30 Day Challenge: Day 2 – Indigenous and Surrogate Power

Friday Jun 3, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 1 – Introduction

Thursday Jun 2, 2011

Sedona by Hot Air Balloon

Monday Feb 21, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Here are some videos we shot while on our hot air balloon ride, which we took on the first day of our mini vacation to Sedona, Arizona.  It was a very beautiful and peaceful way to take in the Sedona scenery.  We would highly recommend a hot air balloon ride for anybody interested.

We got up before the break of dawn.  We took off and got in the air just as the sun was breaking the horizon.  You can see the sun glaring off the windows of the hillside city of Jerome.  You can also see the beautiful Arizona sunrise.  We saw some Javelina, which was very exciting.  We also got the traditional champagne with strawberries and creme breakfast (with apple fritters).  A great way to start the day.

Have a wonderful day.

Introduction to our Winter Greenhouse

Sunday Jan 9, 2011

I made a video documenting our progress to date on our winter greenhouse.  Check it out.  Also check out my youtube channel, NorthlandPhoenix

How to Rule/Save the World – Part 2 : Gatekeepers

Thursday Dec 2, 2010


What are Gatekeepers?

By simple definition, a gate keeper is someone who controls access to something. It’s name originating from those who guarded the gate within a city wall and allowed people in or out at their discression. Today, however it is a term that is more widespread in its usage. Examples of gatekeepers are the bankers who control who gets the credit to build their businesses, the publishing companies who control which artists get exposure to audiences on a large-scale basis, the government who controls who receives the benefits of the productivity of the nation and the storekeepers who control what products you’ll have access to.

Why would someone want to be a gatekeeper?

We see gatekeepers everywhere. They are nestled into every nook and cranny of our existence, but why would someone want to go through the effort and expense of creating systems and structures to redirect the decision-making process of others through themselves? Obviously, the answer is they have the desire to control them. The desire to control things is based on the ego attempting to exert its will on the world around it to try and force it to conform with the ego’s expectations for how it should act. To rephrase that, the egoic portions of ourselves, try to force others to act in a manner that best fulfills our own needs. This method of thinking is distinctly different from that of faith. When one has faith, there is no need to control things because the mind “knows” that the needs will be fulfilled. This ties in with the Law of Attraction as when one is certain that the desired results are on their way, then the universe can fully deliver that of which you are asking.

Why do we let people gatekeep over us?

There are a lot of reasons why people let other people control portions of their lives. Fundamentally, though they are ignorant and feel powerless. In a lot of cases they aren’t even aware of the power relationships in place and think “that’s just the way things are.” Sometimes, we understand that we are being taken advantage of, but are unaware of how to reclaim their power or feel powerless to do so. Perhaps, there are so many other challenges in life, that we don’t have the energy to devote in that direction so it’s easier to not really try. Sometimes the challenges are so big, and we feel helpless to change them.

Power centralizes naturally when the majority of people feel powerless over large areas of their lives. In these circumstances, we offer the opportunity to others to take advantage of us rather than confronting the issues that face us. Sometimes people actively seek to acquire power over others, but often it is just taken by default, so a network is created where everyone has power in small little niches, but is powerless in the majority of their lives.

How to Rule the World

The goal is to create a system in which the control of a population lies within the grasp of a few select people with yourself at the top. In this manner, you can live a life of luxury that capitalizes on the productive capacity of the population at large, bringing you value much greater than the value that you can provide the world via your own energy. Considering that after a certain amount of wealth, time becomes significantly more valuable and limiting, thus you will most certainly want to create a system of hierarchies, in which each organization is controlled by a select few who are controlled ultimately by you.

Gatekeeping is the natural outcome of the desire to concentrate power. Concentrating power is achieved by spreading fear and promoting weakness in the population. This fear causes people to try and hoard what is critical to their well-being, or if the challenges are too great people will give up their power out of complacency. If you can give them too many challenges, they will focus on the most important ones and ignore the lesser important ones. In this way you can covertly have them give up their power on issues they aren’t paying attention to. Over time, this foothold can be grown and improved. You only have to control those who have seized control of power over an area. They will be compliant due to their position of privilege and their not wanting to give it up. When the people have a worldview that they are powerless, this is internalized and their ego will help you perpetuate this weakness and accept further abuses.

Specialization and Experts

One of the ways we can remove power from the individuals is to glorify and encourage specialization to the extreme. Specialization is an economic term describing the division of labor. The more specialized a person becomes, the more dependent they becomes on the systems around them, because by definition they are less capable at doing a variety of tasks. This dependency is a weakness we can exploit by manipulating the systems around them.

First, though how do we encourage specialization past the optimal amount and into the realm of weakness? We do this by creating longer and longer work-weeks, so that people only have enough time and energy to work on the tasks they are specialized. We ensure that our economic textbooks glorify specialization at all opportunities. We remove the ability to work multiple part-time jobs by providing them health care, but only to a worker sufficiently specialized as determined by the number of hours they work in a week at one job. This has the beneficial side effect of making them dependent on this single income stream, which makes them much more compliant. We then slowly create licensing systems, upon which to regulate commerce. This eliminates people from performing certain types of work for other people. We tell them we must regulate them for their own protection, that the licensed people are experts and that those jobs require experts. This creates doubt and weakness in the populations minds. We tell them that only expensive doctors are capable of creating good health and that people shouldn’t be trusted to do it themselves. We encourage this dependence on experts as much as possible. To do this we make regulatory systems as well as systems created by corporations we control which are much more complicated and have more confusing jargon than they need to be, we encourage the monopoly of these systems over other competing systems.

Once people are sufficiently dependent, we can shake the systems upon which they are dependent on to show them just how weak and dependent they are. This will further reduce their confidence in themselves. We make money more scarce to the common people by depressing the economy. We make health care more scarce and expensive.

Education to Employment Pathway

Let’s talk about Education, Employment and the path between them because this is a critical area for us to use gatekeepers to remove power from the individuals. Employment and thus education is based off specialization and the notion of experts described above. Education creates experts as certified by the diploma and employers hire people based on the idea that the diploma ensures that they are experts. This creates a education system that funnels people through different gates. This restricts employment options for those who haven’t passed the tests of the gatekeepers. You can create multiple levels of schooling with gates between levels which further restricts access and availability to earn a high income to the select few which you allow through the gates. By only allowing a certain amount of people through the gates each year, you can regulate the percentage of the population allowed into the upper classes.

Gatekeepers in the Media

One of the most important aspects of society towards centralizing control is the media. The reason for this is self-evident. If you can control the information going to the people, then for the most part, you can control what they’re exposed to and what they can become aware of. In other words, you can determine how big of a box their reality fits in. Qualitatively, you can shape what their reality and experiences will look like.

To control the media is all about controlling the mechanisms of distributing the information to the people and being large enough to dominate the industry so that you drown out the competitors. Like anything else, the idea is to centralize the power in as few hands as possible, then apply leverage on that person to get them to make the choices that you wish to see.

Government Subsidies and Regulation

To further our control of society, we must control the private sectors as well. To do this we create an incestuous relationship between the government and private sectors, despite creating the illusion of the government as being separate from the private sector. The way we do this is through the use of subsidies and regulation. Once we control the government, we can give subsidies to the corporations that are doing what we want and we withhold subsidies to their competitors. This provides them with an unnatural competitive advantage so they can out-compete their opposition. We can also do this through our bankers and controlling their access to credit. When they become dependent on our subsidies for their survival, then we can add strings to our subsidies as a method of control. Clear examples of this are through the work of the IMF and World Bank on the international levels and in the agricultural educational and utility industries on a national level.

The sister side of subsidization is regulation. By increasing the costs of companies to comply with our regulations, we reduce the ability of those who try to compete with our monopolies, and with sufficient subsidies we ensure that the monopolies can comply with our regulations.

Once at a certain level, we can use subsidies and regulation to ensure the production of the products which further weaken the power of the population and encourage those which further our control. An example would be to subsidize food which is devoid of nutrition and weakens the populace. Another would be to encourage automobile production as it increases the financial burden on those who utilize it as well as it is a system we are firmly in control of on the regulatory side.

The Government

Control of the government is clearly crucial to long-term success of the people. The government operates under the guise of being created by the people and thus for the people, but under our control we can regulate the different areas of society as we please. The way we control government is simple, we control who is allowed to participate in government and thus ensure that they are filled with those who will fulfill our requests. We create two gates to accomplish this task. The first gate is that we make the cost to become a politician so extravagantly high that very few could afford to fund themselves to complete the process. Since we control the monetary supply, we can create money to fund the candidates we desire so that they will sufficiently overpower all competitors. Similarly, bribes work well for most politicians already in office. Once we have sufficient control of the political system, we reduce the ability of uncontrolled candidate from even making their voices heard so they will never gain a sufficient following to be elected. We do this by creating a system based on political parties and controlling the major parties.

How to Save the World

The purpose of the How to Rule the World section above is not to spread or start conspiracies, but instead to show some areas where we commonly give our power of creation to someone else. They offer services to us that at the first glance appear to benefit us, but over time they prove to be detrimental to us when they try to change the relationship so that they have power over us and then use that power to further their own lives at our expense.

The bare essence of how we’re going to save the world is that we’re going to learn how to take full responsibility for the life we live, and to make all our choices consciously.

Become aware of where you give your power away

The first step is to become aware of the gatekeepers in your life and in becoming conscious of where you’ve been unconsciously giving your power to other people. These are easy to find because they’re everywhere. The How to Rule the World section is a good starting point. Look for the areas in your life that have been causing you pain for a while. Lots of times these are areas where you’ve been ignoring them because you’ve felt powerless to fix them. Look for situations in which there is a subtle societal pressure to do something without fully exploring all the other options. These are where the gatekeepers funnel people into using their services. You can also look at your finances and see where you’ve been spending your money unconsciously. Look at your relationships. Are you in any relationships where you feel subservient to another rather than being two equals? You’ll be amazed at how often you’ve been giving your power away, once you start looking for it.

We do this because we feel that it’s the easy thing to do or that we have too many other things to focus on, but often we would have been better off if we had just taken the time to figure things out earlier rather than later.

Choose a Better Option

After you learn where you are giving your power away, the next step is to choose something better. All of life is choices and often we make choices without being fully conscious of them, however nothing changes until we start making different choices. Our unconscious mind, makes choices based on the set of stimuli it is presented with and the patterns that are stored in your brain. The significance of this is that the unconscious mind will continue to make the same responses (choices) when given a set of stimuli. The only way to a better life is to use your conscious mind to consciously choose something different , something better. With regards to gatekeepers, we have to choose to not participate with people that try to manipulate us for their own benefit. We have to choose to not support employers that aren’t supportive of us.

This brings us to our last step. It’s fine to consume products from ethical producers, but ethical producers are in short supply. We also have to become ethical producers ourselves. We have to hold our own workplaces to high standards. We have to change them so that they support all life. If we cannot find this in our workplaces, than we must opt-out and build our own workplaces in the model that we so desire. We must create our structures to support others, because we also need them to support us. Be conscious of the power relationships you create and participate in so that control over ones actions are left in their hands. Choose small and distributed over large centralized industrial models.

Most importantly, do not fear. The universe is moving this way, you just have to move with it so that you don’t get left behind.

How to Rule/Save the World – Part 1 : The Law of Attraction

Tuesday Oct 5, 2010

I’ve been reading an amazing book called, Secrets of the Soil, and I just got to a part describing how the etheric, astral, and mental bodies interact with the physical bodies to create the world that we see and interact with. That got my mind rolling towards how our leaders can so effectively rule the world and how we can reclaim it for ourselves.

The Law of Attraction

There is a fundamental law of the universe called the Law of Attraction, which is often rephrased “Create your own Reality.” The law of attraction has been given much press lately and has found equal amount of resistance. I’m not going to talk too much about it as others have written so much about it, (see Steve Pavlina’s post or google it), but I’ll lay out the basics here because it’s so fundamental and essential towards understanding what’s going on in the world. The law of attraction states that your dominant thoughts get manifested into your life, or that like attracts like. An example of this would be that if you experience anger on a frequent basis, than you will experience angry people and people that make you angry on a frequent basis as well.

Key to this concept is that emotion is the driving force behind the thoughts. The mental body (our intellect) creates the thoughts and the astral body (our emotions) charges up the thoughts with power. So in order to get what you want you have to do two things. You have to both focus on what you want and then charge it with strong emotions. If your mind is sending out mixed signals, perhaps “I want to be wealthy” and “I don’t want to be poor” (which really means “I want to be poor” since our minds don’t understand negatives like “not”), the opposing signals will negate each other. Also you can be completely focused on the positives, but if they are not charged with much emotional energy, they will return back to you in a very weak form.

How to Rule the World

Now let’s presume that you are ruler of a country, high in status, the social elite. Let’s also assume that you want to maintain your life of leisure and ensure your position of power over others. There are many paths available for doing such a thing, and of course all the paths are tightly intertwined, but today let’s discuss the path utilizing the law of attraction. To maintain your position you would want to ensure that the trek of upward mobility through the social classes was as difficult as possible so that all the potential competitors would be busy struggling against challenges rather than struggling with you. One method of achieving this is to create all the obstacles and challenges for everyone. That’s nice, but it’s an awful lot of work. What would be better is if you could get everyone to attract into their own lives all the challenges without having to do all the dirty work.

What we have to do is influence peoples’ thoughts so they experience strong emotions based on fear (fear, anger, sadness, hate, worry, etc.) more frequently and more emotionally charged than thoughts based on love (love, happiness, compassion, etc.). How would we go about doing this? The unconscious mind acts as a tape recorder which records thought patterns when it senses stimuli. We also know that the mind can learn from not only direct experience, but also from indirect experience (like stories or role models in which we can imagine having their experiences). We can also absorb thought patterns merely by being exposed to them (like pretty much all modern advertising e.g. cheeseburgers make people happy).

This gives us several options. The most powerful is through the control of mass media programming. This utilizes the very powerful ability of the human mind to learn though stories as well as by just carpet bombing the mental space with thought patterns and associations that suit our goals. We can make people insecure of themselves by showing how happy the idealized people are and how fat, miserable, and dumb regular people are. We give them role models that have the traits we want them to have. They think it’s just comedy, but we know that they’ll internalize it and then become it. We can help to ensure that the news and other media is predominantly based on violence. By repeated exposures to violent acts, especially heart-wrenching ones, we can get them to believe that other people and the world in general are something to be feared. This is very powerful as everyday experiences become fearful. To enhance this and add even more power to this, we can ensure that the news shows focus on violence. We can have them heavily focus on the highly dramatic events, even though they are of low probability to occur. If need be, we can exaggerate stories to make them more gripping or even stage events to ensure that the media is adequately saturated. We can start wars or other attacks on people to ensure a high level of drama and pain in the world on both sides of the issue.

We can also rig situations, so as to influence the direct experiences of many people in society all at once. Given our ability to restrict the amount of credit available to the population at large, we can increase the financial burdens on society. This causes an increase in fear and pain as needs go unmet or people worry that their needs will go unmet. Companies cut back resulting in increased stress and workload for those that remain, to the point where people settle for “well at least I still have a job.”

How to Save the World

Now let’s imagine that we are real genuine people, tired of being pushed around by the elite. We want to pursue our happiness but not at the expense of others. How do we help build the world we want to live in? We have to become masters of what we co-create, meaning we have to reclaim our personal responsibility over our actions and thus what we attract into our life.

How do we do this?

Filter out the Stuff that Makes You Feel Bad that You Won’t Act On.

The first and most important thing to realize is that you have to stop responding emotionally to the troubles of the world. The media will try and convince you that the world is full of horrible things which you need to be concerned about. People will get sick, lose their jobs, pollute the environment and take advantage of others. If it’s not your mission in life to work on those areas, it’s not important for you to pay attention to. Instead focus on your mission in life, where you can contribute to the betterment of yourself and your community. Filter out of your life all the rest of the stuff you aren’t going to act on. Also realize that being distressed about stuff doesn’t actually solve anything. It only makes you feel bad.

The purpose of pain is to alert you to an area of your life that isn’t working. This allows you to see the contrast of where you currently are and to allow you to determine where you really want to go and how to get there.

Focus on Your Bliss

The second thing to do is to focus on your bliss. Spend all your time doing things that make you happy. For things which you must do, find ways to understand them so that you can be happy while doing them. When you are happy, refine yourself so that your happiness is overflowing and bountiful, so that the happy thought-forms you send out to the world are fully charged and can be returned to you in a noticeable manner. Be selective in how you program your brain. Consume media that fills you with joy and that further charges your passion for life. The stronger your happiness the more it can return to you.

Learn to Love Your Pain

The point of life is learning how to make yourself happy. To do this you have to learn to love yourself (inwards) and others (outwards) in ever increasing amounts. Learn to love in ever greater quantities because happiness is the byproduct of love. Learn to love that which brings you pain, because it is the message which lets you choose pleasure. Pain is a tool to bring you clarity. It is a step to take on your process towards ever greater happiness. More often than not, we dwell in our pain far too long. We play the part of the victim. We think pain is something to endure, rather than the message inspiring us to act, so we never act and the pain never goes away. The Infinite, the Creator, the Universe is the source from which both pleasure and pain originate from. They are both gifts from a kind and loving god to help you choose to become happier. By loving your pain and your challenges as a stepping stone towards your greater goals, you allow yourself to accept the pain (by not repressing it) and you reframe your situation as a necessary step to make the pain obsolete. This helps avoid the dilemma that people have when they attract into their life, more pain, because they’ve spent all their energy focusing on their pain.

Share Your Happiness With The World

Once you’ve found what makes you happy, you’ve got to go out into the world and share your happiness. You can’t just sit at home. Each of us is unique. The things that make us happy are our own unique gifts which the world is expecting us to give. You need to let your happiness become infectious for other people, to the point where they can’t help but smile. You need to find your tribes, so that their happiness infects you and yours infects them, creating an upwards spiral that buffers you in your down times and lifts everyone. You need to be loud enough so that those who are still living small can sufficiently hear you, so that your happiness can infect them and help the light inside of them burn ever brighter. Share with them the tools and techniques for developing their happiness into a raging inferno. Be a role model for others because thats what we are most short of and most in need of.

Some More Resources

While in the process of editing this post, I noticed that two of my favorite people on the Internet posted on similar topics.  Check out Everett Bogue’s post on his blog Far Beyond the Stars.  Also check out Patrick Timpone’s radio show on it on One Radio Network.  Please note that One Radio Network requires you to sign in with a free membership to listen to the radio shows, which is well worth the effort.

Minimalism is about Focus

Wednesday Sep 29, 2010

Boundary Waters

A lot of people think that minimalism is about living cheaply and minimizing expenses or getting rid of your stuff. Minimalism is not a negative process though, meaning it’s not about what you don’t want. It’s a process of developing greater understanding of who you are and what makes you happy and surrounding yourself only with the things that truly make you happy. Most of us surround ourselves with so many objects, thinking that we are surrounding ourselves with functionality and value. The true limiting factor, however, is no stuff (or money) but time. Each of our objects demands a certain amount of time from us, both in the process of acquiring it and also a day-to-day cost in using it and maintaining it. What we are really doing when we acquire low value stuff is that we are diluting the quality of how we spend our time. We are acquiring, using, and maintaining objects which don’t bring us happiness or don’t bring us as much happiness as we could have by doing something else. Minimalism is about finding out what makes you happy and focusing only on that and removing all distractions.

Minimalism is one of the foundational pillars of life. It is a practices that all should be participating in. We should teach children minimalism in school, because developing a greater understanding of ourselves and what makes us happy (and then acting of it to actually make ourselves happy) is a key reason we’re here on the planet.

Minimalism is not just about objects though. Minimalism is about how you related with everything in your life, not just objects. You should apply it to your relationships, so that you only have people in your life that bring you deep happiness. You should apply it to the activities in your life, so that you become conscious of how you are spending your time, so you spend less time doing stuff you don’t want and start doing stuff that makes you happy all the time. You should follow your bliss.

Find your happy and focus on it.

It’s Time for Some Purging

Sunday Sep 19, 2010

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism, both from Everett Bogue and Tammy Strobel and also from the book, Your Money or Your Life.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I’ve been a little more inspired lately.  This week Michelle and I are going to do some serious paring back of our possessions by purging some of the stuff out of our life that’s been sitting around for too long without getting much use.  The hardest part for me won’t be the attachment to the objects themselves, but in actually getting them out of the house.  I still feel a lot of the items have some value to somebody, so I’ll be more challenged by holding onto stuff for too long trying to find the perfect home for stuff rather than just getting rid of it.

Wish us luck!

Creating a Better Workplace

Tuesday Sep 14, 2010

Moth Header

To be upfront and honest, I work for a multinational corporation. My company used to be small and was birthed from a company well known for their ethics and the treatment of their employees. It was then acquired by the aforementioned multinational corporation who then acquired another small company and merged us together. In my 3 years with the company, I have visibly seen the degradation into what I can only imagine is the fairly (stereo)typical corporate workplace environment. One which for the most part is a fairly unfulfilling way to spend 8 hours a day.

We’re taught to believe that money is the only thing that matters in business. We all innately know that this is incorrect, but I still see it all around me. People think that if it pays the bills and then some, then they’ll tolerate the crap at their work. People also separate work from their personal life, leading them to endure work and using the money they earn to work towards their goals in their spare time. This is, of course, a futile effort in the pursuit of happiness. With work being the place where we spend most of our waking hours, it is essential that it is contributing greatly to our happiness while we are there.

As a nation, we all need to increase the standards of our workplaces so that they better fulfill us. One of the things I’ve been working on lately is better defining what I want out of life. Here is what I’m working towards so that my working life and my creative output are most fulfilling for me.

  • One of the main things I’m working towards is for my working life to become more integrated into my life as a whole. I spend so much time at work, while at the same time, it stays fairly isolated from the rest of my life. I’m not that passionate about my job, and that has rippled effects throughout my life. I want a job that is inspiring and fills me with passion. More precisely, I don’t want a job, I want my creative output to be play and something I would do anyway. Right now, I go to work, and then have to fit my passions, social life, and everything else into the small amount of time that’s left. If my work was my passion, than my schedule would be freed up immensely. I also want my business relationships to be deeply integrated into my life. I have visions of small town businesses where you know your customers and are part of your community. I also have this same desire in my role as a consumer, as I want everything to be more local so I can meet the grower of my foods and the producers of the products I consume. I have a desire for my work to visibly contribute to the benefit of others rather than to be a small part of a long convoluted chain, where I never see the fruits of my labor.

  • I want to work in an environment where everyone has equal power and there aren’t hierarchies of authority and power. All organizations (including companies) should be comprised of individuals who actually want to be there of their own free will as opposed to being coerced into being there or into doing things. No one likes to be forced into doing stuff they don’t want and we shouldn’t tolerate that from the companies that we form or in the coworkers we work with. It is all too common, for managers or anyone with authority, to step into the role of the decider, a position made famous by George W. Bush, where it’s more important to be a strong leader and make decisions than it is to make the right decisions. The idea behind this is that it maintains cohesiveness and steadies a rudderless ship and that any forward motion is better than no forward motion. The problems though start to arise when the decisions start to be made farther and farther away from the people who have the most experience and perspective of the situation and also the people who will have to deal with the ramifications of the decisions made. The act of leveraging the power they have gained from the authority of the corporation causes both subpar business performance but more importantly is demoralizing and demotivating to all those who are trivialized. This is the death knoll of the organization as the employees stop trying and do just enough to collect a paycheck. Growth and profit are the harvests of the productivity of the creative mind. A metaphor of life and liveliness as creativity is the product of joy and self-motivation.

  • I want to only work in a state of bliss. I know, that’s a little vague and pie in the sky, but that’s where I’m heading. To accomplish this, it needs to be recognized that performing work can be joyous and that the work I need to perform to be joyous changes over time. When I look at my workplace as well as others, I see people who are shoe-horned into performing the same tasks repeatedly. This fulfills the needs of the employer, but not the needs of the employee. I’m certain that a workable arrangement exists that can meet the needs of both employer and employee. I’m also certain that the company would receive much more value from their employees if they had them working on things that excited them, despite their changing nature over time.

  • The working environment as a whole should be beautiful. Far too often, working environments are cheap, sterile, and bland. It is essential that we work in a place that satisfies our sense of beauty, that furthers our passion and contributes to the joy we feel while at work.

  • I want to decouple my time from my work. Firstly, I want to work when it’s suitable for me to work. Traditionally, you show up for a fixed period of time and that’s when you work. This doesn’t work well for me as it forces me to work at times when I am less productive, perhaps when I am still tired or motivated to be working on something else instead. I also want to decouple the money I make from the time I spend working, to spend more time working on passive incomes streams that provide value to large numbers of people over a long time.

There are many bloggers who I follow who are very inspirational to me on this subject. I’ve been a long-time reader of Steve Pavlina as he’s very open with his life in a manner that allows you to easily envision yourself in his shoes. As an entrepeneur, he is very successful and I appreciate his insights. Everett Bogue of Far Behind the Stars and Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens are both bloggers who focus on minimalism. While Steve Pavlina inspires me to build stuff up, they inspire me to pare stuff down, to strip the extra baggage out of my life thats been holding me back. Along with Cody McKibben, from Thrilling Heroics, they are all young bloggers, who I could imagine becoming, who work for themselves and who have structured their businesses in ways that allow themselves a tremendous amount of freedom.

Human Beings or Human Becomings?

Monday Jul 5, 2010

You are more than a human being, you are a human becoming.”

– Og Mandino, from The Greatest Miracle in the World

Becoming and being are the yin and yang of our lives. One inner one outer. Today, we value becoming to the exclusion of being; we applaud human becomings. The secret is balance.”

– Unknown

These two quotes recently showed up in my life and I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately. The first quote, I read in David Wolfe’s book, The Sunfood Diet Success System. It’s a really simple quote, but it’s depth is as vast as our egos. The second, I enjoy because it is calming to me in this era when time moves so fast. I’ve been noticing a lot of people in my life who are trapped by their own beliefs in who they are and how it limits their becoming of who they want to be. This lesson seems pretty universal to me as we all have egos that enjoy the status quo.

The difference between being and becoming

What does it mean to suggest that we are human becomings as well as human beings. The word “being” is a form of the verb “to be” which can be rewritten as “I am” for use as we’re concerned with. It is often used in the form “I am … something.” An example of this would be “I am healthy” or “I am unhealthy.” Each of us has a different definition of what healthy is, but regardless, to declare “I am healthy” is to create mental boundaries that define what you are. Now contrast this to the phrase, “I am becoming healthy.” Here, instead of being healthy or not healthy, you are in a gradient in between the two, and area of grays between the black and white. “Becoming” has opened a doorway or a path from unhealthy towards healthy. It implies change and transitioning and with a positive mindset it implies growth. Being is static. Becoming is dynamic.

One of the interesting quirks of the human mind and more particularly the subconscious is that it will try to make its own internal worldview true. This is particularly clear, when someone gets the flaws in their worldview showed to them. There are many examples, but a good popular one is from the movie A Few Good Men, “You want the truth, You can’t handle the truth.” This highlights an ego that cannot accept that the ego is wrong. Some people fail to see what is right in front of their face, such as corrupt politicians of their political party. Some people, when confronted will say something like, “I would never do something like that.” And honestly not remember the issue at hand. Similarly, the brain when having control of the processes of the body, will use those processes to mold the body to conform to worldview.

You are more than a human being, you are a human becoming”

We all innately know that life is a process of change and that nothing exists which is truly static, but for many people the construction of their ego and worldview in their subconscious loses the understanding that all is in a process of change. Let’s look at a person looking to transition from unhealthy to healthy. Similar to what was stated above, the phrase “I am unhealthy” creates a mental barrier where the mind must create obstacles preventing the person from being healthy. So even if the conscious part of the mind is thinking, “I want to become healthy,” if the unconscious mind knows, “I am unhealthy,” then the person will experience obstacles in their path towards health. To a worldview that doesn’t understand “becoming,” there is only “I am unhealthy” and “I am healthy.” The path from unhealthy to healthy is a switch, or a vertical wall. In the engineering world, we would call it an impulse. Please see Figure 1. In this worldview, it is either all or nothing. It is extremely hard to become healthy with this worldview, because their own mind will create so many obstacles preventing them from actually becoming healthy. Now let’s look at a worldview that deeply understands that life is under constant change and is always in the process of “becoming.” The path of becoming is a gradual progression of manageable steps from unhealthy to healthy. It’s slope can be as steep or as shallow as one can imagine. There are infinite paths from unhealthy to healthy. (On a similar side note, one of our challenges in achieving what we want is to not define the path to our goal to the extent that we miss out on taking other paths to that goal which would get us there quicker, but that’s a topic for another post.) This path is broken down into smaller steps that the brain can accept as being achievable. Whereas a person might not be able to understand what it’s like to be healthy, maybe they can understand the joy of a runner’s high. This is a path that is much easier to progress on.

The wisdom of redefining our worldviews in terms of becoming rather than being is profound, because becoming removes a lot of the obstacles from achieving our goal. A person who “is unhealthy” is not going to go for a run or to eat a better diet, whereas a person who is “becoming healthy” is someone who is on the path to health. The first step towards achieving a goal is to understand that you are on a path to becoming the person who has already achieved that goal. Similarly, another shift can be made at the end of the goal. Some people are on endless paths, where they are never healthy enough or never wealthy enough to be happy. At some point, it can be wise to switch mindsets from, “I am becoming healthy,” to “I am healthy.” This isn’t necessary or always adviseable. If your happiness comes from the process of becoming rather than the state of being your ego thinks you should be in, then your happiness is limited only by your willingness to improve rather than where you are. Or in other words, “Life’s a journey, not a destination.”

Becoming and being are the yin and yang of our lives. One inner one outer. Today, we value becoming to the exclusion of being; we applaud human becomings. The secret is balance.”

I really like this quote but for a different reason. While the first quote is true in that each day we are becoming bigger, more expanded versions of ourselves, the reason to exist it not solely to become greater. Our existence is experiential, or in other words, we exist to have experiences, and these experiences lead us to growth. Our awareness of what we experience is a point of focus. We choose what we want to focus on whether we realize it or not. We can choose to focus on the becoming or on the being. For example, we can choose to experience, “I am becoming happy,” or we can choose to experience, “I am happy.”

While we are “becoming,” we also exist as a certain state of “being.” This being, can be as joyful as the process of becoming. The realization of becoming is to become aware of your power to create the life you want to experience and the realization of being is to become aware that every experience is a path towards growth (towards Godliness). How can you be unhappy, when every experience is leading to further and further greatness? Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin which both lead to further happiness. Once this is realized, you can choose a path which provides you with pleasure rather than pain. At first, you are happy for pain, because it is the path to pleasure, and later you choose a path which doesn’t lead towards pain, by focusing on creating pleasure before the pain is needed to redirect your path.

If you find yourself in a space where you are experiencing, “I am unhappy,” or in other words pain, what you are really experiencing is the way the universe tells you that you need to take action to experience something that resonates more deeply with your true self. If you fail to become aware of your unhappiness or in what experience is causing you to experience that, then life cranks up the volume of pain until your perception can become aware of it. To master being and becoming, become more sensitive to the causes of your pain, and then use your creativity to change your path.