Much of our knowledge is pseudo-knowledge

November 26, 2016

A child points at a plant and asks “Daddy, what is that?” The father replies “It’s a rose.”

Does the child now know what the plant is? No. “rose” is just a word, a sound. It is a label that we humans have invented. That word/sound/label says nothing about the plant. The plant is still very much a mystery to the child (and to the father).

The child asks his father “How do birds know where to fly south in the Autumn?” The father replies “Instinct.”

Again, “instinct” is just a word, a sound, a label. The ability of birds to know where to fly is still very much a mystery.

Much of our knowledge is pseudo-knowledge (fake, false, pretend).

Here’s a slightly different way to put it: Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise. (Bertrand Russell)

Controlling a person by refusing to use the person’s name

November 19, 2016

This is a sad story. It is horrible.

I know a couple, let me call them Kenny and Mary. They were married a long, long time. Kenny never called Mary by her name. To other people, Kenny would refer to Mary by the words “her” or “she”. After many years of enduring this Mary finally went to a psychiatrist and asked about it. The psychiatrist told her: “By not calling you by name, it puts him in control. That way you have no identity.”

That way you have no identity.

Recently I met up with Mary. Kenny passed away long ago. Mary told me the story. I was particularly moved by what the psychiatrist said: “That way you have no identity.” That’s awful. To treat a person like they don’t exist, not worthy of even acknowledging their existence … what a horrible, horrible thing to do to a person (especially your life partner!).

Exercise induces a momentary reprieve from the past and future

September 11, 2016

“The iron (i.e., weightlifting) has saved my life, repeatedly” (Tom Platz, bodybuilder)

“Indian marathon runner enters a state of Samadhi (enlightenment) and continues running long after crossing the finish line.”

There is a moment during intense exercise where fatigue sets in and the mind can no longer race with thoughts about the past or future, and can only be in the present. At that moment of being totally in the present, you are in a state of enlightenment (spiritual bliss).

An enlightened Ph.D. program is one that …

September 5, 2016

… requires candidate doctoral students to simultaneously follow these two paths:

  1. Master the subject: the student must master the subject matter – the student must put in the 10,000 hours needed to attain mastery. I would expect the student to put in 50 hours per week studying the subject. This means it will take 200 weeks (about 4 years) to master the subject. At this point in his education he should be able to teach himself, so I would expect this would be a time mostly of self-study.
  2. Quiet the mind: the student must learn to align with his deeper self, so that he can tap into the source of all creativity. I would expect the student to put in 10 hours (or more) per week learning to quiet his mind. There are many choices available, including following the breath, mantras, mindfulness, mediation, and taking long walks (“Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.” — Friedrich Nietzsche).

Upon completion of these two paths, the student has prepared a vehicle for receiving insights on the subject matter from his deeper self. The student is now ready to bring forth new, deep insights.

Feel the tingling energy in every part of your body and become the sun

September 4, 2016

I am often 100% absorbed in my thoughts. I am unaware of the rest of my body, and unaware of the environment around me. That’s not good. Recently I have been learning, from Eckhart Tolle, to spread attention to my body. I pay attention to my hands; I notice a tingling. I recognize that tingling as energy. Then I pay attention to my feet; I notice the tingling energy there as well. I continue, paying attention to other parts of my body, noticing the tingling energy.

I think that I now understand this picture:

enlightenment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the picture indicates that this person has succeeded in giving full attention to every part of his body, noticing all the tingling energy. When that happens, it must feel like one has become the sun.

Prepare a vehicle for receiving creativity and power

September 2, 2016

Suppose that you fully align with your deeper self (the source of all creativity and power). Can you then make amazing scientific discoveries and/or perform superhuman physical feats? No. The reason is that there must be a vehicle that is prepared to receive the creativity or power from the deeper self. That is, there must be vehicle that is ready for the power to flow into. The vehicle could be the human mind. There must be something that has already been prepared for it, in the human world. In the book Outliers, it says that one prerequisite to achieving mastery of something is 10,000 hours of practice. Then the possibility arises that the vehicle is ready to be receptive to the power that flows from the deeper self.

The above is a paraphrase of a fantastic talk that Eckhart Tolle gave on creativity (starting at 20:40).

Offices that are kept too cold result in 33% lower productivity

August 28, 2016

An interesting segment on NPR about offices that are kept uncomfortably cool. The old theory was that keeping offices cool would make people work faster. However, research shows that people working on a computer are up to 1/3 less productive than if the temperature is set to a comfortable temperature (76 degrees, or higher).

We find that when people are in an environment
that they find to be too cold, typically a temperature
like 68 to 70, they do up to a third less work on their
computers than if they’re in an environment that is
more comfortable.

http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=16-P13-00035&segmentID=3

It is right in front of you and yet you cannot see it

August 27, 2016

If I were to ask you to describe a room in your house, you would probably list the things in the room: for a kitchen you might list stove, refrigerator, counter-top, cabinets, floor, and so forth. You would probably—almost certainly—miss the most important part of the room: the space that allows all these things to be present. Without that space, none of those things could be present. The things in that space are continually changing, but the space itself is eternal.

If I were to ask you to describe who you are, you might talk about your goals, your personality, your thoughts, your emotions, and so forth. You would probably—almost certainly—miss the most important part of you: the “space” that allows you to have all those thoughts and emotions. Without that space, none of those things could be present. The things in that space are continually changing, but the space itself is eternal.

The above is a paraphrasing of some things that I have recently learned from listening to Eckhart Tolle videos.

Creative people

August 26, 2016

Creative people don’t hang it up. We don’t walk away,
we don’t want to sit in a lawn chair, we don’t want to
go out and play golf, we don’t want to travel the world.
We want to continue to work.

— Floyd Norman, 81, movie animator at Walt Disney Studios
 

Retire? No thanks says this 81 year old animator at Walt Disney Studios

August 26, 2016

Today on NPR they interviewed a guy by the name of Floyd Norman. He is 81 years old and is an animator at Walt Disney Studios. He’s been working there since the 1950s. When Norman turned 65, Disney tried to force him to retire, but he wouldn’t have it. “I wanted to continue to work,” he says. “You see, creative people don’t hang it up. We don’t walk away, we don’t want to sit in a lawn chair, we don’t want to go out and play golf, we don’t want to travel the world. We want to continue to work.”

http://www.wbur.org/npr/491370725/at-81-disneys-first-african-american-animator-is-still-in-the-studio