Your Horoscopes — Week Of September 25, 2018 (theonion.com)

Libra | Sept. 23 to Oct. 22

When the revolution comes, Libra will be the first star sign lined up against the wall and shot.

Scorpio | Oct. 23 to Nov. 21

Your favorite snack contains only two parts per million of radioactive materials. Eat a quarter of a million of them.

Sagittarius | Nov. 22 to Dec. 21

Assuming a can-do attitude this week and taking charge of your life will make you the hit of death row.

Capricorn | Dec. 22 to Jan. 19

A visit to a lightbulb plant leads to adventure. Stock up on tweezers, needle-nose pliers, and other implements that may useful in removing glass shards from your skin.

Aquarius | Jan. 20 to Feb. 18

Annoyance is added to insult this week when veteran actor Gene Hackman wakes you out of a sound sleep to tell you he disapproves of the way you’ve been living lately.

Pisces | Feb. 19 to March 20

You need just one more pathetic gesture to make your life the worst ever lived by a sane human being. Buy an expensive, hour-long recording of engine sounds and listen to it over and over late at night.

Aries | March 21 to April 19

On first dates, remember that just derailing the Amtrak isn’t enough. It’s how you derail the train that counts.

Taurus | April 20 to May 20

A fifth of Scotch will not prove to be an acceptable solution to your problems. Try another fifth of Scotch.

Gemini | May 21 to June 20

You will be beaten to death in public for mocking the big-band-era recordings of Frank Sinatra.

Cancer | June 21 to July 22

An innocent prank at the laboratory where you work will result in the world’s population being cut by a third.

Leo | July 23 to Aug. 22

The harvest moon in Cancer means change for your sign. You will die late Wednesday afternoon.

Virgo | Aug. 23 to Sept. 22

Love will enter your life this week, but will ultimately fail to take the place of hatred.

Teach Only What You Love

This video is for the class I’m teaching about how to teach with spontaneity. It is given to a group of students who are members of an organization called “The Prosperos” — which teaches Translation (strait thinking in the abstract) and RHS (how to deal with your emotions). So I refer to my experience trying to teach those classes. That being said, you might enjoy watching this video. It’s about 6 minutes long.


Ben Gilberti, H.W., M.

Mini-Presentation on “What is Deep Identity?”


Shariff Abdullah
Uploaded on Sep 24, 2018
This is a 13-minute segment from our recent successful webinar, a part of the “Solutions Beyond Diversity” series.

In this segment, I talk about “Deep Identity”, a concept I developed some years ago, a concept that is a crucial part of learning authentic communication with others. Everyone has a “deep identity”, and everyone’s deep identity conflicts with everyone else’s.

If you find this short video helpful, please consider taking the 6-part online course:

Learning TEAM:
Learning Authentic Communication, Using the 5 Elements of ‘The Emergent Awareness Model’

In six weekly segments of two hours each, participants will understand and remove the blocks to authentic communication. Each week, participants will explore one of the elements of the ‘TEAM’ (The Emergent Awareness Model) approach. The course agenda includes:

1. The Need for “Solutions Beyond Diversity”

2. Perception & Consciousness/Cultural Filtering

3. Deep ID

4. Authentic Communication/ Engaging the Other

5. Invisible, Implicit and Assumed Cultures

6. Culture Shaping

The course includes case studies, discussion topics and written handouts.

The Course starts 25 October 2018. For more information on times and costs (including special “Early Bird” rates), please click here: SBD Online Course Info & Registration https://www.commonway.org/SBD-early-bird

(Submitted by Robert McEwen, H.W., M)

God Excited He Only Two Mortgage Payments Away From Owning Heaven

HEAVEN—Following decades of careful financial management, God, Our Lord and Heavenly Father, remarked on His excitement at realizing that only two mortgage payments stood between Him and outright ownership of Heaven. “After 6,000 years of paying off this loan, it’s crazy to think that I’m mere weeks away from calling the whole place Mine,” said the Divine Creator, noting what a relief it would be to see the 15th of the month approach without worrying about getting a payment in on time, and to not lie awake at night worrying that His bank might foreclose on Paradise and repossess His Heavenly Throne. “Now, obviously it sucks that Heaven’s market value is 10 or 15 percent below what it used to be, and that I ultimately paid twice its old value over the ages, but I’m just happy I can finally call it my own. Now I can concentrate on fixing up Purgatory—the Reformation wasn’t exactly good for my rental units there—and getting my son to finally move out.” At press time, God’s bank, JP Morgan Chase of North America, was touting the Lord Almighty’s success as an inspiration to non-white homeowners everywhere.

‘I Was Lucky I Didn’t Give It All Up’: K-Pop Band BTS Addresses the United Nations

Korean musical sensation BTS became the first K-pop group to deliver a speechat the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Leader of the seven-member boy band Kim Nam Joon spoke Monday on the importance of believing in yourself and not yielding to social pressure. His bandmates, dressed in somber suits rather than their typical flashy costumes, backed up his impassioned plea.

“Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles. Some people might not believe but, most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit,” Kim said Monday at the launch of “Generation Unlimited,” a program to increase youth education and empowerment.

“I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up,” he added.

Read moreK-Pop Group BTS Wins TIME 100 Reader Poll

The boy band’s previous forays into humanitarian work have also proved popular.

Last year, BTS’s partnered with the Korean Committee for UNICEF for the anti-violence, “Love Myself” campaign. The initiative has so far raised over $1 million.

During his UN address, Kim discussed his life and the band’s ascent to mega-stardom, but also kept the spotlight on self-confidence.

“We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to ‘speak yourself,’” he said. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, gender identity: speak yourself.”

After the speech, which was attended by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, BTS performed at a “Generation Unlimited” event, CBS reports.

Physicist Alan Lightman on the Illusion of Absolute Rest

By Maria Popova (brainpickings.org)

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In his timeless elegy for time, T.S. Eliot wrote of “the still point of the turning world” — one of the most beautiful and arresting phrases ever composed in the English language. “Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, / But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, / Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, / Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, / There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”

We are woven of contradictions, few more sundering than the polar pull of this dance — our longing for stillness in a universe of unceasing motion, which the painter Joan Miró captured in the notion he placed at the center of his creative ethos: “motionless movement.”

The paradoxical nature of this dance is what the physicist Alan Lightman, one of the most poetic science writers our civilization has produced, explores in a few passages from Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (public library) — his lyrical inquiry into why we long for absolutes in a relative world and what gives meaning to our existence.

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Robert Edwin Peary (self-portrait, 1909)

Reading through the journals of the pioneering Arctic explorer Robert Edwin Peary, who retired on a neighboring island off the coast of Maine in the early twentieth century after discovering the North Pole, or at least what was then believed to be the North Pole — “so simple + common place,” Peary wrote in elated astonishment upon arriving at “the prize of 3 countries, my dream + ambition for 23 years” — Lightman reflects:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngI try to imagine the “common place” experience of standing exactly at the pole of the earth (even if Peary was not quite there). I see myself perched on a glistening ball in space spinning about an imaginary axis through its center, and I am standing at the precise point where that axis emerges from the interior and punctures the ice. All other points on this ball, except at the opposite pole, are in motion. But I am still. You could say I am locally at rest. I am at rest relative to the center of the earth. But that center is itself in motion. As I stand here, that center hurtles around its central star at a speed of 65,000 miles per hour, and that central star, in turn, revolves around the center of the galaxy, the Milky Way, at a speed of 500,000 miles per hour. Do I know too much, or too little? I look up into space, as the cave dwellers did, and am transfixed by the infinite. Although I cannot touch it, I feel that I’m there. This resting yet unresting pole is quite a spot for viewing the universe.

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Art by Derek Dominic D’souza from Song of Two Worlds by Alan Lightman

This illusion of absolute rest plays out as much on the largest scale as it does on the smallest. Millennia after the ancient Greeks first hypothesized the atom as a perfect and indivisible entity — atomos, Greek for uncuttable — a cascade of discoveries unveiled the true nature of matter, and of us: The atom is not a unit of stuff, but a tiny center of matter swarmed by nearly weightless electrons orbiting at a great distance and a great speed. We are mostly restlessness and empty space.

Lightman frames the ancient conception of matter as a vessel for the illusion of the absolute:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngAtoms were the ultimate Oneness of the material world. Perfect in their indivisibility, perfect in their wholeness and indestructibility. Atoms were the embodiment of absolute truth. Atoms, along with stars, were the material icons of the Absolutes.

[…]

Atoms prevent us from falling forever into smaller and smaller rooms of reality. When we reach atoms — so the thinking went — the falling stops. We are caught. We are safe. And from there, we begin our journey back up, building the rest of the world.

ourfriendtheatom12.jpg

Illustration from Our Friend the Atom, a 1956 Disney primer on nuclear physics.

He contrasts this with the modern understanding of material reality, accelerated by the discovery of the electron in 1897 (the year of the disastrous expedition to the North Pole by air balloon):

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe hard nut at the center of each atom, the “atomic nucleus,” is a hundred thousand times smaller than the atom as a whole. To use an analogy, if an atom were the size of Fenway Park, the home stadium of the Boston Red Sox, its dense central nucleus would be the size of a mustard seed, with the electrons gracefully orbiting in the outer bleachers. In fact, 99.9999999999999 percent of the volume of an atom is empty space, except for the haze of nearly weightless electrons. Since we and everything else are made of atoms, we are mostly empty space. That vast emptiness is perhaps the most unsettling consequence of dividing the indivisible.

With an eye to the menagerie of subatomic particles discovered in the century-some since — quarks, pions, kaons, rhos, sigmas, xis — Lightman adds:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngAre we falling and falling without end? Are there unlimited infinities on all sides of us, both bigger and smaller?

This question, and its myriad fractal implications reaching into every nook and cranny of existence, is what Lightman explores in the remainder of the wholly fascinating and enchanting Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine. Complement this particular portion with Pico Iyer on stillness and the art of presence, then revisit Lightman on our yearning for permanence in a universe of constant changethe psychology of creative breakthrough in art and science, and his poetic ode to the unknown, illustrated by a self-taught teenage artist in Bangalore.

The Only Story in the World: John Steinbeck on Kindness, Good and Evil, the Wellspring of Good Writing

By Maria Popova (brainpickings.org)

steinbeck_eastofeden.jpg?w=680“All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up,” John Steinbeck(February 27, 1902–December 20, 1968) wrote as he contemplated good, evil, and the necessary contradiction of human nature at the peak of WWII. “It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die.”

A decade later, and a decade before he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Steinbeck turned this abiding tug of war between good and evil into a literary inquiry in East of Eden (public library) — the 1952 novel that gave us his beautiful wisdom on creativity and the meaning of life, eventually adapted into the 1955 film of the same title starring James Dean.

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John Steinbeck

Steinbeck opens the thirty-fourth chapter with a meditation on the most elemental question through which we experience and measure our lives:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngA child may ask, “What is the world’s story about?” And a grown man or woman may wonder, “What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?”

I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught — in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too — in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?

At the most fundamental level, the triumph of good over evil presupposes an openhearted curiosity about what is other than ourselves and a certain willingness for understanding — the moral choice of fathoming and honoring the reality, experience, and needs of persons and entities existing beyond our own consciousness. Steinbeck, too, saw the centrality of empathic understanding in the choice of goodness. Perhaps unsurprisingly — since he used his private journal as a creative sandbox for his novels — this sentiment originated in a diary entry.

Decades before Annie Dillard contemplated why a generosity of spirit is the animating force of good writing, Steinbeck echoes Hemingway — “As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.” — and reflects in a journal entry from 1938, quoted in Steinbeck Center director Susan Shillinglaw’s introduction to a 1993 Penguin Classics edition of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngIn every bit of honest writing in the world… there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other.

Complement with Hannah Arendt on our mightiest antidote to evil, James Baldwin on the terror within and the evil without, Mary McCarthy on human nature and how we determine if evil is forgivable, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky on why there are no bad people, then revisit Steinbeck on being vs. becomingthe difficult art of the fried breakup, and his remarkable advice on falling in love in a letter to his teenage son.

We Grow Accustomed to the Dark: Emily Dickinson’s Stunning Ode to Resilience, Animated

By Maria Popova (brainpickings.org)

emilydickinson_completepoems.jpg?w=680How do we survive the unsurvivable? What is that inextinguishable flame that goes on flickering in the bleak, dark chamber of our being when something of vital importance has been lost? “All your sorrows have been wasted on you if you have not yet learned how to be wretched,” Seneca’s timeless insight into the key to resilience bellows from antiquity, echoed by the contemporary social science finding that psychological “grit” is the single most significant predictor of triumph over hardship and success in life. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us,” the Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön offered in exploring how to thrive when things fall apart.

Loss visits every human life. The degree of our acceptance and the grace with which we adapt to the sudden descent of darkness — that is, to borrow the splendid term William James borrowed from Margaret Fuller, “the manner of our acceptance of the universe” — may be the greatest measure of skillful living.

That is what Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830–May 15, 1886) addresses in a stunning poem titled — like all of her poems, which the poet herself always left untitled — after the first line: “We grow accustomed to the Dark,” composed during a time of personal loss and immense transformation for Dickinson, while the Civil War rages about her. Included in the indispensable Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (public library), it comes to life in this lovely short film animated by Hannah Jacobs and produced by Massive Science founder Nadja Oertelt for Harvard’s eight-part series Poetry of Perception, exploring representations of sensation and perception through the literary and visual arts.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWe grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye —

A Moment — We Uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

Complement with Dickinson, the poet laureate of finding light amid the darkness of being, on making sense of loss and her stunning forgotten herbarium — an elegy for light at the intersection of poetry and science — then revisit other enchanting animated adaptations of great poems: “Optimism” by Jane Hirshfield, “The Man with the Beautiful Eyes” by Charles Bukowski, and “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman.

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