Existential Anesthesia

Disconnect from the world

Virtual reality is here

How many minds will it trap?

What do you have to fear?

Living in an alternate environment

The Metaverse provides the escape

Another hit of dopamine

What will we aspire to create?

If we can’t solve problems in the real world

Pretending we can won’t change

Enhancing a romanticized virtual world

Only invites us to estrange

Beware you children of technology

Beware you people of mirth

Do not lose yourselves in frivolity

Reclaim your own self worth


It just might be for your sake

The most powerful resource in the human condition

Our need to belong, our need for connection

Not unlike the power of Love

Not unlike the power of rejection

In our isolation

We struggle to prevail

In our disconnection

We are more likely to fail

A healthy social construct

Must be available for all

Given the state of humanity

We are destined to occasionally fall

Bruce K Alexander

Studies with Rat Park

Showed me without a doubt

He was right on the mark

So why don’t we hear more about this?

What else will it take?

Make this apart of your life

It just might be for your sake



It Starts with a Hello


It starts with a hello.  If you want to begin a conversation with people dear to you, but because of a misunderstanding or some miscalculated past communication fall-out our pride and thinking keeps us from contacting the other person.  We fade and lose contact with those once close to us.  We will inhibit our motivation to re-connect with that person and fail to meet the other person on a level grounding.  This level grounding can only begin with hello and engage each other once again.  We must stay in the present, and not stay in the past.  We cannot control other people, we can only ask and try again to reestablish a relationship with those we lost favor with.  There are forces that we cannot control, influences we could not mitigate.  If we are not allowed to spend time with them, then they may never change their minds.  And if indeed they begin to spend time with us again, we can enable ourselves to re-connect a broken communication.

The most painful illustrations come from broken family relationships.  Even more devastating examples are in the broken parent/child relationships.


“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!” —DC Gunnersen
“To invest into a memory that will only take you down a road that cannot be traveled is futile and counter-productive. It takes us away from the here and now, and it only impedes our well-being when we give nostalgic cadence to this venture.”
DC Gunnersen


It starts with a hello

So much time has passed

I hate to see you go

In younger days, we trusted and loved each other

But somehow in today’s world

You have no words to utter

I do care how this came about

I can only fix what I know

If you don’t talk

I become an exile with nothing to show

The judge, the jury, and the sentence

Does this fit the crime?

I think of twinkle twinkle

I think of the twinkle twinkle nursery rhyme

When the blazing sun is gone,

When the nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark,

Thanks you for your tiny spark,

He could not see which way to go,

If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,

And often through my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye,

Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,

Lights the traveler in the dark.

Though I know not what you are,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

How I wonder what you are.

How I wonder what you are.



It starts with a hello
It starts with the willingness to re-connect
If we are correct, than it is only a matter of time before we have confirmation
If we are wrong, we may miss out on a once treasured relationship
We may have impeded what should not have come to pass
We may have misjudged someone and our own thinking can be corrected
If we don’t forgive them, than we should at some future point forgive ourselves


On Accountability

♥ Tamara Gentuso:


Would it make a difference if a close friend or loved one failed to understand you, listen to you when you speak, or interact with you as if your thoughts and opinions don’t even merit heeding?  When we think our opinions are the only ones worth listening to, we become arrogant and may even become braggarts espousing our thoughts to the world that should hear what we would have to say because our words should be listened to!  They come from deep beliefs and have been tested from others with like minds.  Right?

Family member communication dynamics usually don’t change unless some meaningful exchanges take place.  This is also true for the rest of our relationships in all facets of our associations.

I think it a very arduous experience when someone you have known for many years discounts your input, ignores your thoughts and how you have come to believe in your credulity.  When we do not listen to others, we alienate them from an opportunity to be fully heard and understood.  Many families are subject to such practices because somewhere in their upbringing they have placed their importance above the other family members.  The battle to be right is subject to be central among members who have seldom had a voice in family communications.  The typical “college” student who walks away from a class on a particular subject feels empowered with their newfound “learned” information that may subject them to debates in the community.  Again think about the bar scene in Good Will Hunting, when the challenges of an elitist arrogant college student belittles the Ben Affleck character before he is subdued by the Matt Damon character in his attempts to impress the nearby friends.


My favorite point made by Damon is the fact that many people do not think for themselves; they regurgitate somebody Else’s ideas pawning it off as their own thoughts.  Although they may agree with another person’s belief, and provide supporting evidence on occasion for their arguments, many still fail to think for themselves and go around assuming they have the essence of knowledge and stop further analysis of the intellectual processes.  We are not prophetic beings, we are limited in our knowledge and our resources, so we should extend others our full attention before we speak, interrupt, and pass judgement upon another person’s view.

The Oz Principle’s definition of accountability emphasizes the fact that accountability works best when people share ownership for circumstances and results.

Excerpt From: Craig Hickman, Tom Smith & Roger Connors. “The Oz Principle.”

“Who are you?” asked the Scarecrow when he had stretched himself and yawned, “and where are you going?”
“My name is Dorothy,” said the girl, “and I am going to the Emerald City, to ask the great Oz to send me back to Kansas.”
“Where is the Emerald City?” he inquired; “and who is Oz?”
“Why, don’t you know?” she returned, in surprise.
“No, indeed; I don’t know anything. You see, I am stuffed, so I have no brains at all,” he answered sadly.
“Oh,” said Dorothy; “I’m awfully sorry for you.”
“Do you think,” he asked, “if I go to the Emerald City with you that Oz would give me some brains?”
“I cannot tell,” she returned; “but you may come with me, if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains you will be no worse off than you are now.”
“That is true,” said the Scarecrow.

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”

The book recounts a journey toward awareness; and from the beginning of their journey, the story’s main characters gradually learn that they possess the power within themselves to get the results they want.  Until the end, they think of themselves as victims of circumstance, skipping down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where the supposedly all-powerful Wizard will grant them the courage, heart, wisdom, and means to succeed. The journey itself empowers them, and even Dorothy, who could have clicked her red slippers and returned home at any time, must travel the yellow brick road to gain full awareness that only she herself can achieve her desires.  People relate to the theme of a journey from ignorance to knowledge, from fear to courage, from paralysis to powerfulness, from victimization to accountability, because everyone has taken this same journey himself.

The next morning the sun was behind a cloud, but they started on, as if they were quite sure which way they were going.
“If we walk far enough,” said Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to some place, I am sure.”
But day by day passed away, and they still saw nothing before them but the scarlet fields. The Scarecrow began to grumble a bit. “We have surely lost our way,” he said, “and unless we find it again in time to reach the Emerald City I shall never get my brains.”
“Nor I my heart,” declared the Tin Woodsman. “It seems to me I can scarcely wait till I get to Oz, and you must admit this is a very long journey.”
“You see,” said the Cowardly Lion, with a whimper, “I haven’t the courage to keep tramping forever, without getting anywhere at all.”
Then Dorothy lost heart. She sat down on the grass and looked at her companions, and they sat down and looked at her, and Toto found that for the first time in his life he was too tired to chase a butterfly that flew past his head; so he put out his tongue and panted and looked at Dorothy as if to ask what they should do next.

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”

Victimization has infected so much of our world, from small, inconsequential acts to life-destroying abuses, that it affects us all each and every day.  To be sure, the suffering a person inflicts on another poses one of the greatest dilemmas of modern life, yet the shelter of victimization can render the sufferer completely ineffective.  Even the most successful people and organizations can fall prey to the virus of victimization.


Accountability:  A personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results—to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It.


“Do you think Oz could give me courage?” asked the Cowardly Lion.
“Just as easily as he could give me brains,” said the Scarecrow.
“Or give me a heart,” said the Tin Woodsman.
“Or send me back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.
“Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”

“I might have stood there always if you had not come along,” he said; “so you have certainly saved my life. How did you happen to be here?”
“We are on our way to the Emerald City, to see the great Oz,” she answered, “and we stopped at your cottage to pass the night.”
“Why do you wish to see Oz?” he asked.
“I want him to send me back to Kansas; and the Scarecrow wants him to put a few brains into his head,” she replied.
The Tin Woodsman appeared to think deeply for a moment. Then he said: “Do you suppose Oz could give me a heart?”
“Why, I guess so,” Dorothy answered.

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”

“Who are you?” asked the Scarecrow when he had stretched himself and yawned, “and where are you going?”
“My name is Dorothy,” said the girl, “and I am going to the Emerald City, to ask the great Oz to send me back to Kansas.”
“Where is the Emerald City?” he inquired; “and who is Oz?”
“Why, don’t you know?” she returned, in surprise.
“No, indeed; I don’t know anything. You see, I am stuffed, so I have no brains at all,” he answered, sadly.
“Oh,” said Dorothy; “I’m awfully sorry for you.”
“Do you think,” he asked, “if I go to the Emerald City with you, that Oz would give me some brains?”
“I cannot tell,” she returned; “but you may come with me, if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains, you will be no worse off than you are now.”

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”

Oz, left to himself, smiled to think of his success in giving the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman and the Lion exactly what they thought they wanted. “How can I help being a humbug,” he said, “when all these people make me do things that everybody knows can’t be done? It was easy to make the Scarecrow and the Lion and the Woodsman happy, because they imagined I could do anything. But it will take more than imagination to carry Dorothy back to Kansas, and I’m sure I don’t know how it can be done.”

—The Wizard of Oz,
L. Frank Baum”


The information to better relationships is not the challenge, since there are many sources that can help heal relationships that need mending.  The problem is the recognition (“See it”) aspect of the dynamic.  If you do not understand your disposition, you will never have the motivation to “own it, or solve it, or do it” in any of your dealings.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Lao Tzu

Two tadpoles are swimming in a pond.  Suddenly one turns into a frog and leaves the pond. Upon the frog’s return to the water, the tadpole sees the frog and asks, “Where did you go?”

“I went to a dry place, ” answers the frog.

“What is ‘dry’?” asks the tadpole.

“Dry is where there is no water,” says the frog.

“And what is ‘water’?” asks the tadpole.

“You don’t know what ‘water’ is?” the frog says in disbelief.  “It’s all around you! Can’t you see it?”

The moral of the story:  To understand others you must first understand yourself.

Extending the analogy, in the “pond of culture” values and assumptions are analogous to water.  So immersed are we that we take them for granted. The tadpole can’t understand water until it leaves the pond and experiences dry, just as I can’t understand my own culture until I experience another.

This is the essence of gaining a cross-cultural perspective: it lifts you out of the pond, and in doing so raises sensitivity to others. Understanding other cultural perspectives raises self-awareness, which in turn creates favorable conditions for communication and cooperation.


The Oz Principle: Getting Results through Individual and Organizational Accountability



A Fish Out of Water

fishoutofwater Annette Blattman


Without alienation, there can be no politics.”

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) 1915-, American Dramatist


Have you ever felt at times like a fish out of water? A feeling that you somehow did not belong to what you were in observance of. Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? On occasion we have been in the company of others that we did not really know very well, and have felt out-of-place, or discomforted by the environment we were surrounded by. What is even more discomforting is being with friends and feeling like you did not belong to this group of people who you have already known for some time when you happen to be at some function. What is most appalling is the extraordinary circumstances that hurt us most when we have these feelings and thoughts about our own family.

Alienation is an awful feeling that leads us to question our own sense of values. A feeling that divides us on emotional levels from people that we have known for some time and can be a very strange experience to us. In some cases there are situations that effect our families and that we may have had the unpleasant experience to contend with. Having family members become estranged from other family members due to the communication dynamic in those families is also known as parental alienation, and is an extremely painful event.

Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. The parent that the child aligns with – the aligned parent – may engage in alienating behaviors, by undermining the other parent: these behaviors may be conscious and deliberate or alternatively may reflect a lack of awareness on the effect of their actions on their children. Direct alienating behaviors occur when one parent actively undermines the other parent, such as making derogatory remarks about the other parent or telling the child that the other parent is responsible for the separation or the cause of financial difficulties. Indirect alienation behaviors occur when one parent fails to support access or contact with the other parent, or tacitly accepts the child’s negative behavior and comments towards the other parent.


Whichever the case may be, some underlying concepts thread their way through some of these cases including: levels of awareness, anger and hatred, distrust or mistrust, lack of moral concern, ego-centrism, feelings of disconnection, ad infinitum.

Many of us have experienced these feelings and our dissociation from particular groups that we tend not to have any affinity with. I remember at times when I was younger, not quite certain about my beliefs, when I would still feel unsure about some of the gatherings I was privy to. The internal voice that spoke for me would still alert my conscious thoughts and feelings if any discontinuity of behavior would engage the assembly. As the years have passed, some people may tend to identify with their agitations and thereby hold onto stained memories of the confrontations. This may develop over a time and eventually lead them to have little candor over their reflections of past events. In many cases the sour grapes that take up their minds attention become the dominant profiles of their attitudes. Cases such as these tend to develop into the misanthropes of the world.

The losses or emotional disconnection we sustain as adults sometimes effect us on deeper levels we are not completely conscious of. Our awareness may be hindered, as we try to protect our emotional states by distraction, entertainment, confusion, or some other way we tend to cope with these situations. The result still leaves us as someone who is on the outside looking in. We still feel a disconnect with others who may respond differently or have a different sets of values.

— Misanthropy in the pond of humanity —

Misanthropy has been ascribed to a number of writers of satire, such as William S. Gilbert (“I hate my fellow-man”). Jonathan Swift is widely believed to be misanthropic (see A Tale of a Tub and, most especially, Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels).

Molière’s character Alceste in Le Misanthrope (1666) states:

My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds. “

We humans like to think we are in control and determine where events in our lives are going. There are many choices we make that seem to make a big difference. Most of the time we take credit for the great thing we manifest. Although we do affect reality, our impact at times is much less than we imagine and at other times, it is greater than we imagine. However, most of us never stop to look at why that is the case. In reality, it all depends on the energy of the situation.

What is little understood is how often we ride the current of the energy that is manifesting. It’s like being in a rowboat carried along by a swift river current and not by the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness of our rowing. The world we experience is much like a Galileo Thermometer such that the environment conditions change, we move naturally according to the energy changes and not by choice. What we fail to realize is that we are energy consciousness and we move into or out of a situation depending on how well our energy matches the situation at hand.