All posts by Mike Zonta

Walter Lanyon Trilogy

PART ONE OF A TRILOGY

By Walter C. Lanyon

Part One   –  I Came

Part Two   –  That Ye Might Have

Part Three –  Life More Abundant

My son, some kings are commonplace, and not all laborers are worthy of their hire.

But this I say to you; that if you are in league with gods to learn life and to live it, neither king nor commoner can prevent you, though they try their utmost.

You shall find help unexpectedly from strangers who, it may be, know not why.

Link to book online:  http://www.visuallife.net/came/

PART TWO OF A TRILOGY

By Walter C. Lanyon

This, the second volume, continues the relation of Consciousness versus Thought. A development of the Changeless Order of Being is given together with a fuller expose of the practical application of the Principle used by Jesus in his so-called miracles.

Gradually the reader becomes aware thatConsciousness is not established by “Taking Thought” but by becoming aware of Consciousness. He finds that thought emanates from Consciousness as the rays of light emanate from the SUN. He discovers the reason for many of the things said by Jesus—he begins to sense in a new way how it is that “prayer is answered before it is asked”—and that the results take place while he is asking. In short, an entirely new level of understanding is revealed.

Link to book online:  http://www.visuallife.net/ye-might/

PART THREE of A TRILOGY

By WALTER C. LANYON

A handful of dust could hide your signal when I did not know its meaning. Now I am wiser, I read it in all that hid it before. It is painted in petals of flowers; waves flash it from their foam; hills hold it high on their summits. I had my face turned from you, therefore I read the books awry, and knew not their meaning.

Where roads are made I lose my way. In the wide water, in the blue sky there is no line of a track. The pathway is hidden by the birds’ wings, by the starflies, by the flowers of the way-faring seasons. And I ask my heart if its blood carries the wisdom of the unseen way.

Link to book online:  http://www.visuallife.net/life-abundant/

Last line of the Declaration of Independence

DeclarationOfI

July 4, 1776

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock

Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

Assembly 2016 in Long Beach, CA

Essentials of the Master Classes

Get inspired. Connect with some of the Prosperos’ leading mentors and instructors of today, ready to help elevate your practice of Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendour with key breakthrough tips and experiential dialogue. Join us! September 2-5, 2016.

We’re planning an unforgettable weekend at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach California, with the comradery of old and new friends and working with noted mentors and teachers in such subject matter as Art and the unconscious; Astrology seen as
personal Survival Dynamics; Symbolic clues to understand
your personal journey; and a closer look at techniques to enhance your effectiveness with RHS and Translation…

We have people coming from the East, the Midwest and West Coast, and Hawaii. I’d say “It is a weekend to learn how to effectively use your emotional intelligence by finding out how you bank and spend emotional currency within your world. An experience with immersive information to change the spectrums of your life stories from isolation or pain to a give-for of insights, wholeness, love, & laughter.”
– Calvin Harris, H.W., M.

**This Assembly will hold a concluding banquet celebration of fun & laughter – Sunday evening September 4, 2016**

With… Rob Klopfenstein

. . .on the piano. Rob Klopfenstein is a songwriter & piano player who entertains at music venues throughout southern California. He is known for his fun, energetic and interactive shows.

Come join our Feature Presenters:

Heather Williams, H.W., M.

Artist, Mentor and Instructor for the Prosperos, who is also an Art teacher in the Southern California School Systems. Heather uses her skill and knowledge about art and the subconscious to give her adult workshop students the wonderful opportunity to explore and draw out of themselves insights of internal processes through art imagery created by the student.

Richard Hartnett, H.W., M.

Mentor and Instructor for the Prosperos, who is also a nationally known Writer and Psychic in Colorado. Richard uses his knowledge of symbol-stories found in Greek, Egyptian, Celtic and Native American cultures to show the inner play of conscious and unconscious factors still at work as drivers in our life today.

Anne Bollman, H.W., M.

Prosperos faculty member and administrator for over 25 years. Anne currently serves as Treasurer of the Prosperos and is a Mentor and Instructor. Anne has presented on a variety of ontological themes at Assemblies and has served on numerous advisory committees for the Prosperos.

Facilitators

A team of facilitators will assist with break-out sessions where we will have the opportunity to share our stories, insights, and dreams.

By the time the Assembly 2016 wraps ups there will be a new sense to living 24 hours in a day.

Don’t Wait:

1. Book Your Hotel Reservation Now – Westin Hotel, Long Beach, CA. – Call: (562) 436-3000 – Ask for ”In-house Reservations.” – Between 8am & 3pm Pacific Time.

2. Assembly Registration (Fee $175). See the online fact sheet for details and a link to online registration.

Finally . . . You don’t want to miss it !

Assembly 2016 Promo

The Narcissist Next Door

Narcissist

By JANE E. BRODY

July 18, 2016 (New York Times)

Does this sound like anyone you know?

*Highly competitive in virtually all aspects of his life, believing he (or she) possesses special qualities and abilities that others lack; portrays himself as a winner and all others as losers.

*Displays a grandiose sense of self, violating social norms, throwing tantrums, even breaking laws with minimal consequences; generally behaves as if entitled to do whatever he wants regardless of how it affects others.

*Shames or humiliates those who disagree with him, and goes on the attack when hurt or frustrated, often exploding with rage.

*Arrogant, vain and haughty and exaggerates his accomplishments; bullies others to get his own way.

*Lies or distorts the truth for personal gain, blames others or makes excuses for his mistakes, ignores or rewrites facts that challenge his self-image, and won’t listen to arguments based on truth.

These are common characteristics of extreme narcissists as described by Joseph Burgo, a clinical psychologist, in his book “The Narcissist You Know.” While we now live in a culture that some would call narcissistic, with millions of people constantly taking selfies, spewing out tweets and posting everything they do on YouTube and Facebook, the extreme narcissists Dr. Burgo describes are a breed unto themselves. They may be highly successful in their chosen fields but extremely difficult to live with and work with.

Of course, nearly all of us possess one or more narcissistic trait without crossing the line of a diagnosable disorder. And it is certainly not narcissistic to have a strong sense of self-confidence based on one’s abilities.

“Narcissism exists in many shades and degrees of severity along a continuum,” Dr. Burgo said, and for well-known people he cites as extreme narcissists, he resists making an ad hoc diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association.

The association’s diagnostic manual lists a number of characteristics that describe narcissistic personality disorder, among them an impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others, grandiosity and feelings of entitlement, and excessive attempts to attract attention.

Dr. Giancarlo Dimaggio of the Center for Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy in Rome, wrote in Psychiatric Times that “persons with narcissistic personality disorder are aggressive and boastful, overrate their performance, and blame others for their setbacks.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, people with a narcissistic personality disorder think so highly of themselves that they put themselves on a pedestal and value themselves more than they value others. They may come across as conceited or pretentious. They tend to monopolize conversations, belittle those they consider inferior, insist on having the best of everything and become angry or impatient if they don’t get special treatment.

Underlying their overt behavior, however, may be “secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation,” Mayo experts wrote. To ward off these feelings when criticized, they “may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person.”

Dr. Burgo, who sees clients by Skype from his home in Grand Lake, Colo., noted that many “grandiose narcissists are drawn to politics, professional sports, and the entertainment industry because success in these fields allows them ample opportunity to demonstrate their winner status and to elicit admiration from others, confirming their defensive self-image as a superior being.”

The causes of extreme narcissism are not precisely known. Theories include parenting styles that overemphasize a child’s special abilities and criticize his fears and failures, prompting a need to appear perfect and command constant attention.

Although narcissism has not been traced to one kind of family background, Dr. Burgo wrote that “a surprising number of extreme narcissists have experienced some kind of early trauma or loss,” like parental abandonment. The family lives of several famous narcissists he describes, Lance Armstrong among them, are earmarked by “multiple failed marriages, extreme poverty and an atmosphere of physical and emotional violence.”

As a diagnosable personality disorder, narcissism occurs more often in males than females, often developing in the teenage years or early adulthood and becoming more extreme with age. It occurs in an estimated 0.5 percent of the general population, and 6 percent of people who have encounters with the law who have mental or emotional disorders. One study from Italy found that narcissistic personality traits were present in as many as 17 percent of first-year medical students.

As bosses and romantic partners, narcissists can be insufferable, demanding perfection, highly critical and quick to rip apart the strongest of egos. Employee turnover in companies run by narcissists and divorce rates in people married to them are high.

“The best defense for employees who choose to stay is to protect the bosses’ egos and avoid challenging them,” Dr. Burgo said in an interview. His general advice to those running up against extreme narcissists is to “remain sane and reasonable” rather than engaging them in “battles they’ll always win.”

Despite their braggadocio, extreme narcissists are prone to depression, substance abuse and suicide when unable to fulfill their expectations and proclamations of being the best or the brightest.

The disorder can be treated, though therapy is neither quick nor easy. It can take an insurmountable life crisis for those with the disorder to seek treatment. “They have to hit rock bottom, having ruined all their important relationships with their destructive behavior,” Dr. Burgo said. “However, this doesn’t happen very often.”

No drug can reverse a personality disorder. Rather, talk therapy can, over a period of years, help people better understand what underlies their feelings and behavior, accept their true competence and potential, learn to relate more effectively with other people and, as a result, experience more rewarding relationships.

Suzanne Simard: How Trees Talk To Each Other

Ted talks – “A forest is much more than what you see,” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

The Backfire Effect: Why Facts Don’t Win Arguments

BigThink

By Big Think editors (bigthink.com)

Let’s say you’re having an argument with a friend about oh, let’s say, Obamacare, or even who the best quarterback in the NFL is. You present your friend with a set of facts that you would think would clinch your argument. And yet, while the facts you present clearly contradict your friend’s position, you discover that presenting your friend with these facts does nothing to correct his or her false or unsubstantiated belief. In fact, your friend is even more emboldened in his or her belief after being exposed to corrective information.

A group of Dartmouth researchers have studied the problem of the so-called “backfire effect,” which is defined as the effect in which “corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.”

The problem here may be the way your friend is receiving these facts. Since your friend knows you and your opinions well, he or she does not view you as an “omniscient” source of information. When it comes to receiving corrective information about a public policy issue, the authors of the Dartmouth study note

people typically receive corrective information within “objective” news reports pitting two sides of an argument against each other, which is significantly more ambiguous than receiving a correct answer from an omniscient source. In such cases, citizens are likely to resist or reject arguments and evidence contradicting their opinions – a view that is consistent with a wide array of research.

So when we read a news story that presents both sides of an issue, we simply pick the side we happen to agree with and it reinforces our viewpoint. But what of those individuals who don’t simply resist challenges to their views, but who actually come to hold their original opinion even more strongly?

The authors describe the “backfire effect” as a possible result of

the process by which people counterargue preference-incongruent information and bolster their preexisting views. If people counterargue unwelcome information vigorously enough, they may end up with ‘more attitudinally congruent information in mind than before the debate,’ which in turn leads them to report opinions that are more extreme than they otherwise would have had.”

This study goes a long way to explain the state of rational discourse in the country right now. So what can be done? How can you have a more effective discussion with your friend about Obamacare or Peyton Manning?

Think about an argument more as a partnership, says Julia Galef, President of the Center for Applied Rationality. Read about that here.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

“Why I don’t fear a Donald Trump presidency” by Mike Zonta, H.W., M.

Zonta

We are often told that we get the leaders we deserve.  If one understands the concept of “mentation,” the world as an out-picturing of our own consciousness (and unconsciousness), how could it be otherwise?

And as Bernie Sanders said throughout his presidential campaign, change starts from the bottom up, not the top down.  I think that applies to a change in consciousness as well.  And, indeed, the consciousness of Western civilization, if we can speak of such a thing, has been on the ascent for millenia.

Part of that ascent has been the idea of self-government.  What used to be taken for granted, the rule of kings and queens who ruled by divine right, is no longer acceptable.  Democracy or at least a republican democracy has become the order of the day for most of Western civilization.

But democracy requires citizen involvement.  And who has the time these days for citizen involvement?  We don’t live, for example, in some New England village where decisions can be made in the local town hall by people who you know and who know you.

In Thom Hartmann’s wonderful and comprehensive book, What Would Jefferson Do?, he says:  “Up until a century ago, more than half the humans in the world lived in societies that were essentially democratic, and from the dawn of humanity until a thousand years ago, as many as 90 percent of all humans lived in various types of democracies.  We just didn’t (and don’t) call them that.  We call them tribes.”

Some of those tribes rule by consensus.  “Following a tribal tradition that is so ancient its origin is lost in the mists of antiquity, they make decisions by talking around a circular meeting area and if any single member casts a veto, the issue is turned down,” Hartmann says.  “In every case, though, this leadership position was considered a burden and an obligation of service, not an opportunity for self-enrichment or lording it over others.”

Hartmann goes on to report that even amongst animals, democracy prevails.  When a heard of deer need to decide whether to continue grazing or go to on to another site, they make that decision as a group and when critical mass is achieved (51%), the herd moves on (or stays).

So why have an “alpha” male at all?  Hartmann suggests it may be a form of sexual hierarchy, but that when it comes to making decisions outside of sex, he (or she) is just another member of the tribe.

Self-government begins at home.  Self-government begins with governing oneself.  Making the unconscious conscious.  But this cannot be done in a vacuum.  It must be done at the same time as one goes about one’s daily life:  going to work, being part of a family, being part of a community, being part of a nation and a world in crisis.

“To make spiritual truth an effective force for ordered freedom and common good,” the motto of The Prosperos, must at some point become political, that is, part of the polis or city.

So what about the “alpha” male named Donald Trump?  What does his presidential campaign mean as a mentation?  Can he ignore the critical mass which has already decided that black lives do matter, that women are equal in law and in fact to men, that gay relationships have as much legitimacy as non-gay relationships, that climate change is a real problem caused by human activity, that the world has become smaller and more democratic through the international use of social media and the internet, and that spirituality comes in many forms none of which includes megalomania or fundamentalism.

I think the herd has decided to move on and, even if elected, “alpha” male Trump will be just another voice in the herd.  We are the critical mass we have been waiting for.