Sunday, September 30, 2012

memories of some dreams

Some memories of dreams I chose to make the title of this posting a bit boring sounding, precisely because this will touch on themes which could make some people a little too excited. There are many things I choose not to talk about most of the time, because people seem to go nuts even when we ask them to make small stretches, like from ordinary quantum electrodynamics to cavity quantum electrodynamics or from one way to get to work to another. When people hear that lightning might knock out electric power for a few hours, they can take the possibility seriously; however, when the National Academy of Sciences says that solar flares might cause events big enough to cost us $1-2 trillion, people tend to tune out and assume it cannot be so. People do admit that a guy named Mohammed had some interesting and important ideas… yet even those who believe those dreams were real tend to get scared (like the folks Greeley reports on in his paper “Are we a nation of mystics?”), and try to get rid of all the scary stuff by declaring “Mohammed was the LAST PROPHET,” and trying to outlaw (with death penalty) anyone who tries to follow the true spiritual path in the modern age. (Of course, many so-called Fundamentalist Christians are equally bad, while many Moslems, like Sufis, are much more enlightened.) As I get older, I feel I have a duty now to put some of this on paper, albeit on an obscure site, even though I know the folks I deal with mostly could not handle it. In any case, years ago, I became very curious about these things. I had an experience in spring of 1967, quoting a speech of Mao BEFORE it was given, which made me open-minded and curious about “paranormal” things. In late 1972 I had another decisive experience, which I may right about someday, similar in some ways to what Greeley talked about. In a TOTALLY conscious state, starting from a variation of kundalini yoga (the first time I ever tried it)… I met someone who pulled me up (in a clear but cloudy sort of way, no “astral body” of the traditional sort) across The Charles River, and… well, it was what we call veridical. Well, OK, I’ll say a little more about that one. A suitemate, Michael Lambert (Harvard PhD candidate in anthropology) loaned me a cheap popular paperback, called “How to Help Yourself with ESP,” which I would not have opened a few years before… but I notice d it had specific exercises/experiments to try, so why not? The first one worked for me, with some tweaking. So then I tried the kundalini yoga one, which culminated in sending energy up to a point a bit above the skull and sending a thought message there like: “Good morning, inner self. I am coming here to connect with you, to communicate with my highest inner self.” I was a bit startled when immediate feedback came, in a mixture of thought, English and feeling (strong reassuring loving feeling), and the message was “Sorry, Paul, I am not your inner self. You may address me as Father. Now, we do not have so much time right now, so let us get right to work…” After that, I decided to read – but not to trust – anything I could find written by people who might have had similar experiences. Within a year or two, I decided to join AMORC for a time (see my article in the open online journal Rose-Croix, 2012), primarily for the exercises/experiments to help me see for myself and form my own theories. But I did read things by Fox, by Monroe, by Steiger, and the book What Dreams May Come, by Besant, etc., which addressed the concept of out of body travel. It seemed as if true mastery of those skills would give me an experience base which would be extremely valuable in sorting out such things. And in essence, it did. I had to stop really active experimentation in December 1978, when I started work with the US government….. I guess I need to go over just a little background, before getting to the dream of the day. I have had hundreds of experiences which were “dreams but not dreams,” of various kinds. What is a “dream”? We call it a “dream” when a person blocks almost all awareness of immediate body surroundings, and is immersed in a different stream of inputs, which has a different video component and so on… One thing I learned is that there is actually a kind of continuum between what’s really 100% traditional dream, and what’s 100% out of body stuff… I also learned that many dreams and OOBE are “mine,” and that many are “vicarious”: I enter INTO someone else, or in resonance with someone else, in a tricky relation which some call “assumption.” Some dreams and OOBE’s go to ordinary life; others go to what some folks call “the astral plane,” a real-seeming complex built up by our souls just as corals build up coral reefs, within the “noosphere.” And I have also had a fair number, maybe a dozen or two, which go to … a part of the “astral plane”?... which I think of this morning as “the land of the dead.’ Since my experience is much more limited there, since it’s not such a big interest for me, I would be more careful about what I say about it. “Assumption”dreams and OOBEs are much more common for me, and they happen even without any conscious intent; sometimes, when I describe a dream to my wife, I use the words “the protagonist” instead of “I,” to avoid confusion. Just last night, I had a “dream” which took me to the classic “entry hall to the land of the dead,” for just the second time in my life. I did once visit a dead friend, Geoffrey Keppel, in “the land of the dead,” and I had a number of visits to my father (but I am not sure how many, in part because I am not sure there is much difference between his neighborhood and the general astral plane… most likely there is none). The first such “dream” was many years ago. More precisely, it was just a few weeks before the Challenger disaster in 1986. Over Christmas/New Years vacation, I had time to do some of the more explicit preparation activities (which I had done more in 1972-1978) . It was pretty much classic OOBE, with no assumption aspect. At the very beginning, I was in a very modern-looking anteroom, which I saw as similar in flavor to some normal well-lit rooms in Star Trek… not weird high tech, but .. whatever. That aspect was strongly emphasized as a kind of echo of the main group of other people I saw in this room, wearing US space uniforms – the Challenger astronauts. I did NOT think “this is the entry to the land of the dead,” or anything like that. It was just a room, more like a hotel or hospital waiting room (though much cleaner), and the only weird thing was how long it took before I caught on. We stood around waiting, with a few other people… until a kind of guide showed up , who said he would now sort us into groups, show us where to go, and give us some choice of the course we might take next. One of the two or three choices was “How to contact your dear departed friends on the Other Side.” (Hearing that on the list was the first signal to me that something odd was going on, but even then I thought he meant how people on the normal earth side could contact the dead.) That sounded like something different and new, so I opted for that one and followed that group… until, as we walked in the hallway, a guide turned around and looked at me: “Hey, YOU don’t belong here! What are YOU doing here?” He pointed at me, and I suddenly felt translated somehow and off in some kind of nowhere. But.. being somewhat energetic and willful, I did NOT want to just go off to Oblivion, and I did not want to miss this class. So I willed myself right back… only instead of projecting a human body, this time, I projected a kind of cloud, which I used as a “body,” as a vehicle.. slightly odd acoustic interface, but it worked, and it was more robust and less vulnerable to odd bolts of energy. And I guess it was less visible to the other folks. I kept on with the group down the hall, and entered in the classroom. As the class got going, it did strike me as odd. First, the guy showed by example how to “densify” your hand, so that when you hit the wall, it does not just go through, but interacts enough to call a kind of creaking or banging of the walls. (I was later reminded of Joel Whitton’s description of the odd audio spectrum they measured during their “Philip” experiments. I had also played with similar things back in graduate school, before any OOBE things.) And then, when you get used to densifying and undensifying, try it on a woman who accepts it, who was sitting in the middle of the room, a kind of volunteer… How to interact with a vocal tract, to make sounds come out, and practice to make them coherent… (perhaps interacting with HER mind? He did not say…) I found that last part very surprising….. and my emotional reaction was probably the reason why I returned at that moment. The veridical part was the Challenger astronauts in the hall of the dead, a couple of weeks before… I had long learned about the usual small time slippages like that which tended to accompany my experiments. (I do generally seem to have a kind of drift towards the future… which raises interesting questions well beyond the scope even of this posting.) So today (9/30/2012) I had my second “entryway to the hall of the dead” dream… Last night, I did not do any mystical preparation stuff (aside from a bit of energy stuff I often still do often, when it seems right). I watched a movie, All the King’s Men, with my wife. (I feel weird just calling her “my wife,” but she sure wouldn’t want me to talk about HER stuff here.) So it seems like I had a kind of assumption dream, not veridical, about a guy who was close to a future person in power… But not Willie Stark. Rather, a woman in power. A calm appearing and normal attractive woman… not movie star type, but clear and attractive enough. I guess normal brown hair; physically, like a cross between my Aunt Loretta and the Popular wife of Prince… William..? Very calm looking, and clear eyes, not so intense or shiny but looking at them you see more light than even those two nice people I just mentioned… In the first scene… she has developed a new foreign policy position for a nation which felt not unlike the way Iran does to us now. The whole world was so Grateful to her that she had solved that thorny crisis, and they all loved her lucid plan, which the whole world was acting on. Yet, like the narrator in All The King’s Men, I really doubted the plan. I did not make a fuss because, like that narrator in the early stages, I felt a loyalty to her, with a definite love aspect; the dream never got physical, explicitly or mentally, but the feelings were strong enough that she might even have been the wife of the protagonist. The protagonist saw giant ambiguities in what stuck normal people as a clear plan. (Here I do not say “I saw;” it is possible that my own analysis would have supported her, or not. I did see the details of the plan, but I do not remember enough now to say, except to say I do not know how viable the plan was.) Such a calm clear reassuring person… to the public. But one does not get to such a position by being an average wimp in all of life. In the next scene, we moved on to a place not unlike… Monaco… (though the world has a number of similar places… I was also reminded of the Black Sea coast; these are MY associations)… Lots of twisty switchback roads, and cliffs overlooking the sea. She and I had previously had a great vacation in a similar kind of place, using a rental SUV. Of course, she drove. This time, she was driving our bus… much bigger.. but powerful, to where we were proud of the strong engine. Somehow, the protagonist was looking at the progress of the bus from a higher point, like looking down from a local hill… even though he was quite conscious that his body was with her and the group in the bus. (By the way, I once had a very clear veridical experience of assumption into someone else’s “astral body” as THEY wandered out of body into my house, looking for me but wondering why they could not find me…) He was a bit nervous as she gunned the bus up a vey steep slope… and that’s when he frecalled the great things they said about that engine. But he was worried about whether this big bus could handle curves as sharp as that rental SUV could. And then came a stark scene… he looks from the hill and sees the bus project forward over a cliff… seeming to hang in the air for a split second… and the fast “Oh, shit” kind of feeling (without those words), the realization that “Oh well, I am in that bus, and it is not realistic to imagine anyone surviving from that high..” and remembering all those thoughts about “we all have to go anyway” and that a quick death would be better than what most people are lucky enough to have… And then the final scene, where I am still into him, in the entry hall of “the land of the dead.” This time, he/I pretty much knew what was going on, since we knew what happened a moment before. It looked like a kind of typical hotel meeting room, moderately large but not large enough for a big plenary. Not like a waiting room, but not set up with chairs and tables. At the front of the room, there was something like a twenty inch tablet computer or touch monitor, set up to look forwards slightly tilting up to the room. As I approached the tablet to explore, a couple of attendants popped up from the side… and UNLIKE me and the others, they were not so stuck on the usual crisp human body form. They morphed into something like a projection of friendly cartoon characters, which I/he viewed as a bit alien looking, but not at all scary. They said: “Do whatever you want here, but DO NOT touch the button here on the lower right hand corner of the computer. That would be very bad…” So I drifted back into the humans milling around. (I did not see her here, but was not actively looking for her here.) They were all wondering: “How did I get here? Where are we anyway? None of us seem to know. What happened?” He/I smiled and said “I have a theory. I think I know. But first I have a question for you all. Did any of you have a scary experience, just before we came here.. an experience so scary it seemed like you might even die?” They thought and started nodding their heads.. especially one guy (taller than my more or less ‘average’ height, though we almost all think of ourselves as average). Sat first it seemed he was wearing a suit.. and then more like a bathing suit or less… and he said.. ‘Yes… it really was scary.. and bad…” and bruises and bloody tracks suddenly started to appear along his legs and arms… And then I boomed out: “Yes folks, that confirms it. I know where we are.” They looked up to me… (and I think the other guy started looking more normal).. I thought the term “bardo” but of course would not use it with them, And I thought a moment and said.. “Welcome, folks! Welcome to heaven! It is real, and we are real, and we are completely ourselves…” (Not so dense as I was at times in that other scene, when I was “not all there.”) And that was all. For now. ================= Added the next day (Oct 1): 1. I did not mean to suggest any similarities between the politics of that woman (in yesterday's dream) with that of Wllie Stark. I strongly suspect that watching that movie was a factor in stimulating this other one... but there was no sign at all of the Willie Stark kind of politics. 2. Many science fiction authors use science fiction as an excuse to present their personal experience, altered to make it palatable to an audience. For example, Connie Willis has a book on the Titanic and several on time travel which reek of sensitivity and authenticity (if such can be called "reeking" -- sorry about the unintended negative connotation), with some relation to the above.

Friday, September 28, 2012

that up with that we should not put -- how certain rules threaten the English language

Someday I should post a formal note somewhere about certain rules which are a real drag on the English language. But it takes a lot of time and effort to link up with new communities, so for now I just post here on the blog. If anyone else is better positioned to publish an article or policy memo on this, please do so... We all remember the rules are taught in elementary school, by grammar teachers who tell us always to write in complete sentences. No stand-alone phrases, like this one. No "animal noises" like "huh?" There is a lot of value in that kind of discipline, just as there is value in the discipline of poetry. Yet, as Rudolf Flesch pointed out (in The Art of Readable Writing), that doe snot do perfect justice to the richness of the spoken English language -- or to what we can in written language. We shouldn't really have to abide by that constraint rigidly in all circumstances. There are times when I think that all college graduates should have to learn a special kind of "Chinglish," what a computer might generate if it "translated" Chinese into English in a very simple-minded literal way, simply mapping Chinese words into English words (and inserting about ten to twenty basic nontranslatable words, like "deh" and some basic versions of "huh?"). That would help people get past the Chomskyian delusion that all sensible human languages are based on well-defined logical propositions expressed in complete sentences. And it would be a lot easier than having to learn all the characters and pronunciation of the dialects of Chinese. But back to some examples of bad rules... A lot of the rules used today in copyediting and major publishers do not reflect what we now know about the nature of human languages. In my papers in Neural Networks in 2009 and 2012, I describe our new mathematically-grounded understanding, quite different from Orthodox Chomsky, yet very close to the important insights of great linguists like Sapir. Sapir noticed long ago how human languages seem to follow a kind of bell-shaped curve over time, starting from older and more "natural' languages which are uninflected, rising to a maximum of inflection, in languages like Sanskri and perhaps Russian and Arabic with many subjunctive forms and so on, and then evolving back to less inflection, ultimately down to languages like English and Dutch which do not even have masculine and feminine groups of nouns. Chinese represents the less inflected side on the left, since many aspects of Chinese were codified many centuries ago, due to the early arrival of printing and continent-wide politics in China. English and Dutch represents the less inflected side on the extreme right, because they are new languages which evolved, nonetheless, in areas of relatively high formal intellectual development (relative to social and political development). Interesting questions are: why do English and Chinese have so much in common, at one level, despite being so far away and at opposite ends of the Sapir cycle? I can still being amazed, when reading an elementary Chinese text, how many idioms are the same in Chinese and English, such that the text did not even mention them. (I was very confused for awhile, because, having learned some French and Latin, I had learned NOT to assume idioms would carry over... but many English idioms which would not carry over to French or Latin would carry over to Chinese.) Both languages have minimal inflection, and both rely very heavily on subject-object-verb ordering. In my view (again, see the papers in Neural Networks), the Sapir cycle is due to one key factor above all else. It is due to the invention of formal verbal logic, by folks like Socrates and Plato and the progenitors of the Upanishads in India (Sanskrit). Today we take it for granted that a logical proposition is a kind of abstract object, which we can talk about in words just as we talk about other more physical objects. Many people interpret Plato's "two worlds" as a kind of mysticism (and it really did lead to some real mysticism), but I agree with Max Weber that this was his way of trying to explain the modern attitude which we take for granted to a world which wasn't quite there yet. In the original world, like early Chinese, strings of words were basically "word movies" or "dances with words," conveying VICARIOUS EXPERIENCE (and progtotype generalizations of strings of experience). More and more qualifiers and inflection become added, as people started to express things more like logical propositions In fact, as the history of Sanskrit and Upanishads shows, it may be that the groping to create mental objects came first, and the more explicit rules of logic later, as language became more able to support logical reasoning, which treats propositions as objects. But then.. to simplify.. just as the Indian invention of the digit zero revolutionized mathematics, the invention of the word "that" (a cousin of the mathematician's parentheses) revolutionized language. Instead of saying "All plants sort of may be green, in my thinking," We may now say: "I believe that all plants are green." Instead of using a fuzzy qualifier or a subjunctive, we create an abstract object which we can treat like any other object in our grammatical creation of well-posed sentences. The object is the noun phrase "that all plants are green." The magic word "that" creates a new noun, a new object, which we can manage like any other know. We can say "I broke that, I believe that.." We create a world of thought which is powerful, elegant and self-referential; this is similar in a way to Von Neumann's breakthrough, when he essentially invented the Turing machine. And so, for many centuries, standard English textbooks said that the word "that" in English has two uses (unfortunately) - use as a pronoun ("I like that") and use as a conjunction ("I believe that plants are green"). There is another word "which,' with an ancient lineage, which may be used in two ways: (1) adding information ("this election, which will be on November 6, is hotly contested); (2) adding specificity to what object is being referred to (" the election which happens in November will include more candidatyes than the election which was held last year"). We use "which" in both cases, and we use a comma to signify which is which. (In spoken English, we use cadence and intonation to "speak the comma.") But -- horror of horrors -- the Government Printing Office (GPO) decided years ago to outlaw traditional English, and many publishers felt they had to follow suit. Maybe their change works better in some advertizing jingles, but by ordering a change in the use of the word "that," to take over from "which," they do tend to dilute the original meaning of "that" as a conjunction. Because that original meaning is absolutely fundamental to the value of English as a vehicle for high-order logical reasoning, this is extremely unfortunate. Sure, we can survive it. We can even talk about complex scientific issues in word-movie languages, like the Chinese of four millennia ago. But to support logical structures in our thinking -- structures which are already severely strained by the complexities of modern life -- we really would be better off getting rid of such nonsense. Of course, there are other changes suggested by Flesch (as in "up with whihc I will not put") and Mencken which would also be of great benefit to the English language. There are times when I think the EU or even the UN should overpower the GPO here, and define a streamlined version of English (and Chinglish?) as new official languages. Best of luck, Paul

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New threat to the Republic

Many have asked: Could the US lose its democracy, because of problems like what hit the Roman Republic or like the Republic in Star Wars? That's a serious and complex question. There are many scenarios to be alert for. This month... here is the scenario which comes to mind. Crudely -- Obama wins by a large margin, but Congress remains gridlocked; the world economy descends into 1930's style Great Depression II; Obama then becomes as popular as Herbert Hoover, and Karl Rove's plans to turn the nation into a one-party state, with die-hard partisan moles in juduciary and intelligence agencies, following the model of the Roman Empire under Trajan, becomes very firmly established. Among the background sources I think of are Orson Scott Card's Empire series (Card being one of the two strong inspired leading authors from the Mormon community of great interest to all the rest of us as well) and the recent book Boss Rove (biased but with some separation of facts and editorials). The chief negative element in my view: I am not so optimistic as Bill Clinton that re-election of OBama by itself would be enough to grow us slowly out of the present level of unemployment. (Though the Ryan plan would be worse.) The massive cuts in net government spending (spending minus taxes) which both parties agree to will certainly REDUCE demand to much less than what we see at present (unless QE3 leads to a really large new housing boom, which even Bernanke has described in the past as probably not enough to bring recovery). So, sure, the GROWTH in unemployment will be less under Obama than it would be under Ryan/Rove, but it may yet be quite enough to sink his future credibility and reputation, and lead to the rest of the scenario. To avoid an actual growth in unemployment, despite deficit reduction, would take a lot of agility and insight -- and it's simply not clear that this would be possible under a gridlocked Congress. What's more, it's not clear that the doctrinaire Democrat senators would be better than the Republican ones inproviding agility -- but at least they might respond to Obama if Obama is more determined than he was in the first term. (Which is possible.) Of course, there is the obvious opposite scenario. If Netanyahu does take out Iran's nuclear capacity, there is some hope for Romney that he could use that to get back ahead, and squeak through. He might lose popularity a lot in four years as well.. (I remember well just how awful Trajan's policies worked out, and how strong the permanent reaction in Rome towards a more peaceful economics-oriented policy!). But the one-party program might go further than many imagine, with four years of big war as an excuse. So that is no panacea, especially when we consider the huge costs and what such copsts can do to a planet. Of course, this is really about what happens to earth. It would be no more local than the September 2008 crash was. ==== I do hope we can avoid the problems, but if we are not sober enough, we will not. Of course, you can see that I donit trust one-party governments whatever the party. The old ideas of checks and balances, and VIABLE channels of democratuic expression and dialogue, still make sense to me. When I visit the George Wasdhington Masobic Mewmorial, or the Free Quaker meeting in Philadelphia, I do not imagine that these are branch offices of some kind of fundamentaliost segregation academy. The writings of Tom Jefferson sound a whole lot more enlightened than that.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Do More Justice to the Spiritual Side of Life

Because I see myself as half-human-body and half-soul, and because retirement age is approaching, I have been asking myself more and more: “How can I do more justice to the soul half of my being? It seems as if ninety percent of my life has been focused on tangible, material goals, which certainly express the one half of life… but am I even close to living up to potential on the other half, and what can I do to get closer?” (And no, folks, I am not the kind of person who defines the word “soul” in a formal way coming from ancient theological texts! Like a lot of three-letter and four-level words, “soul” is a bit fuzzy, but it’s still useful and important; the reality behind it can be understood better with some work. I still remember when Karl Pribram said: “We have no right to claim to know about the human mind until we fully appreciate all those four-letter words.” He focused a lot on the “four f words,” but that’s just one example of a general principle.)
This morning, I think I see a bit deeper into how to address that question… but in a way, it’s so simple that it’s hard to explain. There are a lot of things like that, in the realm of spirit and even in mundane human psychology. For example, when my family and I visited Rome last week, from the Vatican to the little Quo Vadis Chapel where St. Peter is said to have met Jesus, it reminded me of Jesus’s central message about love – such a simple message, yet so hard for so many people to really comprehend and connect to their lives. The application and meaning of the message is not as simple as the statement of it. Even in engineering, people learn the basic ideas of probability and optimization in undergraduate years, yet even today most engineers do not seem to grasp the huge power of fully applying these basic principles in practical, working systems. In the Quo Vadis chapel, I thought of my new paper in press (I think) in the little journal Rose-Croix, where I talk about the fundamental importance of always remembering the utility function which we as individual humans naturally want to maximize – characterized as “life, light and love,” when I try to capture what really matters to ME and what really makes ME feel good. And I also thought about the recent talk by Ben Bernanke (chairman of the Federal Reserve) at a conference on neuro-economics, where he asked: “Is this vast economic machine we are building really serving the goal of maximizing human happiness, the goal it was supposed to serve?” (The conference discussed research on four drivers of human happiness – health, community, leisure, control of one’s own life. That’s not exactly the same as “life, light and love,” but I don’t want to split those hairs here and now.) Basic principles matter a lot, ESPECIALLY when they sound simple and obvious.

Here is another obvious basic principle: the three fundamental, inescapable jobs of a knowledge worker are input, output and what comes between – to learn new things by getting more input from the rest of the world, to analyze and understand what can be learned from that input, and to communicate useful stuff to the rest of the world. (Of course, some of us also take direct action, but many of us help more by providing inputs to others.) That is ever so obvious – yet many people strive to be great communicators without doing enough of the thinking in-between, and some of us, like myself, have to struggle with a desire to know the truth (the input and analysis side) without paying as much attention to the communication side. ALL useful knowledge workers must attend to all three, but some of us are stronger in one aspect than the other, and we have different audiences to communicate to. It helps if we remember this simple principle, both to remember to keep a balance between the three aspects of our own work, and ALSO to respect and work with others whose strengths balance us out. The principle is obvious – and yet, in my day job, evaluating and sometimes guiding the very best researchers in US, it has huge practical importance.
But all of that is background. Today, I want to talk about a different simple principle, which I plan to try to apply more in my own life, not as a radical
BUT.. I ran out of time on Sunday 9/9/12. So I cannot give the full story now, or the full experience which clarified it in my mind.

The key is… for the spiritual HALF of our life or value measures… (which may be more or less than half for different people at different times)… there are four major components we should always value.
There is the direct experiment and exercise aspect, which I discuss in my forthcoming paper in Rose-Croix (Volume 9), which refers back to my paper in the August 2012 issue of the journal Neural Networks. Rose-Croix is open-access online; Neural Networks is a standard Elsevier journal, accessed through subscription or library.
Second, there is the aspect of working on close personal relations and sanity at the level of the soul. I think of a light but worthwhile science fiction trilogy, by Jane Roberts, the saga of Oversoul Seven. I also think of Joel Whitton’s book Life Between Life, and the new sequel. I once asked Joel: “If life is just a school, what is the curriculum, and what must we learn?” That’s when he sent me, confidentially, a copy of the new book, which I see as similar to Roberts in spirit. At the level of “soul,” we are part of a kind of vast invisible network of spiritual connections, and of course our growth is in relation to that network.
But in fact, the “invisible network” really covers the whole earth. In a way, Roberts’ vision satisfies what Heidegger would call the “small Being,” but some of us are by nature bigger than that. For many people, larger concerns are about narcissistic illusions, like loyalty to ideologies which mean nothing to them really other than loyalty to their friends. But for some of us, the whole earth is really real, both in our brains and in our souls. (By the way, that kind of connection is really great for avoiding jet lag!) The experience which sparked all this was memory on Sunday morning, in bed, of a brief discussion with Rob Foster of USTETA on Saturday over dinner of Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic convention. “It’s all arithmetic..” and do we understand arithmetic in our souls? We really are connected with the world economy.
But in the end, there is a larger universe out there, and maybe that connection is what has most driven my own unique tendencies – among other things, trying to understand it.

All for now. Time runs out.