“Communication, An Art Form Of Evolving Words & Meaning in Motion” by Calvin Harris H.W., M. — May 9, 2016
“ART is the uncanny ability to communicate” if but a particular facet of an idea or unique twist to a subject. To depict a moment or flash in time securing that idea or subject in some kind of medium, that can bring a vibrancy and depth to something ordinary, that then transforms it, much like vivacious colors and brush strokes on an impressionist artist canvas, changes the ordinary landscape into something memorable. You look for the best possible situation for you to express your medium, to bring about your object of ART and to capture it. That facet of itself not yet known or enlightened before. It is the best of compliments when someone says, “Wow, you made that ugly building beautiful.” Or when a customer says “you saw something gorgeous in that old wreck, that I did not see.” It’s about capturing the spirit of the subject not seen before. If you can do that, then your job as an Artist, is done.’ This is a paragraph taken from a story I wrote for the website siteofcontact.net. the May 2016 blog piece of that e-magazine called “Life As Art”
I believe ART is a function of Communication and what is communicated evolves and becomes transformed. One such art form or communication is Words. It is in the Prosperos that I became aware of this impressionist art form, and the block piece of clay that was going to be transformed by it had become myself. The Technique used was Translation. Translation is the manipulation of words in an application of conscious thought towards a question or problem with the intention of revealing the truth about it. It operates from the premise that appearances cannot be trusted and must be reviewed in the light of universal principle.
The goal is to strip away or release all factors of limitation and reveal the unpredictable good disguised behind problem situations, usually embedded within the words we use.
Some words have dramatically changed meaning throughout the ages. Silly meant in its earliest use, things worthy or blessed; from there it came to refer to the weak and vulnerable, and more recently to those who are foolish. Flirt:500 years ago, was flicking something away. Now it involves playing with people’s emotions. Rubbers used to be slip-on boots that covered shoes, in Britain meaning erasers, but most often used as slang for condoms.
But how does a word’s definition change so drastically?
In an attempt to understand how words’ meanings, evolve, I added to my collection of reference books an “Etymological” dictionary which traces a word’s development over time, giving historical examples to show changes. And I found it to be a way to map out the relationships between different words and their meanings in a sort of linguistic snapshot, capturing the process in action.
In the Prosperos early on, I learned that some words even have multiple meanings, like the Hawaiian word Aloha, which can mean love, hello and goodbye as example.
Translation uses words, to create a semantic network. Connecting words through a more holistic understanding of their meanings. Gaining a new understanding of the relationship between words and meanings.
It was fascinating to me how the meanings of words change,”. In American English we have so many words of extractions from other countries, that when looking for patterns among words you can find the connection in the root word, buried in Latin, Greek, or Aramaic languages.
These root words are found in languages across diverse historical, cultural, and geographical contexts. What you find in words is a kind of archetypal, universal patterns in language, that at first glance you would not see the common ancestry or interaction of the words.
This process of Translation ultimately produces a web of words, of elements, and concepts really. these groupings line up with classical elements of art and science. Words and meaning in motion that leads one to how words work.
Words are really concepts. We need a word to express ourselves, communicate with others, but what is actually being communicated is meaning.
Culture may seem to be what is constantly driving word change, those groupings of letters in motion. Change as we have seen on e-mails, twitter and alike, with such thing as abbreviation, hashtags, and emoticons making what we call communication very inventive, artistic and remarkably dynamic too.
“Our sense that words are static things sitting in the dictionary with a meaning – or even meanings – that sit still, that is artificial,” Columbia University linguist John H. McWhorter, has said of words. “Rather, a word is a process, always on its way to becoming a different one.”
So when we use words in a modern semantic network, then like art we have captured a freeze-frame of that dynamic process.
“Words don’t just change meanings randomly – rather, implications hanging over a word gradually become what the word means,” says Dr. McWhorter. “For example, “SUN implies HEAT. In a language, one might talk about getting some ‘sun’ in the meaning of warming up. After a while, in that language the word SUN may actually mean nothing but HEAT, something that would happen step by step, under the radar.”
Words and their meanings change over time, but the goal of language is the association with the divine, the universal. In the Translation technique you will find that word are an art form of communication, a language where basic concepts come together and unite no matter how disparate human experience is, and that beyond local culture there is an archetypal universal principle shaping how language manifest.
There is a coherent conceptual space of meaning, that transcends cultural and environmental factors, in other words, language isn’t strongly wedded to environment but in association with others. I hope you are making plans to attend and participate in the Prosperos Assembly, a gathering of people for a creative experience of evolving words and meanings in motion. A change of view September 2-5, 2016 at the Westin Hotel, Long Beach, CA.
“To Move Life Forward” by Calvin Harris H.W.,M — April 20, 2016
I found myself in a meditative state a few days ago, pondering how to move my life forward, which began a flood of thoughts and then memories that moved across my awareness like passing trains at a railroad crossing. Then there was a series of them about the Prosperos and some of the extraordinary students I had the good fortune to meet during my years in the Prosperos.
It all started with of all things the words from Mame Dennis out of the book Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade – by Patrick Dennis “Life is a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death!”
That thought was then eclipsed with the phase ‘Find Yourself and Live’ which is a Prosperos series of 34 lessons, The thought lingered and then transformed into memories about my experiences with the lessons but more importantly the groups of students I engaged with in those lessons, Ha, those 4th-way situations called lessons. Hahaha, they certainly prove a means to help me expand my understanding and application of the principles of Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendour, just in my trying to deal and get along with those so and so (a short belly laugh arose), strange how those encounter help changed what was going on in my daily life too… I found myself opened up in the group interaction to a place where old hurts, old prisons, and the lethargy of the ego-centered state were visited, and had to be released for the understanding of my innate Self. A silent cleansing breath washes over me, and the thoughts began to change again with the thought ‘how to move my life forward?’ And then the phrase “To make spiritual Truth an effective force for ordered freedom and common good” popped into my head as well as “For children yet unborn.”
The mind is like a river it can just keeps on meandering along, for the next thought I had was of Jacques-Yves Cousteau quote – “If a ‘person’ for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he/she has no right to keep it to them self.” Oh, how my mouth got a big smile thinking about ‘Mule Driver -Afton Pitt’ and my relationship with Mary Ritley, Marion Bell, Zoya Parrish, Lane Montgomery, and Thane who certainly gave of their spirit to impact and change the world I knew for the better.
I found myself agreeing with Paulo Coelho words, for it seems these words, I had said many times before. Before I knew he was the one credited with the quote, that – “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”
Yep, that is how I got into the Prosperos, Ruth Backlund told me about the Prosperos, while she prepared and served me my Health Shake with a raw egg at her health food store & Health bar. I would sit at the counter, and think to myself – Yah, yah, another nutty group, and I don’t want anything to do with it, well after all it was 1965, and New Age groups popping up everywhere. But over time I observed not only Ruth’s enthusiasm for the School and teaching, (which I half listen to, paying more attention to the muscle gym rats and bunnies that frequented the health food store and counter), but it was because over time, Ruth’s life started to change – the store got bigger, then she was out of the store for a while, to her husband’s displeasure, she become the director of the Prosperos Center in Westwood, Ca. She returned to her larger store more confident, radiant and happy than before. So when she cornered me one evening, at the Century Plaza Hotel, in Century City, Ca. and asked me to come to an open meeting/ class in 1967 my curiosity was peaked enough to say yes. It was not because Ruth had a Ph.D. or H.W.M, no the only title she had at that time was Mrs. Backlund that I don’t think anybody gave much attention to that. It was ‘Ruth’s’ life changes and her crediting those changes to her study and working sincerely with the tools. That got her noticed, coupled with her joy and enthusiasm to share the tools that had made the difference in her and other people’s lives. She did not worry or care that people would think she was nuts for doing it. It was more important to Ruth that she share what tools worked for her.
Besides Thanes and his teaching one of the most prominent people in the Prosperos for me was a man I never met face to face, but who’s voice still rings in my ear today with the words “and now if you will turn the tape” Howard Horton. You see for Howard it was not about glory or title or being a High Watch or being a Mentor it was about service to a higher call, perhaps his call was for generations yet to come. His action in duplicating tapes and distributing throughout the country without fanfare making sure the group tapes such as -‘Find Yourself and Live’ and others classes were available to all the students throughout the country. His action speaks to me in how to move forward with my life. Actions that speak louder than any words. Actions that bring about change in oneself and in others, based on working the tools. If our actions don’t bring change…then words become meaningless. Remember the world changes as you change.
I watched as Ruth and other students, too many to name and go into detail in this article, changed how they viewed the world and the world they viewed changed. They gave up freely what no longer served them. Release it to create space for what inspires them, and gave me the blueprint to do the same.
I still wrestle with being caught between the me who I am, and the who I want to be. But working the tools I know – No one can go back and make a brand new start, However, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
In this 3 dimensional life, call it School, laboratory, playground, path – know we are companions on the journey to know ourselves as the individuation of Divinity in an evolutionary spiral manifesting as Consciousness. Knowing too that we can serve and provide this opportunity for others to know the same.
Like the example of Howard in finding a way to have the teaching continue by getting the word out through class tapes, and Ruth example, if we can give up feeling foolish or ashamed to let others know the gift we received is worth sharing…Yes, these are examples for me of the way to move life forward.
One way, for those who can, is attending Assembly. To you students, I say, I’ll see you on the journey at Assembly 2016, in Long Beach, CA, Sept 02-05, 2016.
Aloha & Blessings
Movie review of “Otis” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — December 29, 2015
I was asked to write a film critic for a film short called “Otis”, that I was privileged to preview before its theatrical release back in October 2015. I must admit I am very tardy with this response, which has been delayed, due to dragging my feet on writing it, in the midst of a wedding and year-end closing holiday celebrations. But more importantly, my need to process the films images and emotional impact that had welled up in me personally since that viewing of the film.
I’d like to start by saying that movies that I usually see are the big commercial ones, that the story line has been set or is about to be revealed, giving you a framework for the action and the emotional states that cause the interaction between actors and moves the story along in the film- which then allows me to see where the film is headed and perhaps gives me clues as to what the end of the movie will be. It is all very nicely wrapped up for you, and you are ready to cheer the protagonist to victory or to cry with him at his defeat on a field of a well-fought battle.
It has been years since I had attended, what was called “Art House” Films or even Live Theater of this genre. I did so mostly in my early 20’s. You could say that my interest began in High School for this form of Theater. I remember in my junior year of High School, my first play of this nature was Edward Albee play “the Sand Box,” which my school performed in 1962 – it was considered very avant-garde for the time. But the movie Otis is without the comic satires or the storybook family of the Sand Box. The movie Otis delivers a swift kicks and a piercing sting without the Sand Box humor. I, as the audience experiences darken images, some events without at first understanding their implications, or reason which contributed to feelings of extreme unease and uncertainty.
From the film’s opening shots, I could tell the character, Otis, the protagonist was lost and emotionally bankrupt. I was unable to form an opinion as to why, and I was uncomfortable not knowing more about the protagonist since it was evident I was going to share some dark journey with him through the movie. The camera work and lighting were excellent in setting that mood. I found myself in the middle of a survival film trying to make sense of how to survive, to make out shapes, to understand what was and was not a danger. The desert was a great metaphor, and certainly a nod to the ‘existential movies of the past’ – with archetypal plot elements of loss and isolation that are disturbingly unfamiliar and yet relatable at the same time. That vast grand expanse of sky and panoramic desert set the backdrop for a man whose life had been reduced to an existence of strong male front- but underneath hiding pain, fear, grief, and loss of expectations. That was the camera caught with the darkness of night, unseen images and loss of clarity.
The storyline seemed to be about the single character of Otis (expertly played by Philip Bushell). Who we find self-exiled in the desert, but we don’t know exactly why. We seem to be dropped into his life at some random point. He has a relationship with a woman- a park ranger whose activities are anything but romantic, and a girl child that appears out of nowhere onto the desert landscape, That represent to our protagonist more than a sympathetic nurturing of a lost child. These two female archetypes are decisive in the films movement of twist and turns. The movie seems to depict triumph over obstacles, when you can no longer run or hide from the eventual reality of a situation, to come out from behind the mask and shadows of our perceptions that must be stood up against and faced to release us from the harsh and stark perceptions we carry and call our lives.
When I said I had to process this film I meant to use the process Translation/RHS to review that period of my life in my late 20’s and early 30’s reflecting back upon times and time again when I was engaged in my own day-to-day life fallibility struggles and relationships of misperception and gains an appreciation of truth in my existence and life situation.
These are not the kinds of films for everyone and because they are designed essentially, to raise more questions rather than attempting to supply answers. I hope you do get a chance to see the film at one of the short film festivals that are scheduled around the country. That the film draws out of you a significant shift in self and cultural sensibilities, often attributed to greater understanding.
“Mentorship Training” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — December 24, 2015
Mentorship Training is vital for the continuance of Our School. I loved the idea that Michael Zonta H.W.M put together the Tag Team 2015 Fall Series as one of the ways to do that. To give a platform for interning mentors to have a place to learn and practice their Profession, hone their craft to become truly gifted Teaching Mentors in the Prosperos.
In the Prosperos, I discovered there was more than one type of Mentor. Marion Bell was a Mentor, excellent in helping student draw forth their essence and authenticity through music. I value her to this day as one of my most important Mentors, but her training and background did not allow her to teach the classroom style Translation or RHS classes.
I was shocked when Zola Parrish, Duke University Physic- Psychic and a good friend to Thane and the Prosperos, told me at the Victoria, B.C., Canada Assembly, that I would become a Mentor. I did not believe her but in time, it became an avocation and then blossom into my passionate profession.
In an interview with Thane before I started Mentorship training, I was told by Thane of his conversation with Zola. I was told it would not be easy and to remember I also had the “color issue to overcome.” I felt that I was also lacking in the traditional educational background to fulfill the role, which after his looking at my Astrological chart, he felt, that for our purpose that did not matter. He told me that the only degrees that matter in the Prosperos were my High Watch and Mentor degree. If I studied for and I diligently applied the Teaching I would be just fine.
I was shaken to the core! Dazed and confused, I then asked, when do I begin? After a sip of his drink and poof on his cigarette, he said, “You help collate and fold to get out the newsletter don’t you? Do You act as an usher at Sunday meetings? You help as registrar, type up the class list, help write the birthday cards and thank you letters don’t you? Then you have already started. You will be assigned Mentors to help you the rest of the way, and pay attention.”
This was so clarifying! Yet it did not make my internship shorter, nor less intense, but Wow, totally worth it! I understand the importance of details (Thane was the master at it.) It was because of my internship and heeding the lessons and examples of my Mentorsprofessionalism, that has kept me more focused, more engaged, and clearer on what to do and to feel confident in my drive – that I can do it!
Bill Gates says, “Everyone Needs A Coach”
We All Need People Who Give Us Feedback – That’s How We Improve We All Need Perspective. I would say to an interning mentor “Treat Yourself As If You Mattered.” Get a Mentoring Coach.
While I am a teaching Mentor, I know I will not be around forever so I want to impart what I have learned to future Mentors. I am offering myself to be part of A COACHING INTERNING PROSPEROS MENTOR PROGRAM”.
Oprah Doesn’t Have A Coach – She Has Seventeen!
Those at the top know you have to make a commitment to do what it takes. All top athletes and the world’s top influencers have coaches. They know that nobody does it alone. These people are no different than you – except in the scope of their vision. They give themselves an edge to help them be their best. Are you ready for that level of commitment?
Remember – THE WAY YOU DO ANYTHING – IS THE WAY YOU DO EVERYTHING!
Clarify your Purpose and Goal
Pay Attention to How and Why You do things
Be Passionate in your Engagements with Prosperos Material
Be Passionate in you Student Loyalty
Allowing for greater Productivity & Innovation
The Prosperos Goal:
“To make spiritual Truth an effective force for ordered freedom and common good”
Calvin Harris on “Why I Am Still In The Prosperos” — December 29, 2015
Richard asked me the question: Out of the Thousands of people that have come and gone through the Prosperos School, why or what were the reason for those of us who have remained to still be here? To answer that question, I must give structure to my experience and then the reasons will become clear.
When I think on this, I come up with compelling images from my memory that reminds me that the Prosperos offered me possibilities to free myself from fears, hurts, doubts, anger, and disappointments in my lifetime, sometimes while still in the act of an encounter to feel a release. However, there is a price for this freedom that had to be paid. The question is – Am I willing to pay it? Pay it not once but again and again, in so many ways requiring me to have the fee of Courage to step out of my comfort zone or habitual patterns, not once, but again and again, sometimes feeling the terror, like I have jump off a cliff.
I felt it was worth it to me, even when I realized that part of the payment is in having to find ways that I can provide for others that same opportunity for release and freedom. Thane would say if you were doing a task before you move on to something else, you needed to replace yourself. This demand takes on new understanding and for me to take on new roles and challenges to allow for both myself and others to have and embrace a future comprised of our own powerful possibilities. When I talk about my or our own powerful possibilities, I am not talking solely about the Ego based ‘I am’, but taking on the Ontological I.
There is a saying: “As Above So Below.”
So many people in Religions are foregoing happiness or joy in this lifetime for a promised heaven in a hereafter life. There are those in Spirituality studies that feel they have nothing to do but reject this world for the escape into the abstract allness of all. Many drug addicts do not want to face the fear and pain of this world and thus, will escape into drugs and or alcohol. The Prosperos under Thanes leadership taught there is a way to bring Heaven to Earth, make the below as above. By going into an Ontological Covenant with Beingness, that which we call- all there is, whole complete and perfect. Simply stated – to have you manifest Truth in your life experience.
In learning and practicing the techniques Translation and RHS, I was able to get a new sense Of God, that which we call Infinite Beingness. I learn to Trust in Deity not fear it, because of what I experienced, my relationship to Infinite Beingness changed. I came to see it was my sole purpose for being on this planet to discover my authorship, another word for authentic self. When I recognized I am more than ego, or a human being, or any number of other things I could label myself- Then I could rise above these labels into the truth of my authentic identity and could display the attitudes of being divine, purposeful, loving, lovable, and full of joy and laughter . . .But to do this, calls for the courage to accept a new identity, for we discover egos limits, where it cannot do all it thinks, or be all it can, only your higher sense of Infinite Beingness can do it through you and for you.
Accept the identity that you truly are. For you are worthy of your own time, energy, attention, and love. You are Co-Creator with Beingness, as a demonstration of and representative of the presence of the Creator in the world. . . it is the way you demonstrate that you are willing to embrace, engage, and enjoy life . . . knowing that when all else fails, when everyone else has fallen by the wayside, you will know that you have always been and will always be infinite beingness.
When we talk about- Others or “The Hall of Mirrors”
So with the techniques of Translation and RHS came changes about how I saw or perceived things, and thus another way of how you did things had to be found. I remember as children we are taught to distrust or fear other people, usually because the attitude is that they are out to hurt or take something away from us. We will avoid or not trust them. Which brings me to the Prosperos concept of the Hall of Mirrors, that simply state we are all refection’s or sometimes distortions of Infinite Beingness, that same one essence. The Prosperos offered ways to overcome this fear. It was through a process called Group Dynamics. You learn to change your concepts of others. In fact, many people became good friend’s through the process of group dynamics. You found out that People could, in fact, help you find important things when you thought you had lost them, things like your smile, your hope, and your courage. You learned to trust in others because it is a way to sharpen your instincts and deepen your abilities- now by adding your drive, your love of any project, coupled with the co-operation of others, wow, all things are possible.
Learning through group participation and collaboration ( i.e. Group Dynamics) to access the depth of your resources, which are the capacity to Translate, to Love and realize Forgiveness ( i.e. Giving up the idea of erroneous beliefs for the Truth of any situation). Allow you to manifest your authorship on this planet though engaging with others people to facilitate and support your mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. To know that you do not struggle alone in the wilderness of life. Even when your interactions and relationships are difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable, yes even when they appear as no-nonsense, to-the-point, directions and/ or advice – it could mean powerful transformation for you. Know that in the process of this growth, of becoming Conscious of the areas where your somatic being still need attention care and love. Have the courage to participate in the process called life.
So Why Am I Still Here?
To continue participation in the Conscious evolutionary process called Life, it is an incredible journey of adventure, discovery, and evolution. One that I feel can only be experienced in direct proportion to my willingness to pay the price: To have courage to step out of my comfort zone or habitual patterns; To accept my identity as love and Co-Creator with Beingness; To trust in others because it is through interaction with my world can I sharpen my instincts and deepen my abilities; What better way to be in theaction, Consciously in the stream of life, being challenged, encouraged, and motivated, moment by moment, to a deeper awareness and understanding of who I am and the meaning of every person and experience I am engaged in. This is grist for the mill.
“Why I Create and Use Teaching Notes” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — November 19, 2015
My subtitle could be the Zen of Fulfillment.
I was recently asked by a fellow colleague why I spent so much time researching, rewriting, and looking for various new ways to explain my material when most of that material used in class, workshops, and seminars I’ve used for the last 30 to 40 years? I have been told “You know the information, just say it!”
I will let you in on a secret, I have a scattered mind. A word or a thought pt will come to my mind, not as that single concept, but will come with all of the variables of how that thought could be used, comes with it. I have been found standing there thinking of how best to say something while I have a person waiting for my remarks and is hearing nothing. This is not satisfying to the listener nor to me. The more important the information the more uncomfortable, so you see for me a wandering mind can impact, effectiveness, happiness, and fulfillment.
Now I know that my mind is not the only one, think to yourself how many times a day does your mind wander? Whether you’re thinking about an important meeting, what’s for dinner, your next vacation, or who is that hot person across the room. Our mind wandering may be a distinctly human trait with evolutionary advantages. Some people I know are great at mulita tasking. I appreciate my and others active brain functioning in creative thinking, it helps our brains form novel ideas and solutions in a constantly changing world.
But there may be a catch: mind wandering could make us less effective or efficient, and for some mind wandering could affect their happiness. A 2010 study, researchers from Harvard University explored how mind wandering affects happiness. They created an iPhone app that periodically asked 2250 participants how happy they were feeling, what were they doing, and whether their thoughts were focused on the current activity.
The researchers found that people spend 46.9% of the time thinking about something unrelated to their current task, and they were less happy during these moments. Even positive thoughts had little effect on their mood, whereas neutral and negative thoughts made them significantly less happy. The researchers determined that a wandering mind affected happiness more than any activity.
In fact, their data suggests that mind wandering often may have been the cause, not the consequence, of the participants’ unhappiness.
Zen – The word derives from the Sanskrit dhyana, meaning “meditation.” Central to Zen teaching is the belief that awakening can be achieved by anyone but requires instruction in the proper forms of spiritual cultivation by a master. How that takes on meaning for me is that as a Prosperos student and now instructor, my job is to practice the proper forms of cultivation which came from my master teacher. One of which is Translation. A written form of meditation. Thus, now my practice also entails the written form of preparation.
I feel the daily practice of Translation and now in my practice of writing be it journal, class work, or personal history gives me a sense of mindfulness and helps me stay on track. Many studies have found that popular techniques like meditation and mindfulness can help people stay focused and happier.
In a 2001 study, Buddhist monks showed stronger activity, while meditating, in the prefrontal cortex — an area linked to attention. Later research has explored this link in non-Buddhists and has shown that meditators generally score higher on attention and self-control assessments than non-meditators (Moore et al., 2009).
I don’t think we have gotten to the place where we understand the ways a disciplined mind works in a focused meditation, but one study suggests that it can help people realize when their minds wander, and this greater awareness helps them monitor and direct their attention.
So I guess it would not be surprisingly why my creating and using teaching notes became a meditative device for me after first discovering their effects while doing my dissertation to become a Mentor. I felt more focused, confident, more relaxed and fulfilled in my Being. So if you ever feel lost in your own thoughts, why not try writing them out or doing a Translation? After all, your happiness could depend on it.
P. S. -You may want to also check out these references:
Carmody, James, and Ruth A. Baer. “Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 31.1 (2008): 23-33.
Hankey, Alex. “Studies of advanced stages of meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vedic traditions. I: a comparison of general changes.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 3.4 (2006): 513-521.
Hasenkamp, Wendy, et al. “Mind wandering and attention during focused meditation: a fine-grained temporal analysis of fluctuating cognitive states.” Neuroimage 59.1 (2012): 750-760.
Killingsworth, Matthew A., and Daniel T. Gilbert. “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” Science 330.6006 (2010): 932-932.
Moore, Adam, and Peter Malinowski. “Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.” Consciousness and cognition 18.1 (2009): 176-186.
Ruth A. Baer, Emily L.B. Lykins and Jessica R. Peters. “Mindfulness and self-compassion as predictors of psychological well-being in long-term meditators and matched nonmeditators.” The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice 7:3 (2012): 230-238.
“Fixed Vs Growth Minded: Which Side of the Fence are You?” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — September 15, 2015
Well it was the Labor- less Day Weekend and I found myself in the typical celebration for such an occasion, which is the annual back yard Bar-B-Que potluck celebrated by millions of Americans on this day. What is not so typical is the guest list, composed of a small smattering of singers, writers, and poets, but the bulk of the group composed of Librarians.
It is for me a delight to see in a gathering of this nature, those so-called solemn stalwart gate keepers of knowledge (Librarians) seen up close and at their relax best. Laughing, telling off color jokes, being animated and sensuous in their conversation. Not the public face they so often give. It is not the fixed mindset one would expect unless you have spent any time with them. It is their light hearted yet determined attitude, which has serves them well over the years in their professional success as well as in life, more so than all of their vast acquired knowledge could ever do alone.
When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But information on new research from Stanford University may change our focus on both attitude and mindset.
Psychologist Carol Dweck who’s career centers on the study of attitude and performance. Her latest findings shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.
Dweck has concluded that attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset model, suggest that you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This can create problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
Now the growth mindset model, suggest the person believes that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Now good old horse sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence, and of course It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.
According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the growth mindset model’s approach to failure as such “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”
Regardless of which side of the fence you think you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. Let’s look at some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.
Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. Countless successful people would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset muster courage not to feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back they put their trust in a higher sense of themselves.
Find the passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. My teacher Thane Walker said “be ready to go into your dance.” Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls – the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.
Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.
Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?
Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?
Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.
Don’t complain when things don’t go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.
Bringing It All Together
By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the growth side of the fence.
People have asked me what books I would recommend to keep motivated:
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Dr. Travis Bradberry
As just two books to point you in the right direction.
You may also want to consider Prosperos Classes as well as
The 2016 Prosperos Assembly.
“Learning to be Extraordinary” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — July 29, 2015
I am grateful that in my early adulthood, I was fortunate enough to be in a group that allowed me supportive relationships on my life’s path that I still share or have stories about today. People that I now think about, who are/were extraordinary people though at times they seemed very ordinary and even bordering on being routine and dull.
This of course was due to my youthful folly and attitude about what was important in life (which to that version of me was not always about accomplishing what is necessary and being responsible to the everyday needs required in living a full life.)
Besides responsibility (which of course just means the ability to respond), I saw in these people dedication, resilience, courage, commitment, humor, spirituality, and Love in ways that was not common in the era of the drop-out culture of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was first introduced to the Prosperos.
The Key to these people’s extraordinary abilities was the underline guts to seek out and discover –What is their Possibility?
Who can help sow the seeds and help them nurture their dreams? Well in the Prosperos School I and they learned the best person might be someone close enough to you to care but not so close that they are blinded by your faults and or grandeur (or whatever your story is). In the group dynamic setting of getting together be it for the day to day interaction, or oh say getting out a newsletter (For you youngsters that meant printing, folding, stuffing envelopes and mailing hundreds of these newsletters across the country) which took a group effort to get them out in a timely manner each month. In these settings, it was interesting how personal emotional issues could crop up and would provoke observation and tough questioning on your part of yourself. It could show up as the curse of perfection that paralyzes us with fear of failure or worse looking like a failure that, of course, won’t be of much help when you are in a time crunch. But you may find that there in the midst of it all there is an imperfectionist in your midst, someone who takes action first and then analyses adapts and acts, that was able to help by your conscious simulation of this attribute, You find that you began small, but after continuing successes you over come the paralyzes. You observed your life more and moved out of your comfort zone to risk every day, to take some risks. Risk, that could be small and some are great, but you find that you are willing, almost anxious to take the chance to explore, build, fix, complete, to feel wholeness.
So what were the tendencies you could feel? Well, to begin with that could be anything and could change daily (LOL)? Was it that you act cautiously? Too cautiously? Are you waiting for external validation to move forward? Do you jump and build wings on the way down?
It was always interesting where you found yourself, and with whom you found yourself that help to lead you to your practice of Translation and or RHS. There were the Mentors too, who were there and offer encouragement and measured criticism, situations that seemed to lead you to the edge of your impossible and then help you discover new possibilities.
I have spoken of the extraordinary people I met and had personal friendships within the early years of my association with the Prosperos, people such as – Thane Walker, Mary Ritley, Ruth Backlund, Betty Cuff, Liz Andrews, Marion Bell, Afton Pitt, Perry Dickey, Norma Keller, Barbara Baroe, Sandy Sandoz, Stella Rush. All now passed on, all fulfilled the role of Teachers, Mentors, Friends and life coaches for me.
It is due to Stella Rush death that I find myself writing this blog, part in response to the memory of our friendship and in part the knowledge that I carry the legacy of what she has done for others and myself, just by her living a life that said “This is my life and I don’t give a damn for lost emotions, let me live.” Stella called herself a Lesbian woman at a time when your family disowned you for that. You could be bullied and some men took sport in beating up on Lesbians. You could be fired from your job if suspected of being a Lesbian. Each day of your life you could feel isolated, alone, and fearful. You were called sick and perverted just because you were different. In the Prosperos she chose to be Healthy, whole complete and perfect. She becomes a participant in life and the lives of others, to step out of the role of an object of hate and sickness. She stops being the object of someone else’s sickness and participate in her own wholeness. We cannot pretend we are objects of our health rather than active participants.
She and her partner Sandy Sandoz, open their home, hearts, and practice to people of all sexual persuasions battered wives and people of color. To the best of their ability they lived agape and by the motto: “To make spiritual Truth an effective force for ordered freedom and common good.”
Thank You, Stella my life has been changed by knowing you and by your contributions.
Right now, make a healthier choice and celebrate your participation.… maybe all the choices won’t be the best but recognize that you consciously chose and celebrate Life.
I close with Hermann Hesse words:
“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.”
“Gwenda Fay Harris-Asher: The Eulogy by Calvin Harris” (with permission) — July 16, 2015
AND JUST LOOK AT YOU–
YOU CAN DO ALL I COULDN’T DO, GLINDA…
NOW IT’S UP TO ME
I’VE HEARD IT SAID
THAT PEOPLE COME INTO OUR LIVES FOR A REASON
BRINGING SOMETHING WE MUST LEARN
AND WE ARE LED
TO THOSE WHO HELP US MOST TO GROW
IF WE LET THEM
AND WE HELP THEM IN RETURN
WELL, I DON’T KNOW IF I BELIEVE THAT’S TRUE
BUT I KNOW I’M WHO I AM TODAY
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED…
IT WELL MAY BE
THAT WE WILL NEVER MEET AGAIN
IN THIS LIFETIME
SO LET ME SAY BEFORE WE PART
SO MUCH OF ME
IS MADE OF WHAT I LEARNED FROM YOU
YOU’LL BE WITH ME
LIKE A HANDPRINT ON MY HEART
AND NOW WHATEVER WAY OUR STORIES END
I KNOW YOU HAVE RE-WRITTEN MINE
BY BEING MY FRIEND…
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD…
AND JUST TO CLEAR THE AIR
I ASK FORGIVENESS
FOR THE THINGS I’VE DONE YOU BLAME ME FOR
BUT THEN, I GUESS WE KNOW
THERE’S BLAME TO SHARE
AND NONE OF IT SEEMS TO MATTER ANYMORE
ORBIT/AS IT PASSES A SUN/
LIKE A STREAM THAT MEETS A
THROUGH THE WOOD
MOORING/BY A WIND OFF THE SEA/
BIRD IN THE WOOD
I DO BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER
Frederick Jones, I was delighted to run into again by way of Steven Johnson, PBS film series called: “How We Got To Now.” The life of this most interesting and adventurous Afro-American man, of the mid- 20th Century,whose life story I can only have wished to have been told as part of my education as a youth to be used as a role model for me, rather than stumbling upon him later in life as a young adult, but atlas all in its own time and I stray from my story . Mr. Jones is best known as an inventor, yet there is sooo much more to tell about this interesting and adventurous man’s life.
Frederick McKinley Jones was born in Covington, Kentucky, on May 17, 1893 ( in some records there is some confusion about the year of his birth, so I am going with this one). His father was John Jones, a white Irish railroad worker. It is believed that Frederick’s mother an African American woman, died (or left) soon after he was born.. The Jones family was in poverty, due in part to permanent work being hard to find, and the need to travel to job sites. The father, John Jones was doubly challenged with the additional responsibility of caring for his small son, Frederick, as well as trying to hold on to a job.
When Frederick’s was seven or eight years old, his father took him to Kentucky (age is in question.) to live with a priest to be educated at the local Catholic Church, Fred performed chores around the church in return for being fed and housed. At that time, there were no nearby orphanages that would admit an African American boy. When Frederick, turn the age of nine, his father died.
The Catholic priest, Father Edward A. Ryan, cared for Frederick Jones and encouraged his interest in mechanics. For Frederick exhibited an early mechanical aptitude. He was adept at taking anything mechanical apart and putting it back together. Eventually he became interested in automobiles. When he turned 12 years of age, he rebelled against the rules of the Catholic school, dropped out, and ran away. Frederick Jones crossed the river to Cincinnati, and found work as a janitor, at the R.C. Crothers Garage, and later worked there as an automobile mechanic.
Frederick Jones with a 6th grade education, In 1912, he moved to Minnesota to work as a mechanic on a farm. It was on the Hallock farm that Jones educated himself in electronics.
Jones served in the U.S. Army during World War I, On August 1, 1918 he enlisted in the 809 Pioneer Infantry of the United States Army and served in France during World War I. While serving, Jones recruited German prisoners of war and rewired his camp for electricity, telephone and telegraph service.
After being discharged by the Army, and a brief stints working aboard a steamship and a hotel, Jones returned to Hallock in 1919. Looking for work, Jones found work by often driving local doctors around for their house calls. During the winter season, when driving through the snow proved difficult, he attached skis to the undercarriage of an old airplane body and attached an airplane propeller to a motor and soon whisked around town at in his snow machine.
Over the next few years Fred began tinkering with almost everything he could find, inventing things he could not find and improving upon those he could. When one of the doctors he worked for on occasion complained that he wished he did not have to wait for patient to come into his office for x-ray exams, Jones created a portable x-ray machine that could be taken to the patient. Unfortunately, like many of his early inventions, Jones never thought to apply for a patent for machine and watched helplessly as other men made fortunes off of their versions of the device.
Jones in his spare time designed and build race cars which he drove at the local tracks and at county fairs. His favorite car was #15, it was so well designed it not only defeated other automobiles but once race against an airplane.
When the town decided to fund a new radio station, Jones built the transmitter needed to broadcast its programming. He also developed a device to combine moving pictures with sound. Local businessman Joseph A. Numero subsequently hired Jones to improve the sound equipment he produced for the film industry. In 1927, Jones was faced with the problem of helping a friend convert their silent movie theater into a “talkie” theater. Not only did he convert scrap metal into the parts necessary to deliver a soundtrack to the video, he also devised ways to stabilize and improve the picture quality. When Joe Numero, the head of Ultraphone Sound Systems heard about Fred’s devices, he invited Jones to come to Minneapolis for a job interview. After taking a position with the company, Jones began improving on many of the existing devices the company sold. Many of his improvements were so significant, representatives from A.T. & T and RCA sat down to talk with Jones and were amazed his knowledge on intricate details, particularly in light of his limited educational background.
Around this time, Fred came up with a new idea – an automatic ticket-dispensing machine to be used at movie theaters. Fred applied for and received a patent for this device in June of 1939 and the patent rights were eventually sold to RCA.
Frederick Jones continued to expand his interests in the 1930s. He convinced his boss to fund his design and patent for a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying perishable food. They Formed a partnership Numero and he, and founded the U.S. Thermo Control Company. At some point, Joe Numero got a contract for developing a device which would allow large trucks to transport perishable products without them spoiling. Frederick Jones set to work and developed the cooling process that could refrigerate the interior of the tractor-trailer. In 1939 Frederick Jones and Joe Numero received a patent for the vehicle air-conditioning device which would later be called a Thermo King.
This product revolutionized several industries including shipping and grocery businesses. Grocery chains were now able to import and export products which previously could only have been shipped as canned goods. Thus, the frozen food industry was created and the world saw the emergence of the “supermarket.” In addition to installing the Thermo King refrigeration units in trucks and tractor-trailers, Jones modified the original design so they could be outfitted for trains, boats and ships.
The company grew and during World War II, when the Department of Defense had a need for portable refrigeration units for distributing food and blood plasma to troops in the field. The Department called upon Thermo King for a solution.
Jones modified his device and soon had developed a prototype which would eventually allow airplanes to parachute these units down behind enemy lines to the waiting troops.
For the next 20 years, Jones continued to make improvements on existing devices and devised new inventions. Jones died on February 21, 1961, of lung cancer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology, one of the greatest honors an inventor could receive. Jones was the first Afro-American inventor to ever receive such an honor. Over the course of his career, Frederick Jones received more than 60 patents. While the majority pertained to refrigeration technologies, others related to X-ray machines, engines and sound equipment.
Frederick Jones was recognized for his achievements both during his lifetime and after his death. In 1944, he became the first African American elected to the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush awarded the National Medal of Technology posthumously to Numero and Jones, presenting the awards to their widows at a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. Frederick Jones was the first African American to receive the award, though he did not live to receive it. He was inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame in 1977.
End the end all I can say is aLife Well Lived and Thank You.
“The Hug” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — March 23, 2015
Hugs are a communication. You know that a hug can say “I like You,“ A Hug can say “I am sorry”, A hug can say “Let’s start again.”
It is non verbal and an intimacy …Oh how I smile when people hear the word intimacy and think the word means only the bump and grind.
Intimacy is a knowing that is a deeper knowing that goes beyond the physical into the psychic, you know that other place where a hug can be a place of solace a relaxation into a wholeness, a place where all is one in the essence of life no matter it’s appearance.
Hugs are not always comfortable especially if you feel something needs to be resolved. Then we hold back, we do not give our all, but you know, sometimes that hold back is because we expect something, something that may not be there. If expectation is of our own making, then others may or cannot give the expected, for it comes from and is generated by the fabric of our thinking. What you think, may be an illusion, a belief, and in fact have no bases in truth at all, like when we once believed the world was flat.
So imagine the Hug as more as a celebration in living, the Joy, the unity and oneness of Life itself, a process not an end point.
“Time” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — February 11, 2015
Every now and again in life you find yourself in a situation where you have to pause for a second and ask yourself: what unlikely sequence of events has led me to this point? This was a question to ponder the night of February 07, 2015 at Salon Calvin’s Film and Conversation event.
It started off being a lovely evening of food and conversation inspired by Cheryl’s Pre-Valentine day celebration surprise dinner that she had prepared for us, right down to the festive table decoration. I must admit that we lingered over dinner a tad longer than we usually do and almost forgot why we were there.
But eventually we went to the living room and settled in for the film. Which was one of a six part PBS’s series called: “How We Got to Now”, I had selected from the series to watch the episode on “Time” by Steven Johnson, who I believe wrote, narrated and was host of the series. I did like Johnson’s use of interesting locations to visually engage you in this eye-opening encounter about a subject we all think we know and take for granted.
On the subject of Time, Johnson cleverly connected the dots and created some real WOW moments for us to consider. The idea of time became more than a collection of memorized names and dates, but a living concept with both pros and cons. We had a chance to see how one thing influenced another until we arrived at today. Steven Johnson had certainly done his homework to bring those Wow moments to life for us.
We tend not to be cognizant of just how recent some of the evolutionary trends about Time have been and the effects on people’s lives that it has. It was interesting for us to note that most of the innovations about Time took place in a relatively short span of time. A little over a century and a half (1850’s to now), around the time of our grand or great parents lifetime is when it started.
This is about the time we saw, Time being artificially set to a standardized measure of units. All due to someone’s audacity to cajole or coheres humanity into efforts for more efficient time keeping. The Salon group deduced that it was about creating better commerce and business profits.
It was interesting to find out that in the past, Time was the preoccupation of only the very wealthy, and on their person, it was displayed in the form of expensive personal time pieces. The Salon group surmised that in our grandfathers day, to receive a watch was a big deal. In that age, if you worked for a company 50 years and retired, then they presented you with a gold watch. The watch was a status symbol.
As the popularity of watches grew and more and more people got watches, we noted how more precise calibration of time becomes and the varied changes in how to tell Time. We saw how time measurements went from being based of Sun and star movement, to being manually set by artificial standard measurements, then changed again based on the knowledge of the vibrating Atom leading to the creation of the atomic clock, and creating in its wake new innovation such as GPS and cell phone technology. Another way to look at innovation is as a amplifier of our abilities, in other words it lets us do more and faster.
In the film, it came out that the catalyst for some of these changes, came from some ordinary people who in the line of their work made some interesting observations; or because of some hobby they had, saw something that could be used differently; they were vocal about what they observed, told their stories and innovation came into being. Amateurs, the hobbyists, workers having the audacity and ego to bring to the attention of entrepreneurs and collaborative networks, ideas that collectively put into action has made the modern world possible.
We also discussed too the stories unintended consequences of these inventions.
Something I found interesting, and that maybe because of my Capricorn bent, was Johnson’s premises on the “Eureka” idea, he states that advances result from cumulative effort and insight. It’s what he called the “slow hunch,” he explains. “If you want to understand how big ideas truly save the world, you need to get rid of the myth of the eureka moment. The truth is, there’s no such thing as a light bulb going off in the mind of a lone genius. Our best ideas start as something else, a vague sense of possibility, a hint of something bigger.”
What was most dynamic to me was Johnson’s comment: “We make our ideas, and they make us in return.”
We had a great evening and fun discussing this film. You may want to see the film if you get the chance. Until next time.
“How I Feel About Live Class” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — February 7, 2015
A Live class is like the difference between a good Play and learning from a good book. Live class is meant to be engulfed in, it’s to interrogate or be dissected later over coffee or gin in good conversation and mostly in the chambers of one’s mind. A live class is a blueprint, a workman’s plan drawn for a group of students, that in the moment of the class presentation, students as artists sparks the seeds of inspiration, the insinuations of truth that will spur students and the teacher and the environment to reveal what the originator of the class material’s intent is.
Which is to glean in the enliven curriculum, the end result of, not the encounter of an individual reader in the privacy of a moment, but rather the boisterous and public encounter with a living audience, an act of collective hearing and seeing that is at the root of storytelling our lineage that is timeless and ritual transformation.
I feel our intent is never to get away from our roots. I never heard or saw our forebears such as Thane nor Gurdjieff not to require from the student to pay the price of showing up for class, like Thane, like Gurdjieff, like myself, and many others like yourself, students that were required to travel, to have to come together to study, and there was a reason, it is the rite of passage that many of us have gone through to transition from searching to teaching.
A student was given just enough information to perk their interest, and then to find out more, they had to come to class, a class of their peers to engage and learn. Our teaching is fire in the mouth not reading on a page or in books. I do not feel students should be spoon fed.
I feel interning mentors should still be taught the art of live class presentation. By going to live classes, learning the face to face challenges and rewards that only live class can give.
“Love in a Many Splendid Form” by Calvin Harris, H.W., M. — February 7, 2015
It’s February when everyone is encouraged to succumb to cupid’s arrows (especially if you are married, engaged, or going with someone.)
I suggest that “LOVE” is not a one size fits all proposition. If we consider the ancient Greek language we have everything from Eros to Agape.
Now somewhere in that concept of Love is “Other”, and how you feel about making the “Other”, that object of your affection feel. You will see that somehow that comes back to you and how you feel, when you are giving to the “other”. Which is usually your sense of feeling good because of what you have done.
May I suggest considering that the ideal love may not be with someone else but with your relationship to yourself.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is credited with saying “Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” This hints at for me that there is more to this love business than objects or people. I’d say it was more about keeping in line with ones individual Ideal or concept of what being in a relationship means to you and how to keep that spark alive.
I for one do not believe everyone should be married, from statistics we find that half of marriages fail, and I believe many of those failures are due to people thinking that they are suppose to be or have to be married. Then there are those that feel they have found the right person. What we want at 16 years old certainly changes at 36 year old, and that right person may have disappeared. Sam Keen was quoted as saying: “You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”
I find some of the most successful people at love and who have created a life of well being are those who have chosen to be singular in life. That does not mean that their Lives are void of meaningful events and people. I can tell you many of these singles are not people whose affairs are like passing ships in the night, but have created real relationships with lifelong friends. Matter of fact I suggest if you are married or engaged that you have that partner of yours be like one of your best friends. Anais Nin said: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
I feel what is important in a relationship is keeping it fresh, discovering something new about your love, but more importantly about yourself. Some call it allowing your sexuality to be revealed. Now another word for sexuality, a more inclusive word would be of course Creativity. Ibring this up because of the work of psychologist B.F. Skinner work with lab animals called “Behavior or Operant Conditioning”. This is where lab animals were taught to push buttons that release food that they loved. It was found that if food was more sporadic that they push buttons more often. If they were able to score every time, interest in the food gradually died until the animals no longer push the buttons at all. Humans can be seen mirrored in these same behaviors. So if all we love is the act of sex, all the humping and bumping, the sweaty palms of the hand, and having finished all the positions in “The Joy of Sex” or reenacting favorite chapters of “50 Shades of Gray.” If as a result there has not come the real disrobing the intimacy of knowing the self and other as one, of coming to your true nakedness of the self, what I call the real seduction of the self to know itself and the other. Then it becomes an automatic mechanical masturbation of the self leading to a void of life force and beingness.
An integrated relationship is like a road trip of intense discovery, where one discovers by exploiting those elements of the day to day to see what gives you pleasure and creates pleasing tensions in your relationship. For heaven stakes the focus of this season is to get out of complacency, the ordinary, it’s to choose to let yourself go, go “South”, way south both physically and mentally from rigidity and complicity. A space in time to allow your free will to choose to know thyself.
A good creative singular example of a creative sexual experience is the 5th step of Translation. Which is a creative release that is articulate, a verbal seduction that has lead you to the surest road to actuality. Whatever creative form of freewill seduction you choose to use, bring to the experience your conscious reflections of both you and your loves higher sense of being. And never underestimate the power of speech as a form of affection and release.
Free will is about what you really want…it’s a fire in the heart….and if you really want to reflect on your own Self actualization, no matter what the contents in it appear to arise as, then you will you’ll want to be conscious of what arises, but not to let the mental obsession with the content distract you from your true Love….love your Beloved whether ” He or She”… All this said, I wouldn’t let any of it stop you from going after what is authentically articulating and awakening in your heart and being! Love comes in many splendid forms. Choose One.
Salon Recap for May 25, 2013 on The Tempest – May 27, 2013
Salon Calvin is a group that meets to discuss the relationships of people to their world, to themselves, and the Divine creative force within them. The concept of Salon goes back to a 17th century concept of a gathering of people as a social event to educate and amuse one another, partly to refine taste and increase knowledge of the participants through conversation. Salon Calvin’s intent is to have one carry away a better understanding of themselves through the discussion of Books, Audio & Visual Arts.
The location of this Salon was the home of Susan Wilson in Mission Viejo, CA. We all arrived about 5:30p.m. In attendance were Bob Biddle, Sue Beck, Cheryl Henderson, Calvin Harris, and Susan Wilson. We began in Susan’s lovely garden with appetizers and wine. We moved indoors to settle in with plates of lasagna, and desserts which we ate while we watch the CD and had the evening’s discussion.
This Salon, centered on The play “theTempest” by William Shakespeare. We watched a CD produce by PBS called “Shakespeare Uncovered.” What was unique about this CD is it’s presentations by renowned Shakespearean actors and directors exploring the many faceted dimensions of Shakespeare’s work.
Our film “The Tempest” brought to life the extraordinary world of Prospero the magician Lord of the Tempest, they shared not only the play’s story, but concepts of the plays history and the psychology needed for the performances.
Plot line: Prospero Duke of Milan with his young daughter Miranda has been deposed by his brother Antonio to gain power. Prospero and daughter have been shipwrecked on an island for twelve years, when as fate would have it, his brother’s ship is passing the island and Prosperos with the aid of Ariel creates a magical tempest at sea that brings his brothers ship to the island.
It then becomes Prosperos challenge to deal with HIMSELF, as far as with the matters of: 1) Whether to continuing his life has it has been lived these past 12 years? or To break from this way of life and to claim his rightful place in the world from whence he came? 2) To dole out revenge on his Brother and those that aided him? 3) What is to become of his daughter now becoming a woman and wanting love? 4) What is he to do about the two creatures that he has taken dominion over while on the island, Caliban who was owner of island and who taught Prospero how to survive on the island. Ariel the magical creature manifested into form from the elements, Ariel’s wish is to return to his all and nothing state of beingness. Does Prospero finally realizing Caliban function, release him from slavery, and free Ariel to its cosmic state of being?
Throughout our discussion, I was reminded of this play as the Mythological Archetype symbols for one’s personal journey through what some call their personal hell, and others would called their hero’s journey. The play shows how unresolved conflicts play themselves out as externalized drama’s in which we cast ourselves and others in roles, while at the same time we are playing a role for the other person in their externalized drama. Who is evil is more a matter of perspective than it is reality.’ The important thing is to process it, to know yourself as consciousness, conscious of roles played, but not be identified by the role.
I think the comment by Cheryl summed up the session beautifully: “We have to be willing to release, free everyone from the bondage of the situation whereby freeing ourselves.”
The group determined that people aren’t that different, in that we all struggle with something, but to get through it, will take a change of perspective.
The salon ended a little after 9:00p.m. It was certainly a successful event and insightful to the attendees.
I’d like to close with a few words from Shakespeare: “Our revels now are ended. These our actors…Are melted into air, thin air; and like the baseless fabric of this vision…We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”