Lord of the Flies

Have you ever wondered why our treatment of each other at times does not represent the best of who we are and who we should be? Have you thought about how our behavior in times of strife effects others, our family members, our acquaintances, friends, and strangers -the reasons why we treat each other in ways that cause injury, discomfort, or mistreatment to others? The treatment of any situation that becomes unpleasant and harmful because we are unskilled at problem resolution, or that maybe we are just in a reckless snit and nobody or nothing will get in the way of our overpowering will. This is an all too often neglected observance in our everyday lives. I am myself amiss to the consequences of my misdirected energy and do try to spend a proportionate amount of my time reflecting about such occurrences in my life, and on those whom have created such retrospections for me to contemplate upon. For reasons that sometimes evade me, I seem to have a fascination about such matters and I am determined to gain an understanding about the the experiences I have had in my life, and of those around me whom have made an impact on me. I think this is truly the motivation for me to major in Psychology, and Philosophy; to come to grips with a mad stricken world in chaos.

On a larger scale through-out global histories many of the planets cultures have asked these questions for thousands of years. I recall my professor Dr. Jack McClurg discussing this topic in my Chinese Philosophy Class when I was attending San Diego State University back in the nineteen eighties. The Chinese Dynastic rulers who were plotting to apply a governing rule for the people to adopt in their political treatment of this problem had to decide how to approach the populations for a cultural renascence. Between the competing factions of philosophical schools of thought at the time they decided to choose Confucianism over the the others largely due to its pragmatic approach. The Chinese solution was to indoctrinate the masses through an etiquette of conduct via Confucianism!

Abusive, ignorant, insensible and brutal creatures we may become without some defining guidance to lead us out of a path of the callous and ferocious mentalities we repeatedly tend to follow. My own opinion has much to do with the childhood experience as we age and we observe the world in its primal states. If we have crude social instruction, if we are abused and mistreated, if we have exposure and have a familiarity of violence in the form of psychological or physical; we frequently mirror our environments. Ignorance and tyranny has been a part of our world since the dawn of our species. The pursuit of power, greed, ignorance and other such attributes has taken a hold over the untrained human spirit for those who champion this egregious path.

I do not necessarily subscribe to the “Tabula Rasa” or blank slate in dealing with questions of our humanity in psychology and philosophical metaphysical ethics, but I can indeed provide source references with studies to back up the evidence on how our childhood empiricism and experience of the world effects us directly on a magnitude in the order of terabytes of information available in the scientific, behavioral and philosophical domains.

My thought is how manipulative we as a species tend to become in many social aspects of our lives, be it at the workplace, at home, or in our other societal relationships. The degree to which our indiscretions prevail is usually the only question that comes to mind, and as Plato concluded in his dialog “The Laws”, as Freud concluded in his book “Society and its Discontents”, we have a propensity to do harm in amongst ourselves. The plethora of authors writing about our bleak and nihilistic tendencies is rife through out the world. Personally I believe that a social re-engineering is plausible and the Zeitgeist movement has much merit and especially the work of Jacques Fresco and his Venus project. Unfortunately to get there, we must undergo a mass exodus from the status quo, the current market system and current monetary system.

As Peter Joesph would put it to paraphrase … we must take away the reinforcer’s, the sources that lead us into these types of dispositions. As B.F. Skinner would agree, the operant conditioning of a culture (or instrumental conditioning) is a form of learning in which an individual’s behavior is modified by its consequences; the behavior may change in form, frequency, or strength. Operant conditioning is a term that was coined by B.F Skinner in 1937. Operant conditioning is distinguished from classical conditioning (or respondent conditioning) in that operant conditioning deals with the modification of “voluntary behavior” or operant behavior. Operant behavior operates on the environment and is maintained by its consequences, while classical conditioning deals with the conditioning of reflexive (reflex) behaviors which are elicited by antecedent conditions. Behaviors conditioned via a classical conditioning procedure are not maintained by consequences. Of course we know by experience and examples of the world that “the powers that be” would want to squelch this idea, and that those in power whether it be in the capital building or in a corporate office, must protect it’s domination of the market or it’s power over the dominions.

I try not to digress, but for the average person in the world, for you and me, for our friends and family members, how do we deflect the atrocities? How do we divert the subversion of our higher selves in the world? How do we connect to a much more positive source? Many in the world have written and lectured, demonstrated and preached to us about human conduct, and how we should lead our lives. I think the answer must begin with ourselves. To bring about a daily example of how we live our lives, educate, and practice our own selves and create our own destiny despite what exits on the exterior societal realms.

This to many means we must endure the ignorance of others. This to many means we must be stronger than our peers, in order to survive the oppressive cults that exists in our darker natures. This does not make us weak if we choose this road, a path of non-resistance and non-violent resistance. The conclusions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus of Nazareth, Confucius, Lau Tzu, Socrates, and Mahatma Gandhi are in agreement along the lines of this reasoning to cite only a few. Many pessimistic attributes may follow a mediocre understanding, but truly a movement must begin with the individual. The individual can influence others, and therefore a group of individuals can come together with an understanding. A chain of events can create a movement in a society to overcome the greater factions in bigger groups for social change to imbue itself and take hold. Of course the converse is also true to this statement. Look at our current society.

Like that of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, how would that scenario play out if you were stranded on that island.

The Phenomenon of a Rotating Fan

There is something to be said about taking refuge in the privacy of one’s own bedroom at the hour when you were told to go to sleep when you were a child by your parents. For myself, as a kid I would look forward to one thing if I did indeed have to go to bed; I welcomed my solitude with an ally that I continue to use to this day; my trusty rotating fan.
In some ages of childhood we all have a dispute with the pending “time to go to bed” clause often espoused in parenthood, since we think that we want to stay up longer than directed by our parents. I can guarantee that in the sixties, I also succumbed to this line of thought. But fortunately for me, at times I had a good reason to go to my room if I had to go to bed when it was time. I remember having a metal rotating fan that I would place in the center of my room on a chair, having it set on medium to full speed as it would rotate just before I would go to bed. It was an oscillating fan made by one of those former giant American company’s that actually made things to last. Durable heavy cast metal, and a sound that would put me to sleep for the nights that I had it as a companion to my quiescent states.
Its use was not for the effect to displace the temperature of a small bedroom I happen to be in, but more for the sound qualities that I continue to take asylum in to this day.
The sound alone would often filter into my dreams as I were maybe the captain of an aircraft, or that aeroplane’s would become part of my dreams due to the sound of the fan in my room, rotating from side to side as the hum from the motor would squelch any exterior distractions. The kind of sound I imagine a squad of planes would sound like in unison, flying high up in the sky. Maybe a single engine passenger airplane taking to the sky’s is a sound that may have been envisioned.

In that day the sound of a propeller driven aircraft was in frequent use and easily recognized, especially from a generation of kids used to watching WW2 movies.
As a kid, my room was the very first bedroom in the house, and subsequently closest to the living room where my dad would watch the television set, and often at night. I do not know if I used the fan to drown out the noise from the programs being watched, and my parents talking, or if I just liked the feel and sound of that old oscillating fan. One thing for sure is that it has a mesmerizing effect on me even to this day.
Maybe a reason that I love the sound of the fan, let alone the feel of the breeze it created, but that it covered up the noisy background of a small American home when I did have to go to sleep. Was it a difficulty for me when I was instructed to go to bed, and all you could do is hear the loud background noise from the television set? Whether it be a discourtesy for a child my age to go to sleep with or not, I am drawn to those memories as I reflect on the pleasant outcomes. Whatever the reason for my fascination with a rotating fan, it travels back to that time when I truly enjoyed it’s phenomenon. It is deeply embedded into my consciousness.

A Zen like Moment

I’d like to reflect on an earlier memory of mine when I was just a kid.
A pleasant memory of a peaceful moment that happens to all of us from one time or another if we choose to enjoy it or even notice it. The memory brings me to an earlier time in my life, a time when I did not have to drive or even have concernment about such matters. When I was the passenger in the backseat of the family car, with no other responsibilities or duties to perform in the family presence. One night after a long day of events, my family endured a lengthy drive home from either a social function that took us to another part of town, or some other endeavor that encompassed everyone in the family to be present. Not much was said between our family, we were not a family that talked much, as everyone seemed to be in their own thoughts. The remembrance occurs to me about my overall sentiment as I started to drift into a quasi sleep state as my head leaned against the glass window and the engine motor acted as a white noise that allowed me to shift into a meditative realm.
I’m sure I was reflecting on whatever happened to enter my mind at the time, but one observation came to me as I noticed something very comforting. An observance that whilst you are aware of your surroundings, you can be far off in another realm altogether. Despite my closed eyes, my not too diminished comfort level being in a small Volkswagen bug, a tired body and relaxed mind tends to drift, yet my being in a quasi-awake state, quasi-present and aware of the events happening in my environment- I was also somewhere else; in two places at once.

I do not speak of ekcancar, or an out of body experience, but simply that I had a sense of fulfillment, that I felt a sense of being safe, that I was relaxed in mind and body and my spirit was relieved of any worry. I did not have to have my guard up, I did not have to protect myself, I did not have to be cautious, but only just be!
Imagine being worry free, being relaxed and having a stress-free moment. I seemed to be tuned into a meditative state enjoying only good thoughts. A dream like state that incorporates the present moment without it being a fictional dream.

Letting go of barriers, letting go of ideas, thoughts, and perceptions about the world that closes us off from this experience is harder to do as one grows older. With age one can acquire more scars, more experiences, and more encounters with those who may try to subject you to their ignorance which only builds a history of possible offenses that can convolute the mind. I do not know if I as a child experienced a Zen-like moment, but I do know it has happened at times in my life, but in rare instances. I do know that I was in the company of people who were close to me, and allowed me to project myself out from underneath my mortal flaws if only for a moment. If only for a moment we must cherish them as they are the ones that can lead us to a more sane world.

Letting go of the ego is what I believe happens during those quasi moments of bliss. Not having an encroaching personality conflict, and opening one up for a pure moment of silence and not letting the malfeasance of the mind break you of this opportunity. Having those around you often can help though it is not a requirement of the experience in my point of view.

more to come…..

On Essence

There have been times in my life when I have hit the ground running, and there have been times in my life when I was completely paralyzed, ill-equipped to meet the onslaught of a troublesome world. I speak of a paralysis that directs a person to a social exile since the belief in trusting others has long since diminished. An exile that is self imposed, and deemed a better choice than taking solace from those who may ease the pain and help has now taken siege in the echoes of the mind.
The disintegrated trust in my ability to find help has possibly kept me from forming bonds with other people through-out much of my childhood and at times episodically through-out my adult life. I had to entrench myself and limit my fortification with only my psychological ability to fight off the pursuing assailants whatever those confrontational situations may have happened to be. We can be our own worst enemies at times, especially when we have doubt in our ability to overcome an obstacle that happens to cross our paths.
It has taken me many years of self observation to formulate a basic understanding of the patterns in my behavior that I see through my life’s choices and experiences.
Much of my interest does not necessarily begin with my personal look into my own soul, but in looking for the purity in the soul’s of others that have inspired me has led me to make discoveries within myself and the world at large. My searches have led me to many sources, some conventional, and some to the contrary, but I am forever in search of answers that I have asked for as long as I can remember.

Essence and Personality
The core truth that my studies have conveyed to me is that we are much more than our personality. Our personalities are no more than the familiar, conditioned parts of a much wider range of potentials that we all possess. Beyond the limitations of our personalities, each of us exists as a vast, largely unrecognized quality of being or presence-what is called our Essence.
In the spiritual language we could say that within each person is an individual spark of the divine, although we have forgotten this fundamental truth because…..Because we have fallen asleep to our true nature.
We do not experience our own divine nature; nor do we experience others as manifestations of the divine. Instead, we often become hard, even cynical, treating others as objects to be defended against or used for our own gratification.

-The spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.


The fundamental ground of our being is Essence or spirit, but it takes a dynamic form we call “The Soul”. Our personality is a particular aspect of our soul. Our soul is “made of” Essence or Spirit. If spirit were water, soul would be a particular lake or river, and personality would be waves on its surface – or frozen chunks of ice in the river.
Generally, we do no experience our Essence and its many aspects because our awareness is so dominated by our personality. But as we learn to bring awareness to our personality, it becomes more transparent, and we are able to experience our Essence more directly. We still function in the world but with a growing realization of our connection with divinity. We become aware that we are part of a divine presence all around us and in us that is constantly and miraculously unfolding.
The paradigm of the Enneagram does not put us in a box, it rather shows us the box we are already in – and the way out!

Man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.

-St. Augustine-

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

-Herman Hesse-

He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.

-Lao Tzu-


The wholeness of a thing, its identity is the result of the interaction of three forces, and how it evolves or changes over time. Dynamic not static.

Passions represent the way we lose our center and become distorted in our thinking, feeling, and doing.





There’s a part of every living thing that wants to become itself. The tadpole into the frog, the chrysalis into the butterfly, a damaged human being into a whole one. That is spirituality.

-Ellen Bass-

Our hearts yearn to know who we are and why we are here. we have been taught that the quality of our life will improve primarily if our external fortunes improve. sooner or later, however, we realize that external things, while valuable in themselves, cannot address the deep restlessness of our soul.

It seems to me that before we set out on a journey to find reality, to find god, before we can act, before we have any relationship with another … it is essential that we begin to understand ourselves first.


Whatever your age, your upbringing, or your education, what you are made of is mostly unused potential.

-George Leonard-

the main filter that we use to understand ourselves and the world around us, to express ourselves, to defend ourselves, to deal with our past and anticipate our future, to learn with, to rejoice with, and to fall in love with, is our personality type.
core personality (psychological) issues interpersonal strengths and weaknesses
how to deal with these issues

Spiritually speaking, everything that one wants, aspires to, and needs is ever-present, accessible here and now…for those with eyes to see.

-Surya Das-

Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.

-Maya Angelou-

What have been the defining moments of your life…your traumas and triumphs – those times when you knew that, for better or worse your life would never be the same? who have been the most significant people in your life – those who have acted as “witnesses’ to your struggles and growth, those who have hurt you and those who have been your understanding mentors and friends?

a journal = descriptive biography

The great metaphors from all spiritual traditions – grace, liberation, being born again, awakening from illusion – testify that it is possible to transcend the conditioning of my past and do a new thing.

-Sam Keen-

Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand!


What can we gain by sailing to see the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?

-Thomas Merton-

Real self knowledge is an invaluable guardian against self-deception. As much as traversing the enneagram paradigm in that it can reveal the spiritual heights that we are capable of attaining, it also sheds light clearly and non-judgmentally on the aspects of our lives that are dark and unfree.
Meditations and having “presence” (awareness, mindfulness), and the practice of self-observation (gained from self-knowledge), and understanding what one’s experiences mean, is the beginning of the process to undertake a transformation for yourself.
Being supplies the first, you supply the second, and the enneagram supplies the third. when these three come together, things can happen quickly.

to be continued….

On Forgiveness

September 4, 2012 5:03 PM

On forgiveness

I gave my father a call when I was driving home after work the other day on my Blue-tooth, as I thought I’d check up on him. He sounded happy to hear from me, but I could tell he was lonely. (He was now alone in the house as my mother had left him after many years of marriage.) He said some things that surprised me as they were words I do not often here my father say. I am not close to my father, or for that matter anyone in my family. I try to be a good son when I can, but I must say that I can be a better son by visiting my family more often. On closing our fairly brief “catch-up” conversation, he asked me if I wanted to see “a movie” sometime. I don’t think he has ever said those words to me in my life. Yet another indication that he is lonely. He also closed the conversation by saying “ I love ya buddy!” My father very very seldom says those words.
My lack of visitation to my dad’s house is something I am aware of and it often taunts me. Even though we live in the same city, I travel a lot to and from work, I have been keeping to myself much these days and do not extend myself out for social occasions much. I think the Harry Chapin song “Cats in the Cradle” tells my story with some degree of accuracy. I know that on some levels I miss him, but on others, there are times when he is a painful person to have in my presence.

He has probably caused me more grief than I let myself remember and on reflection I believe that it adversely affects me to this day. I sometimes wonder if these emotional qualms I have stem from a “learned helplessness” caused by his brutish outbursts on me when I was a child. Fearing not to act in a way to upset him, often left me in emotional paralysis. I sometimes wonder if I suffer still from those times that he demolished my personal well-being, evaded my personal space, and obliterated my self esteem. I have tried to forget many of those issues I encountered in the family, but there are times when they resurface again in a flash-back memory that randomly enters my mind.
I sometimes remember the things that my father would do to me that was very emotionally painful for me. He also would behave quite miserably in front of my friends, or just within the family when we were all under the same roof.

I know that most of these painful events were many years ago, and he has become much more behaved these days. It is the memory of these episodes that haunt me. These events and memories have created a huge barrier between us, an immense distance that became further and further apart as he chose to behave without any thought of just how his behavior effects others. I remember that his demeanor and treatment of others must have been inconsequential to him, for by no other reason would a good person be deliberate and act in this way if they knew how they are perceived. There is also the theory that he was simply just sadistic, and liked to cause others pain, discomfort, and like to humiliate them. Alternatively is his lack of being able to connect to others in a meaningful way. On some levels I think he was not completely aware of how he behaved around us. Ultimately this does not excuse him, but it did make me angry when I would explain to him how his poor behavior effected us and he would reply that he does not remember those incidents.

Not acknowledging those events is probably the most hurtful, since one cannot validate the experience, therefore it cannot be discussed any further. The apprehension comes from what is best stated in an old Japanese proverb: “Forgiving the unrepentant is like drawing pictures in water.”
I do love my father, and wished he was a better father to me, my brother, and my mother. He is not the worst father, but is certainly not the best either. The early days were probably the most memorable and left an indelible mark on me. I myself have my personal challenges when it comes to parenting. I have learned much on my observations growing up with friends who were parents long before I made the decision to have a family myself. I am not aware of any parent who does not make a mistake or two through-out their parental pilgrimage.

I know in my life that I must let the parts of my vexatious past go. I know that I must take ownership of my situations, learn from them, move on, and get over the unpleasant experience that employs negative energies. Forgive those who have harmed me, and let bygones be bygones is often asserted when advise is cast. Unfortunately forgiveness is not an easy process to undertake when one has been so hurt. But there is something about the process of forgiveness that I cannot deny; forgiveness is not purely altruistic in that it achieves other conditions that are self serving, and maybe even self preserving. It benefits the person that is transacting and initiating the forgiving.

To forgive is not for the “sole sake” of relieving another of their guilt, but rather for the “sake of the soul” that had been perpetrated upon!
For your own peace, one must forgive to allow their soul to heal from the inflicted wounds. Putting to rest the needless anxiety that aggravates the mind for as long as you allow it to have a presence in your thoughts is a result from the non-attachment. Forgiveness therefore is to free one from what has been binding it to the turmoil it is trying to escape from. It has been my experience that reason alone sometimes does not help since it does not embody and assimilate the emotional connections and feelings to that of the intellect.
Consequently, in completely forgiving someone, you are able to overcome, and put the past in the past without re-living it over and over again in your memories. One must have a connection of reason and an emotional understanding for the process to be fully realized. The heart and the mind must work together in unison, along with the desire to carry forward.

I would be foolish to say that this is an easy thing to do. I would be even more foolish to state that I have accomplished such deeds when it comes to my own family. I have forgiven others in my life, and allowed myself to move on. I also have been deeply injured, and when it comes to question of whether or not I have forgiven my father for the scars that were placed in my memory all those years ago, I struggle to find a complete answer. I am working on this and my intent will align with my actions once I make the true connection.