Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Wayseer Manifesto

Today, into my world came a gift from a friend*; a YouTube video that speaks to the part of us tuned to Truth, the Way, the Cosmic Order, the Absolute, God, ...

Dare to listen and feel with your heart:

* Marianne Henry

Friday, March 25, 2011

Failing into success

The way up and the way down is the same. Failure and success are two sides of one coin. A duality that is not! No success is lasting, regardless of how solid and powerful it looks. Even the whole universe will run down, will fail. Profound failure can become profound success. Jesus' life work "failed" into becoming the most abiding success in religious history.

Every time I fail, I let myself feel the failure as deeply as possible. A whole new perspective soon arises with rich fields of opportunity. Learn to be thankful for apparent failures -- this flips the perspective. Failure never happens; it's my expectations that failed to match reality at the moment. Change the expectations; look again at what-is with clearer sight. Go on. Live fully.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Technology and the meaning of life

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

-- T. S. Elliot

We uncouple technologies, such as computing and road building, from our deepest human values. The questions asked by T. S. Elliot become irrelevant as we refuse to acknowledge the human context.

Students at universities become mainly focused on "practical knowledge" that leads to high paid jobs. The values by which we guide our technological development and application become afterthoughts. We must wonder if technology now controls human life more than humans control technology.

Information technology is valued above wisdom. There is no "wisdom technology". It's easier to understand information technology then wisdom. A high school student can quickly grasp computer programming, but it takes almost an entire lifetime to mature to wisdom. People who think of themselves as wise because they have read some books are dangerous. Wisdom is lived, not mastered as procedures and facts that can be scored on an exam sheet.

Data and information are the "atomic" components of knowledge. These components don't make a lot of sense by themselves. Water is composed of molecules, which are in turn composed of atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. We could say that molecules are like information and atoms (a level further down) are like data. But such an understanding does not allow us to understand the "wetness" of water. Wetness is an emergent phenomenon that is experienced by sentient human beings. When we look at a friend, we just don't see atoms and molecules, we see a friend.

Meaning is the real food of human life. Our real task is to arrange education, family, society, moral training, technology and economic arrangements in way that allows meaningful human life to unfold for as many people as possible. Clearly, we have remarkable technologies. But do we have enough meaning?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

With what do you buy your money?

With what do we buy our money? Many years ago, I was giving a talk on wisdom in the world. At the end of the talk, I was approached by an old man. He came up to me and said, "I want to ask you a question." I said, "What's that?" He said, "With what do you buy your money?" I thought about it for a minute, and said, "With your life, of course." He said, "You're right, and I wish I had known that when I was much younger. For all my life, I worked for money. I put all my time into working for money that I thought I would enjoy later on." He explained that he just never thought about anything else except working to save money, to put money away, to plan for the future. And the future had arrived, and here he was, an old man. And he expressed that he had a sense of bitterness about that, that he hadn't achieved an earlier understanding about the importance of living life, and that he had indeed bought his money with his life. (+)

Image by Terry Pettengill.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Running like snails

We take jet planes to get somewhere fast, while taking hours to get in and out of airports for a one hour flight. Booking passage, packing, deciding what to take and not take, freeway travel, airport security, weather problems, and the unexpected mechanical problems -- a one hour flight becomes a half-day event. This is "running like snails." Rage is a symptom of running like snails. You see it with commuters on trains and freeways; and, on the internet and in the office.

Freeways ought to move quickly -- everyone gets on them during "rush hour". "Rush hour" could be renamed "running like snails" hour. Fast automotive technology meets congested overcrowded freeways. Road rage flares on freeways as drivers try to move faster. Every year 40,000 people die because of the need to “get there on time”.

Companies now organize around information efficiency for maximum profit. For instance, eliminating contact with "ineffectual" and “expensive” humans, instead providing web pages and interactive voice activated telephone services. Customer satisfaction problems are more difficult to resolve nowadays. No one can hear you scream in cyberspace! Fast internet service does not make us more productive, rather it gives us more distractions along the information superhighway.

Someday we will all learn to just walk like lightening.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


After many considerations, it's clear modern technological life has three fundamental categories: time, money, and love. Insights can be gained by looking at the weight that is applied to these categories in different life circumstances.

We can’t separate time, money, and love. In moments of insight, meditation, and spontaneous grace: it becomes clear that time, money, and love are just time-money-love; like space and time in physics are now fused into space-time.

Ask ourselves the question how does time-money-love play itself out in our lives? More money, less time? More time, more love? Is more money, less love? Yes, no, maybe? Look deeply into this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My window of time

View out my window of time
People and cars passing by
Meaning is not an issue
Only the Being all around
It is what it is as-it-is
So easy. You know that
someday you'll step off this
life. So accept it in
ways deep inside. So inside
that it's just That.
Breathe into Being
this morning. You and I
are here where we are