Some contemplations.... - via E. R. Blomgren, PhD         aka       EdwardBlomgren.com
A few updates
 
 
 
Dateline: 10 - 11 March 2012, Saturday & Sunday
We attended the Delray Beach ATP International Tennis tournament mens' singles and doubles semifinals and finals (four matches) to some of the finest tennis I've seen in a long time! Kevin Anderson (who rountinely hits serves 130 - 140mph) defeated Marinko Matosevic in the singles... but I think the doubles semis and finals (Ross Hutchins/Colin Fleming def. Andre Sa/Michal Mertinak) were even more exciting - much fast, finessed network as a team. Such tennis motivates one to play more focused tennis...oh, the possibilities!
 
 
Dateline: 9 February 2012, a Thursday
 
 
Read Dr. Timothy Leary's Eight Circuits of Consciousness here.
 
 
Dateline: 27 January 2012, a Friday
"When I was younger, my benefactor asked me a question, but I was too hot-blooded to understand it. Now I am older and ask it of you. You must look at your life and your way, and there is no shame in dropping whatever you have undertaken, as long as it's not done out of fear or ambition. But there is one question, and one question alone, that matters. Does this path have heart?" [-Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan] 
 
Dateline: 15 January 2012, a Sunday
"We seem to be involved in a dramatic race for time that has no precedent in the entire history of humanity. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of life on this planet. If we continue the old strategies, which in their consequences are clearly extremely self-destructive, it is unlikely that the human species will survive." ~Stanislov Grof, MD
 
     Grof, one of the world's foremost and most influential thinkers, has been writing and researching for many decades. He was part of a think-tank discussion addressing the question: “What is the implicit narrative/drama or myth that is framing the public arena these days and what new counter-narratives are needed?” The task of the group was to outline a vision for USA that would have the power to inspire American people and successfully compete with the "American Dream" vision, which no longer seems to work, and with the dangerous "Left Behind" (Christian rapture) vision that currently dominates the thinking of tens of millions of Americans. The article is Grof's suggestion for such a vision, based on observations from consciousness research.
 
Dateline: 14 January 2012, a Saturday
This was sent to me by my long-time (over 20 years) mate Bob Massi, and is quite powerful, especially from 4 minutes, onward. In tandem with exquisite photography Brother David Stendahl-Rast talks about gratitude... for being alive, right now, on this very beautiful planet, with all of life.
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TedxSF 2011 - Louie Schwartzberg:Happiness Revealed
Dateline: 13 January 2012, a Friday
I added a couple of beautiful quotes on the 'Quote for the Day(s)' page (one to the top of first column; two to the top of the second); I hope they're useful to you.
      For the last week I've been involved with a CD/DVD course - "Awakening Through Sound - I bought from SoundsTrue.com; I highly, highly recommend this company if you're not familiar with it. The following is essentially the feedback I provided on their site for this course:
     I think that "Awakening Through Sound" is perhaps the finest, most powerful course I've ever taken!! (At first I was a little disheartened with the voice-opening exercises, thinking they were a little basic; and I almost prejudged the rest of the program, returning it for a refund. Fortunately not!!) The course is essentially about discovering that one possesses a built-in mechanism for spiritual awakening: ones own voice, what's called your "naked voice" - the deep song of your heart that contains all your longing, joy, grief, and passions - the "raw truth" of who you are. In the course you learn to fearlessly engage with your own singing voice as the entry point for a direct encounter with deeper elements of yourself beyond ego. Through the voice one integrates heart and mind as an embodied vehicle, through vocal expression. It's hard to describe this all without perhaps sounding corny, so please check out SoundsTrue's course description. (Disclosure: my excitment about the course is just that, personal excitement; this is not meant, nor do I intend this to be, a sales pitch for the course. I am neither benefiting in any way from Goodchild or Sounds True or have any arrangement with them by recommending the course.)
       Chloë Goodchild (the author of the course) is a profoundly deep and spiritual person who communicates on many levels and interweaves her knowledge and experience of Eastern and Western traditions and masters in profound, subtle ways. Not only did her decades of experienced teachings work to allow me to hear and open to my "naked voice" for I think the first time ever - especially through the “7 sounds of love” - but I came to understand so much more about, and beyond, voice... how the voice is/as energy, and resonates and evokes a range of emotions, and vice versa, how the voice is healing, how it is unique to each human. Her discussions, informed by Eastern traditions, are stunning; I’m no stranger to these traditions, but much of what she said took my breath away! And I know now why it is (and it has been the case for decades) that I absolutely weep deeply whenever I hear, or tried to sing (or even to imagine hearing), Puccini's 'nessun dorma' aria from his opera "Turandot." (I rarely talk about this weeping to anyone because I found it makes others uncomfortable and it's a conversation stopper.) This same emotional outpouring and sobbing occurred while I sang the "7 sounds of love," and for the first 3 days or so I couldn't even get through the first 1 or 2 sounds due to all this choking up that, paradoxically, felt sooo good, cathartic, and connecting that I was absolutely drawn to stay with it for hours. And as I did, my voice opened up, my heart opened up, and... I... can... sing!! Now I’m looking forward to being able to actually get through and sing the “nessun dorma” aria without breaking down into tears after just a few words of the Italian! I’ll also note that the first 4 "sounds of love" have become a beautiful mantra in my meditation in addition to another, and I sing them quietly everywhere. Thank you Chloe! I'm hoping you will visit the US and do workshops in the States - I'll be first in line! This program is "worth" far, far more than what it costs; you won't be disappointed, and you can certainly expect that it’ll open your life in new ways!
 
Dateline: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
A great way to  understand the US national DEBT!:

(Democrats and Republicans share the responsibility equally - yet another good illustration that the US currently has only one party (comprised of two game-playing, duplicitous factions, the Ds and Rs)!!
 
This rather brilliantly cuts through all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective.
Lesson # 1:
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 (i.e., 2+ trillion dollars)
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 (i.e., almost 4 trillion dollars)
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 ((i.e., over 1.6 trillion dollars)
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 (i.e., over 14 trillion dollars)
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000 (i.e., over 38 billion dolalrs)
Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385
 
Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the debt ceiling:
Let's say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ......
Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?
 
Dateline: Friday, 11/26/2011
Within the 30 day window, I just returned my Kindle (and nice green leatehr cover) to Amazon for a refund. It's not for me. First, apparently the reason I paid $99 and not $139 was because my purchase came with "special offers." Little did I know at the time - perhaps I just didn't see it, or perhaps it wasn't stated very well - "special offers" means that instead of getting those nice bookplates that are available on the higher priced Kindles, for the lower purchase price I "agreed" to accept advertisements popping up when I turn it on!! Yuk!! Perhaps that's what turned me off the most when I first got it, and it stuck in my craw every time I turned it on or off. Relatedly, have you noticed that every little available space nowadays is crammed with ads to buy things? Popups to buy something. Ads on my Gmail; ads on Google. Yes, I know this is the game, but honestly, it grows tiresome. And is feels like eye pollution! 
      For me, the experience of reading "linearly" on the Kindle (only one page in front of me at a time) couldn't compare to the ease and usefulness of having a real book there in front of me all-at-once... where I could quickly look at the index, or go back a few pages to re-read or compare, or make real notes in the margins (the note feature on Kindle is very limited and not near as useful as my arrows, stars, and such in my book-written annotations). The Kindle felt sterile and heavy even though it tried to mimic a book to some degree, compared to the sensuousness of a book. It wasn't satisfying. I'm too "old school" I guess, but for me a new technology has to serve me better than what it's replacing. I'm not a Luddite; I love technologies... just the eReaders like the Kindle don't work as well as the real thing. Used in traveling, it's a different story; I'm sure I'd prefer it. But on balance and even though I travel a fair bit, I still love my books! Please don't take this an indictment of Kindles or technology. It's just that this particular technology is not for me, at this time.
 
Dateline: Friday, 11/11/2011
There are roughly 100 trillion cells in the human body; and of those 100 trillion cells about 90 trillion of them are actually different kinds of bacteria (which means that only 1 of every 10 cells in your body is actually "your own").
Now, what are the statistical odds of your actually being born on the planet? Click here  (you may need to enlarge the image to read it all) Or click here for a downloadable image to enlarge and printout. This is certainly a way to tickle my 100 billion neurons!!
 
Dateline: Wednesday, 11/09/2011
The following was sent to me by my very dear (and much missed) friend (back in NY), magician, comic entertainer, and teaching artist, Bob Shelley:
This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.
 
A billion is a difficult number for most people to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.
 
  • A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
  • A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
  • A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
  • A billion days ago no one on the earth walked on two feet.
 
  • A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our governments are spending it.
 
While this thought is still fresh in our brain ...let's take a look at New Orleans ....
 
It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.
 
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans ... Interesting number ... what does it mean?
 
Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.
 
Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.
 
Or... if you are a family of four… your family gets $2,066,012.
 
Imagine, now $700 billion bailing out banks in the US . That's enough to fund complete medical care for every man, woman and child currently alive in the US for 11 years!!
 
50 billion to bail out the auto industry???
  
Washington , D.C. & Ottawa
 
< HELLO!!! >
 
Are all your calculators broken??
 
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax , Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property y Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax upon Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Income Tax
Everything Tax
 
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago ...and our nations were the most prosperous in the world.
 
We had absolutely no national debt ...
We had the largest middle class in the world and Mom could stay at home to raise the kids if she wanted to.
 
What happened?
 
Can you spell ‘politicians’!
 
And I still have to press '1' for English. I hope this goes around the US & CANADA at least 1 billion times
 
{I wouldn't blame politicians only. I believe that ultimately it's the American people who let this happen... though it doesn't help that we have a broken, 100% corrupted electoral system; an educational system that's expert at dumbing down students; and a corporatocracy that's infiltrated 100% of American culture( actually, it isour culture) [less so, Canadian]. e.b.}
 
 
Dateline: Tuesday, 10/25/2011        Today: a 3.5 hour zipline canopy adventure tour in Asheville (actually about 20 minutes away)! It's a picture-perfect fall day, clear, sunny, and 70°. The leaves are turning a riot of warm colors and what better way to spend it than to be high above the mountaintop floor zipping through the treetops at 30-40 mph, suspended comfortably in a harness from a cable, breathing in the fall forest fragrances, and whooping out in glee! 
         I've added videos and some pictures of moi and my friend Jon. If you ever get a chance to do this, do this. Ordinarily, as a pilot and jumper, I might have approached this with a jaded attitude, but I knew this would be over-the-top-fun. [Actually, when I was about 6 or 7 in Kentucky (stationed there, dad was career military) my father put up a zip line in the woods for us kids. He fashioned a harness/chair... and off we went; possibly one of the first zip lines decades ago. Thanks, Dad.]
 
Tuesday, 9/27/2011          I just completed an intensive Foundations course held in Oak Ridge, TN, en route to becoming a Certified Svaroopa® Yoga teacher. It was an absolutely transformative experience!! Svaroopa® Yoga (SV) appears to be unique among all the styles and schools of yoga, and it was this focus on inward practice, and asanas (the yogas poses) designed to allow inner openings and releases especially along the spine, that attracted me. If you click below you can read an article about it, and also the distinctions between SV and other forms of yoga. 
 
5/26/2010            My anam cara of 23 years, Mark, died today.
 
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