The Art of War

3/22/2022 7:30 AM Morning Page.  There is news that Putin may be considering the use of gas and chemical weapons! Can we imagine what this is going to look like when the actions Putin is considering are taken? He will have control of a bombed-out land with gorilla-warriors hiding and fighting everywhere.  To make Ukraine completely subservient, Putin is going to need to use gas and chemicals.  There is no other way to subdue the Ukraine combatants.  Can we see NATO and the World letting this happen? What a mess – the West simple was asleep – seems did not see this coming.  And we heard that Biden was in the process of shifting attention and resources from Europe to Asia. What is it they have been doing at West Point?  Certainly, they have not been reading Sun Tzu’s  The Art of War. Jordan Peterson and Victor Hanson’s analysis is enlightening and they have studied “the are of war”.

Sun Tuz

Jordan Peterson: PUTIN IS THE NEW HITLER | Ukraine – Russia Conflict 2022

3/22/2022 8:32 AM  I am on my 2nd cup of coffee and this morning page is soon ending. I will be returning to other writing and cleaning house and yard – i still have them. It looks to be a nice day suggesting that I begin to look into the garage and yard to see what beckons me.  This first clip by Jordan is good and he suggests that we look at what Victor is saying about the war in Ukraine. Finally, we listen to how to get others’ respect.

Victor Davis Hanson | War in Ukraine

How To Make People Respect You

“How To Get Respect Without Being A Bully – Jordan Peterson recently expertly handled a debate during an interview with BBC’s Channel 4 news (The video was called: Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap, campus protests, and postmodernism). And JBP did it without being a bully or being aggressive. So how do we get respect without being a bully? Well, we often think that getting respect and being aggressive go hand in hand. Because unfortunately, it’s often the bully that gets the most respect in the schoolyard and even in the workplace. But Jordan Peterson is an exemplar of a different way to generate a massive amount of respect. So in this video, we’re going to explore 3 main things he does that force people to respect you WITHOUT being a bully. Now, we focused a lot on respect in this video but that’s actually just one out of four emotions that are going to create an amazing first impression on anyone cross-culturally. Now, if you’re curious about the other three emotions that you want to create in that person are to make an amazing first impression, I made a video on that that breaks down what those four emotions are so that you can start using them today to consistently make killer first impressions”(YouTube).

There, I am on 3rd cup of coffee trying to make it to noon here in Fargo ND – the securest place in the World! Think about this – ND is at the geographical center of North America and has missiles.

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The Mathematics to Somewhere in Time – Dreaming

3/12/2022 1:53 AM Morning PageMy dream just now was having an experience with several others, me insisting that the responsibility be evaluated precisely since I felt my contribution had been less than the others. I was working on the mathematical formula for this evaluation.  Later, I started watching the Netflix movie The Last Czars, which is a six-part movie that premiered on July 3, 2019. “The series follows the reign of Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, from his accession to the throne in 1894 to his assassination in 1918.[1][2]” I have seen this movie before but could not clearly remember it. It is sad to see how weak Nicholas’s personality is – he could have left Russia and lived a comfortable life in England with his wife, four daughters, and son but did not see what was coming.  I now remember watching the movie Doctor Zhivago which was “a 1965 historical romance film directed by David Lean with a screenplay by Robert Bolt, set in Russia during World War I and the Russian Civil War. It stars Omar Sharif in the title role as Yuri Zhivago, a married physician and poet whose life is altered by the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War, and Julie Christie as his love interest Lara Antipova.”  Who was not in love with Julie Christie?

I have been checking in on news from Ukraine as the Russians advance deeper into this country. Nicholas II’s mother lived in Kyiv. What I am now curious about is how does Vladimir Putin’s life over-lap Nickie’s?  One overlap I quickly saw is that Putin was born in St Petersburg where Nicholas II lived and his life ended. I am not sure now what I am searching for – seems I seek a synchronistic experience that somehow ties these characters together across time. Like in the movie Somewhere in Time, where “Richard Collier, a playwright who becomes obsessed with a photograph of a young woman at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Through self-hypnosis, he wishes himself back in time to the year 1912 to find love with actress Elise McKenna (portrayed by Seymour) but comes into conflict with Elise’s manager, William Fawcett Robinson (portrayed by Plummer), who fears that romance will derail her career, and resolves to stop him” (Wikipedia). 

Well, okay there you have it, Steven, can I now return to bed?  Seems a link might be the year 1912.  What was happening in Nicholas II life in 1912 and what was happening in Putin’s ancestors’ lives at this time which, may help us understand what is now unfolding? I suppose with self-hypnosis and a time machine we might travel back to 1912 to investigate. I should get the DeLorean ready. Or do I need the Batmobile? I think the Batmobile is needed.  Better yet, we use Vladimir’s presidential car the Aurus Senat – looks like the Batmobile!

3/12/2022 3:00 AM  Okay, this writing release (not as good and a good fuck) should now allow me some sleep.  I must begin spending more energy on BC Project.  I am working to get this work published – hoping that it will be a best seller –  All I have to do is Dream… 

I did think that the way these dreams, readings, and journaling are flowing together – is the story.  I begin the story by explaining my experience with the Intensive journal method. “The intensive journal method is a psychotherapeutic technique largely developed in 1966 at Drew University and popularized by Ira Progoff (1921–1998).[1] It consists of a series of writing exercises using loose-leaf notebook paper in a simple ring binder, divided into sections to help in accessing various areas of the writer’s life.[2] These include a dialogue section for the personification of things, a “depth dimension” to aid in accessing the subconscious and other places for recording remembrances and meditations” (Wikipedia).  There, this is what I thought about lying in bed reflecting on the dream that got me out of my warm bed and started his ‘morning page”.  I am going back to bed now, snuggle close to Fannie, and dream on… This is what I have been doing now for years – now it is time to edit my journals. “Yes, and write your book, Steven.” I’ll be back.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky

3/11/2022 5:28 AM I suppose many arm-chair-psychoanalysts, which I admit I think I am, are pondering over their Russian coffee, the psychology of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  I have not gone in search of these dudes but did stumble onto, now on my second coffee, Carl Jung: Psychology of The Devil [], which has me wondering – is Mr. Putin a devil – is he evil?

Next, consider Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Russian novelist philosopher to be the Greatest Philosopher in History whose books, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, and The Brothers Karamazov Putin has to have on his bedside table. Dostoevsky explores “human psychology in the troubled socio-political atmosphere of 19th century Russia”, and we might add also in the 20th and still now in the 21st century. We learn that Fyodor’s novels address the psychology of those losing “their reason, who are nihilistic, or who become insane or commit murder”. Sounds like a Russian we know!

“Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Notes from Underground in 1864 which is considered to be one of the first existentialist works, emphasizing the importance of freedom, responsibility, and individuality. It is an extraordinary piece of literature, social critique, and satire of the Russian nihilist movement as well as a novel with deep psychological insights on the nature of man.”

“Dostoevsky’s most sustained and spirited attack on the Russian nihilist movement is voiced by one of the darkest, least sympathetic of all his characters – the nameless narrator and protagonist known as the Underground Man, revealing the hopeless dilemmas in which he lands as a result. Notes from Underground attempts to warn people of several ideas that were gaining ground in the 1860s including moral and political nihilism, rational egoism, determinism, utilitarianism, utopianism, atheism and what would become communism” (Wikipedia).

Another surprise this morning is Fyodor’s 1864 novel Notes from Underground []. Fyodor observes that “utopian society removes suffering and pain, but man desires both things and needs them in order to be happy. He argues that removing pain and suffering in society takes away a man’s freedom. He says that the cruelty of society makes human beings moan about pain only to spread their suffering to others.”  This wiki entry on “Notes From Underground” goes deeper into what 1860 Russia experienced as it rubbed up against Western civilization.  That rubbing never was completed and today we are experiencing an intense rubbing.  Much more time can be spent digging deeper into these underground notes. I can just imagine my history teacher Bill Barney enjoying this!

Jordan Peterson: “Men are not piano keys on Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground.”

This just received from CBS News “Putin is being investigated for war crimes, but convicting him will likely be difficult.” 3.11,2022 4:08 PM CST.

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Good Morning Ukraine “Fortunate Son”

US is moving F-35 Fighter Jets to NATO.  Good Morning Ukraine “Fortunate Son”.

Neutral Switzerland buys dozens of US F-35 fighter jets at $400B per fighter jet (2016) (02:27)

Good Morning Ukraine “Fortunate Son”

Talking Heads – Burning Down the House LIVE Los Angeles ’83

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Billiette Calling! The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas Spirit by Billiette S. December 1969  

Christmas is a joyous time – a time of love – a time of giving to those we love – a time when we think and long for those distant but not forgotten friends – a time of laughter and friendly companionship with our friends and neighbors – a time when your walk down the busy street and everyone seems as if they want to say Merry Christmas.  Even those commercialistic stores seem to be filled with the Spirit of Christ.

Why is it that most of us seem to lose the Spirit of Christmas the day after Christmas?  If we could keep this Spirit in our hearts every day of our lives, it wouldn’t be long before “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” would become a reality.   

   We in AA have been “God’s chosen people to live this way.  Christ’s birth was a miracle –” Bill W’s spiritual awakening was a miracle, God so loved us alcoholics that the 12 Steps come through Bill W’s awakening.

   We live the 12th Step to help other alcoholics, but there are other ways that we can live the 12th Step.

   Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies of gifts.  The only true gift is a portion of Thyself.”

   Almost anything in the world can be bought for money, except the warm impulses of the heart.  They have to be given and they are priceless in their power to purchase happiness.  “It is not so much the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver”.

   Try spending yourself this year. How?  You know from experience that gift from the heart has given you the most pleasure.  Such a little gift as a compliment, a visit to a sick or lonely person, a long-overdue letter, a greeting card, a telephone call, a smile, a smile act that reflects thoughtfulness and concern.  These little things you give are the truest form of giving.

   Every one of us in AA has asked for God’s help to keep our sobriety.  Let us in AA asks God’s help to carry the Christmas Spirit over into each day of our lives.

  Give from your heart, and you will see what magic will come into your life!

Receiving Billiette’s Call – The Christmas Spirit

We took our yearly family photo at Christmas when it was sent to others wishing them a Happy New Year. This photo was taken January 1962 at 1422 River Road Fargo.

In the photo of Dad and I, we can see that mom took it in front of our first Christmas tree as a family in December 1944.  I grew up with Mom, Dad, and I praying “lay me down to sleep, I pray my soul to keep”… we said the 1662 Anglican BCP Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father, which art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy Name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done|
on earth, as it is in heaven:
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil;
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.

I changed the above Lord’s prayer to the following when teaching it to my children.

Our Fathers and Mothers, which art with us,
Hallowed be our Names;
Our kingdom come;
Our wills be done
on earth, as it is in heaven:
Help us this day produce our daily bread;
And help us understand our trespasses,
as we seek to understand those that trespass against us;
And help us understand temptation,
For ours is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.

This Receiving finishes with a call to Ukraine, Russia, China, Germany, France, Spain, England, Brazil, Cuba, United States, all Nations to establish Parallel Societies creating a freer World.

Steven S.  March 2, 2022

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Vladimir Putin Manic Monday

2/28/2022 7:49 AM Morning PageMonday Monday by The Bangles [] starts our day. 

I heard the other day that listening to music while one writes has a motivating impact on what and how one writes.  As I am listening, I used YouTube to peek in at what was happening in the Ukrainian War of 2022 – it seems the aggressor Putin may have misjudged Russian readiness for the engagement.  However, a misjudgment about his conventual preparedness only means he likely will turn to his nuclear weapons. The logic of mutually assured destruction (MAD) is “a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender[1] It is based on the theory of deterrence, which holds that the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy’s use of those same weapons. A strategy is a form of Nash Equilibrium in which, once armed, neither side has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm”. To follow Nash’s Equilibrium idea one can read The Power of The Nightmare [ttps://]. Other Parts Power of Nightmare can be watched.

At the end of this blog The Power of The Nightmare is linked to these related posts: Bulworth “Lonesome” Trump, Donald’s got his gun, Kapitalism on the Couch.  Can you imagine, listening to Trump at CPAC last Saturday that he may be running again for US President?

However, this morning we will watch and listen with our 3rd ear Why are Most People Cowards? | Obedience and the Rise of Authoritarianism[] and reflect on our own cowardness. Courage is the key variable to be addressed.  Time for another cup of coffee…  I still have Fannie harassing me to be doing work.  It is now 9 am and this MPage took me an hour to pen – Fannie does not consider this work. What is work?  Wiki states this: Work (human activity), an intentional activity people perform to support themselves, others, or the community.  Then we can add this thought on a “work of artartworkart piecepiece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetic value. Except for ‘work of art’, which may be used of any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works from literature and music, these terms apply principally to tangible, physical forms of visual art.” So, the little woman’s definition of work has to have the component of earning money to live life. So far my writing artwork has not earned a penny, however, what I am doing should still be defined as work.  To get her off my case I will need to earn a dime.  Who will pay me two nickels for these paragraphs? Brother or sister do you have a dime?

6/3/2022 7:18 AM Morning. No one has given me a dime yet. The Power of Nightmares needs updating with today’s nightmares of World Presidents now circling one of their own, President Putin, who threatens to nuke our World. I hope we will read a peaceful resolution has been found…

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Health and Self-Actualization 2: Nobody fucks when sick

On 7/27/2017  I posted Health and Self Actualization 1 which was addressed to all medical physicians and was in part centered on Ivan Illich’s book Toward a History of Needs, which addresses Abraham Maslow’s Self-Actualization Need Theory – pointing out the central role ‘health’ plays in our lives. Without ‘health’ we cannot Self-Actualize, become all that we possibly can become. I pointed this out in the blog post Health and Self-Actualization 1 that if we have a Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it has to be a healthy life, health is the central need in Maslow’s theory – unless we are healthy, all of the higher-level needs, love, esteem, and self-actualization, which make up liberty and happiness are inaccessible! Who wants to fuck when one is sick? We have to be healthy in order to self-actualize our lives into liberty and happiness. This is not an easy task – let’s see if more ‘light’ can be shed on the processes of obtaining a quality life.

So, the issue before us is to examine the processes involved in self-actualization. If the medical profession is not addressing this human need with every patient, it is failing us! Stephen, can you say you are filling this requirement with every patient? Yes, we explore this dimension of life during our meetings, however, this is at my initiative and I suspect you and your colleagues do not go into this with any of your patients. Illich, however, addresses this issue for us and offers us a protocol to apply this medical procedure.

As I mentioned, Illich addresses all ‘professions’ but in particular the ‘medical profession’ as the source of our current dysfunctional healthcare culture. Stephen, I listened carefully to your description of the conflict you experienced in working overtime to cover patients and the push-back you received from hospital administrators concerned with the costs of having to staff those additional hours. As you put it, “hospital administers are money motivated, the profit motive controls the health care industry”. Later in the day, I re-opened Illiches’ book on a history of needs and re-read the paragraph that I had read last, it was in my mind when Stephen was describing his experience and now I re-read it realizing this is what you were describing.

Ivan Illich gives this lecture on 09.12.1974 to mark the launch of his book Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health in which he continues his critique of the medical profession and the ‘delusions’ of importance that exist in Western culture regarding the medical profession. Illich contrasts personal responsibility with individual impotence and questions the corporate indoctrination that reorganizes society within such excesses of professionalization.

Ivan Illich on the Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health

I know this was a deep dive into our ‘medical nemesis’ and here is Life is a Test: Ivan Illich’s Medical Nemesis and the ‘Age of the Show’ presented by Babette Babich member of Fordham University. This is a detailed presentation which was published on Nov 22, 2016 at the International Philosophy of Nursing Society; Keynote address 20th Annual Meeting in Quebec City, Quebec. This is Chapter 1 and other chapters can be viewed following this presentation.

[comment on these videos]

The source of our lack of a self-actualizing life is a failure of Capitalism. This failure has been addressed in these three posts Kapitalism On The Couch posted on Kapitalism: Its Nature posted on Kapitalism’s Concept of the Self posted on Slavoj Zizek below in “under capitalism 80% of population” suggests a new twist on the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle, which asserts that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes stating that for any given event Zizek suggests that 80% of the population is or is becoming disposable, 20% is the real productive force in civilizations. In fact, the Covid-19 virus is fulfilling the Malthusian mandate that the green-revolution put a halt to – reducing useless people from the global economic system.

Yes, this seems harsh, however, the survival of the fittest has not been put to rest? (The Mathematical Challenge to Darwin and Wallace posted on 

The Love of Money 1 of 3 is about the bank that busted the World and is still busting our balls. The love of money should now be treated yet as a sickness, a pandemic. Let’s see if we might develop a vaccination. I am suggesting that there is a ‘silent pulse’ waiting for us to realize as George Leonard suggests “At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex of wave forms and resonances, which connects us to everything in the universe. The act of getting in touch with this pulse can transform our personal experience and in some way alter the world around us” (Leonard, The silent pulse, p.xi, 1978). We are hunting for this pulse!

I have been following Terence McKenna’s work for several years and to a lesser extent that of Ram Dass.  In this interesting conversation, the central issue is sensing the ‘pulse of life around us’. The waiter serving these guys is unique – before watching this fix yourself an espresso coffee!

This blog has been unfolding for some time since 2017 and i am still writing to my physician Stephen in 20017.  Good morning Stephen, seems I am having issues with health care. At least the Senate HC Bill was defeated. How could anyone expect John McCain who had just had state-of-the-art surgery to fly into Washington and vote for this Bill, jerking health care from millions of Americans? It was dramatic – his walking to the center of the chamber, arm extended and turning thumb down. However, it was two women in the majority rejecting this bill.

Ram Dass – Part 1 Complete: Compassion in Action – Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove 

Let me continue with what I have identified as synchronistic experiences beginning with my physical visit to you last week. I did not address this in my email to you but this phenomenon will appear in a blog entry that is being prepared and will be sent to you. However, life keeps unfolding and one has to keep up – this I now realize is the source of psychic energy addressing my feelings of anxiety that every now and then catch up with us.

Yesterday, 8.7.2017, I received the new issue of Time with the cover story ‘The Anti Antidepressant: Depression afflicts 16 million Americans‘. One-third of recipients do not respond to treatment. I am sure you have read many of the original journal studies that were used to compile this story but thought you might be interested in my reading and for sure I am interested in your observation of my observation – here we have the “I see you see me seeing you” Johari exercise. Of course, the central interest is why are so many Americans depressed? We already have Ivan Illich’s thesis to consider but what attracted my interest is the issue of ‘big data research’ going on at Perlis’ lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital. What is going on here is “a team of scientists is trying to use big data to uncover whether any other exiting FDA-approved medications – including drugs for completely different issues, like high cholesterol, pain and even acne – could have any mood-lifting side effects” (44).

What stuck me is that since March 6, I stopped taking my cholesterol drug and my “down moods” it seems have vanished. Of course, I have also stop drinking a few beers most afternoons, while mowing or working on the lawn. So, there is some contamination, however, this does open up the question of my cholesterol drug actually having a depressing effect. What are its findings in this regard?

I was disappointed not to see Stanislav Grof’s work cited in the Time article. His initial work was with psychedelic drugs and then moved into drug-free treatments that the article briefly outlines in a separate supplement. The one mentioned that is another variable confounding me as a research subject is “behavioral-activation therapy” a “treatment that involves helping people identify activities that add meaning to their life, like reading, volunteering, hanging out with friends,…” Here my Scherling Ancestors Project, Life Coaching Service, and writing projects add additional contaminating factors, however, these have been ongoing for some time.

Thinking Allowed – Stanislav Grof


Synchronicity; A meaningful Coincidence (from Day Journal 2017.07a p.30)

Thinking Allowed – Stanislav Grof published on Apr 6, 2014 Interview in “Thinking Allowed” with Jeffrey Mishlove and Stanislav Grof.  Part of DVD “The Roots of Consciousness”​ A New Paradigm of the Unconscious (#S040​) In extraordinary circumstances, the human mind is capable of accessing information from anywhere in time or space, according to evidence provided by Stanislav Grof, M.D.. Author of Realms of the Human Unconscious, Dr. Grof is an innovative psychotherapist who has attempted to integrate the divergent schools of Freud, Jung and Reich with insights from the leading edge of contemporary physics and biology.

Finally, I am sending this note to my psychiatrist friend, whom has discussed these idea with me before. The article reports that “since ketamine is FDA approved as an anesthetic, physicians can legally prescribe it off-label for any condition they believe it may help, including depression” (43). Some in USA are legally setting up private clinics and raking in money. We fantasied about setting up clinics using Ayahuasca brew and attending a ayahuasca clinic in Peru. No, I was not and am not sipping that brew, never have – yet. I now seem to be on another path.

I wait your report on my medicine. For sure, beginning to re-start the medicine and feeling anxiety will be telling. But then it still may all be psychological. In the meantime, I die of a heart attack – better hurry – ya! Have a productive day.

PS Toward the end of Grof’s interview, the issue you related about a past Roman Emperor is addressed. Do send me his name.

8/1/2017 8:28 AM
I went for my yearly physical check-up last week and am in the process of writing up the experience going on for several days now. I expect to put this on my blog in more detail than I have already shared with my Doc, however, this morning’s “morning page” contained this clip now at the center of what I am writing. Again, it applies to me, us, and especially to Trump’s misunderstanding of globalization. Grof is an interesting fellow. Oh, the check-up was okay, but I have an issue with certain medications that the latest Time cover story on “The Anti Antidepressant” addresses. Big data analysis is now looking into side effects for already approved drugs for other ailments like high cholesterol to see if they work for depression. My observation and question this morning to my Doc is that they may cause anxiety depression. I want to see the research on this. Still, this does not address the interesting question of why are so many Americans are depressed? But Stanislav has some ideas. Enjoy!

Stanislav Grof – The Cosmic Game 1

Christina and Stan Grof – Holotropic Breathwork 

Stanislav Grof – The Cosmic Game 2

Timothy Leary and Ram Dass Debate

Ram Dass – Part 1 Complete: Compassion in Action – Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove

8/1/2017 2:33 PM
Hello again Stephen, Thank you for the Roman Emperor’s name. The issue that I was asking you about was the Time article reporting on big-data search regarding the possible “positive effects” of cholesterol drugs on depressions. My experience this past month is in stopping my cholesterol drug, my “down moods” seemed to have ceased. So, is there research finding on any side-effects on the drug that I have been taking? Is my choice between putting up with a mild low mood or suffering heart attack? This may seem at first glance not important but I have not yet factored into this experience the synchronicities that are unfolding. What do we know about this drug and possibly what is going on? Steven

Hyper Normalisation

BBC Documentary 2017 – To The Brink of Eternity – New Adam Curtis Documentary 2017

A Tarot I Ching Journey – Introduction 2

Terence McKenna – Time and the I-Ching

Then I was this in my feed and am wondering if this ought to next be posted. Let’s take big brother out of the sky!
The Bourne Legacy (2/8) Movie CLIP – Drone Attack

But more pressing is to get to the last chapter of Maria’s book that addresses the idea of Time now under discussion. And from the table of contents I see it is somewhere in you Lennie. Okay will find Her.
Conscious Evolution and the Integration of Science and Spirituality
Terence McKenna – Timewave Zero

Stone Age Economics

Click to access Sahlins%20-%20Stone%20Age%20Economics.pdf

The Psychology of Self-Deception

The Third Pill-Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek: The paradox of freedom – True Freedom isn’t the freedom of choice

Chapter 19: Conclusion: I do not address myself to nations but to those few people amongst home it is taken for granted that our civilization does not drop from heaven but it is, in the end, produced by individuals. If the great cause fails it is because the individuals fail, because I failed. So I must first put myself right. And as authority has lost its spell I need for this purpose knowledge and experience of the most intimate and intrinsic foundations of my subject of being so as to build my based upon the internal factors of the human soul. (quoted by H. Westmann in “the old testament and analytical psychology,” Guild lecture No. 10, the guild a pastoral psychology, London, England).

Jung’s remarks, above up might have been directed to those individuals concerned with widening the range of their consciousness by learning to interpret the information contained in their dreams, so aptly put are the essentials. To “put yourself right” with “knowledge and experience of the most intimate and intrinsic foundations of your subjective being” is precisely the aim of the venture. The work really amounts to research which, as the contents of this book will have disclosed, is extremely varied. During its course, you are sustained encouraged to discern with increasing clarity the personality emerging out of your dreams, of which you previously had been more-or-less unconscious. In short, you have been individuating. (240)

While the work is necessarily solitary, you are not alone. Rather, as you go deeper with your research the more plainly do you see the connections linking you to specialists in other studies. You recognize that you have taken your place in the avant garde of that evolutionary stream surging powerfully through our present era, as exhibited in the fantastic conver¬gence of mental, psychological and physical achievements already here: the release of nuclear energy, the manipulation of genes and chromosomes for the control of heredity and sex, the libera¬tion of the human spirit from psychic bondage through the knowledge of psychoanalysis and understanding of depth psychol¬ogy, the recognition that words-in-use are symbols and its concomitant, that we have not yet learned to use our minds properly, all these achievements amount to breakthroughs to new plateaus in human history from which the future advances will be launched.

The aggregate of these accomplishments has created a new climate in which is emerging a new genus, called Homo progressivus by the late distinguished paleontologist, Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, the scientist whose acquaintance with man has extended all the way back to Sinanthropus, which he helped to identify. De Chardin has struck perhaps the most hopeful note of any scientist of an eminence as to the future prospects of mankind… He singled out in particular as one distinguishing mark of the new breed, and that is, a mysterious sense of the future.

…More accurately, you perceive a curiously immediate participation in it, possibly the more intensified when it is deliberate, con¬scious choice that impels you to take on the task of lessening the collective unconsciousness by as much as on individual’s quanta, your very own portion, in your lifetime. Such action be¬comes, as Jung remarks of the psyche, “intervention in the exist¬ing natural order [and] no one can say with certainty where this intervention will finally end.” But your own heightened con¬sciousness will detect that such intervention is on a cosmic or¬der, capable of effecting an alteration of principle, through transmutation, in precisely the manner of the observer in physics, the science complementary to depth psychology, as described by the Nobel physicist, Wolfgang Pauli:

Every observation (by the observer, i.e., an individual) interferes on an indeterminable scale both with the in¬struments of observation and with the system observed interrupts the causal connection of the phenomena preceding it with those following it… [The resulting selective observation] may be compared to a creation in the microcosm or even to a transmutation, the results of which are, however, unpredictable and beyond human con-trol.4 (242)

Profoundly, the individual counts; though the full meaning of your individual efforts to bring to consciousness what is in your own unconscious may not be revealed to you, you can know that you are going in the only progressive direction of the future evolu¬tion of man on this earth. But that is not all. Something far more personal, intimate and immediate will come about. As Jung says: “Whoever nurtures this contact between the conscious and unconscious will, in time, experience a great spiritual and moral release of tension, his inner oppositions will be lessened; he will take root in his instincts and gain that sense of security and support in him an undreamed-of fullness of life that expands rather than shrinks with age because the instincts and values are being truly lived.” (Spring, 1960) From Mahoney 1966:242)

(3, Jung C.G., & Pauli, W.,1955, The influence of archetypal ideas on the scientific theories of Kepler, The interpretation of nature and the psyche. New York: Pantheon Books, 1955, pp. 151-153.

(4Pauli further elaborates his thesis by pointing to the fact that the emotional aspect of the observer’s ex¬perience (in experimental physics) stands in vital relationship not only to contemporary knowledge but also to the actual process of cognition.)

8.2.2017 Stephen good morning, I do not mean to belabor this, but it seems I have sunk into a sinkhole and as Jung once remarked about a patient reaching for help out of the hole she was in, chuckled and pushed her under saying “it is not out but through you must go”.

In this regard, my most immediate question is to ask you if you can remember in my last visit, you told me a story, I think, of another patient you had that was meaningfully related to our usually psychological discussions. Can you remember this story? I tried and so far, cannot.
I wikied “brain fog” and do not think this is my feeling of past anxiety. I suspect other aspects of my life, previously mentioned, are overriding any possible effects from not taking my current medication. I read some on the “blood/brain barrier” and what would be the advantage of having this in Pravastatin? I need to finish writing up recent reading and experiences and then will begin re-taking something. Appreciate your indulgence on this. Steven A.

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Billiette Calling! Fun In Your Little Brown Jug


Fun In Your Little Brown Jug by Billiette S.

What fun can you have now that you can’t drink anymore? Gee, Billie, it’s too bad you’re an alcoholic – no more fun and games.  They feel sorry for me – I feel sorry for them, for it is a lonesome old road they’re traveling. If you are looking for fun out of life, then you will find it in the little brown jug. Isn’t it fun to have a few “high balls” so that you can make love to someone else’s spouse and destroy a few marriages and families? Isn’t it fun to “role out of the barrel” so you can perform as a clown? Have another drink, Billie, so you can be funny. Isn’t she fun? The life of the party! People aren’t laughing with you my friend – they are laughing at you. And, when the party is over, you are left alone, because there is nothing worse than a drunken clown! Who wants you now? Isn’t it fun to wake up in the morning wishing you were dead? Your head is bursting with pain as it hangs over the ‘john’. There goes all your fun down the drain. What you need now is another ‘high ball’ when you feel as if a ‘low ball’ has just hit you in the gut…

   Isn’t it fun to have a ‘few’ so you can fight, argue and hate making life miserable for your children and for those who listen to your ‘fun’. Isn’t it fun to lose your job, your family, your friends, to be alone in the world – just you and your little brown jug?

   Isn’t it fun to wake up to the fact that you killed a man because you had to have ‘one’ more for the road? Man – that’s fun? Isn’t it fun to find yourself in jail or the state hospital, or in the gutter with cars whizzing by you, avoiding you as if you were a stray dog with rabies? That’s living? – Yep, that’s the fun one finds in the little brown jug!  Fun in the little brown jug. You may call it fun, but when the bell tolls you, you will look at all the fun you had and discover it wasn’t fun but tragedy in your little brown jug.

   Fun! What fun is Billie having now? I threw away my little brown jug that was full of so much fun. I no longer have to seek fun for I have found joy. The joy of living each day, the joy of being alive, the joy of accomplishing the tasks set before me, the joy of my children, the joy of my many friends, but most of all the joy of God who helps me to carry the ‘message’ that there is joy in being a recovering alcoholic. Billiette S. June 1971

Receiving Billiette’s Call – Fun In Your Little Brown Jug

Billiette begins with the fundamental issue facing every alcoholic, “What fun can I have now that I am not drinking anymore?” She also provides us with an essential image of ‘the drinker’ – that of a stud with a jug slung up onto his out-starched elbow as s/he gups down its brown booze. What can I possibly find interesting to talk or do with a group of non-drinkers? Can we imagine an evening at the Elks without booze! Boring! However, Billie is quick to remind us that “there is nothing worse than a drunken clown! Who wants you now? Isn’t it fun to wake up in the morning wishing you were dead? Your head is bursting with pain as it hangs over the ‘john’.” Stop and let this sink in – just thinking about is gives me a headache!

Billiette studied Victor Frankel’s logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that searches for a meaningful life as the central human motivational force.[3] Logotherapy is part of existential and humanistic psychology theories following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler but not exactly.[4] Victor’s best-selling book is his autobiographical Man’s Search for Meaning, which is based on his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. A Library of Congress survey found Victor’s book belongs to the list of “the ten most influential books in the United States.”[1] At the time of Victor’s death in 1997, the book had sold 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages (Wikipedia). So, what is Victor’s central message for everyone and especially AA members stuck tightly in brown mud?   Victor’s psychotherapeutic method, involves identifying a purpose in our lives to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. Immersive imagination is what we need to understand and live – this is the issue we are hiding inside our brown jugs. According to Victor, “the way a prisoner imagines the future affected his longevity”. The book intends to answer this question, “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” Part One is Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in concentration camps, while part two introduces his ideas of meaning and theory called logotherapy, which Billie addresses in her column. We can also begin to understand logotherapy by defining immersion journalism, which is the style journalists use – immersing themselves in a situation, with the people involved. This is the experiential learning process of a successful writer and an AA member set on recovering. A recovering AA member is an experiential writer and acts on the following suggestions.

The following list of tenets represents Frankl’s basic principles of Logotherapy:

  • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
  • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
  • We have inalienable freedom to find meaning.

We can find meaning in life in three different ways:

  • by creating a work or doing a deed;
  • by experiencing something or encountering someone;
  • by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. (Wikipedia)

Reflecting on these three different ways of finding meaning in life, using your computer or pen, write about the meaning you see in your life!  Do what is called “free-writing” just write not stopping to correct spelling or punctuation. We are interested in your ideas on finding meaning in your life!

Steven S. February 2, 2022  

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Billiette Calling! God’s Will

God’s Will by Billiette S.

From the beginning of time, man’s fear of God has developed in his desire to hide and escape from him.  Man’s escapism has brought him to a point of denying that there is a God – that God is dead – long live man!  Today the person who lives to escape from the reality that there is a God, who rules the universe, finds himself seeking the material “things” of this world to fulfill his needs for happiness until he realizes there is something missing – there seems to be a void in his life.

This longing for the missing link has often brought the “social drinker” to advance over that gray line into the world of addiction. Alcohol – the big daddy of all drugs, becomes his god. After our lives have become unmanageable because of alcohol, the alcoholic may enter into the AA way of life.

Probably for the first time, the alcoholic comes face to face with God, and mask must be removed from his or her face – because the alcoholic is such a proficient escape artist, it isn’t easy for us to face the realities of ourselves to God and to another human being. The 12 Steps of AA do guarantee us a contented life of sobriety, but those who have slips seem to be the ones who avoid taking the 3rd Step “To make a decision to turn our will and our life over the care of God as we understand Him.”

I have heard AA members say, “I don’t understand God, so how can I believe He will help me now?”  We don’t understand electricity either, yet we have faith the lights will go on when we turn on the light switch.  So, it is with God – have the faith that when you turn your will and life over to Him, “the lights will go on”. When God is turned on, believe and have faith that you’re going to play a whole new ballgame.  Try It – It works!  But the decision is for you to make.

According to God’s will for the alcoholic, the practice of the Ten Commandments and the Twelve Steps go hand in hand.  To put God first in your life is to remove all false gods such as alcohol, drugs, etc.  Those who go their own way usually die lonely and disillusioned human beings.  To love your fellow man as you do yourself is to be active in AA and to be willing to make 12 Steps calls whenever it is possible.  Isn’t it God’s Will that we have faith rather than despair; hope rather than doubt; love rather than hate; understanding rather than to criticize or to gossip: to be forgiving rather than resentful; to give rather than being a taker? Tolerance, patience, and honesty are all virtues that God wills for us.  No one can work the AA program alone – it is up to us to help each other and to help the suffering soul of a new member.

God, AA members, and AA meetings, The Twelve Steps are the only way the alcoholic can grow to maturity in order to face the realities of life’s problems and into lasting sobriety.  God’s will!  Try it – It works!  Make this DECISION Today!  Billiette S. June 1972

Receiving Billiette’s Call – God’s Will

In the Hitchens V. Hitchens Debate held on April 3, 2008, the Hitchens brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens debate religion. Peter supports the Christian paradigm while Christopher defends his position that god is now great, which he explains in his popular book God is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything. Christopher’s style has become known at Hitchens’s razor, which Chris writes is “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” [1][2][3]  Christopher further asks us to, “remember, miracles are supposed to occur at the behest of a being who is omnipotent as well as omniscient and omnipresent. One might hope for more magnificent performances than ever seem to occur. The “evidence” for faith, then, seems to leave faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood, alone and unsupported, all by itself. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. This is even more true when the “evidence” eventually offered is so shoddy and self-interested” (Wikipedia).  After reading God is Not Great, listening to the Hitchens brother’s debate, and studying A.R. Scherling’s The Dogma of a Sinful Constitution, it will come to the Scherling V. Scherling Debate to reach an admirable solution.

   After completing draft one of paragraph one, above, I am now trying to see the path onward. I am trying to ‘think’ this next paragraph through but I get lost after the first sentence. Then, I realize that my understanding has always been to just begin and free-write, It will come, It works, Try it. What Billie is asking us to do is daunting – to come face to face with God! To help us she has suggested using the 3rd AA Step, “To make a decision to turn our will and our life over the care of God as we understand Him.” Billie then addresses AA members’ excuse for not taking the 3rd Step saying they do not know God with the analogy that “we don’t understand electricity either, but have faith the lights will go on when switched on.”  However, some of us now do understand electricity so, shouldn’t we expect that some of us now do understand God?  Let’s try!

   Billie admits that it is hard for her to “know the will of God in my life”. However, she accepts that it is God’s Will for the alcoholic to stay sober! She has developed several aids to help her. One is when she wakes in the morning, she remembers that “This is the day that God has made – Rejoice and be glad in it and to ask Him for His help to guide my way through another day of sobriety.” Then she tells us to read, re-read, and practice of the Ten Commandments and the Twelve Steps – they go hand-in-hand.  She then challenges us with the task “To love your fellow man as you do yourself”. Here is an issue and our opening! To love the other as you love yourself one has to know how to first love oneself.  

   An issue is that we do not know how to love ourselves!  This is addressed in the Deep Jesus, Us? blog where this conclusion is drawn from the fundamental teaching of Jesus: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye with never a thought for the great plank in your own eye?  In order to Love thy neighbor as thy self, one has to learn how to love thy Self. Loving one’s enemy and turning the other cheek follow from actualizing Self-Love and removing the dark shadow plank in our eye is an analytical step. Edinger in his interesting book, Ego and Archetype, suggests that these teaching clearly indicate that Jesus was the first depth psychologist nineteen hundred years before the unconscious was empirically established.” Edward addresses the central issue confronting everyone, individuation is a myth for modern man.

   Billiette’s position is that “God, AA members, in AA meetings, using Twelve Steps, and the Ten Commandments is the way alcoholics grow into maturity and live life sober.”  We will consider Deep Jesus as we walk our 12 Steps.  Steven S.  January 31, 2022

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Billiette Calling! To Succeed


To Succeed by Billiette S.

You gotta have hope, lots and lots and lots of hope –
‘Cause if you don’t have hope, all you’ve got is despair.
You gotta have faith, lots and lots and lots of faith –
‘Cause if you don’t have faith, all you’ve got is doubt.
You gotta have love, lots and lots and lots of love –
‘Cause if you don’t have love, all you’ve got is hate.
You gotta have courage, lots and lots and lots of courage –
‘Cause if you don’t have courage, all you’ve got are fears.
You gotta have smiles, lots and lots and lots of smiles –
‘Cause if you don’t have smiles, all you’ve got is tears.
You gotta have God, lots and lots and lots of God –
‘Cause if you don’t have God, all you’ve got is hell.
You gotta have AA, lots and lots and lots of AA –
‘Cause if you don’t have AA, all you’ve got is another drunk.
So, if your life is full of despair, doubt, hate, fears, tears, hell,
and a drunk, and you want a better life, what you need now is lots
and lots and lots of AA, God smiles, courage, love, faith, and hope.

AA does not guarantee to open the gates of Heaven to let you in.

Receiving Billiette’s Call – To Succeed you gotta have…

Two of Billie’s You gotta have to succeed stand out for me – you gotta have love and you gotta have courage. Love & Courage are in the titles of two books Rollo May wrote that both Billie’s and I read and discussed. One is Love and Will (1969) in which May “articulates the principle that an awareness of death (Mortality salience) [] is essential to life, rather than being opposed to life.” The book goes on to explore “how the modern loss of older values, whose structures and stories provided society with explanations of the mysteries of life, forces contemporary humanity to choose between finding meaning within themselves or deciding that neither oneself nor life, has meaning. This so describes AA’s mission – addressing “life has meaning and it is one’s task to find it within him or herself”. In this video The Human Dilemma [] Dr. May discusses The Dilemma we humans face – may we suggest taking notes for our later discussions.

The other book is The Courage to Create (1975) where May suggests that “Listening to our ideas and helping form the structure of our world is what our creative courage can come from… May encourages people to break the pattern in their life and face their fears to reach their full potential”. May suggests that anxiety is the gateway to creativity, so understanding anxiety is our task. This is a huge task, however, we have many resources to help us and we begin with Time Magazine’s Behavior: Yes Begins With a No published June 22, 1970. As a photographer, I especially like the angle on the Camera Position 158: The Courage To Create, and then my psychology training is really satisfied with Ego is The Enemy – below is the full audiobook. There is time now to get your cup of coffee and settle in to listen and do take some notes, we will be addressing these lectures as we move forward.

Rollo May, Lecture 1: Psychology and the Human Dilemma

Rollo May, Lecture 2: Losing Our Sense of Personal Significance

Rollo May: The Discovery of Being, Lecture 3

Rollo May: The Discovery of Being, Lecture 4

Now, what are you feeling? … what are you thinking? … Now write about these!

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