Community

This entry is a few days late, as we just got our Internet back.

I’ve just been looking at videos from the Florida Keys and reading about the devastation in the Leeward Islands. On St Maarten they have no food, water or shelter. The people have banded together to search the wreckage of supermarkets and other sources in order to gather and share what resources they might come across.

I was uncomfortable because, for about twelve hours and five minutes, we had no lights and no air conditioning. Of course we had several good flashlights and a big supply of batteries, and we had a little battery-powered fan that kept us reasonably comfortable. Essentially we lay in bed, napped, played with our cats, watched the storm on our phones, and I read a sci-fi novel on my Kindle. We snacked from the cooler. We talked. Our day was thrown off balance. We couldn’t go to work.

I’ve been thinking, though, about how easily our lives can be thrown out of balance. Continue reading

An Unsolicited Plug

For several reasons I make it a point not to review books or accept ads, “infographics,“ and guest posts on this blog, except in extremely rare situations.  When I tried it the first one led to more, and to requests that didn’t meet my standards (never easy to refuse for a codependent like me), plus other complications, like conflicts of interest, etc.  I don’t like hassles, and promoting business in whatever fashion is not the purpose of this site.  However, it’s my blog, and I occasionally make exceptions for myself when I think it’s important enough.  This is one of those times.

My long-time readers will probably have noticed the blurb in the sidebar for Joe C’s book, Beyond Belief, Agnostic Musings For 12-Step Life.  No doubt the word “agnostic” turned some of them off.  I’d like to comment on that, and explain why the ad, recommendation, or whatever you want to call it is there.

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Fine Print

Education is what you get when you read the fine print;
experience is what you get when you don’t.

~ Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger is one of the Grand Old Masters of folk, along with Woodie Guthrie, Buffy St Marie, Bob Dylan in his early days, Joan Baez, Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers, Odetta, Leo Solieau, The Carter Family, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Harry Belafonte, Dave van Ronk, and a host of others–not forgetting the Folk who carried many of the tunes in their oral traditions and sang them over the centuries before recording technology.  They’ve all contributed more to our culture than we may realize.

Seeger has always sorta been a hero of mine.  In addition to the obvious effect he has had on generations of music aficionados, he influenced major figures in the Civil Rights movement and other movements toward Liberty as did many of his contemporaries. He had a way of expressing himself that was at once deceptively simple and, at the same time, pretty damn deep.  The quote above is a prime example.  When I ran across it recently I was immediately struck by the subtle way in which it relates to my recovery, and maybe yours, too. Continue reading

Judgement: the good, the bad and the — well, you know. . .

Our brains evolved (or were designed, if you must) to be judgmental, to assess situations at a glance and classify them as good or bad, dangerous or advantageous — just as you are doing with regard to the first part of this sentence. The ability to do this quickly and form opinions rapidly helped keep our ancestors alive in an uncertain world and assisted them in evaluating the relatively simple issues of their lives and the lives of those around them. They passed these abilities on to us. These inherent skills serve us well in many instances, but we have to be careful. Life is more complicated now.

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Turning Points

We say things like, “That was the turning point in my life.”  What do we mean?  Do we mean that life created a sequence of events that changed our direction?  Do we mean that we made a decision that led to a big change, or do we mean that “Fate” or a “Higher Power” intervened to create a new path? Continue reading

Energy

The study of physics has taught us four basic things about energy.

  • Energy is never created or destroyed (this is called the First Law of Thermodynamics).
  • Energy can be transferred from one object to another.
  • Energy comes in many different forms, which can generally be divided into Potential or Kinetic energy.
  • Energy can be converted from any one of these forms into any other, and vice versa.

These concepts can be applied to all sorts of metaphysical ideas by people who have heard of these properties but not gone any further in their studies of physics.  However, we’re not talking about psychic energy and such; this is about energy as we use it daily, knowingly and with understanding.

When we apply energy we create work.  In physics, work has a very specific definition: Continue reading